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 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 5/31/2017 7:33:13 AM
The Second World War has; a day of infamy, ones signifying the end of fighting in Europe and Asia, and of course June 6, 1944, D-Day, the most recognised of all.

For Canadians, there’s another meaningful date, Aug. 19, 1942, a day seemingly without end, for its tragic unfolding remains a source of bewilderment and controversy.

Even 70 years later, the true nature of the Dieppe Raid remains a mystery to most.

[Read More]

Lots of pointing fingers though-just who was responsible for this monumental fiasco.IMO I am almost sure that WSC was the originator of this lunacy !!!

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 5/31/2017 12:56:37 PM

Quote:
Lots of pointing fingers though-just who was responsible for this monumental fiasco.IMO I am almost sure that WSC was the originator of this lunacy !!!


Not really. The raid had both a reasonable political and military aim. The first was to demonstrate to the Soviets that the British and Western Allies were actually planning and preparing for an invasion of continental Europe. The second was to test the feasibility and outcome of various planning assumptions. The problem was the planning was put into the hands of Mountbatten and Combined Operations Headquarters (COH).

Churchill approved the raid, but planning responsibility was firmly in the hands of COH, which tried to carefully hide its tracks after the operation. In essence, the project was to test whether or not an assault on Europe as then contemplated was feasible. At that time all planners presumed an intact port was necessary, thus a test was required to find if it was possible to assault such a port and seize it before it could be demolished. That, in turn, necessitated - at least in the minds of the planners at COH - a quick frontal assault, since it was believed a landing on the flanks and enveloping attack would take to long. Then, on 5 June (with Montgomery present BTW) they added the absurdity of no pre-attack bombardment in order to test if surprise could be thus gained. The choice of the ill-trained, ill-led, and poorly motivated 2 CID only added to the likelihood of disaster.

A careful reading of the CMHQ studies of the planning documents in the collection at DHH is highly warranted.

In the end, the salient lesson learned was to not have Mountbatten and his amateurs at COH do the planning for OVERLORD. There is a very good reason the actual initial planning for that operation was given to General Morgan and the "Combined Commanders" rather than COH.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 5/31/2017 6:33:45 PM
Rich, thanks for some good information in a very concise form.

I'm not a zealot when it comes to Canadian troops, and try not to focus on Canadian battles to the exclusion of the rest of the war. So while I've read some books on Dieppe and Battle of the Scheldt and Hong Kong, I try not to get too defensive when there is criticism. Nevertheless, I gotta ask you about the following:
Quote:
The choice of the ill-trained, ill-led, and poorly motivated 2 CID only added to the likelihood of disaster.

If they were ill-trained, they had been rated the "best of show" at huge military exercises held in England. This may indeed have played a part in their choice as the main force. If they were ill-led, that should have been picked up during their time in England. Certainly, in 1939 Canada's active military leaders were not professional in the same way that German, British or US leaders were professional.. But to be honest, I had thought by 1942 most of the twits were gone. And the charge of being poorly motivated surprises the hell out of me! They were, at times, ill-disciplined; they were in their third year away from home with not a single battle under their belts, and their frustrations did lead to some comments from the British about Canucks being un-soldierly. But that is a long way from being poorly motivated. Sorry, but IMHO the troops were unblooded rather than ill-trained, and ill-trained rather than poorly motivated. I can't say whether they were ill-led or not.

Have you ever run into the suggestion that Dieppe was primarily a cautionary tale for the "gung-ho" US military, who wanted to invade Europe as early as 1942? I don't know whether I read that idea or came up with it myself some years ago. The argument was to carry out an assault using standard troops, standard techniques and current materials in the all but certain knowledge it would fail, in order to demonstrate to the US military what could happen to unblooded troops with inadequate means. And at relatively little (British) cost, that's exactly what happened.

Your comments on Mountbatten strike a tuned ear with me. I've known men who served under him, and who hated him at the time and vilified him after the war. He was the worst kind of dilettante, and a lot of men died to slake his enthusiams.

There is another side to this, of course, that IMHO still needs exploring, for Dieppe might be but one example of possible misuse of commonwealth/colonial troops. But that is a broader issue than Dieppe, and explores issues longer-lasting than a single war.

Again, Rich, thanks for your concise comments.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
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George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 5/31/2017 7:11:58 PM
The Canadian government and the Canadian Army have to accept some responsibility for seeking this assignment.

Canadians had been waiting and training in England since 1940. Canadians were wondering why their infantry boys weren't in action.

Even the Americans who had entered the war much later than Canada had seen action in North Africa. This was noticed by the citizens and by politicians.

When the mission was altered in the support elements available, Harry Crerar and Andy McNaughton should have refused to remount the mission.

But the Canadians were under a lot of pressure to get their men into action. Some Canadians had been getting into trouble in England and it was felt that the long period of inactivity had something to do with it.

But no Canadian officer in 1942 was going to turn down the opportunity to get into action.


My uncle Robert was a sapper at Dieppe and they were well trained for their mission.

Robert had been sent to the Isle of Wight where a lot of 2nd Div training took place. He told my father that they were doing a lot of commando type training.

