Special Operations: SAS Operation Bulbasket (DVD)
Part 1: Das Reich and Oradour
Most of the SAS returned from the Mediterranean in early 1944 but at home they were greeted as yet another of the unwelcome private armies that had proliferated during the war. It was a struggle to find suitable manpower and the D Day planners were reluctant to give them a mission. The former was solved by taking high quality manpower from Churchill's Secret Army the stay behind Auxiliary Force.
It, however, took doubts over the French Resistances ability to execute Plan Vert, the disruption of the railways that were vital for the Germans to move the Das Reich Panzer Division from South West France to Normandy. In Operation Bulbasket A Troop of B Squadron, 1stSAS Regiment were allocated a vast area south of the Loire through which Das Reich would have to transit. With the SAS only allowed to operate after the invasion had begun the Germans faced the pent up anger of the French who started to rise-up against them. Das Reich convoys were attacked as they crossed into the Dordogne and the Vienne regions. Brutal reprisals followed that culminated in the massacre at Oradour.
Filmed on the ground by the Battlefield History TV team, the film takes the viewer to the scenes of the action following the resistance and the SAS in the early phases of the operation. Bulbasket's first phase culminated with the men on the ground calling in an airstrike by Mosquito fighter bombers that destroyed eleven vital German petrol trains. In finding the enemy fuel and directing the attack a few men deep behind the enemy lines had a truly significant impact on German operations in Normandy