Disaster at Dieppe!
Tags: Dieppe, August 19, 1942, Operation Jubilee, Canadian, invasion, assault, raid
August 19, 1942: 6,000 troops, mostly Canadian, hit Dieppe. The raid is officially known as Operation Jubilee and unofficially as a damned bloodbath.
The raiders included 5,000 Canadians, 1,000 Brits, 50 American Rangers and 24 French light infantry. The 50 Americans became the first Americans to fight in Europe in World War II, and three became the first to die there. Thanks to poor planning and Murphy's Law, the Canadians suffered a staggering 65% casualty rate. This was far worse than the 10% suffered by the US Marines landing at Tarawa or the 15% for the Americans at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.
In August 2008, author Narayan Sengupta traveled to Calgary, Alberta; there he met and interviewed veteran tanker Sgt. Elly Raskin, 89, a soft-spoken veteran of the Calgary Tank Regiment that got shredded to bits at Dieppe. Sengupta spent the next 10 months researching Raskin and others to assemble the story of the botched invasion of Dieppe. The raid was the first time tanks were used amphibiously and the first time Churchill tanks, Typhoon fighter-bombers and American Mustangs ever saw combat. B-17 bombers were used only for the second time; among the bombers were the crew that would later drop the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. The resulting story is a wonderful page turner with fresh research, new stories, new maps, rarely seen or never seen photos and information about what happened to each tank that landed at Dieppe that day.
"I am in complete awe of the research and detail of your observations...wonderfully narrated !!!! Doug Williams, Atlanta"
Buy the downloadable .pdf book, Disaster at Dieppe, by Narayan Sengupta, here:
Valerie Martin has written a very interesting article about the Last Churchill II Tank used by the Calgary Tank Regiment.
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