He was told this in a pub somewhere in England after the postponement. My father and his other brother George had been looking for Robert.
They had heard that he was on the Isle of Wight and so over they went. The went to the base and asked about their brother and were told at the gate to "piss off" as my Dad put it.

Robert showed up in the pub weeks later and told them that the raid had been cancelled.

And then the powers that be decided to mount essentially the same mission and Canada stayed in.

The 2nd div was very disappointed in the cancellation but also quite upset at the reincarnation of Jubilee.

My uncle was shot up badly and lost vision in one eye and had shrapnel all up his left side and in his heart. He said that it was a slaughter.

German doctors saved his life and he became a POW. He was repatriated during a Red Cross exchange.



Quote:
The choice of the ill-trained, ill-led, and poorly motivated 2 CID only added to the likelihood of disaster.


Rich, is this statement from Stacey?

I find it a bit harsh though I do agree that the junior officers were not fully trained. General "Ham" Roberts had made note of their lack of tactical ability while training in England.

Monty was asked to recommend a Canadian division to undertake Rutter and he selected the 2nd as being the best prepared to undertake the task, calling them "1st class chaps. If anyone can pull it off, they will". Montgomery was initially charged with creating a combine British/Canadian force for Rutter but he felt that it would be best for the Canadians to do it on their own primarily.

Equipping the 2nd div., in England had been challenging but their discipline and staff work was rated better than that of 1st div. in 1941.



The Canadians had undergone a lot of training in the UK over the years and in fact were perhaps fed up with training.

The 2nd div had participated in large schemes of up to 250,000 men in preparation for a German landing.

In Dec. of 1941, the division began to participate in "battle drill" with live ammunition, difficult obstacle courses and small unit tactics.

It involved physical training, fieldcraft, battle drill proper, battle discipline and "battle inoculation", assault over obstacles, unarmed combat, tank hunting and booby traps. (Stacey)

Amphibious landing exercises took place on the Isle of Wight.

In the first part of 1942, the division participated in a series of training exercises including one called Tiger from May 19-30. The British rated this an incredibly difficult and physically demanding exercise.

However, with Rutter confirmed they did head to the Isle of Wight for what is described as "commando type" training. Two practice landings near Bridport in Dorset were part of the training.

The first was awful as many were landed far away from the landing beach in Dorset. The second went well.

So with two months of training on the Isle of Wight, morale was very high. It was hoped that commando type training and the high morale of the Canadians and the "element of surprise" would lead to success.

The whole 2nd div landing force assembled on the Isle of Wight by May 20, 1942. The training here was intensive combat training. It was very tough indeed.

As you may imagine, this battle has been dissected in detail in my country. It is associated with irresponsible decision making both in Canada and by the COH.

But I cannot agree that these troops were ill trained and poorly motivated. Quite the opposite.


Cheers,

George

brian grafton
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 5/31/2017 7:31:36 PM
Geez, George! You'd think we were both Canajuns, eh?

Cheers
Cuzzin B
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George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 5/31/2017 8:20:42 PM

Quote:
Geez, George! You'd think we were both Canajuns, eh?

Cheers
Cuzzin B
--brian grafton


Indeed. Defenders of the Great White north.

I don't know how many books and articles have been written about the Dieppe Raid. I have read quite a few.

Plenty of blame to go around but it is pretty hard to blame the foot soldier. He was just target practice.


BTW the latest book that I read on the raid was by historian David O'Keefe. He spent years studying recently released information and is convinced that the raid was partially a "pinch" raid in which a special British special force was to enter the inner harbour of Dieppe, make their way to Kreigsmarine HQ and then steal a 4 rotor enigma machine.

Several attempts to enter the harbour were made by ship and with the special force on board. The ship was captained by "Red" Ryder of St. Nazaire fame.

And just off shore was Ian Fleming who was in charge of the group that was to meet this objective. I forget the name of the group.

Canada's Essex Scottish were to secure the harbour so that Ryder's ship could enter. 121 of them lay dead on the beach. Whole platoons were cut down as they exited the landing craft.

Of 32 officers and 521 other ranks of Essex Scottish who took part in the Dieppe raid, only two officers and 49 other ranks made it back to England, some wounded. The CO, Lt Col Jasperson was captured.

Some of those Essex men and some from the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry to their right did get into the town in small groups and managed to kill some Germans and capture some. The RHLI actually got into the famous casino that can be seen in all of the pictures of the beach. They cleared that building and destroyed some adjacent pillboxes.

But there was no way that Ryder's ship could enter. I think that they made 3 attempts and had to withdraw under fire.

It was the entry to the town that confused General Roberts. It sounded as though objectives had been reached and the General committed his reserves. They never should have been sent in.

I could rattle on. It's the family connection to the raid I suppose.

Cheers,

George






richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 5/31/2017 9:06:08 PM

Quote:
Rich, is this statement from Stacey?


Gee, I kind of thought that would strike a nerve.

George, I simply extrapolated from the article Jim began with. Arguably, 2 CID was problematic. Not just Stacey, but others have pointed out the shortfalls of the Canadian Army in the Second War as opposed to the First. Brigade, Battalion, and Company leadership was lacking. However, the real question should be why was the 2 CID ever used in the first place in a special operation like that?

George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 5/31/2017 9:49:31 PM
Rich, I was actually surprised by some of the comments of Denis Whitaker in the article that Jim provided.

