Dieppe Raid, 19th August, 1942

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by 17thDYRCH, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Stormbird

    Stormbird Restless

    [FONT=&quot]Here is the story of the raid from the viewpoint of 332(N) sqd:[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In the evening of the 18th August the pilots were briefed on Operation Jubilee: Canadian Special Forces and British commandos were to be landed on the coast and attack Dieppe at first light the next day. The fighter pilots were tasked to protect the landing operation against German air raids. The outcome of the operation was depending on maintaining air superiority. The whole picture would give an idea of the strength of powers after three years of war.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The pilots went to bed early, but few got a good night’s sleep. The ground crews worked hard all through the night to get all the planes combat ready.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]At 0620 hrs the squadron took off and half an hour later they were involved in intense dog - fights over Dieppe. Four hectic missions were flown before the ground fights diminished in the evening.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]It was a hard and negative experience for the Allies, with more than 4000 dead and injured. The German defence works were far too strong and Allied cooperation suffered from fatal weaknesses.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]It had also been a major air battle where the Luftwaffe showed they were not weakened at all.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The Norwegian 132 Air Wing was however very pleased with itself. The two Norwegian squadrons (331 and 332) had achieved the best results of all the Allies: 15 German a/c were confirmed shot down, 3 probable and 14 damaged. Six Norwegian Spitfires were lost, but all the pilots were saved.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]This news article appeared in a Canadian newspaper:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Down 14 Nazis At Dieppe[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Probably destroyed four more and damaged 10[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]- 15 P.C. of Enemy’s Losses[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Two Norwegian fighter squadrons manned by young Norsemen, who[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]received their training at Toronto’s Little Norway, are officially[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]credited the destruction of fourteen German planes during the air[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]battles over Dieppe on August 19.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The announcement was made officially yesterday by Royal Norwegian[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Air Force Headquarters in London, England, and transmitted to Little[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Norway today.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In addition to definite credits, four enemy planes probably[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]destroyed and ten more damaged make the independent Norwegian[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]squadrons responsible for 15 per cent of the total losses inflicted[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]on Axis planes during the day-long encounter.[/FONT]

    Source: 332 sqd 60th Anniversary booklet issued in 2002 (translated into English)
     
  2. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Gerry, thanks for adding a British perspective. I will check out the War Cabinet records.

    Randy
     
  3. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Stormbird,
    thanks for adding to the post.

    Randy
     
  4. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Dieppe was a pathetic failure. Sixty years later, it seems obvious that Jubilee was a bizarre operation with no chance of success whatsoever and likely to result in a huge number of casualties. In August 1942, British and Allied officers did not have yet the knowledge and combat experience to make a proper assessment of the risks of such an operation. This catastrophe was useful precisely in providing that knowledge which was later to make victory possible.


    I maintain that the 'lessons learned' justification was the cover story designed to shield Combined Ops from criticism. It has been repeated, overused and simply doesn't stand up to close examination.

    Canadian historian Jack Gratatstein:
    "Assaults from the sea were nothing new in 1942. The U.S. Marine Corps. had a developed doctrine for such attacks, and the British themselves had staged seaborne attacks in the Great War. Who could have believed that tactical surprise was all that was necessary to get 5,000 men ashore on defended beaches? By what planning principles did the staff decide that a relative handful of aircraft could provide air support and that eight destroyers could give sufficient covering fire? This was recognized in the original plan and later withdrawn.
    More to the point, what fool decided to attack Dieppe? No one who has stood on the stony beach in front of Dieppe -- as hundreds of thousands of British vacationers had done for a century before 1942 -- could have failed to notice the cliffs that commanded the Canadians' landing areas. Where else would the Germans have placed their weaponry? Dieppe was a failure of intelligence, a "gross lapse in command sense and leadership," historian Bill McAndrew has correctly noted. Yes, there were lessons learned from Dieppe, but most of them would have been obvious to a second lieutenant fresh out of officer cadet classes."

    There is also evidence to suggest that it was a vaguely conceived operation, the rationale for which was largely produced after the fact to protect careers. The shear weight of critical errors cannot be excused for such a costly operation.
     
  5. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Canuck,
    I am in total agreement. The operation was doomed from the start.
    Cheers from Toronto
     
  6. Simon_Fielding

    Simon_Fielding Withnail67

    Excellent post Gerry.
     
