Dieppe Uncovered on the History / Yesterday channel

Anyone else see this fascinating documentary on TV last night ?

A Canadian historian has found original materials that indicate the Dieppe raid was actually a raid to snatch Kriegsmarine codes and a 4 roll Enigma.

The Canadians were actually supporting 30 Assault Unit who were created by Ian Fleming.

Having trouble getting the link on my iPad so just do a google search. Or if you have Yesterday channel, look and see when it is being repeated.

Convinced me- I'd never heard this before so forgive me if it's already been mentioned on here. A quick search threw up nothing.

It was moving to see some survivors who have spent 72 years feeling bitter and misused tear up when they found out that they really were part of a worthwhile plan that got confounded by some poor timings and an underestimation of how the Germans had defended the port.
 
It was based on a previously cancelled raid, details of which were then passed by xx to German intelligence to authenticate their agents.
Mountbatten then launched the operation without permission essentially to make a name for himself after taking over from a successful leader.
Hence Canadian troops ( Bypassed British HQ)
No Intelligence flights
No consultation with XX (and the rules were you did nothing without speaking to them)

In short it was an ill thought out unauthorised raid to boost 1 mans ego, that the commandoes managed to recover the radar was a secondary objective and the only* plus point of the day.

* Arguments abound about how much the experience influenced D Day.
 
They recovered a radar ?

Not mentioned at all in this prog. We talking about the same programme or are you following the traditional spiel ?
 

simroy

Old-Salt
I have also read 'Green Beach' by James Leasor BCA 1975 that covers the operation to discover the importance and accuracy of a German radar station on the cliff-top just outside of the town of Pourville near Dieppe. Taking part in the landing was a man in a Canadian Army uniform who was neither a Canadian nor a soldier, under security conditions so strict that no one was told his name yet he was so vitall that he travelled with a personal escort of 10 soldiers, whose orders were to kill him rather than let him be captured. He was a Jewish RAF Flight Sergeant called Jack Maurice Nissaenthall a radar expert who had volunteered for the assignment. An interesting story and a good read if you can get hold of a copy.
 
Haven't seen the programme but certainly not following the traditional spiel (note my use of unauthorised raid). I am going from memory so its possible Ive confused the radar bit with code snatching.

Edit To add Simroy appears to be confirming my memory
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
I can't believe that such an overt attempt would be made to capture an Enigma machine - the whole point was to make the Germans think it was unbreakable. I seem to remember reading that there was a bt of a panic when the RN captured a U Boat, and for exactly that reason.
 
I can't believe that such an overt attempt would be made to capture an Enigma machine - the whole point was to make the Germans think it was unbreakable. I seem to remember reading that there was a bt of a panic when the RN captured a U Boat, and for exactly that reason.
I don't know the ins and outs if the raid, but what a great way to nick one. After the carnage of such a big raid they'd never really know if it was stolen.

A small commando raid would've made it a lot more obvious.
 
I caught it last month, quite enjoyed, seemed plausible enough. The change from a 4 dial encrypter to a 5 dial encrypter being the motive. Or maybe 3 to 4? Anyway, well put together and a worthwhile hours viewing.
 
I can't believe that such an overt attempt would be made to capture an Enigma machine - the whole point was to make the Germans think it was unbreakable. I seem to remember reading that there was a bt of a panic when the RN captured a U Boat, and for exactly that reason.
If I recall, the original enigma was the one of Polish origin 3 or 4 wheel, then the change by the Hun to a 4 or 5 wheel caught Bletchley (sp.) on the back foot, with a subsequent loss of U-Boat data, hence the (documentary stated) Dieppe op.
Caveat being I will admit to limited knowledge, and aquiesce to the experts.
 
They (the producer(s)) managed to track down a chap or chaps that served in this group, and went ashore with the landing group with the sole purpose of obtaining enigma mk whatever it was.
 
Last edited:
http://globalnews.ca/news/274605/breaking-german-codes-real-reason-for-1942-dieppe-raid-historian/

TORONTO – New research suggests the real intent of the historic raid on Dieppe in 1942 was to steal a machine that would help crack top-secret German codes.

Military historian David O’Keefe spent 15 years searching through the once-classified and ultra-secret war files and says the real purpose behind the Dieppe operation-which cost hundreds of Canadian soldiers their lives – was to capture advanced coding technology from the German headquarters near the French beach.

“For years, so many veterans, men who stormed the beaches and ended up in prisoners of war camps, had no clue what the reason was that they were there,” O’Keefe tells Global National’s Christina Stevens.

“They had their own missions, but they did not understand what the driving force was behind the raid.”

