Operation Jubilee (8-19-42)

Combined Operations HQ, Britain (August 19, 1942)

A raid was launched in the early hours of today on the Dieppe area of occupied France.

The occupation is still in progress and a further communiqué will be issued when fuller reports are available.

Meanwhile, the French people are being advised by wireless broadcasts that this raid is not an invasion.

The Gazette (August 19, 1942)

Occupied Dieppe area raided by Commandos

London, England (CP) –
The Commandos made a raid on the Dieppe area of occupied France early today, British headquarters announced.

The bulletin said the operation is still in progress.

Meanwhile, it added, the French people were being advised by radio the raid was not a full-fledged invasion.

The Combined Operations Headquarters communiqué said:

A raid was launched in the early hours of today on the Dieppe area of occupied France.

The occupation is still in progress and a further communiqué will be issued when fuller reports are available.

Meanwhile, the French people are being advised by wireless broadcasts that this raid is not an invasion.

Brooklyn Eagle (August 19, 1942)

Tanks back up Commando units

Hitler gets foretaste of 2nd front on Dieppe coast – big guns razed

London, England (UP) –
American, British and Canadian troops today gave Adolf Hitler a foretaste of a second front in Europe with a record-breaking Commando attack on the Dieppe coast of France.

Operating under a cloud of Allied warplanes – American Flying Fortresses and American fighter squadrons among them – the Commandos smashed into the Nazi coastal defenses of the Dieppe sector.

At mid-afternoon London Time, the Commando attack was still in progress but some of the troops were being withdrawn – having achieved their objective, which was destruction of a big battery of six-inch Nazi coast defense guns and a munitions dump.

The English Channel coast shook under the reverberation of the battle – the greatest land and air operation which Western Europe had seen since the days of Dunkirk.

There was no indication how long the Commandos were prepared to hold their positions around Dieppe, but presumably until they had fully carried out their objectives.

The American forces in the big attack were units of the newly-organized Ranger force – the American equivalent of the British Commandos. These picked volunteers have been training for several months in raid tactics.

American air forces were backing up the RAF in providing an air curtain for the land troops. Great Flying Fortress bombers were blasting at Nazi strongpoints and communications lines for German reinforcements.

A German news agency report tonight said that “since Wednesday afternoon,” all British, American and Canadian Commandos have been driven out of the Dieppe area.

The report said that more than 1,000 prisoners were taken by German forces and that Commando losses in men and material were very high but could not yet be estimated accurately.

Squadrons from all frontline RAF fighter stations along the coast were in action in continuous attacks not only in the Dieppe area but over a wide region of Northern France. American fighter squadrons were flying wing-to-wing with the British in the attacks.

Late today, it was learned in reliable quarters that wounded Commandos from the Dieppe area were already arriving at southeast coast points.

Wounded reach England

Residents of a southeast coast town reported that a number of ambulances were moving into the dock areas which were blocked off from the public.

It was also revealed that some Commandos have returned from the Dieppe area to a British base and were described as being in “high spirits.”

Backed up by tanks and operating under a cloud of Allied fighter planes, the Commandos debouched on the flat Dieppe coastline in such force that constant radio warnings were issued to the French populace that:

This is no invasion.

American, British and Canadian troops swarmed over the defenses which Adolf Hitler has erected as a protection against a second front and after hours of fighting were reported to have achieved many of their objectives, including the destruction of a big battery of six-inch coast defense guns and a Nazi ammunition dump.

Part of force returns

For the first time, Combined Operations Headquarters issued bulletins on the progress of the battle. By midday, at least part of the Commando forces were being reembarked for the home voyage back across the English Channel, having successfully carried out their mission.

However, at many points, heavy fighting was in progress, particularly in the center of the operations zone, apparently around the seashore town of Dieppe, where the Commandos had the support of tanks.

The American contribution to the attack was a battalion of Rangers – picked volunteers trained in Commando tactics. Canada provided the bulk of the raiding force but regular British Commandos and Free French detachments also participated.

British public cheers

News of the attack touched off a thrill of anticipation among the British public where the first reaction – despite repeated official cautions – was that the long-awaited second front had finally been achieved. Newspapers sold like hotcakes.

