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The Dieppe Raid (Paperback)

The Allies’ Assault Upon Hitler’s Fortress Europe, August 1942

Military > Frontline Books > Frontline: WWII WWII > Photographic Books

By John Grehan, Alexander Nicoll
Frontline Books
Series: Images of War
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 180 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399067201
Published: 30th August 2023



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As dawn was breaking on the morning of 19 August 1942, Allied troops leapt ashore to the east and west of the French port of Dieppe. These were British commandoes accompanied by U.S. Rangers, tasked to silence the German gun batteries that flanked Dieppe. Other troops – the men of the 2nd Canadian Division – landed closer to Dieppe to capture the German positions that overlooked the port while, minutes later, the main body of the predominantly Canadian assaulting force began clambering from landing craft that had run onto the beach along Dieppe’s seafront. This was the start of Operation Jubilee, the Allies’ most ambitious assault upon Hitler’s so-called Fortress Europe – it quickly became a bloodbath.

The early months of 1942 had been difficult ones for Prime Minister Churchill. Stalin was demanding action in Western Europe to lessen the pressure of the 280 German divisions that were bearing down upon Stalingrad. Roosevelt was insisting that U.S. soldiers must start fighting the Germans in Europe, and Mackenzie King, the Canadian Prime Minister, desperately needed Canadian troops to become involved in the war to keep his politically divided nation together. Churchill’s response to these measures was to authorise a ‘super-raid’ upon German-held territory, and the target selected by the planners was Dieppe.

Apart from the notable success of No.4 Commando, the raid was a disaster with more than 50 per cent of the 6,086 men who landed being killed, wounded, or taken prisoner, plus all the Churchill tanks landed in support of the infantry suffered mechanical failure or were shelled into smoking wrecks. Yet amid the scenes slaughter, of confusion, and communication breakdown, were acts of almost unimaginable heroism, ingenuity, determination, and self-sacrifice to which the awarding of two Victoria Crosses paid a worthy tribute. There were also special missions associated with the raid, the details of which remained a closely guarded secret until long after the war.

This book opens a window on Operation Jubilee, allowing the reader a rare insight into the death and destruction inflicted upon the Allied force during just a few hours, and of the damage done to Dieppe itself, with many of the photographs being taken by the victorious German defenders. The raid saw the heaviest casualty figures experienced by Canadians in the Second World War, and the photographs in this book are a stark reminder of that fateful day in late summer of 1942.

“While most Images of War volumes follow the one or two photos per page and captions, this book offers more context due to the increased text. That's a plus in my book. Nicely written, too, bouncing between the tactical moves and the individual anecdotes.”

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Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

“…a truly stunning collection of authentic historical B/W photos whose images and captions provide rare insight into the death and destruction inflicted upon Allied forces during the Dieppe Raid.”

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Midwest Book Review

“This book was a good overview of a failed operation… full of great information and references for those interested in learning more.”

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Good value for money I think for what you get.

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Military Model Scene

About John Grehan

JOHN GREHAN has written, edited or contributed to more than 300 books and magazine articles covering a wide span of military history from the Iron Age to the recent conflict in Afghanistan. John has also appeared on local and national radio and television to advise on military history topics. He was employed as the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine from its inception until 2014. John now devotes his time to writing and editing books.

About Alexander Nicoll

ALEXANDER NICOLL has been involved in writing and publishing military history for thirty years. He began his career with local history, and has since written numerous books and magazine articles, predominantly on subjects relating to the two world wars.

Perfect Partner

The Dieppe Raid The Combined Operations Assault on Hitler's European Fortress, August 1942 (Hardback)

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 Britain’s intent to support the Soviets…

By An Official History

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