He was there. He saw one of his platoons wiped out within a few feet of the landing craft. Many didn't even have a chance to fire a rifle.


A long time ago now, I read the book that Whitaker and his wife Shelagh had written entitled: "Dieppe: Tragedy to Triumph".

If my memory is correct, he was critical of the officers of which he was one of course.

But I do not recall criticism of the OR or their fighting spirit.

Regarding morale, when 2nd div arrived in England, someone designated them for garrison duty in Iceland.

Churchill actually intervened saying that they were much better than garrison troops and he also wanted a Canadian Corps up and running ASAP.

It is true that equipment, including small arms was slow in coming and delayed training.

But everything else that I have read tells me that these boys were trained to a high level of efficiency by the time of the raid.

When I made my pilgrimage to the Dieppe beaches even I, a non military man could see that the Germans had all of the high ground and the task was nearly impossible. I could barely walk on the chert, the loose stones on the beach.

The only Canadian troops that managed to land unscathed were at the Pourville landing site and it is no coincidence that they also landed on time and surprised the Germans. These are the troops that managed to get to the radar station.

Your question as to why the 2 CID is a good one.

Are you suggesting that this raid, which was called a "reconnaissance in force" was better suited to special operations troops?



And I do feel that they were well trained to fight but they could not overcome the defences without the proper support including artillery.

The RN wouldn't commit big ships to this operation and the Canadians didn't arrive with artillery.

Believe it or not the Canadian artillery men had been trained to operate German artillery which I suppose they were supposed to capture.



I think that I had better read Whitaker's book again because his comments in the National Post article were scathing. The fact that he was there and went on to great success in Italy and NW Europe gives him a lot of credibility.


anemone
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 3:48:09 AM
I quote from "The Dieppe Raid" by Robin Neillands (Ex RM officer)---
"Ignorance,incompetence,a false concept of war,a want of moral courage-not least the courage to call the operation off-permeate the story of the Dieppe Raid. These weaknesses contributed to the losses suffered by the troops that went ashore in an assault that was indeed "inherently vain"

My comment:-
But why was the raid ever mounted? What was it's strategic objective?Afterwards nobody appeared to have a clear answer,and neither did it appear that anybody could be held accountable.Was the whole thing, as has been alleged,expected to fail,a cynical conspiracy to prove to the Americans,at the expense of the Canadians;the impracticability of staging the Normandy landings for another two years.???

The concept was Churchill's via his insatiable desire to be seen to be hitting back.

The Plan- Mountbatten's on Churchill's orders after he was given the command of Combined Operations by Churchill.The decision to use Canadians-this is even more murky. Montgomery "offered" Crerar the task ,which he accepted without demur; but when Monty was challenged about this- he claimed it came from a "higher authority" so he too was deeply implicated by association.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

BWilson

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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 4:51:52 AM
 The raid was also only two three months before a real Allied landing took place -- in French North Africa. One wonders if the Canadian division might not have been better employed in the Tunisian Campaign.

 Something not being discussed here is German troop quality. Offhand, the division involved does not sound particularly elite -- the 302nd (limited mobility) infantry divisions -- one of the "static" outfits put together after the best units in the German forces had invaded Russia. Of course, being in fortifications is a force multiplier. In 1944, one GI who had tired of news reports of how supposedly ragged the German Army manning the Westwall was, sourly said words to the effect that it didn't matter if a bunker was manned by a "one-armed syphilitic prick" -- if that defender could pull the trigger of a machine-gun, the effect on Allied troops was just as deadly as if it had been fired by a perfectly healthy man.

 Here is a period drawing showing German defenses in October 1942: [Read More]

Cheers

BW
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anemone
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 5:44:36 AM

Quote:
The raid was also only two months before a real Allied landing took place -- in French North Africa. One wonders if the Canadian division might not have been better employed in the Tunisian Campaign.


Thank you Bill and therein lies another unanswered question.Why Dieppe when Operation Torch was imminent.??? A spoof raid to mask a real intention ???

Regards

Jim
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George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 6:45:04 AM
Was coastal raiding not part of the grand plan to probe and to keep the Germans on their toes?

1. Rich pointed out that the Soviets needed a reason to have confidence in their allies?

This raid, limited in objectives and really in numbers, may have indicated that the allies were serious.

2. I read that the raid was supposed to upset the Germans so that they would transfer troops from the east to the western wall. Now I don't know whether that rationale was presented before or after the raid.

3. The raid also had a goal to damage the port and port facilities of Dieppe.

4. They were also supposed to gather some information on the radar installation and a British radar expert named Jack Nissenthal was escorted to the radar site by 10 men from the South Saskatchewan Regiment. These men had orders to protect and escort but also to kill Nissenthal should it become apparent that he would be captured.

The landing at Pourville by Nissenthal and the SSR's among others was a surprise and his group tried to make it inland to the Freya installation.

Unfortunately the RN landed the troops on the wrong side of the Scie River. They came under great fire.

The story of Jack Nissenthal is compelling though there is debate about whether the information that he gleaned while getting close to but not into the radar installation, was a game changer. Probably it was not.

Nissenthal changed his name to Nissen and moved to Canada some time after the war.