The assault was by far the biggest ever undertaken by the Commandos and provided not only a devastating test of the defenses which a second-front expedition will encounter but a large-scale test of second-front tactics.

All weapons were employed in the assault. British naval forces transported the troops and backed them up with bombardment of shore installations. Bombing planes attacked known Nazi strongpoints and reinforcement communications lines.

For the Americans, the attack represented the first time that U.S. troops have set foot in France since World War I. It climaxed months of intensive preparation and training of volunteer specialists with British Commandos.

Communiqué No. 2 said:

The troops participating in the raid on the Dieppe area landed at all points selected.

Troops on the right flank, having achieved their objectives, which included complete destruction of a six-inch gun battery and an ammunition dump, have now been reembarked.

In the center, tanks were landed and heavy fighting is proceeding.

Hint ‘chutists in action

It was believed that parachutists took part.

In its communiqué announcing the participation of the Rangers, U.S. Army Headquarters emphasized that its task had been to choose among the men who crowded to volunteer for the most dangerous work in the Army.

They were put in training some time ago with Adm. Lord Louis Mountbatten’s Commandos.

The communiqué said:

These special task troops, in training at certain Commando depots somewhere in the United Kingdom, make up what is known as United States Ranger battalions.

Fairbanks a Commando

It was announced that United States officers of all fighting force branches have for some time been serving on the staff of Mountbatten, fighting cousin of King George VI.

Among them is Navy Lt. Douglas Fairbanks, the motion picture star, the communiqué said.


Big U.S. bombers aid Commandos, rake Nazi base

London, England (UP) –
American Flying Fortresses today carried out a successful precision bombing attack on the key Nazi air base on Northern France at Abbeville in an air maneuver designed to support the Commandos fighting at Dieppe.

Two squadrons of the huge high-altitude American planes roared over the Abbeville airdrome which is known to American Eagle and RAF pilots as a “hornet’s nest” of crack Nazi planes and pilots.

In good visibility, the Americans employed their famed bombsights to lay numerous hits on runways, buildings and aircraft dispersal areas. Protecting the U.S. planes were British and Canadian fighter squadrons.

All the attacking bombers returned safely.

Abbeville is abut 35 miles from Dieppe and is known to be a key point in the entire Nazi defense system for France and the Low Countries.

RAF men regarded it as one of the most dangerous Luftwaffe bases which they have to deal with.

Combined Operations HQ, Britain (August 19, 1942)

Despite the clear statement in our first communiqué at 6 o’clock this morning and broadcast to the French at 6:15 about the raid on Dieppe, German propaganda, unable to make other capital out of the turn the operation has taken, is claiming the raid was an invasion attempt which they have frustrated.

In point of face, reembarkation of the main forces engaged was begun six minutes after the time scheduled and has been completed nine hours after the initial landing, as planned.

Some tanks have been lost during the action ashore, and reports show that fighting has been very fierce and casualties are likely to have been heavy on both sides.

A full report will not be available until our forces are back in England.

In addition to destruction of a six-gun battery and ammunition dump reported in our earlier communiqué, a radio location station and a flak (anti-aircraft) battery were destroyed.

Apart from losses inflicted on the enemy, vital experience has been gained in the employment of substantial numbers of troops in an assault and in transportation and use of heavy equipment during combined operations.

Our new tank-landing craft were in action today for the first time.

There was intense activity by aircraft of all operational commands of the RAF in support of the landing of our troops against heavy enemy defences, and air fighting on a most intense scale also developed.

From reports so far received 82 enemy aircraft are known to have been destroyed in addition to a number shot down by naval vessels. More than 100 enemy aircraft were also probably destroyed or damaged.

Ninety-five of our aircraft of all commands are missing, but 21 fighter pilots are known to be safe, and it is hoped that others will prove to have been rescued.


