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what was the point of the Dieppe raid?
chris1
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Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: October 25, 2005
KitMaker: 949 posts
AeroScale: 493 posts
Posted: Saturday, May 22, 2010 - 06:22 PM UTC
Hi Guys,
I've been following Carmen Mannings' Churchill build and was wondering if someone could enlighten me as to the purpose of the Dieppe raid?

From what I've read,I haven't been able to figure a logical reason.Given as I understand it there was never any intention to hold the terrority gained,to my way of thinking it just never made military sense.

I hope someone could enlighten me please as the more see/read none of it seems to give a definative answer.

TIA


Chris
DaveCox
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: January 11, 2003
KitMaker: 4,307 posts
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Posted: Saturday, May 22, 2010 - 08:16 PM UTC
From a google search:

"The Dieppe Raid, also known as The Battle of Dieppe, Operation Rutter or later on Operation Jubilee, during the Second World War, was an Allied attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe on the northern coast of France on 19 August 1942. The assault began at 5:00 AM in the morning and by 9:00 AM the Allied commanders had been forced to call a retreat. Over 6,000 infantrymen, predominantly Canadian, were supported by large British naval and Allied air force contingents. The objective was to seize and hold a major port for a short period, both to prove it was possible and to gather intelligence from prisoners and captured materials while assessing the German responses. The Allies also wanted to destroy coastal defences, port structures and all strategic buildings.

No major objectives of the raid were accomplished. A total of 3,623 of the 6,086 men who made it ashore were either killed, wounded, or captured (almost 60%). The Allied air forces failed to lure the Luftwaffe into open battle, and lost 106 aircraft. The Luftwaffe only lost 48 aircraft while the Royal Navy suffered 555 casualties. The catastrophe at Dieppe later influenced Allied preparations for Operation Torch and Operation Overlord."

grom
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: July 28, 2005
KitMaker: 214 posts
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Posted: Saturday, May 22, 2010 - 08:55 PM UTC
Hi Chris ,Daves given some exellent background info.But I believe the decision was political the russians were pushing for a second front come invasion to take the pressure off them.Some good became of it a lot of lessons were learned which helped the arrangements and planning for D Day
oboat
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Nova Scotia, Canada
Joined: July 16, 2003
KitMaker: 33 posts
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Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2010 - 01:46 PM UTC
Hi Chris, the raid on Dieppe was political. The soviets were demanding for a second front, so Churchill gave the go ahead to Lord Mountbatten. They second part of the political stuff was that at that time Canada had a couple of divisions in the UK and they had been there since '39. Canadian troops as well as the Canadian Government wanted troops in the fight.The Canadian HQ in the UK picked the second Canadian division. After much training and delays they left for Dieppe. during the night of 18 Aug 42 the landing force was discovered by accident from a German coastal convoy. The shootout that started , awoke the Germans in and around Dieppe. As was stated above There was also the testing of a combined forces landing. They Canadians were to hold Dieppe itself and Lord Lovets commandos were to silence the shore battery s and take what they could of a German radar site. As was stated about it all went wrong. Lots of KIA and prisoners, as well as Churchill tanks(as well as other vehicles) being captured. The out come of this raid changed the way the allies looked at combined ops. as a foot note, after D-Day the Canadians hooked north and ran along the coast,one of the tows liberated was Dieppe....by the Second Canadian Division. There was no opposition...the Germans left Dieppe in case the Canadians were going to seek revenge. Another note is that Lord Mountbatten was sent to India( of course not because he screwed up Dieppe so bad).
Tankworks
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British Columbia, Canada
Joined: March 21, 2010
KitMaker: 24 posts
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Posted: Monday, May 24, 2010 - 06:35 PM UTC
My two cents worth. The Canadian brass cannot be passed over when looking for somewhere to plant the blame. They wanted to get some of the boys into the fight no matter what. They were the ones that could have refused the operation (like Montgomery did) Not everything went sour. The commando part of the operation went off as planned but then it was properly planned and executed. Our commanders did not learn anything from this, just look at the casualty rate after the Normandy landings during the battles along the 'left flank'. Officers that knew better were being pushed from above to get on with it, casualties be damned. Horrible cost in infantry which led to the manpower crisis in late '44-'45. In the last 100 days of WWII your chances of becoming a casualty were better (or worse?) than in the last of WWI.
ChrisDM
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: January 01, 2010
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Posted: Friday, June 04, 2010 - 12:25 PM UTC
The problmes with Dieppe are numerous

1. As stated above, the motivation was political and therefore militarily suspect to begin with. It has to be said though that it was pressure from the US as well as the USSR that lead to the idea of a raid or as it is sometimes stated a 'reconnaisance in force'

2. The planning was appalling. Early on the objectives were established, mostly in a rather arbritrary 'wish-list' fashion. As the operation was planned and abandoned twice before jubilee, but the objectives were never reappraised, it lead to the methods and tactics becoming divorced from the objectives they were supposed to achieve

3. Despite the operation officially coming under the office of 'Combined Operations', CO was in itself a new concept, and as such did not have the full support of all branches of the British military establishment. The Navy in particular resented the fact that it was being planned by Mountbatten (whose highest previous position had been as captain of a ship) and resented the fact that it was not, as an amphibious operation, a 'Navy show'. There is some evidence that they did not believe in or support the raid and witheld valuable naval assets that could have contributed to the effectiveness of the operation, in particular with a preparatory bombardment (something that was to be highly effective 2 years later in Normandy) there is also an argument that these assets were simply too precious to risk considering the need to defend British waters

In addition the RAF provided only fighter cover. Many people agree that bomber support should have been used in the raid. The RAF was to suffer heavy losses during the raid (a fact often overlooked but very evident in the Cemetary at Dieppe) when their Spitfires faced the more advanced FW190s for the first time

4. Nobody it seems wanted to be the ones to say the raid was untennable. The Canadian Divisional Commander, senior Naval Commander and Lord Mountbatten all had the oportunity to 'pull the plug', or at the very least register their disagreement with the plan. Unfortunately none did

As for the main objectives, from memory they were:

1. To seize and disable the batteries at Puis (achieved)

2. To seize and disable the batteries at Pourville (not achieved when commandos became pinned down)

3. To seize the town of Dieppe via frontal assault (Infantry objective not achieved)

4. To push through Dieppe and rendezvous at a point beyond the town (Tanks objective not achieved largely due to the tank blockades in the narrow streets leading off the promenade)

5. To seize German infantry barges moored in the docks at Dieppe (commando objective not achieved when the landing craft too heavy fire from the mole at the mouth of the docks) It is also doubtful that the barges could have made it back across the channel anyway


As mentioned above, several lessons were learned at Dieppe.

Chief amongst these were:
1. the necessity for specialised armour to overcome beach objectives while offering relative safety to engineers (the engineers at Dieppe were infantry and were all killed or pinned down on the beach)

2. The need to a heavy, sustained and targeted naval bombardment in amphibious assaults

3. the need for local air superiority over the landing area

I should say, this is my understanding based on things I've read. This is a subject much open to interpretation, and well worthy of study for anyone interested in combined or amphibious assault operations.

Chris