5. I already described the mission to seize a 4 rotor enigma machine. Historian David O'Keefe is convinced by his 15 years of research, that this event was a prime mover in the mounting of the raid.

Ian Fleming, along with other naval intelligence specialists, created the No. 30 Commando or the 30 Assault Unit (30AU) – a team of special commandos that were put into the Dieppe operation under the unit name No. 40 Royal Marine Commando.

O'Keefe's book on the subject is interesting and he presents a lot of primary research documentation to back up his thesis but I cannot say whether other historians believe that the enigma machine was the real reason for the Dieppe raid.

[Read More]

Cheers,

George



George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 6:45:58 AM
A VC was won in this action by Col. Cecil Merritt of the SSR. While penetrating as far as they could inland from the Pourville landing site, Merritt suffered two wounds but organized a fighting retreat to the beaches. He stayed behind with his small group who held off the Germans while many men were able to re-embark.

VC citation:


Quote:
“For matchless gallantry and inspiring leadership whilst commanding his battalion during the Dieppe raid on the 19th August, 1942.

From the point of landing, his unit’s advance had to be made across a bridge in Pourville which was swept by very heavy machine-gun, mortar and artillery fire: the first parties were mostly destroyed and the bridge thickly covered by their bodies. A daring lead was required; waving his helmet, Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt rushed forward shouting ‘Come on over! There’s nothing to worry about here.’

He thus personally led the survivors of at least four parties in turn across the bridge. Quickly organising these, he led them forward and when held by enemy pill-boxes he again headed rushes which succeeded in clearing them. In one case he himself destroyed the occupants of the post by throwing grenades into it. After several of his runners became casualties, he himself kept contact with his different positions.

Although twice wounded Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt continued to direct the unit’s operations with great vigour and determination and while organising the withdrawal he stalked a sniper with a Bren gun and silenced him. He then coolly gave orders for the departure and announced his intention to hold off and ‘get even with’ the enemy. When last seen he was collecting Bren and Tommy guns and preparing a defensive position which successfully covered the withdrawal from the beach.

Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt is now reported to be a Prisoner of War.

To this Commanding Officer’s personal daring, the success of his unit’s operations and the safe re-embarkation of a large portion of it were chiefly due.”




Cheers,

George

George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 7:16:39 AM

Quote:
The raid was also only two three months before a real Allied landing took place -- in French North Africa. One wonders if the Canadian division might not have been better employed in the Tunisian Campaign.


Hello Bill,

The Canadians were still adamant that their soldiers would fight together as they had in WW1.

It was a bit of a conundrum for them because they also needed to get their troops some battle experience.

But from what I have read, the British did not want the Canadians to leave the UK because they were needed to repel the invasion that was purported to be upcoming.

That thought process informed the training methods used in the UK even after the threat of invasion was clearly gone.


Ironically, the Canadians then agreed to send the 1st div. and the 1st Armoured Brigade to Sicily and Italy where they fought for nearly two years. The 5th Armoured Division was also heavily involved.

Some view this as a mistake but the Canadians were getting desperate for action. According to historian Mark Zuehlke , neither the Brits or the Americans sought Canadian participation. So inclusion in Husky was a lobbying effort by the Canadian Army and the Canadian government.

The Canadian troops distinguished themselves in Italy though their story is probably told in detail moreso in Canada as they were fighting as part of British 8th Army. Over 25, 000 casualties and 5,900 killed.

My editorial comment here is that the Brits and Americans and Canadians and others who fought in Italy don't receive enough credit for what they did. The "D-day Dodgers" fought in some of the toughest terrain and held many German divisions in battle, who would otherwise be available for other fronts.

But that splitting of the forces created problems in Europe of supply and reinforcement for two battle groups. The Canadian Army was an international force in NW Europe and the troops were not united until Feb. of 1945, I believe.

Cheers,

George

George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 7:40:31 AM
German troop dispositions at the time of the Dieppe Raid.

The Germans were not highly rated I don't believe but it really didn't matter. Too often, it was like shooting fish in a barrel.

Some of the German accounts indicate that they too were traumatized by the raid, by the wholesale slaughter that ensued.

I recall one account by a Canadian soldier in which he described trying to burrow his whole body into the ground near the cliffs. To raise one's head to take a shot was to invite a hail of bullets. Many men died in trying to do just that.

He looked up an made eye contact with a German soldier who was holding a grenade, ready to drop it on the Canadian, from the heights above. By this stage of the battle, it was clear that it was all over.

The German looked, nodded at the Canadian and then disappeared. An act of kindness and humanity during war.

I am not sure that an SS soldier would have been so lenient.

[Read More]


George

George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 7:41:06 AM
d

anemone
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 7:47:20 AM

Quote:
But from what I have read, the British did not want the Canadians to leave the UK because they were needed to repel the invasion that was purported to be upcoming.


A strange statement to make George-I am fairly certain that the threat of a German invasion virtually disappeared with the cancellation of Sea Lion in late 1940; and was dead and buried in early 1941 with the preparation for Operation Barbarossa.

I am still not convinced as to the motives for Operation Jubilee- other than a Churchillian show of strength to the Russians; but hopelessly loused up by abyssmal planning.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 8:28:12 AM
The poor planning was clear. The withdrawal of meaningful RN support with larger ships was a factor.

