Goatley boat

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Goatley collapsible boat Goatley collapsible boat.jpg
Goatley collapsible boat
Goatley collapsible boat Infantry carrying assault boats.jpg
Goatley collapsible boat

The Goatley boat was a collapsible boat built for military use. The boat had a wooden bottom and canvas sides and could carry ten men, yet it weighed only around 150 kilograms (330 lb). Assembly time was estimated at two minutes with two men. The boat was designed by, and named after, Fred Goatley of Saunders-Roe, and used in a number of commando and other operations by the British Forces during World War II. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Saunders-Roe Limited, also known as Saro, was a British aero- and marine-engineering company based at Columbine Works, East Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Commando soldier or operative of an elite light infantry or special operations force; commando unit

A commando is a soldier or operative of an elite light infantry or special operations force often specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting or abseiling.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Approximately 1000 Goatley boats were ordered by the War Office during World War II. [5]

War Office department of the British Government responsible for the administration of the British Army

The War Office was a Department of the British Government responsible for the administration of the British Army between 1857 and 1964, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence. It was equivalent to the Admiralty, responsible for the Royal Navy, and the Air Ministry, which oversaw the Royal Air Force. The name "War Office" is also given to the former home of the department, the War Office building, located at the junction of Horse Guards Avenue and Whitehall in central London.

See also

Operation Aquatint

Operation Aquatint was the codename for a failed raid by British Commandos on the coast of occupied France during the Second World War. The raid was undertaken in September 1942 on part of what later became Omaha Beach by No. 62 Commando, also known as the Small Scale Raiding Force.

Assault boat

An Assault boat is a boat used for making a landing in combat. Meant for inland waters, assault boats were light enough to be carried by several men and paddled, or fitted with an outboard motor for hi-speed operation, manually portable or not.

Rigid Raider

The Rigid Raider (RRC) is a series of fast raiding and assault craft made by RTK Marine, a subsidiary of Halmatic. They are primarily in service with two branches of the British Armed Forces: The Royal Navy and the British Army. Despite being among the smallest of the amphibious craft, the RRC is one of the most widely used due to its mobility and versatility. As such, the Rigid Raider often finds itself deployed in amphibious and riverine operations around the globe, in environments ranging from the Arctic to the tropics.

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A folding kayak is a direct descendant of the original Inuit kayak made of animal skins stretched over frames made from wood and bones. A modern folder has a collapsible frame made of some combination of wood, aluminium and plastic, and a skin made of a tough fabric with a waterproof coating. Many have integral air chambers inside the hull, making them virtually unsinkable.

Operation Frankton was a commando raid on shipping in the German occupied French port of Bordeaux in southwest France during the Second World War. The raid was carried out by a small unit of Royal Marines known as the Royal Marines Boom Patrol Detachment (RMBPD), part of Combined Operations inserted by HMS Tuna (N94) captained by Lieutenant-Commander Dick Raikes who, earlier, had been awarded the DSO for operations while in command of the submarine HMS Seawolf. (The RMBPD would later form the Special Boat Service).

Inflatable boat type of lightweight boat

An inflatable boat is a lightweight boat constructed with its sides and bow made of flexible tubes containing pressurised gas. For smaller boats, the floor and hull is often flexible, while for boats longer than 3 metres (9.8 ft), the floor typically consists of three to five rigid plywood or aluminium sheets fixed between the tubes, but not joined rigidly together. Often the transom is rigid, providing a location and structure for mounting an outboard motor.

Landing craft small and medium seagoing vessel used to convey a landing force

Landing craft are small and medium seagoing watercraft such as boats, and barges, used to convey a landing force from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. The term excludes landing ships, which are larger. Production of landing craft peaked during World War II, with a significant number of different designs produced in large quantities by the United Kingdom and United States.

Amphibious warfare Type of offensive military operations

Amphibious warfare is a type of offensive military operation that today uses naval ships to project ground and air power onto a hostile or potentially hostile shore at a designated landing beach. Through history the operations were conducted using ship's boats as the primary method of delivering troops to shore. Since the Gallipoli Campaign, specialised watercraft were increasingly designed for landing troops, materiel and vehicles, including by landing craft and for insertion of commandos, by fast patrol boats, zodiacs and from mini-submersibles.