  7. All failures can be pronounced as having a dimension of success in them by those involved and responsible for the plan and operation but it is hard to extoll the successes for us at Dieppe except that it proved beyond doubt that the Allies could not take a port successfully and use it as a bridgehead for an invasion of Europe.Cherbourg proved this to be right for the port was severely wrecked by the German garrison.It took nearly 3 months to get Cherbourg port repaired to receive Allied shipping and supplies.

    Cherbourg was entered by the advance party of the 1056th Engineer Port Construction & Reapair Group 27 June. The first cargo was llightered ashore across beaching ramps by DUKW vehicals 16 July. The ‘three months’ of cited refers vaguely to the peak intake rate reached in September. In early September a average daily intake ammounting to 25,000 tons per month was achieved. This was reoughly three times the peacetime capacity of Cherbourg or 8,000 to 10,000 tons permonth. A average daily intal of 8,000 tons permonth was reached by early August. The 25,000 ton intake exceeded the plans for Cherbourg & was reached by use of material & enginer units intended for the Breaton port group, which could not be developed in july & August as planned

    I’d recommend Ruppenthal ‘Logistical Support of the Armies’ as a starting place for reading up on the supply of the Allied armies for Overlord.

    From this lesson,the plans were immediately laid down to develop and transport a mobile port facility to the intended bridgeheads.Hence the Mulberry harbour projects.


    The planning begain much earlier. The problems of supplying expeditionary armies in littoral or coastal warfare had long been understood. Some folks probablly mistook that modern developments abrogated the long proven principles of warfare & Dieppe proved them wrong. The Brits begain studying a return to the continent by early 1941 and development of prefabricated harbors started then, not post Dieppe.
     
  8. I maintain that the 'lessons learned' justification was the cover story designed to shield Combined Ops from criticism. It has been repeated, overused and simply doesn't stand up to close examination.

    Canadian historian Jack Gratatstein:
    Quote:
    "Assaults from the sea were nothing new in 1942. The U.S. Marine Corps. had a developed doctrine for such attacks, and the British themselves had staged seaborne attacks in the Great War. Who could have believed that tactical surprise was all that was necessary to get 5,000 men ashore on defended beaches? By what planning principles did the staff decide that a relative handful of aircraft could provide air support and that eight destroyers could give sufficient covering fire? This was recognized in the original plan and later withdrawn.
    More to the point, what fool decided to attack Dieppe? No one who has stood on the stony beach in front of Dieppe -- as hundreds of thousands of British vacationers had done for a century before 1942 -- could have failed to notice the cliffs that commanded the Canadians' landing areas. Where else would the Germans have placed their weaponry? Dieppe was a failure of intelligence, a "gross lapse in command sense and leadership," historian Bill McAndrew has correctly noted. Yes, there were lessons learned from Dieppe, but most of them would have been obvious to a second lieutenant fresh out of officer cadet classes."


    There is also evidence to suggest that it was a vaguely conceived operation, the rationale for which was largely produced after the fact to protect careers. The shear weight of critical errors cannot be excused for such a costly operation.

    The last line in Gratatstein's remarks is classic. The preinciples of amphibious warfare had been understood since Roman times or more likely the Summerian era. The British had conducted dozens of amphibious invasions over several centuries. The only lesson of Dieppe was that the basics still applied.
     
  9. ....
    [FONT=&quot]It had also been a major air battle where the Luftwaffe showed they were not weakened at all. ...[/FONT]


    So the air plan sucked too.
     
  10. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Following on Gerry's excellent summary of the Dieppe raid I must mention a series of coincidences that have led me to make this posting.

    On Sept 6th I shall be attending my old boy's club reunion and, as always, the table talk will get around to former members who are no longer here to join in our talk of WW2. At my particular table, because we have several vets there, Jack Nissenthal's name is invariably brought to mind.

    I was recently interviewed, about the club, on spitalfieldslife.com and the interviewer known only by his pseudonym of "The Gentle Author" was intrigued by the story of Jack Nissenthal, a former club boy, who was taken to Dieppe to find out about German radar accompanied by a special troop who had instructions to kill him rather than allow him to be taken prisoner. He also placed a link on his Blog so that others might read the story.

