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The many forms of courage

The cockleshell hero raid in WW2 illustrates the different kinds of heroism

By Paddy Ashdown  

(photo: Patrick Peccatte & Michel Le Querrec)

We hear much of courage these days. That’s hardly surprising with Afghanistan rumbling on bloodily in the hinterland of our public discourse and a summer of Olympics and Paralympics. Yet there are many kinds of courage, many kinds of hero.

My new book—A Brilliant Little Operation, which I shall be presenting at the Cheltenham literature festival next week—provides a study in both. The so-called “cockleshell hero” raid led by Major Herbert “Blondie” Hasler on a German blockade runner in Bordeaux…

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