‘Exercise Tiger’ was one of several assault rehearsals conducted at Slapton Sands, just 2 miles from Dittiscombe dudring World War II. However it turned into a terrible tragedy and many hundreds of US soldiers and sailors died needlessly due to confusion and incompetence. It was one of the military’s best kept secrets until it was revealed to the world almost 40 years later. Much of the area was evacuated and taken over by the American Army, even Dittiscombe Farm. Families, farmers and tradesmen moved out, many never returned, and the area had to recover.
If you are interested in the history of the Second World War you’ll find a visit to Slapton and Torcross villages worthwhile. Both pubs in Slapton village, The Queens Arms and The Tower Inn, have books to read up on in front of a log fire. And at Torcross the tank, pictured above, was dredged from the seabed some years ago as a fitting memorial to those who died. To find out more visit the dedicated website Exercise Tiger.