70th Anniversary of Dieppe Raid

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by Scout Sniper, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Found another photo, again it seems to be the Calgary Churchill 'Bert'.
    Perhaps this is the one gpo's son was thinking of.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Bonny

    Bonny Junior Member

    Thank-you for welcome.
    Sadly that is all the infomation I have, my grandmother left his name off the b/c and never told her son his father's name.
    It was a "fingers crossed"thread !
     
  3. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Bonny, stranger things have happened on this forum!
    Don't give up - several members are experienced genealogists and might be able to narrow a search down considerably. It might be worth starting a new thread on the 'genealogy' sub-forum.
     
  4. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    None of the 28 Churchills allocated for the operation made it off the peebled beach and were stranded,resulting in a failure to get through the German obstacles leaving the infantry exposed to superior German fire.
    .

    As the picture of BERT above shows, this is not accurate. Mark W Towner's recent book The Churchill Tank and the Canadian Armoured Corps
    (Review here: The Churchill Tank and the Canadian Armoured Corps)
    takes an extensive look at the actions of the Calgary Regiment's tanks. Page 35 lists the fates of the Churchills as follows:
    Of the 30 Churchill tanks that attempted to land, two were drowned and 27 others made it to shore, while the remaining tank was unable to land and returned to the United Kingdom. Of the 27 tanks that made it ashore, 15 were able to cross the seawall ... Of the ten that later returned to the beach, four of these were immobilized by the chert rocks that made up the beach ...
    He also goes on to discuss (pg 60) captured German documents the Canadian Army obtained in 1944 including "one compiled by the Operations officer of the German LXXXI (81st) Corps Headquarters, dated 25 August 1942, entitled " Combat Report and Experiences Gained during the British attack on Dieppe, August 25th 1942" that estimated the number of tanks reaching the Esplanade as 16 in total.
    One of the problems the tanks that did get off the beach faced is that were unable to get much further due to antitank obstacles. These obstacles were supposed to be destroyed by engineering parties who had either not been able to land, suffered too many casualties to be effective or had lost the equipment needed to do the job.
    I would recommend that anyone interested in Churchills at Dieppe get a copy of Tonner's book for the analysis he does of this action alone.

    Cheers
    Mark
     
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Just looking at this further

    The photograph of "Bert" is misleading (Bundesarchiv)."Bert" is shown adjacent to the Casino with its right hand track detached."Bert" did not get this far during the raid but was used post raid by the Germans to haul the other Churchills off the beach.The caption on this particular photograph states "The Germans must have worked Bert too hard as it is now stranded minus the RH track beside the Casino"

    Reference. ATB Number 5 1974.

    There is also variance on Churchill numbers which can be found in the ATB publication.
     
  6. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    The details for each landed tank are shown on this site:

    Dieppe - Churchills in Action

    This source also indicates that no tank made it beyond the Promenade.
     
  7. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Just looking at this further

    The photograph of "Bert" is misleading (Bundesarchiv)."Bert" is shown adjacent to the Casino with its right hand track detached."Bert" did not get this far during the raid but was used post raid by the Germans to haul the other Churchills off the beach.The caption on this particular photograph states "The Germans must have worked Bert too hard as it is now stranded minus the RH track beside the Casino"

    Reference. ATB Number 5 1974.

    There is also variance on Churchill numbers which can be found in the ATB publication.

    Harry,

    This site has additional photos of Bert towing other Churchills off the beach.

    http://www.wlu.ca/lcmsds/cmh/back%20issues/CMH/volume%204/Issue%201/Henry%20-%20The%20Calgary%20Tanks%20at%20Dieppe.pdf
     
  8. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I have just been looking at a Bundesarchiv sourced photograph taken of the White Beach and Red Beach and immediately after the raid, from the high ground west of the casino.It shows the position of the Churchills on the beach.There are quite a few lying at what appears to be around the low tide mark on White Beach.A more distinct photograph would enable a distinction to be made between Churchills and 13 other vehicles that were lost althought the phyical size of the Churchills should give some possible identification of the type of vehicle.

