A Rare And Historic 1st Pattern F-S Knife Relating To Operation Archery
Lot 451
A Rare And Historic 1st Pattern F-S Knife Relating To Operation Archery
Sold for £2,500 (US$ 3,923) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Rare And Historic 1st Pattern F-S Knife Relating To Operation Archery
A Rare And Historic 1st Pattern F-S Knife Relating To Operation Archery
By Wilkinson Sword Co. Ltd., London, Dated Xmas '41
Similar to the last, the scabbard with handwritten inscription 'Vaagso Norway Xmas '41, 3 Commando, H.M.S. "Prince Charles", Capt. Giles Bill'
17.1 cm. blade

Footnotes

  • Captain John Frederick Giles (b. 1917) was Captain of 3 Troop, 3 Commando at the time of Operation Archery. He was educated at Kelly College, Tavistock and received his first commission in the Gloucestershire Regiment. During his time with the battalion he won the heavy-weight boxing championship of the army for the West of England, and played rugby football for Clifton. He joined the Commando in the summer of 1940, promoted Captain on 9 December the same year, and was prominent in all its activities including the first raid on the Lofoton Islands, off the coast of Norway

    Operation Archery was planned by Mountbatten following his appointment as Combined Operations Adviser in October 1941. His idea was that a raid of sufficient size would tie down the German troops in Norway thereby denying their use on the Russian Front. The target was also selected as it offered the chance to attack German military establishments on Vaagso and Maaloy. The raid took place on 27 December and Captain Giles's part in the action is described in James Ladd's Commandos and Rangers of World War II as follows: 'South Vaagoa lies on a narrow strip of shoreline beneath a sheer rock face several hundred feet high, the town's unpainted wooden buildings straggling along the three-quarters of a mile of main road running parallel to and some 50 yards from the shoreline. Down this road No. 3 Troop were led by their Troop officer, a giant of a man, making a series of wild charges. They had taken several houses when the Troop officer Captain Johnny Giles - was working his way room by room through another. He and his men had killed three Germans in this house when he burst into the back room and was probably killed by a fourth German hiding there, although he may have been hit from across the street. such is the confusion of street fighting that bullets can appear to come from anywhere and everywhere'. He was buried at sea

    For more information see H. George Mikes, The Epic of Lofoten, 1941, p. 70

    Offered with biographical details
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