Völkischer Beobachter (August 20, 1942)

Division als erste Welle bei Dieppe im Nahkampf aufgerieben

Zahlreiche Panzer vernichtet – 6 Kriegsschiffe und 4 Transporter versenkt

Die deutsche Wacht im Westen hat ihre Antwort erteilt

dnb. Aus dem Führer-Hauptquartier, 19. August –
Das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt:

Eine großangelegte Landung englischer, amerikanischer, kanadischer und de-Gaulle-Truppen in der Stärke etwa einer Division als erste Welle, die in den heutigen Morgenstunden gegen die französische Kanalküste bei Dieppe unter dem Schutz starker See- und Luftstreitkräfte und unter Einsatz von gelandeten Panzern geführt wurde, ist durch die im Küstenschutz eingesetzten deutschen Kräfte unter hohen blutigen Verlusten für den Gegner zusammengebrochen. Seit 16,00 Uhr befindet sieh kein bewaffneter Feind mehr auf dem Festland. Dieser große Erfolg wurde erzielt, ohne daß es überhaupt auch nur des Einsatzes irgendwie nennenswerter Reserven der höheren Führung bedurfte.

Wie aus den Truppenmeldungen und Gefangenenvernehmungen hervorgeht, spielte sich die Landungsoperation folgendermaßen ab: Die erste Welle der Landungstruppen wurde heute früh auf hoher See von Transportern durch 300 bis 400 Landungsboote übernommen und erreichte um 6,05 Uhr die Küste, geschützt von 13 bis 15 Kreuzern, Zerstörern und starken Jagdstreitkräften. Dahinter stand eine schwimmende Reserve von sechs Transportern und drei Frachtern und weiter nördlich eine Gruppe von 26 Transportern als operative Reserve, wahrscheinlich das Gros der Landungsstreitkräfte. Diese sollten eingesetzt werden, sobald es der ersten Landungswelle gelungen war, einen Brückenkopf um den Hafen von Dieppe zu bilden.

Dazu kam es nicht. Der gelandete Feind wurde im Nahkampf überall aufgerieben und ins Meer geworfen. Von den gelandeten und später vernichteten Panzerkampfwagen sind bisher 28 gezählt. Alle Stützpunkte wurden von der tapferen Küstenbesatzung gehalten. Uber 1500 Gefangene befinden sich in deutscher Hand, darunter 60 kanadische Offiziere. Die blutigen Verluste des Feindes sind sehr hoch. Durch Artilleriefeuer wurden drei Zerstörer, zwei Torpedoboote und zwei Transporter versenkt. Die Luitwaffe schoß 83 feindliche Flugzeuge ab, versenkte zwei Spezialtruppentransporter und ein Schnellboot und beschädigte fünf Kreuzer oder große Zerstörer sowie zwei Transporter durch schwere Bombentreffer.

Der Feind hat bei diesem, nur politischen Zwecken dienenden, aber jeder militärischen Vernunft hohnsprechenden Landungsversuch eine vernichtende Niederlage erlitten. Die deutsche Wacht im Westen hat dem dilettantenhaften Unternehmen die gebührende Abfuhr erteilt. Sie sieht im übrigen allen weiteren Versuchen dieses Gegners mit der Ruhe und Kraft einer Wehrmacht entgegen, die in Hunderten von Schlachten den Sieg an ihre Fahnen geheftet hat.

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Ein neues Dünkirchen des Amateurstrategen

Screenshot 2021-08-20 101543

dnb. Berlin, 19. August –
Zu der vom Oberkommando der Wehrmacht in seiner Sondermeldung bekanntgegebenen katastrophalen Niederlage des englisch-amerikanischen Expeditionskorps bei seinem Invasionsversuch auf dem europäischen Kontinent wird von amtlicher deutscher Seite festgestellt:

Am 22. Juli stellte Stalin angesichts des Zusammenbruchs seiner Südfront in London und Washington durch seine Botschafter Maisky und Litwinow bei der englischen und amerikanlschen Regierung in ultimativer Form die Forderung auf sofortige Errichtung der zweiten Front. Dieses Ultimatum war auf eine Zeit von zwölf Tagen befristet.

Bekanntlich hat übrigens der Sender Neuyork am 3. August ausdrücklich bestätigt:

…daß die Regierung der UdSSR. an die Regierung der Vereinigten Staaten und Großbritanniens offlziell die Forderung nach der sofortigen Eröffnung einer zweiten Front gerichtet hat.