    A well known authority on Jack's history is Martin Sugarman and his newly published book "Fighting Back" contains a full chapter on Jack's exploits.

    I've also just been to Wikipedia and on the pages relating to Dieppe found this item:
    Dieppe Raid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I was amused to find that footnote No.13 took the reader to the BBC WW2 Archives to an article that I had previously posted myself on behalf of Martin Sugarman ! (Note the actual footnote number may alter but watch for the "Goldstein" text)

    The Wikipedia excerpt now follows:

    Pourville radar station
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Destroyed Landing craft on fire with Canadian dead on the beach. A concrete gun emplacement on the right covers the whole beach. The steep gradient can clearly be judged


    One of the objectives of the Dieppe Raid was to discover the importance and accuracy of a German radar station on the cliff-top to the east of the town of Pourville. To achieve this, RAF Flight Sergeant Jack Nissenthall, a radar specialist, was attached to the South Saskatchewan Regiment. He was to attempt to enter the radar station and learn its secrets, accompanied by a small unit of 11 men of the Saskatchewans as bodyguards. Nissenthall volunteered for the mission fully aware that, due to the highly sensitive nature of his knowledge of Allied radar technology, his Saskatchewan bodyguard unit were under orders to kill him if necessary to prevent him being captured. He also carried a cyanide pill as a last resort. Nissenthall and his bodyguards failed to enter the radar station due to strong defences, but Nissenthall was able to crawl up to the rear of the station under enemy fire and cut all telephone wires leading to it. This forced the crew inside to resort to radio transmissions to talk to their commanders, transmissions which were intercepted by listening posts on the south coast of England. The Allies were able to learn a great deal about the arrays of German radar stations along the channel coast thanks to this one simple act, which helped to convince Allied commanders of the importance of developing radar jamming technology. Of this small unit only Nissenthall and one other returned safely to England.[10][11].
     
  11. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Ron,
    Interesting sidebar to the whole Dieppe fiasco.
    Thanks for adding to this post.

    Randy
     
  12. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The photograph accompanying Ron’s post, which clearly shows the chert over which the fifteen Churchills had to make their way before climbing on to Dieppe's promenade, reminded me of the one lesson that was not learned - if it had been its impact on the course of the war in the Mediterranean and North-west Europe Theatres would have been most severe, even perhaps disastrous. Despite Hitler, after Dieppe, commenting: "This is the first time the British have had the courtesy to cross the sea to offer the enemy a complete sample of their new weapons," thelesson that could have been learned by the Germans fortunately was not.

    http://northirishhorse.net/articles/Dieppe/13.jpg

    Subsequent to the raid the Germans carried climbing tests with a Panzer not, however, over Dieppe's chert beach but on a shingle one and without a wall over which finally it had to climb. The Panzer negotiated a slope of between 15 and 20 degrees fairly well, but where the slope increased to between 30 and 40 degrees the tank started to slip and then dug itself in until the tracks ceased to function.

    The Germans made two gross errors when assessing the quality of the Churchill as a fighting vehicle. The first was to write off the Churchill as a tank offering "nothing worthy of consideration by technical personnel, nor has it any new constructive features either in the metallurgical field, or in the field of weapon technology’.** Her revolutionary gear box, incorporated with its change speed gears mechanism, which is of the controlled differential type so arranged that a fixed turning radius was obtained depending on the change speed gear engaged. Simply put, rather breaking the laying of one track to make a turn, it slowed it down while proportionately speeding up the laying of the other. Its design is the standard for AFVs today. Mounted aboard the Tiger with its all too frequent gear box failures, makes one shudder to contemplate..
    ""Quote from a copy of the German Report obtained by the British in the Middle East.