And the eagerness of the Canadians to get involved without seeing the folly in the planning is also a consideration.

As to the training in Britain, the large scale exercises right to the end of 1941 and early 1942 were still geared to the defence of the UK. Some of these large exercises had less to do with combat skills and more to do with logistics and how to move large numbers of men and equipment to where they would be needed.

The Canadians had been assigned an important role in the defence of the UK after Dunkirk because the 1st Div was one of the few divisions in the UK that still retained its cohesion.

But you are correct, by 1942, the threat of invasion had long disappeared. Why the training methods were still geared to that is beyond me.

Cheers,

George

George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 8:39:55 AM

Quote:
Not just Stacey, but others have pointed out the shortfalls of the Canadian Army in the Second War as opposed to the First. Brigade, Battalion, and Company leadership was lacking.


Yes, that is the narrative that has been supported by many historians, Canadians and foreign.

But there has been push back by some Canadian authors including Jack Granatstein and Terry Copp who point out that the leadership of the Canadian forces evolved or changed and for the better.

Men were fired from leadership positions but it is also true that all the allied armies went through a growth period before their competency came to the fore.

Canadian divisional commanders who had perhaps been selected for academic performance by Andy McNaughton, were not in command by the end of the war.

Granatstein in his book, "The Best Little Army in the World" (ignore the jingoism), evolved into an effective fighting force in NW Europe, fully capable to carry out the tasks assigned.

The historiography has not been kind to the Canadian Army of WW2 and yet they were able to complete their assignments in Italy and in NW Europe.

Listen to Jack Granatstein, if you wish:

[Read More]


Cheers,

George

anemone
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 9:54:28 AM
I do believe that the Canadian Army which served in NW Europe underwent the same "growing pains" as did the British Army-old ideas and "past their sell by date commanders- had to be dispensed with; but this took time in order to get 1st Canadian Army up to speed.

I do not think that being part of 21st AG helped-for in the main the "superior", but supercilious Montgomery and the steady, but stoic Crerar just did not get on-1st Canadian Army copping most of the shit jobs-like the Scheldt; and he gave them no assistance- until ordered by Eisenhower to do so.

This uneasy alliance was not good for the Canadians
always playing second fiddle- unless they were in the "rough"as at falaise-where he sniped.I guess I see Monty as over rated.

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

richto90
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 10:20:40 AM

Quote:
Was coastal raiding not part of the grand plan to probe and to keep the Germans on their toes?

1. Rich pointed out that the Soviets needed a reason to have confidence in their allies?

This raid, limited in objectives and really in numbers, may have indicated that the allies were serious.

2. I read that the raid was supposed to upset the Germans so that they would transfer troops from the east to the western wall. Now I don't know whether that rationale was presented before or after the raid.


IIRC, after. Again, the best source for the "whys" are the Canadian research notes. The only one not included is the possible radar and Enigma objectives, which I suspect were simply added on rather than the "real" objectives. Military planning like this tends to be like Topsy.


Quote:
3. The raid also had a goal to damage the port and port facilities of Dieppe.


Actually the opposite; to see if it was possible to seize the port by frontal assault before the Germans could complete demolitions. The need for a port early on was accepted until it was found that over-the-beach logistics via preloaded LST was possible. Note that TORCH also attempted to seize ports by direct assault...and pretty much failed as well.


Quote:
4. They were also supposed to gather some information on the radar installation and a British radar expert named Jack Nissenthal was escorted to the radar site by 10 men from the South Saskatchewan Regiment. These men had orders to protect and escort but also to kill Nissenthal should it become apparent that he would be captured.

The landing at Pourville by Nissenthal and the SSR's among others was a surprise and his group tried to make it inland to the Freya installation.

Unfortunately the RN landed the troops on the wrong side of the Scie River. They came under great fire.

The story of Jack Nissenthal is compelling though there is debate about whether the information that he gleaned while getting close to but not into the radar installation, was a game changer. Probably it was not.

Nissenthal changed his name to Nissen and moved to Canada some time after the war.

5. I already described the mission to seize a 4 rotor enigma machine. Historian David O'Keefe is convinced by his 15 years of research, that this event was a prime mover in the mounting of the raid.


They were secondary missions tacked on because the good idea fairies were loose in a big way.


Quote:
Ian Fleming, along with other naval intelligence specialists, created the No. 30 Commando or the 30 Assault Unit (30AU) – a team of special commandos that were put into the Dieppe operation under the unit name No. 40 Royal Marine Commando.

O'Keefe's book on the subject is interesting and he presents a lot of primary research documentation to back up his thesis but I cannot say whether other historians believe that the enigma machine was the real reason for the Dieppe raid.


I believe it was opportunistic and not the "real" objective...there were simply too many "real" objectives in this muddle. They also tried commando assault on German coastal batteries, direct landing of armor with bobbin support, and a couple of other things IIRC. It was a muddle of conflicting objectives and poor planning.

anemone
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 10:30:04 AM
I wholeheartedly agree Rich-it was a dire attempt at something;
but what exactly- this has been lost in the execution of this ill planned operation.

Regards

Jim
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richto90
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 10:31:26 AM

Quote:
But from what I have read, the British did not want the Canadians to leave the UK because they were needed to repel the invasion that was purported to be upcoming.

