Disaster at Dieppe
Tags: Dieppe, August 19, 1942, Operation Jubilee, Canadian, invasion, assault, raid, Dunkirk, D-Day
In August 2008, historian Narayan Sengupta traveled to Calgary, Alberta; there he met and interviewed veteraBetween 1940's Dunkirk and 1944's D-Day was 1942's Dieppe. All happened on a 200-mile span of French coastline. All involved the British, the Germans and others. On August 19, 1942, 6,000 troops, mostly Canadian, hit Dieppe, France head on. 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 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. It was also the single biggest one-day air battle of the Western Front as hundreds of Spitfires, Hurricanes, Bostons, Typhoons, P-51s, B-17s, Blenheims and Beaufighters mixed up with hundreds of FW-190s, Me-109s, Ju-88s, Do-217s and He-111s. German e-boats accidentally ran into the RN's armada; the fight lit up the night and sank ships. Thanks to the German 302nd's crack troops, concrete bunkers and poor planning, the Canadians suffered a staggering 65% casualty rate, and the vaunted Luftwaffe's JG1 and JG2 outdid the RAF, RCAF and USAAF. FW-190 ace Josef Wurmheller shot down seven Allied airplanes that day. The 50 Americans became the first Americans to fight in Europe in World War II, and three became the first to die there. Dieppe set the stage for D-Day, not quite 22 months later... Lord Louis Mountbatten was right when he said: “The Battle of Normandy was won on the beaches of Dieppe.”
n Churchill tanker Sgt. Elly Raskin, 89, a soft-spoken veteran of the Calgary Tank Regiment that was shredded at Dieppe. Sengupta spent the next 10 months researching Raskin and others and consulting many archives to assemble the story of the botched invasion of Dieppe. The resulting story is a 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. 174 pages, 5.5" x 8.5", 66 photos and maps.
"I am in complete awe of the research and detail of your observations...wonderfully narrated !!!! Doug Williams, Atlanta"
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