    The second major error was not to put 'Betsy' here pictured, through the same climbing test above stated.
    http://northirishhorse.net/articles/Dieppe/10.jpg

    The Calgary Regiment of Canada at Dieppe, KingForce at El Alamein, and the 21st and 25th Tank Brigades in Tunisia went to war crewing a tank that had no future.as evidenced in extracts from a letter dated 12th May, 1942 to Prime Minister, Winston Churchill from the Chairman of the Tank Board.
    “Some eighteen months ago, in the survey I made for you on Tanks, it was made clear that we should regard A.22 as an ”ambitious adventure” involving many risks of trouble. Unfortunately, these troubles have materialised. As the Tank Board is responsible for the character of the Tank Programme, I put “The situation of A.22” on the agenda for our first meeting, as from a preliminary talk with my colleagues I found them all fully appreciative of the weaknesses of the situation, and as a matter of fact they have evidently been working steadily to arrive at a definite crystallization of action to be taken. From the minutes which will be circulated to-day, you will note that the demise of the type and the selection and development of its successor have been decided.” “I feel some regret that, in the light of the production situation and changeover limitations, the number of these second-grade Tanks which will be delivered the Army is so large. We can only trust that the modifications on the new and the re-work on the old will give some measure of reliability and enable the Army to put them to some effective purpose.“

    The Tank Board also, as did the Germans, failed to recognise the climbing capabilities of a 'second grade tank' which became known as the 'Mountain Goat of World War Two'.

    A copy of the German Report was circulated to all Churchill equipped units - and doubtless to many others. The Commanding Officer of the North Irish Horse, Lieutenant Colonel (later Major General Sir) David Dawnay on Dartmoor personally oversaw puttting Churchills through their paces, as they climbed steeper and steeper slopes until almost falling over backwards. Doubtless the other units in the 21st and 25th Tank Brigades conducted similar tests. A vital lesson for the Churchill’s future was thus learned. The ‘Mountain Goat’ (as the Churchill became known) came of age in the mountains of Tunisia culminating the capture of the key to Tunis, Longstop Hill, considered by the Germans as being beyond the capabilities of any tank to climb.

    Shortly after the conclusion of the campaign in Tunisia the Prime Minister, pleased with the success of "his tank", ordered production of them to immediately recommence. The rest is history. The unique talents of Percy Hobart were accelerated. His 79th Armoured Division' nearly 1,000 tanks became an invaluable asset from D-Day on, without which the campaign in NWE would have been much tougher that it was.

    Was the Dieppe raid a success or failure? The quick answer is a failure, but only if one's interpretation is based on the events of 19th August alone. A wider view is expressed by the more knowledgeable folks than I of the prestigious Canadian Juno Beach Centre. The last paragraph reads:
    "The true meaning of the sacrifices made at Dieppe was made obvious two years after this ill-fated date, when on D-Day the Allies gained a foothold in Europe to free the continent from Nazi aggression.”

    PS
    Next year Ron I will be again in London so, amending a popular phrase in the US, "God willing and another volcano doesn't start spouting" we will get together!

    Best wishes, Gerry
     
    dbf and Smudger Jnr like this.
  13. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Gerry,
    Yet another marvellous post of yours to read and enjoy.

    From what I have read about the Dieppe raid, there were more people against it proceeding than advocating it take place.

    Yes, I agree, that lessons were learned, but at what price.

    People have decried Montgomery for his careful approach in Battles, but he had good reason for being, his experiences of WW1 and men being killed uneccessarily were a constant reminder.

    Without the necessary supporting Naval bombardment and air supremacy there was never much of a likelyhood of a successful landing.

    It was tragic that so many lives were lost, but as had been said, Churchill al least realised that lessons had to be learned.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  14. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Cherbourg was entered by the advance party of the 1056th Engineer Port Construction & Reapair Group 27 June. The first cargo was llightered ashore across beaching ramps by DUKW vehicals 16 July. The ‘three months’ of cited refers vaguely to the peak intake rate reached in September. In early September a average daily intake ammounting to 25,000 tons per month was achieved. This was reoughly three times the peacetime capacity of Cherbourg or 8,000 to 10,000 tons permonth. A average daily intal of 8,000 tons permonth was reached by early August. The 25,000 ton intake exceeded the plans for Cherbourg & was reached by use of material & enginer units intended for the Breaton port group, which could not be developed in july & August as planned

    I’d recommend Ruppenthal ‘Logistical Support of the Armies’ as a starting place for reading up on the supply of the Allied armies for Overlord.



    The planning begain much earlier. The problems of supplying expeditionary armies in littoral or coastal warfare had long been understood. Some folks probablly mistook that modern developments abrogated the long proven principles of warfare & Dieppe proved them wrong. The Brits begain studying a return to the continent by early 1941 and development of prefabricated harbors started then, not post Dieppe.