That thought process informed the training methods used in the UK even after the threat of invasion was clearly gone.


Ironically, the Canadians then agreed to send the 1st div. and the 1st Armoured Brigade to Sicily and Italy where they fought for nearly two years. The 5th Armoured Division was also heavily involved.


Not exactly. By the time of Dieppe, three American divisions were already in England and Ireland, along with the three Canadian divisions. So the idea they were needed to "repel" a German invasion is specious.

However, again, why the 2 CID? By that time 1 CID and 1 CATB were a well-trained, well-equipped, seasoned force, used to working together. AFAIK, 2 CID had zero amphibious training. Meanwhile, 1st US ID was present and possibly the best-trained amphibious unit...and the decision for TORCH was just a few days prior to Dieppe. There was also the highly trained 1st Airborne Division present and available and many other highly trained British units. So why 2 CID? It is yet another indication of the half-assed, muddled thinking that was the true hallmark of the operation.

George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 12:49:17 PM
I can't answer the question Rich.

2 CID was not an untrained division. They were totally inexperienced however.

But I do know that the Canadians were quick to jump when the offer came.

It seems that Monty was the broker here. He had been asked to create a British/Canadian force to participate in the operation.

Most of the literature says that Montgomery decided that the Canadians would be better off on their own.

So did the Canadians tell the Brits that if something came up, give us a call.

Or was there something more nefarious in the choice of 2CID.

I have already indicated that the 2nd was rated more highly than the 1st when the decision to go had been made.

2 CID did receive amphibious landing training at Bridport in Dorset but that may have been after they were selected.


Now 50 US Rangers did take part in the mission. I think that they went in at Berneval with Lord Lovat's commandos but that's from memory.

Would the US have been open to a greater degree of participation Rich?


It seems to me that both the US and the UK were getting their feet wet and did so to a greater extent in North Africa.

The inexperience of the Canadians showed in Normandy at times as it did with other untried divisions.

Where were they to gain experience before the great invasion? I think that that is what motivated the Canadian government and the Canadian Army.



Cheers,

George

anemone
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 1:31:48 PM

Quote:
On Aug. 2 The New York Times wrote that “the two words most deeply engraved on the minds of the Americans and British peoples at this moment are: Second Front.”

The British War Cabinet vehemently opposed such a move. Churchill himself preferred to secure Britain’s Mediterranean and Far East interests. Against a mounting backdrop of pressure, the Canadian 2nd Infantry Division under the command of Major General Roberts was presented a plan.

“I don’t know who the hell dreamt it up,” remarked Whitaker, “but they didn’t know anything about fighting a war. It was terrible planning, just awful, absolutely ridiculous. They had company objectives that you wouldn’t give to a battalion.”

Whitaker spoke knowingly of the “fog of war,” of not distinguishing what lay 20 feet away in a combat situation. A fog of a different sort descended over 5,000 Canadian soldiers on Aug. 18, 1942. Without prior warning they were hastily assembled, and then transported to the coast. Weapons were issued on-board ship, Sten guns in oily packaging. The raid, cancelled early in July, was now on again, but there had been no training for it since.


[Read More]

Regards

Jim


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redcoat
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 3:29:08 PM

Quote:


There is another side to this, of course, that IMHO still needs exploring, for Dieppe might be but one example of possible misuse of commonwealth/colonial troops. But that is a broader issue than Dieppe, and explores issues longer-lasting than a single war.
Cheers
Brian G
--brian grafton
Do you have any actual evidence that Canadian troops were used because the British expected the raid to fail, or maybe you are upset that the British tended to use the Canadians as they would their own troops rather than treat them as anything special.

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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/1/2017 9:26:18 PM
Actually, redcoat, I don't have any evidence as such. Never claimed to. Just have hosts of anecdotes running from the Boer Wars to V-E Day that by themselves mean very little but in aggregate might add up to some interesting speculation. And – whether Canadian, British, Aussie, Kiwi or other troops – when Mountbatten and his Combined Operations lunatics got involved it may be that a lost cause is in the making.

I don't carry a banner for Canada, and I don't expect Canadian troops to be treated differently than other troops. That doesn't change the fact that untrained Canadian garrison troops were sent to guard a British colony, just as an example. Or that untrained Canadian troops were being sent to France while British and French troops were being evacuated. As an example. If the reasons for this were Canadian – bad military leadership, a brown-nosing Prime Minister with fantasies of grandeur, or whatever – that's what one has to live with. If the British political and/or military leadership didn't understand Canadian recruitment pathology, that's what we have to live with. And the same probably applies to Aussie and Kiwi troops during the various wars when they've served under British command.

I have no idea how British troops were considered by their military and political leaders. But I would hope that, even knowing their decisions would kill at least a proportion of them, the respected the OR as men. It's possible, I expect, that some leaders – officers, "frocks", various "wide boys" – saw OR as fodder. They certainly did in civilian life, so why would it change once everybody put on a uniform? Or do I misunderstand the various reasons for the strikes of 1911, or the meaningless marches (God bless the Jarrow Lads!) of the 1930s, when families were starving to maintain "Society"? There are certainly indications (as at Singapore, for example) that British Empire wallahs felt Aussie and Indian forces were there to die for a way of life that Raffles, e.g., refused to allow colonial military officers to share.

