THE KLEPPER CANOE a poem by Bob Shepherd

A half troop “raft up” for a quick verbal brief before heading out to sea…1980s.

Welcome young trooper…to the Klepper canoe

Similar to that design used

By the Cockleshell Heroes during World War 2

It began with the Inuits, skin and wooden frame

If you look down at the Klepper

It’s almost the same

Built by a German in 1905

And here it is in the 70s

Still very much alive

Brits love their folding canoes

Especially in war

Into the 80s during the Falklands conflict

Covert recce is what it was for

I’ve jumped with the Klepper from a plane into the sea

By far the best vehicle for my buddy and me

Light and portable using stealth at night

We undertake a recce and return without a fight

The enemy unaware of our presence on their shore

Two Kleppers, two buddy pairs, our numbers only four.

Stripped down and bagged, the canoe lies in it’s lair

As we close with the enemy

For a recce as an SF pair

Carried on our backs with the rest of our kit

Our infil and exfil plays on our wit

Moving with double our bodyweight shows we have to remain fit

Now back inside our Klepper

Paddling back out to sea

Moving cautiously on a bearing

For that “not to be missed” submarine RV

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

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4 thoughts on “THE KLEPPER CANOE a poem by Bob Shepherd”

  1. I remember demonstrating the Klepper canoe to HRH Prince Charles in early 1981 at a static equipment display in the old gym in Bradbury Lines, just before it was demolished to make way for the Stirling Lines rebuild. I had a short script that I had been provided with and was required to commit to memory. The end of the brief ended with me informing Prince Charles that the Klepper could be launched, i.e. floated off, a submarine. He looked pensive and then asked me if it hurt our ears when we were fired out from the torpedo tubes while seated in the Kleppers!

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