    The task of recovering the Cherbourg port facilities commenced the day after it capitulated as you say.However the capture of such a port could never be be allowed to be the critical path in the establishment of an Allied bridgehead.The COSSAC planners made their preparations for D DAY on the assumption that even if Cherbourg was captured within the first two weeks,mine clearance and repairs to the damage caused to the port would take at least two months.In the meantime Overload forces would have to be supplied across open beaches as indeed they were and apart from the Utah Mulberry system being u/s due to unheard of June storms,the project was a success.

    As regards the use of Cherbourg as a supply port,Major General David Belchem,Montgomery's Head of Operations and Planning Staff thoroughout the Normandy campaign, records in his publication "Victory in Normandy" "Such was the extent of the wrecking and mining of port installations and anchorages that it was late August before the first Allied supply ships were able to berth at Cherbourg".This sums up the situation in that tonnages brought through Cherbourg could not use the commercial docking facilities until late August and until this was resolved would have been restricted to what double handling techniques would allow.
     
  15. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The Brits began studying a return to the continent by early 1941 and development of prefabricated harbors started then, not post Dieppe.


    Hi Harry.

    Minutes of the post Dieppe meeting record that John Hughes-Hallett declared “that if a port could not be captured, then one should be taken across the English Channel

    This was met with derision at the time, but in a subsequent meeting with Churchill, the Prime Minister declared he had surmised a similar scenario using some Danish Islands and sinking old ships for a bridgehead for an invasion in World War One.The concept of Mulberry Harbours gained momentum when he moved to the position of Naval Chief of Staff for Operation Overlord.

    In 1943 the decision to go ahead was made and construction commenced.

    Hughes-Hallett had a distinguished career in the Royal Navy beginning as a Midshipman on HMS Lion, May 1918. Aboard HMS Devonshire in 1940, during the Norwegian Campaign he was mentioned in despatches.

    Cheers,
    Gerry
     
  16. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    There was a practical precedent: floating piers were taken to Gallipoli, albeit as a temporary measure until more permanent facilities could be constructed.
     
  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Gerry,Thanks

    I have just posted a lengthly submission on the subject and mentioned Hughes Hallett comment to COSSAC and Churchill's original concept which he raised on 17 July 1917 on the occasion of a plan to take the Frisian Islands.

    Unfortunately I was on dial up and the speed was too slow and I lost it.However taking Drew's advice,I pasted it,so I will be able to retype it and post it.

    Pleased that I was able to save it.
     
  18. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Gerry

    re:
    PS
    Next year Ron I will be again in London so, amending a popular phrase in the US, "God willing and another volcano doesn't start spouting" we will get together!
    Best wishes, Gerry


    You're on !

    Ron
     
  19. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The planning begain much earlier. The problems of supplying expeditionary armies in littoral or coastal warfare had long been understood. Some folks probablly mistook that modern developments abrogated the long proven principles of warfare & Dieppe proved them wrong. The Brits begain studying a return to the continent by early 1941 and development of prefabricated harbors started then, not post Dieppe.

    In 1941 when Great Britain stood alone,nothing more was more from the British political and military thinking than a return to the continent.It was a question of defence consolidation but if there was a catalyst for the search,motivation and endeavour for a victory over the Nazi regime,it started after the humility of the BEF at Dunkirk.

    Further it was not until May 1941 when Hitler decided to abandon Operation Sealion in favour of Operation Barbarossa that Britain was was able to "relax" from a state of high alert.The only offenses against Germany on mainland Europe at the time,available to the British was the formation of the SOE in order, as Churchill put it,"To set Europe alight".The other option taken up was the policy to work up Bomber Command into a formidable bomber force to attack German industry, military installations and their oil industry.

    The view of the US as they entered the war was that an Allied landing should take place in North West France the summer or late autumn of 1942.The initial assault would be uindertaken by the British with the US building up the force with major reinforcements.FDR put his backing on the operation,to be known as "Operation Sledgehammer" and Marshall came to London in early April 1942 to impress on Churchill and Brooke the importance of the operation.The British refused to accept the plan stating that the US underestimated the strength of the Wehrmacht in France.In turn the British outlined their priorities and these were to overcome the U Boat menace to British Isles supply routes and continued action to prevent the fall of the Suez Canal to the Germans.(It would appear that FDR had assured Stalin that there would be a western front opened in 1942 which was thought by some to be a policy intended to keep the Russians in the war.Some might think also that this offer of support led to "one of the war's melancholy and mysterious operations".the large scale raid in August 1942 on the port of Dieppe.)