Anecdotes, memories, stories ... maybe it's time to quit reading the "Official Regimental Histories" and put together a people's official history of being in battle, or of being told to do the impossible.

Canadians were not "shock troops" (which was still a term in my history books as a child). They were just regular soldiers. Maybe a bit larger and stronger than most Brits, because they lived a very different kind of life (my father, who was 25 when WW2 began, carried a rifle to school to defend against bears; his eldest brother, who died on Nov 4, 1918, lived the same life) than Brits did. Maybe a bit better paid during WW2, because the King's shilling didn't translate well.

It might be fun to generate a list of interesting anecdotes from the era of the two World Wars which might suggest Empire at it's most Imperial when it came to troops from the colonies/commonwealth.

In the mean time, redcoat, I think you're fishing in the wrong pond. I was musing, not accusing.

Cheers
Brian G

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redcoat
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/2/2017 4:50:30 AM

Quote:

In the mean time, redcoat, I think you're fishing in the wrong pond. I was musing, not accusing.

Cheers
Brian G


--brian grafton
Well, I wasn't musing. I have nothing but respect for the Canadian men and women who served in WW1 and WW2, and I find it deeply offensive that you would think to even muse that the British would seek to betray them, with no actual evidence to back it up.
I have no problem if you wish to criticize British leadership for incompetence, there is plenty of evidence for that, but I've yet to see any evidence of betrayal.

Perhaps the root of your musing is your annoyance that some senior British officials tended to view and treat them as British troops, rather than the forces of a separate sovereign nation.

George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/2/2017 7:18:14 AM
Yes Redcoat. The Dominion forces and their governments were on the look-out for an signs of condescension. It did bother Canada, in the 1st war, whenever the government or representatives in London were not consulted at all regarding initiatives involving the Corps.

It helps explain the protective attitude toward sovereignty in the second.

So events like Hong Kong and Dieppe in which Canadian forces were ill used can be seen as examples of British indifference and callousness toward the use of Canadian troops.

This happens even as students of history know that the Canadian government and army were complicit in the decision to send troops into these ridiculous situations.

My concern in the second war is that while Canada insisted that its men fight as a cohesive corps in the Great War, eventually the powers that be decided to split the army, sending men to Italy, in the second war. The army was not reunited until the end of the war.

In part, the fame of the Canadian Corps in the 1st war, put pressure upon the government to find a way to prove that Canadians had not lost their ability to fight. Were they only good enough to be garrison troops in Britain?

And so they opt for Hong Kong, throwing away two battalions as they acquiesced to a British request.

And then they repeat the error in a British designed plan to attack Dieppe.

Shame on Canada for that but you can see that the roots of suspicion for the lack British concern for the Canadian soldier may be sown here.


Cheers,

George

richto90
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/2/2017 10:30:44 AM

Quote:
I can't answer the question Rich.

2 CID was not an untrained division. They were totally inexperienced however.


Crerar nominated them...the question is why?


Quote:
But I do know that the Canadians were quick to jump when the offer came.

It seems that Monty was the broker here. He had been asked to create a British/Canadian force to participate in the operation.


See http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/rep-rap/cmhqrd-drqgmc-eng.asp?txtType=2&RfId=104
Especially pp. 10-11. Montgomery refused to create a British/Canadian force because he "believed it essential to maintain unity of command" and that the Canadian troops were "best suited" for the operation. Which of course begs the question why? In any case, GOC Home Forces accepted Montgomery's view and 2 CID were already nominated by McNaughton.


Quote:
Most of the literature says that Montgomery decided that the Canadians would be better off on their own.


No, the reasoning was that in a divisional operation it be better that a single division execute it rather than elements of different divisions.


Quote:
So did the Canadians tell the Brits that if something came up, give us a call.


No.


Quote:
Or was there something more nefarious in the choice of 2CID.


Crerar chose 2 CID, Montgomery simply thought the Canadians better suited, but why was never made clear.


Quote:
I have already indicated that the 2nd was rated more highly than the 1st when the decision to go had been made.


I'm not sure Crerar ever said why he chose them. They had been selected already to participate in Exercise TIGER 19-30 May, but only elements were selected, while the rest went off to "special amphibious training", i.e., preparation for RUTTER.


Quote:
2 CID did receive amphibious landing training at Bridport in Dorset but that may have been after they were selected.


I believe that was the "special amphibious training". The cover story was that 1 Canadian Corps was to cycle through Combined Operations training in the order 2 CID, 1 CID, 3 CID.



Quote:
Now 50 US Rangers did take part in the mission. I think that they went in at Berneval with Lord Lovat's commandos but that's from memory.

Would the US have been open to a greater degree of participation Rich?


It seems to me that both the US and the UK were getting their feet wet and did so to a greater extent in North Africa.

The inexperience of the Canadians showed in Normandy at times as it did with other untried divisions.

Where were they to gain experience before the great invasion? I think that that is what motivated the Canadian government and the Canadian Army.



Cheers,

George
--George


It remains interesting to me that GOC 1 Airborne Division participated in at least one of the discussion on which RUTTER plan to use, but there never seemed to be much discussion on using the division. And, of course, 3, 43, 53 British and 11 British Armoured Division all participated in TIGER, but were never evidently considered as suitable.

