ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Torcross Conspiracy.

Updated on March 10, 2018
GALAXY 59 profile image

Galaxy is a woman who believes there is more to the world than meets the eye.

Torcross Beach Today.

The sandy beach at Torcross.
The sandy beach at Torcross. | Source

Forgotten American Heroes. The Torcross Conspiracy.

Torcross in Devon is today a peaceful, beautiful place, not the sort of place that brings to mind words such as conspiracy, tragedy or death. A broad expanse of golden shingle beach stretches out across the calm waters of the bay and a large freshwater lake known as The Ley is home to a vast variety of wildfowl and creatures such as otters and water voles.

But this sleepy little village hides a story of tragedy, death and a secret from the second world war that simply would not stay hidden.

Late in the autumn of 1943, the entire population of the small Devon fishing village of Torcross were evacuated to make way for thousands of allied troops. Torcross and many other neighbouring villages including Slapton Sands were needed by the troops to practice for the top-secret upcoming Normandy D-Day landings.

Slapton Sands apparently had many characteristics in common with the proposed Omaha and Utah landing sites in northern France. The USA amphibious landing training exercise operation was codenamed Exercise Tiger.

28th April 1944.

On the 28th April 1944, in the early hours, during Exercise Tiger, disaster struck.

Nine German u-boats armed with torpedoes intercepted a 3-mile long convoy of vessels taking part in the exercise.Two tank landing ships were sunk and two more were severely damaged. A total of 749 American Servicemen lost their lives.The bodies of the fallen recovered from the sea and beaches were hastily buried, under cover of darkness.They rest there still, in a mass grave. on a small farm in the hamlet of Blackawton ten miles inland from Slapton Sands.

The Memorial Plaque at Torcross.

Memorial plaque to the fallen American soldiers.
Memorial plaque to the fallen American soldiers. | Source

A Closely Guarded Secret.

To the outside world, the disaster of Operation Tiger was kept a closely guarded secret. No official communiqué was issued and the staff of the 228th Sherbourne Hospital in Dorset, who received hundreds of immersion and burns cases, were simply told to ask no questions and warned that they would be subject to court-martial if they discussed the tragedy.

The top brass has decided that if the true story were to be made public it would be bad for morale. However, stories continued to circulate amongst the local people some of whom had born witness to and helped to recover bodies washed ashore in the days following the disaster.

Conspiracy theories abounded with most concentrating on the myth that the US troops had perished due to friendly fire.

Several decades after the end of World War Two the locals of Torcross and the surrounding area fought for a memorial to bring the truth of the tragedy of Operation Tiger to light. The local people worked hard raising the money to fund a salvage operation and to build some form of memorial. In 1984 the wrecks of the landing crafts were found and a Sherman tank bought ashore.

The Sherman Tank Recovered From the sea.

Sherman tank recovered at Torcross
Sherman tank recovered at Torcross | Source

A Lasting Defiance.

The story goes that the recovered Sherman tank still worked although waterlogged and at the bottom of the sea for nearly 45 years. Its tracks rolled out like it had just come from the factory, a lasting defiance of time not forgotten. They drove it up the shore to its final resting place, where, hopefully, it will remain for many years to come.

A Fitting Memorial.

The recovered Sherman tank now stands proudly as a fitting memorial to all of the 749 servicemen killed here and as a constant reminder of a disaster no-one who knew of its existence wanted to be forgotten.

The large brooding tank looms over the beach and is a fitting memorial to all those who perished on that terrible day.

The total loss of life from the disastrous operation Tiger was ten times the actual loss of life on Utah beach on June 6, 1944.The sleepy little village of Torcross has become a place of pilgrimage for a great many US veterans and their families.They come to lay wreaths, pay their respects and maybe stop to feed the ducks and swans before seeking refuge in the local pub for a pint and a meal of locally caught seafood.

The memory of the heroes of Torcross never far from their minds or hearts. Some secrets are too powerful to remain a secret forever, they find a way to become known. The Torcross conspiracy should be spoken about and remembered forever, we need to learn from the past in order to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

Wreaths Laid at the Memorial Stone in Torcross.

Moving tributes are still left on an almost daily basis.
Moving tributes are still left on an almost daily basis. | Source

Had you heard of the Torcross conspiracy before reading this?

See results

© 2010 Galaxy Harvey


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)