    As regards British planning for a return to the continent,in 1942 Churchill set up the Britsh Combined Services Committee and charged it with the task of studying the ways and means of invading Europe.This committee started its work but before it could get into its stride,its work was overrun by the Casablanca Conference in January 1943, at which the Allies endorsed common aims.The first being the the defeat of the U Boat and the second being the destruction of Axis forces in North Africa. The other very important resolution was to lay out a plan for liberating Western Europe and the first stage was to appoint a Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander (COSSAC) who would immediately prepare the ground for the invasion of Europe,determining the where and how it would be undertaken under the command of the Supreme Allied Commander (designate).The responsibility for the finalising of those plans fell to Eisenhower who was appointed as Supreme Commander in December 1943.

    It was the advent of COSSAC and the appointment of Eisenhower and Montgomery that the serious planning and preparation for an assault on Fortress Europe was enacted.Incidentally on taking up their positions,both turned down the first plan to be drafted by COSSAC.

    The inclusion of prefrabricated harbours only came about in COSSAC's planning but the concept was not new and was known to a number of people involved in the COSSAC organisation but that knowledge was thouight to have been "second hand".This came about after the experience of Dieppe when the question of landing on open beaches were being discussed in the summer of 1943. Hughes Hallett,the Senior Naval Officer at COSSAC was reported to have said that "Well,all I have to say that if we can't capture a port,we must take one with us".Churchill was most intense in resolving the problem and reminded COSSAC of the sugestion he had made on July 17 1917 in relation to the intended occupation of the Frisian Islands.Then Churchill had suggested the construction of a number of flat bottomed barges or caissons,made, not of steel, but concrete,which would float on the sea when empty of water and could be towed across the sea.When in position,the caisson sea cocks would be opened and the caisson would flood an settle on the sea bed.An artificial harbour would be created which would be safe from torpedoes and be stable in adverse weather.The "second hand" source was thought to be Churchill and it is thought that Hughes Hallett was merely raising the point from discussions with Churchill.

    Churchill also urged Mountbatten to carry out trials on the project in the Indian Ocean and although the project was not "tried and tested",research information was passed on to COSSAC.

    Incidentally the British Isles had never been subject to an invasion by a victorious invasion since William of Normandy.The assault on the Fortress Europe would be completely different in the age of mechanisation and 20th century warfare.The experience of landings on Pacific islands were different compared to the strategy and tactics required to create the Normandy bridgehead and develop it as a base for victory in Western Europe.It was one of the fundamentals that Montgomery was anxious to put in place to ensure that he was not pushed back into the sea.He did it and the result was that Allied forces were over the Seine, a few day before D Day +90 as the plan required.
     
  20. Bernhart

    Bernhart Member

    "One of the objectives of the Dieppe Raid was to discover the importance and accuracy of a German radar station on the cliff-top to the east of the town of Pourville. To achieve this, RAF Flight Sergeant Jack Nissenthall, a radar specialist, was attached to the South Saskatchewan Regiment. He was to attempt to enter the radar station and learn its secrets, accompanied by a small unit of 11 men of the Saskatchewans as bodyguards. Nissenthall volunteered for the mission fully aware that, due to the highly sensitive nature of his knowledge of Allied radar technology, his Saskatchewan bodyguard unit were under orders to kill him if necessary to prevent him being captured. He also carried a cyanide pill as a last resort. Nissenthall and his bodyguards failed to enter the radar station due to strong defences, but Nissenthall was able to crawl up to the rear of the station under enemy fire and cut all telephone wires leading to it. This forced the crew inside to resort to radio transmissions to talk to their commanders, transmissions which were intercepted by listening posts on the south coast of England. The Allies were able to learn a great deal about the arrays of German radar stations along the channel coast thanks to this one simple act, which helped to convince Allied commanders of the importance of developing radar jamming technology. Of this small unit only Nissenthall and one other returned safely to England.[10][11]. "

    there is an old book called green beach tells this whole story, along with other bits of the battle, including the 2 victoria crosses won
     

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