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Dieppe Raid

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The operation known as the Dieppe Raid took place on 19 August 1942. It was an Allied attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe on the Northern coast of France.

It was originally planned for July and known as Operation Rutter. This was a significant probe into France using Canadian troops, huge air support and as a counter balance to the defeats then being experienced in north Africa which had incited a wave of press and parliamentary criticism.

On the eve of the attack, German bombers attacked the Allied flotilla moored off the south coast of England. Operation Rutter was no longer viable. Montgomery wanted it cancelled indefinitely but Lord Mountbatten did not. He reorganised the raid to jump off on the 11th July. It was now called Operation Jubilee.

Operation Jubilee struggled from the get go. It did not receive Combined Chiefs of Staff authorisation, there was little co-ordination between the various services involved and as a result the Emperor Mong dropped off a large delivery of FUBAR.

The objectives of the raid were to:

  • seize and hold a major port for a short period
  • practice amphibious landings
  • gather intelligence from prisoners and captured materials
  • assess German responses
  • destroy coastal defences, port structures, and any strategic buildings

None of these goals were accomplished. Some 60% of the 6,086 men who made it ashore were either killed, wounded, or captured. The Allied air superiority simply failed to materialize losing some 106 planes with the Luftwaffe only losing 48. The Royal Navy took more than 500 casualties.

This total disaster at Dieppe was to influenced the preparations for later amphibious operations such as Torch and Overlord. In future every last possible variable would be nailed down and every eventuality prepared for. There would be no return of the Emperor.