The Canvas Kayak Website

Cockle Mark II collapsible canoe, type used in 'Cockleshell Heroes' raid on Bordeaux 1942

Cockle Photo

The Cockle Mark II consists of a ridged plywood deck and a ridged plywood flat bottom joined by rubberised canvas sides.

This allows it to be collapsed flat for storage and to fit through a submarine hatch. The plywood bottom to the hull allows it to be dragged fully loaded on land, essential for wartime landings.

Deck closed

Deck open

These photos show how the spray decks split open to allow easy and silent access to Limpet Mines etc. The spray decks were kept shut with bull dog type clips. Many thanks to Quentin Rees for sharing these photos. For more information on WW2 kayaks visit Google Groups WW2 British Military Canoes

These replica Cockles were built by Roger Gomm for a TV documentary "Frankton's Shadows - war heroes"


Imperial War Museum photo.
Not to be copied without the permission of the IWM

Operation Frankton Links


www.op-frankton.com re-enactment of Operation Frankton





"Cockleshell Heroes" by C.E. Lucas Phillips
Paperback - 256 pages (11 August, 2000) Pan; ISBN: 0330480693

Magnetic Limpet Mine

This is the type of mine used on the raid. It contains 2 lbs of plastic explosive and is detonated by a time fuse. It is designed to be placed below the waterline of the target ship using a six foot telescopic placing rod. Click here for more info. You can see this and other exhibits at The Royal Marines Museum. Another of their exhibits is the Sleeping Beauty, a Motorised, Submersible Kayak. Not a Canvas Kayak but well worth a look. Click here to see photo. Also a photo of a Mark 7 Cockle.

Reproduction by kind permission of the Jack Russell Gallery

Some of you may remember Airfix HO scale figures, these are from the the Commandos set. For more sets check out "A guide to collecting Airfix HO scale figures." By Eric Williamson at http://soli.inav.net/~edzwil/

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