German soldiers assigned to guard the tiny Channel Island of Sark described it as a ‘little Paradise’ and, because it was never bombed by the RAF, the best air-raid shelter in all of Europe. But paradise for them came to a bloody end in October 1942 when a small group of British Commandos raided the island, capturing one German soldier and killing several others.
Operation Basalt would have been a footnote in history but for the reaction of Hitler, who believed that British soldiers executed several Germans who had already surrendered and whose hands were bound. Days after the raid, he issued the infamous ‘Commando Order’, a death sentence for those Allied commandos who fell into German hands.
Drawing on extensive archival research and interviews with survivors of the period, Eric Lee has written the definitive account of the raid, putting it into the context of the German occupation of British lands during the war.