Attack on the Iron Coast ()

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During World War II, a commando leader named Major Jamie Wilson leads a group of soldiers on a suicide mission to destroy a Nazi naval stronghold on the French coast.


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Complete, Cast awaiting verification

Major Jamie Wilson
Captain Franklin
Sue Wilson
Lieutenant Commander Donald Kimberly
Rear Admiral Sir Frederick Grafton
Glyn Owen ...
Howard Pays ...
Lieutenant Graham
Van Horst
Admiral of the Fleet Lord William Cansley
George Mikell ...
Captain Strasser
Air Vice Marshall Woodbridge
Dick Haydon ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
German Gunnery Sergeant (uncredited)
Sean Barrett ...
Radio Man (uncredited)
German Battery Commander (uncredited)
Commando (uncredited)
Commando (uncredited)
Gavin Breck ...
Commando #3 (uncredited)
Commando #1 (uncredited)
George Lane Cooper ...
Soldier (uncredited)
Commando (uncredited)
Commando (uncredited)
Joan Crane ...
WREN Officer (uncredited)
Murray Evans ...
Bosun's Mate (uncredited)
Soldier (uncredited)
John Golightly ...
Helmsman (uncredited)
Radar Operator (uncredited)
Bill Henderson ...
Commando #2 (uncredited)
Flag Lieutenant (uncredited)
Roy Lansford ...
Army Officer (uncredited)
Bill Morgan ...
Commando Injured In Training (uncredited)
Simon Prebble ...
Lt. Smythe (uncredited)
Commando (uncredited)
Richard Shaw ...
German Infantry Sergeant (uncredited)
Mark Ward ...
Jimmy Wilson (uncredited)
Lt. Kramer (uncredited)

Directed by

Paul Wendkos

Written by

Herman Hoffman ... (screenplay)
John C. Champion ... (story)

Produced by

John C. Champion ... producer
Ted Lloyd ... associate producer
Irving Temaner ... executive producer

Music by

Gerard Schurmann

Cinematography by

Paul Beeson ... director of photography

Film Editing by

Ernest Hosler

Production Design by

William C. Andrews ... (uncredited)

Art Direction by

William C. Andrews ... (as Bill Andrews)

Makeup Department

George Blackler ... makeup artist

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Anthony Waye ... assistant director
Mike Higgins ... third assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

Kenneth Ryan ... set dresser
Dave Jordan ... property master (uncredited)

Sound Department

Allan Sones ... sound editor
Cyril Swern ... sound recordist / sound (uncredited)

Special Effects by

Les Bowie ... special effects (uncredited)


Bernard Barnsley ... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Cooper ... stunt double (uncredited)
Joe Powell ... stunts (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Neil Binney ... camera operator
Desmond Dickinson ... additional photography
Dennis Fraser ... grip (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

John Briggs ... wardrobe

Music Department

Gerard Schurmann ... conductor
Ron Goodwin ... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Ken Thorne ... composer: stock music (uncredited)

Other crew

Doreen Soan ... continuity
Raymond Becket ... production assistant (uncredited)

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

During WW2, Canadian Major Jamie Wilson suggests a commando raid against a German-occupied French port where a large dry-dock is used by the enemy to re-fit battleships. The well-defended French coast has been dubbed the Iron Coast by the Germans. The British command is reluctant to give the green-light to this operation, code-named Operation Mad Dog, mainly because of the high chance of failure. The Canadian officer is known to have botched a few previous operations under his command. The main opponent of the Mad Dog operation is a Royal Navy captain whose son died during a failed commando raid led by Major Jamie Wilson. However, after much debate and haggling, the operation is approved by the R.N. Admiral in charge. The training of the commandos is harsh, under real battle conditions featuring live explosions and machine-gun fire. During the training, several accidents occur, resulting in a few deaths and wounds. The operation's future hangs into balance but it finally receives the go-ahead. Major Jamie Wilson is dismayed when he discovers that due to war-time shortages he will receive sub-standard equipment and an old mine-layer rather than a destroyer for transport to France. The plan itself calls for a ship laden with explosives to be rammed into the Nazi dry-dock. The explosives would be triggered by a timer, allowing the commandos on board to land and attack the shore installations, batteries and command posts. At the same time, a few small launches would land additional commandos along the neighboring piers to create a diversionary attack. The operation is in danger of failure when the task force is spotted off the French coast by a German observation plane that promptly contacts the German shore command. Moreover, the commando group receives an order from the Admiralty to abort the mission due to RAF's inability to offer bombing support for the operation. To make matters worse, the alerted Germans sense something is afoot and watch the sea with added vigilance. Regardless, Major Jamie Wilson is a stubborn man who wants to prove to himself and to his superiors that he is a capable soldier. Disregarding several requests from the Admiralty to abort the mission, he presses on into the night, toward the deadly Iron Coast. Written by nufs68

Plot Keywords
Taglines They turned a dead ship into a live bomb and sailed it down the throat of the enemy! See more »
Parents Guide Add content advisory for parents »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Attaque sur le mur de l'Atlantique (France)
  • Misión suicida (Spain)
  • Атака над Железния бряг (Bulgaria, Bulgarian title)
  • Kommandos sto teihos tou Atlantikou (Greece)
  • Attaque sur le mur de l'Atlantique (Belgium, French title)
  • See more »
  • 89 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $1,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia After the attack the men captured were placed POW camps; but the Germans respected their cunning and courage. The men killed were buried with military honors in a local cemetery, by the Germans. See more »
Goofs In the opening scene Lloyd Bridges is watching newsreel footage of British troops attacking Germans but some of the shots are from the German point of view. See more »
Movie Connections Edited from The Dam Busters (1955). See more »

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