George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 6/2/2017 12:28:34 PM
Perhaps GOC 1 Airborne saw something that it didn't like.

Rich, you have been asking, "why 2nd CID?". But why not?

I disagree that they were poorly trained. Morale had been greatly improved once all the equipment started to arrive.

Andy McNaughton had been in contact with Combined Ops from Sept. 1941. He was seeking missions for Canadians.

When Crerar took over the Corps he also sought missions. A small group of Canadians (50 trained men) were to join British commandos on a raid to France, at Hardelot (April 1942).

It was a bust. The RN landing craft carrying the Canadians got lost. Meanwhile Lord Lovat's boat landed and the commandos did whatever it is they were supposed to do and then re-embarked. Meanwhile the rocket went up indicating the "time to go home" signal and the Canadian boat left.
It was under heavy MG fire but there were no casualties. Very dissappointing.

Three other raids were proposed and later cancelled because there were no landing craft available.

2 CID had already participated in Operation Gauntlet on the island of Spitzbergen. It was to be a larger Canadian operation but the numbers were reduced.

Gauntlet was supposed to have two battalions from 2 CID with British admin and AA units. Canadian artillery and medical units were also slated to participate.

The Canadians selected underwent training and that included amphibious landing drills at the Combined OPs. Training Centre in Scotland.

In Aug. 1941, the ambitious objectives on Spitsbergen were reduced and so were the Canadian numbers.


Gauntlet became a job for the engineers who blew up the mines but it was not a combat mission in the end.

However, the Canadians who had been slated for a previous operation in Trondheim, did get to go to Spitsbergen.


You can see that the Canadians were actively seeking some action. I think that all of the allied forces wanted their troops to have some men with experience.

There were Canadian officers on loan to British units in North Africa. (201 officers, 147 NCO's. Not all at once. There were casualties that had to be replaced)

This pre-dates the CanLoan programme.

It proved difficult to find enough operations to satisfy Canadian Army's needs.

So I think that the Dieppe raid looked like a great opportunity.


Cheers,

George

George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 8/19/2017 7:05:20 AM
75 years ago today, Aug. 19, 1942, the Canadian army sent 5000 men on a mission to make an amphibious landing at Dieppe. There were also 1000 British soldiers and 50 US Rangers on the raid.

The disaster that ensued has been discussed on this thread so I will not reiterate.

A few of the veterans of that raid are in Dieppe today to remember their fallen friends.

This CBC clip doesn't do them sufficient justice but it is all that I could find.

[Read More]

In memory of my Uncle Bob, sapper, who landed on Dieppe beach and was badly wounded that day.

Cheers,

George

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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 8/20/2017 1:53:50 PM
George,

 Was your uncle captured or evacuated ?

Cheers

BW
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George
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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 8/20/2017 6:57:36 PM
Hi BW,

Eventually he was repatriated on a Red Cross exchange. In this case, one German who could never fight again for one Canadian in the same boat.

Bob told my Dad that he and his fellow engineers did get into the town and set charges to blow something up, which they did.

With the order to head back to the beaches for evacuation, a mortar landed between him and another fellow.

My uncle took shrapnel all up his left side. He was blinded in his left eye and his right eye was bad enough that the German doctors wanted to remove it. He had shrapnel in his heart and had compromised heart function after the war.

The German doctors in the hospital patched him up as well as they could and honoured his request to leave his eyes even though the left eye was beginning to fester.

The doctors sent him back to the POW camp and he could barely stand. There is one part of the story that bothers me. Upon returning to the camp he was paraded before the commandant who began to ask him questions. Uncle Bob kept repeating name, rank and serial number.

The officer said in English, "ach you Australians are all alike". Bob replied, "I'm not Australian, I'm Canadian". The officer barked something in German and the guard standing behind, clubbed Bob on the head with his rifle butt. He was sent back to the hospital from which he had just come. The German doctors were furious with this officer. Good and bad.

Once back in camp, he spent most of his time in his bunk. Pretty sick.

I can't recall when he got home but good on the Red Cross for getting him out of the Stalag. I believe that it was late 1943 or early 1944.

Once home, Canadian doctors removed the festered eye as the Germans would have done but managed to save partial vision in the other.

He did have 3 kids after the war. His two daughters don't remember much of him and his youngest, my cousin Bob, was only a baby when his Dad died of heart failure and other complications related to war wounds. He has no recollection of his father.

When I made my pilgrimage to Dieppe, I collected a few of the rocks on the beach over which his Dad had run and I gave them to his son. I think that he was pleased.

I do remember him because we were told not to stare at Uncle Bob's glass eye which we did all the time because it never moved of course.

I remember him as very frail. My Dad told me that he was a big, strapping guy before the war. Strong as an ox.

Dieppe was pretty costly for him and all the men who landed. Their war lasted all of 9 hours, maximum.

Thanks for asking BW,

George

BWilson

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Re: The Dieppe Raid--19 Aug.1942-A Day of Infamy
Posted on: 8/21/2017 1:44:38 AM
George,

 A harrowing story. Thank you for sharing that.

Cheers

BW
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