Historians have assigned many purposes to the disastrous raid: to gather intelligence from prisoners and captured materials, to assess Germany’s response to amphibious raids, to boost Allied morale and to assure the Soviets-locked in a titanic struggle with Germany – that the west was committed to fighting in Europe.

On August 19, 1942, an Allied force of 300 ships, 800 aircraft, and 6,000 assault troops launched a one-day attack known as Operation Jubilee on the French port of Dieppe.

http://www.combinedops.com/Dieppe.htm
 
My error, it was from a 3 dial to 4 dial change.

One of Churchill's greatest concerns during the war was the submarine menace particularly in the Atlantic. It had the potential to bring the UK to its knees as merchant ships carrying vital war supplies and food, were sunk. However, the British ability to decipher the enemy's "enigma" encoded radio transmissions gave the Allies a considerable advantage in the battle of the Atlantic.
In early 1942 this advantage was lost when the Germans changed from a 3 "rotor" system in their "Enigma" encoders to a 4 rotor system. Not surprisingly, Allied shipping losses increased dramatically and were fast approaching the tipping point where they would exceed the capacity to replace them. It was, therefore, an imperative to crack the new encoding machines since failure to do so could quite possibly lose the war. British Intelligence was desperate to get their hands on any encoding material, particularly those concerning enemy naval traffic.


Against this background, the History TV channel documentary "Dieppe Uncovered" (Aug 2012) puts forward the proposal that the Dieppe raid was a "pinch" operation i.e the whole purpose of the operation was to steal or "pinch" the latest code books and machines from the German Naval HQ in Dieppe or German ships in Dieppe harbour. It further maintains that Mountbatten was persuaded by Ian Fleming (James Bond author), who at that time was directly under the Chief of British Naval Intelligence.

On Fleming's suggestion, a small "commando" unit, AU 30 (assault unit 30), comprising a few select commandos dedicated to looting any secret material found on raids, was formed in April 1942. A surviving member of this unit recalled that their orders were to attack the German Naval HQ in Dieppe and, in his words, to "kill Germans". The lieutenant in charge on the day had the street address of the German Naval HQ with orders to remove any secret material and to deliver it to Commander Ian Fleming who would be waiting offshore during the raid.

AU30 was temporarily attached to the Royal Marine Commandos on board "The Locust" as they attempted to enter the harbour. However, they were driven off by heavy defensive fire so transferred to small boats for a second attempt to land on a nearby beach. Once again they were beaten back.
Of the outcome of this raid there is no doubt, but the big question the documentary raises is whether or not Operation Jubilee was a cover for the "pinch" operation described above or was it just an adjunct to the raid? The documentary's explanation of the attack plan on the town and harbour can certainly be viewed as being in support of the "pinch" while other more conventional reasons were simply promulgated to disguise this fact and to deceive the enemy.


The possibility that the Canadian sacrifices had a nobler justification than the "whim" of senior commanding officers will no doubt provide some welcome relief for the veterans and their families.
George H Pitt (Canada)
 
Good Lord, might need to pop into the NAAFI for a good swear after posting a serious comment in a serious area.
 
I caught it and echo a previous response.

I can't see how the 4 wheel enigma and cypher could be lifted without the Germans noticing.

Even if the raid had smashed up the building it was housed in, I am sure the Germans would have realised not a trace was to be found of the kit.

We managed to lift the machine and cypher books from U-Boats by ensuring the boat sank and keeping the crew separated and hidden.
 
I caught it and echo a previous response.

I can't see how the 4 wheel enigma and cypher could be lifted without the Germans noticing.

Even if the raid had smashed up the building it was housed in, I am sure the Germans would have realised not a trace was to be found of the kit.

We managed to lift the machine and cypher books from U-Boats by ensuring the boat sank and keeping the crew separated and hidden.
Quite agree, but I think it might be a moot point seeing how Jubilee played out.
 
Quite agree, but I think it might be a moot point seeing how Jubilee played out.

Probably as well.

I can't imagine what the response to a 'stolen enigma' would have been.

The efforts and successes of Bletchley Park could well have been blunted by, potentially, a redesign of the Enigma or some form of additional encryption pre or post enigma.

A four wheel enigma could lead the way to a 5 or more variant. I think there were 5 or 7 wheels that could be fitted to the 3 or 4 wheel variants, more wheels to choose from perhaps?

Interesting dit, I believe the practice of putting 'Heil hitler' at the end of each message helped the cod-breakers confirm they were on the right track when decoding.
 
M

MotorBoat

Guest
Haven't seen the programme but certainly not following the traditional spiel (note my use of unauthorised raid). I am going from memory so its possible Ive confused the radar bit with code snatching.

Edit To add Simroy appears to be confirming my memory

You're not thinking of Brunival?
 

Latest Threads

Top