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Forces War Records Blog

ON THIS DAY: 19TH AUG 1942 - BATTLE OF DIEPPE (OPERATION RUTTER - OPERATION JUBILEE).

The Dieppe Raid, also known as the Battle of Dieppe, Operation Rutter and, later, Operation Jubilee, was a Second World War Allied attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe. The raid took place on the northern coast of France on 19 August 1942. The assault began at 5:00 a.m. and by 10:50 a.m. the Allied commanders were forced to call a retreat. Over 6,000 infantrymen, predominantly Canadian, were supported by a Canadian Armoured regiment and a strong force of Royal Navy and smaller Royal Air Force landing contingents. Objectives included seizing and holding a major port for a short period, both to prove it was possible and to gather intelligence from prisoners and captured materials, including naval intelligence in a hotel in town and a radar installation on the cliffs above it. Although the primary objective was not met and secondary successes were relatively few, some knowledge was gained while assessing the German responses. The Allies also wanted to destroy coastal defences, port structures and all strategic buildings. Due to the failure to secure Dieppe this objective was not met in any systematic sense. The raid had the added objective of providing a morale boost to the troops, Resistance, and general public, while assuring the Soviet Union of the commitment of the United Kingdom and the United States. A total of 3,623 of the 6,086 men (almost 60%) who made it ashore were either killed, wounded, or captured. The Royal Air Force failed to lure the Luftwaffe into open battle, and lost 96 aircraft (at least 32 to flak or accidents), compared to 48 lost by the Luftwaffe. The Royal Navy lost 33 landing craft and one destroyer. The events at Dieppe later influenced preparations for the North African (Operation Torch) and Normandy landings (Operation Overlord).
 
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