Volunteers from ships of Australia’s “Scrap Iron Flotilla”, in the Mediterranean, embarked on a mission to block the Danube River at a feature known as the Iron Gates. The operation was planned by DNI from a suggestion made by LCDR M. Minshall, RNVR, who had voyaged down the river on an intelligence mission shortly before the outbreak of hostilities. Coordinator for the operation was LCDR Ian Fleming, creator of the fictional hero James Bond. LCDR Fleming smuggled 14 tons of explosives across Europe on the Orient Express. The operation was discovered by German agents before the RAN-manned barges reached the target. In the withdrawal one barge loaded with explosives was detonated beneath a railway viaduct. All Australian members of the Commando-style mission succeeded in returning to their ships.
You are here: / / Australian Naval History on 24 March 1940