    Cannot see an image which might be "Bert".But it must have been disabled on the east side of the casino and was in the blind side of the camera.
    i
    Canuck. Thanks for the linkage which as regards "Bert" gives a more understanding of its route after landing on to White Beach,its disabling and then use by the German recovery team.
     
  9. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    All
    It appears this has all sorted itself out. 15 tanks made it onto the promenade [they could go no further as the engineers had not made off the beach]; all were disabled by noon on their return to the beach where they fired all their ammuntion in order to over the evcautation, most of the crews stayed with their tanks and surrendered after the beach was cleared. They remained behind as there was no more landing craft and this was the safest place for them. The Germans had no anti tank guns at this location capable of defeating the Churchill as they correctly understood, that Dieppe was unassailable by tanks from this approach. Bert as you point out was repaired and used by the Germans to clear the beach of the other derelict Chruchills after the fact thence the picutes of it on the promenade.

    Seb and Tim tell us about walking the beach. what woud your impressions of an infantry man carry 60+ lbs of gear trying to run up that beach at the 15 degree angle with the equivlent of a pair of patent leather shoes on. I know you cant speak to the murderous machine gun, mortar, and shell fire. Bringing me back the orginal point, what idiot thought this was a good idea.
    I remember my parents talking about the rational prevailing at the time as being 'the lessons learned'. One could agrue there where certianly less costly ways to learn that you could not attack a fortified beach surrounded by 30m cliffs forming a natural enfilade. Any machine operator could have told them that tanks would be inffective here.
    At the time the raid was being openly talked about in the local pubs there was no tactical suprise. the Royal marnine commandos on Pourville flank ran into a German convoy on the run in, and were badly shot but still no recall things went from bad to worse.
    Was it Lloyd George that first uttered the phase 'Lions lead by Donkeys'?
     
    Smudger Jnr likes this.
  10. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    A Terrible way to lose so many good men.

    It is no wonder that it is still a controversial topic to this day and no doubt will remain so for evermore.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  11. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    A Terrible way to lose so many good men.

    It is no wonder that it is still a controversial topic to this day and no doubt will remain so for evermore.

    Regards
    Tom

    Tom,
    I would say that there is less controversy today than 20 years ago. It's hard to find anyone now who is willing to defend the "lessons learned" legend. The media still puts that myth forward but those with any knowledge generally reject it outright. That spin may have been of some comfort to those who lost loved ones in that battle but it carries little weight now. Ironically, the dominant perspective now is what the veterans said all along. A badly planned debacle and a huge waste of lives.
     
  12. Fraser415

    Fraser415 Junior Member

    Thanks, it is great to find so much info on the Calgary Regiment Churchill tanks in one place. My Grandfather was the Loader/Radio Operator on Bert.
     
  13. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Hi Fraser, glad to have you with us.
    Can you give any further details of your Grandfathers service eg before Dieppe, Prison camps etc?
     
  14. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Fraser,

    Welcome aboard. Did your grandfather ever record his memories of the raid?
     
  15. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    This quote from The Walrus is the first reference I've seen to this letter:

    "Significantly, Mountbatten put his protege Captain John Hughes-Hallett in command of the naval force, replacing Rear Admiral Harold T. Baillie-Grohman, who had written a letter on July 9, 1942, co-signed by Roberts, calling into question Rutter’s feasibility."

    Has anyone seen the contents of that letter?
     
  16. Fraser415

    Fraser415 Junior Member

    Thanks for the warm welcome. I am trying to compile more information on my grandfather's service. Apparently there are some pictures of his tank in training exercises and there was some pictures in the Sep 1942 issue of Life magazine, (I think of the tank loosing a track while being loaded onto a ship.) He didn't talk about his service much and I was too young to ask any questions. However he did return to Dieppe twice and I have an Aunt who has tried preserve as much history as possible. I will post more info as I find it.
     
  17. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  18. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Fraser,

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  19. Fraser415

    Fraser415 Junior Member

    He was in Stalag VIII - B and Stalag II - D and possibly a couple others.
     
  20. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Fraser, you can apply to ICRC for a copy of his POW record card. Takes a fair while for a reply but it might be worth it.
    ICRC Archives
     

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