Cunningham approved the idea immediately. It was that the beginning of the Operation Flipper. An exceptional plan, of a nonparalel audacity, to be executed in the dawn of November 18. In this point a subject appeared: Who will command the operation?
The answer was not long. There were among them an authentic follower of the hunt to the foxes. It was Lt. Col. Geoffrey Charles Ticker Keyes, of the 2th Regiment of the Real Dragons. Former-student of Eton, and belonging to an aristocratic British family, Keyes showed to the informed being: - I am right of the success, if they entrust me the mission...
Disposed the plans for the operation, he was determined the following: will be used, in the action, three military detachment. The first, commanded by Keyes, would attack Rommel's house, half kilometer to west of the city, and the German HQ that was in Beda Littoria. The second military detachment under Lieutenant Southerland's command, would assault the Italian HQ in Cirene, and it would destroy the phone and telegraphic communications. There was a third group commanded by Jock Haselden that would sabotage the Italian Intelligence Office in Appolonia and communications between Faidia and Lamdula and finally general sabotage actions in the Axis rear. Two submarines, Tobray and Talisman, would be assigned of the soldiers' transport.
The group was largely composed of the members of the LRDG, SAS and SBS.
At the 20 hours of Friday, November 14, 1941, the submarines left the port. It is 22, when the men met in the covered with the submarine. Keyes, with serenity and British blood-cold, ordered to open several reserved bottles of champagne for the occasion. At the 23 hours, the time began to worsen. Suddenly s machines stopped. It was made silence. The men arose to the bridge. The visibility was scarce. The beach appeared cut out in the distance, among the shadows.
Keyes consulted his clock. It was the established hour. They should disembark. Quickly they appeared the eraser boats. They were inflated with bicycle pump. Then, played to the sea. Each boat had capacity for two men. The disembarkation, that in the trainings if it made in one hour, it delayed six.
On Saturday, November 15, all stayed occult in a close forest to the coast. On that same afternoon, it began to rain. At nightfall of the following day, at the 20 hours, they arrive at 8 km of Sidi Rafa. They decided to stay overnight at a cave. In the distance, in the middle of a small forest, on a hill, raised a construction of two floors. Rommel would be there.
On November 17, at the 18 hours, Keyes consulted his clock. They lacked six hours to begin the operation. It still rained. All men maintained tense, ready for the adventure, prepared for the fox hunt...
waited like this until midnight. When the clock made an appointment 12, the soldiers left the refuge, under the rain. Three of them should disable the electric installation. Five would watch outside. The rest would control the neighboring huts. Close to Keyes marched Campbell, Coulthread, Drori and Brodie. They crawled until an empty room. Several doors opened up on both sides. For which to enter?
Her sacrifice had been useless. As well to the one of is comrades. In fact, on that same moment, Rommel was very far away from there...
Of the entire force only Col. Laycock and Sargeant Terry made it back to British lines after 37 days in the hills of Cyrenaica. The remainder of the force were either taken prisoner or killed by hostile Arabs. It later transpired that Rommel had never used the building raided by Keyes although at one point he had used the original building but only as a logistics HQ. In any event he had been in Rome and did not return to North Africa until the 18th. Jock Haselden and his men completed their demolition task and successfully returned to Allied lines courtesy of the Long Range Desert Group. The raid was largely unsuccessful since few of its objectives were achieved and virtually all the men involved from Middle East was being pursued by both Italian and DAK patrols as well as by pro-Axis Libyans. This was the "only" official "Raid on Rommel" during the North African campaign.