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Book Review
The Dieppe Raid
The Dieppe Raid the Combined Operations Assault on Hitler's European Fortress, August 1942
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Introduction

The following introduction is from Pen and Sword:
Winston Churchill was under pressure. The Soviets felt that they were fighting the Germans by themselves. Stalin demanded that Britain should open a second front to draw German forces away from the east. Though the advice Churchill received from his staff was that an invasion of France would not be possible for at least another year, the British Prime Minister knew he had to do something to help the Russians.

The result was a large-scale raid upon the port of Dieppe. It would not be the second front that Stalin wanted, but at least it would demonstrate Britainís intent to support the Soviets and it would be a useful rehearsal for the eventual invasion. Dieppe was chosen as it was thought that the success of any invasion would depend on the capture of a major port to enable heavy weapons, vehicles and reinforcements to be landed in support of the landing forces.

After an earlier postponement, the raid upon Dieppe, Operation Jubilee, was eventually scheduled for 19 August 1942. The assault was the most ambitious Allied attack against the German Channel defences of the war so far. Some 6,000 infantry, 237 naval vessels and seventy-four squadrons of aircraft were involved.

Though the debate surrounding Jubileeís purpose and cost has raged in the years since the war, many vital and important lessons were learnt. All of these factors are covered in this official battle summary, a detailed and descriptive account of the Dieppe Raid, which was written shortly after the war and is based on the recollections of those who were involved.

Review

This offering from Frontline Books courtesy of Pen and Sword covering everything you could wish to know about the Dieppe Raid In August 1942. This is a hard backed book packed with data on the mission. Unusually for books this title is not attributed to an author as it is the official history written during and after the war following the raid. This book consists of 314 pages providing a mix of text, plans and photographs. Most of the paper is semi gloss stock with the few images on a gloss paper that shows them at their best.

The Dieppe raid came into being due to Russia demanding that the Allies in the West draw pressure off of the East. Britain was not in a position to take on an invasion of Europe at this time and so a Raid was conducted on Dieppe to insure that German forces were forced to be stationed in Western Europe. The other aspect of this raid was that enabled the Allies to attempt a seaboard landing on enemy shores under fire and assess what worked, what didnít and solutions to those issues that were put into practice during the planning of D-Day.

This book offers insights into the thinking of the people at the top and even provides information on the German assessment of this action. The content covers reports from the Navy, Air Force and Army in a way that make it clearly understandable on what the order of battle was and what went wrong leading up to the landing and the subsequent retreat back to England. My limited knowledge of this operation has always been that it was a complete balls up from start to finish, that understanding is too simplistic and to a large extent wrong as this book points out.

The Dieppe raid did achieve many of its goals and even the losses answered a lot of questions. The troops used in this operation were mostly Canadian and they paid a very heavy price with over 50% being taken prisoner or killed in action. Of the 5,000 Canadians only 1,500 got back to Britain unharmed with nearly 1,000 killed and 2,000 taken prisoner. The sacrifice of these young Canadians saved the lives of many Allied troops on D-Day and even the planning of the landings and choice of beach was affected by the results of the Dieppe raid.

The armour used in the Dieppe raid were a mix of early Churchill tanks from Mk I to Mk III and these suffered while trying to get on and off of the beach, the issue being the stones on the beach becoming wedged in the tracks and drive wheel resulting in the tanks throwing a track. This resulted in very little of the armour making it off of the beach and into the town.

This book covers the events in seven main sections which are as follows:
Pt 1 - Preparations
Pt 2 - The Passage
Pt 3 - The Assault
Pt 4 - The Withdrawal
Pt 5 - The Air Battle
Pt 6 - The Aftermath
Pt 7 Ė Appendices

Conclusion

This book provides the reader with an insight into the minds of the men that controlled the progression of the war as regards operation Jubilee and the subsequent landings on D-Day. This provides a no holds barred breakdown of the operation and the aspects that failed and why, but it does turn around the opinion held by many that this raid was a total failure as it wasnít and the mostly Canadian forces did not sacrifice themselves for nothing. A very interesting read that is written and presented in a brusk military style and that provides a great breadth and depth of information.
SUMMARY
Darren baker takes a look at a no holds barred book from Frontline Books titled 'The Dieppe Raid the Combined Operations Assault on Hitler's European Fortress, August 1942'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781526752918
  Suggested Retail: £20.00
  PUBLISHED: Oct 07, 2019
  NATIONALITY: Canada
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 0.00%

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Thanks for the review of this Darren. I just finished reading "A Day in August" by David O'Keeffe. I have a Calgary Regiment Dingo in the pipeline. I think I am going to have read this one as well. The whole operation is both extremely interesting as well as devastating.
OCT 07, 2019 - 09:21 AM
It is a very interesting operation to read more about.
OCT 07, 2019 - 11:35 AM
There has been a theory put forward that Dieppe was a mission to capture an enigma coding machine. Regardless of that being truth or fiction, one thing is certain - The success of the D-Day landings was largely due to lessons learned on the beach of Dieppe. Lastly, without a doubt memories of the heavy Canadian losses at Dieppe served to fuel soldiers of the 3rd Canadian Infantry as they pushed farther inland than any other landing force on D-Day.
OCT 07, 2019 - 11:42 AM
Regardless of the fiction that this book helps to perpetuate the actual tasked mission of the Commando unit sent in with the Canadians was to capture the two-rotar version of the Enigma machine. The Canadians were only there to provide cover while the Commandos searched -largely in vain- for the Naval commander's headquarters building which had been misidentified. For the life of me I can't recall if that part was a success when the Commandos withdrew but the Canadians were left holding the bag and ended up IN the bag, as it were. The mission was declared Top Secret as part of the Ultra program and only recently was that section declassified so I'm honestly startled that this book makes no reference to the REAL mission. Churchill hated Stalin and wouldn't cross the street to you know what on him if Stalin was on fire. And the target was otherwise a poor choice unless you had other plans in mind...
OCT 08, 2019 - 10:39 AM
   

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