United States Naval Special Warfare Command naval component of United States Special Operations Command

The United States Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM), also known as NSWC or WARCOM is the Naval component of United States Special Operations Command, the unified command responsible for overseeing and conducting the nation's special operations and missions.

Combined Operations Headquarters department of the British War Office set up during World War II

Combined Operations Headquarters was a department of the British War Office set up during Second World War to harass the Germans on the European continent by means of raids carried out by use of combined naval and army forces.

LCVP (United States) US built landing craft used extensively in amphibious landings in World War II

The landing craft, vehicle, personnel (LCVP) or Higgins boat was a landing craft used extensively in amphibious landings in World War II. The craft was designed by Andrew Higgins based on boats made for operating in swamps and marshes. More than 23,358 were built, by Higgins Industries and licensees.

Raid on Makin Island

The Raid on Makin Island was an attack by the United States Marine Corps Raiders on Japanese military forces on Makin Island in the Pacific Ocean. The aim was to destroy Japanese installations, take prisoners, gain intelligence on the Gilbert Islands area, and divert Japanese attention and reinforcements from the Allied landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi.

HMAS <i>Assault</i> former Royal Australian Navy base and training centre

HMAS Assault is a former Royal Australian Navy (RAN) training centre that was in use during World War II, located at Nelson Bay in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia.

USS <i>Epping Forest</i> (LSD-4)

USS Epping Forest (LSD-4/MCS-7) was an Ashland-class dock landing ship acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War II for duty in the Pacific Theater. Her task was to carry and land amphibious landing craft and other equipment and to recover and repair landing craft when possible. Named for an estate in Lancaster County, Virginia where Mary Ball Washington, mother of George Washington, was born, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

Amphibious warfare ship Ship used in amphibious warfare

An amphibious warfare ship is an amphibious vehicle warship employed to land and support ground forces, such as marines, on enemy territory during an amphibious assault. The largest fleet of these types is operated by the United States Navy.

The Fleet Landing Exercises, or FLEX were amphibious landing exercises conducted by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps between 1935 and 1941. The purpose of these exercises was to formulate a workable amphibious warfare doctrine. The development of the necessary craft and other equipment, and the proper tactical deployment of them were also results. Finally, the exercises demonstrated the usefulness of a standing body of Marines, the Fleet Marine Force, specially prepared for amphibious expeditions.

The Hasler Series is the British national club championship in the sport of marathon canoeing, a long distance form of canoe racing, governed by the British Canoeing (BC).

Operation Forfar was the name given to a series of British Commando raids on the French coast during World War II. The raids were part of Operation Starkey, a military deception intended to draw out the Luftwaffe. The purpose of these raids was to identify German coastal units and to gain technical intelligence on German equipment, creating the impression of pre-invasion reconnaissance.

Cockle Mark II canoe

The Combined Military Services Museum in Maldon, Essex houses the only surviving original Cockle Mark II canoe used by the Royal Marine Raiders on Operation Frankton, commonly known as the Cockleshell Heroes. The canoe is believed to be ‘Cachalot’ damaged during the launching of the canoes from the submarine, and returned to the Saro Works boat yard on the Isle of Wight for repair. However, production of the canoe had moved to Parkstone Joinery in Dorset, and so the canoe was never repaired. The Canoe was restored by the museum, using original plans and sketches made by the designer Goatley, and the raid commander Halser. Copies of some of this paperwork can be viewed alongside the canoe.

Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel any of a variety of amphibious landing craft

A Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel or Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) is any of a variety of amphibious landing craft designed to transport troops or armoured vehicles from ship to shore during amphibious landings.

Operation Platypus was an operation by Allied special reconnaissance personnel from Z Special Unit during the Borneo Campaign of World War Two. Platypus involved small groups being inserted into the Balikpapan area of Dutch Borneo (Kalimantan), to gather information and organise local people as resistance fighters against the Japanese.


  1. Ladd, James D. (1983). SBS, the invisible raiders: the history of the Special Boat Squadron from World War Two to the present. Arms and Armour Press.
  2. Forty, George (2002). Channel Islands: Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark. Pen and Sword.
  3. Neville, Martin (21 February 2009). "Fight for recognition for unsung hero". Isle of Wight County Press. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  4. Rees, Quentin (2008). The Cockleshell Canoes. Amberley.
  5. "Cockleshell Canoes". historylearningsite.co.uk. 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2014.