In den ersten Tagen des August sah sich der englische Premierminister Churchill unter diesen Umständen gezwungen, beschleunigt über Kairo-Teheran nach Moskau zu fliegen. Er traf mit einem Sonderbeauftragten Roosevelts am 12. August im Kreml ein, um dort Stalin persönlich die Schwierigkeiten der Errichtung einer zweiten Front klarzumachen.

Stalin hat sich – trotz aller Uberredungsversuche Churchills – mit den gewundenen Erklärungen des englischen Premierministers nicht zuiriedengegeben, sondern zur Entlastung seiner katastrophalen Lage kategorlsch die Errichtung der zweiten Front verlangt, und zwar innerhalb kürzester Frist.

Dem englischen Premierminister blieb nunmehr kein anderer Ausweg, als entgegen allen Bedenken seiner mllitärischen Sachverständigen unverzüglich eine Großlandung an der französischen Küste anzuordnen.

Dieser wie immer unter Voranstellung der Hilfstruppen mit erheblichen Kräften aller Waffengattungen unternommene Verzweiflungsschritt des Amateurstrategen Churchill ist in wenigen Stunden jämmerlich zusammengebrochen. Churchill hat damit der alliierten Kriegführung in gewohnter Weise ein neues Dünklrchen bereitet.

Hände weg von Europa!

Mit Churchills Namen sind in beiden Weltkriegen schon zahlreiche abenteuerliche und leichtfertige Unternehmungen verbunden, die alle in einer Katastrophe geendet haben. lhnen schließt sich der in wenigen Stunden völlig zusammengebrochene Invasionsversuch bei Dieppe würdig an. In kürzester Frist haben die örtlichen deutschen Sicherungsstreitkräfte‚ die keine nennenswerten Reserven heranzuziehen brauchten, den dilettantisch durchgeführten Vorstoß des feindlichen Landungskorps in eine vernichtende Niederlage verwandelt und die Reste des geschlagenen Feindes ins Meer geworfen. Mit dieser kühnen Waffentat haben sie Churchill einen Begriff davon gegeben‚ welche gewaltige Abwehrkraft an den Küsten Frankreichs bereitsteht‚ um jedem derartigen Unterfangen schleunigst ein schnelles Ende zu bereiten. Dem Feind bleibt nichts übrig, als schwerste Verluste und die Erkenntnis zu verzeichnen, daß sich die Phrase vonder zweiten Front nicht so leicht in die Wirklichkeit umsetzen läßt.

Die militärischen Berater Churchiils haben zweifellos einen Fehlschlag vorausgesehen, wenn sie vielleicht auch auf eine derartig totale Niederlage nicht vorbereitet waren. Aber Churchill‚ den vermutlich auch ähnliche Ahnungen aufstiegen‚ war selbst nicht Herr seiner Entschlüsse. Stalin hat ihm im Kreml das Gesetz des Handelns auferlegt. Unter dem Eindruck ihrer folgenschweren Niederlage haben die Sowjets seit einem Monat den Druck auf ihre plutokratischen Verbündeten aufs äußerste verstärkt und ihre Verbindungen zu gewissen politischen Gruppen in England und in den USA. dazu benutzt, die Offentlichkeit in diesen Ländern zu der Eröffnung einer zweiten Front zu mobilisieren und dadurch die Regierungen in eine Zwangslage hineinzutreiben. Bei den Moskauer Verhandlungen schließlich hat Stalin Churchill ausdrücklich verpflichtet, unverzüglich einen Angriff gegen das Festland zu eröffnen und einen hohen Bluteinsatz zu wagen.

Dies ist nun in typisch englischer Weise so erfolgt, daß vor allem die Hilfsvölker Britanniens ausersehen wurden, die Hauptlast dieses hoffnungslosen Unternehmens zu tragen. Kanadiern‚ Amerikanern und Gaullisten wurde diese Aufgabe vor allem zugedacht.

Die deutsche Wehrmacht steht bereit, jede Wiederholung solcher Prestigeunternehmen in der gleichen schneidenden Weise abzufertigen und dem Feind die Grenzen seiner Möglichkeiten aufs nachdrücklichste klarzumachen. Sie sind reine Verzweiflungsakte, die übrigens lehrreiche Rückschlüsse auf die Lage der Sowjets zulassen, denn was muß Stalin Churchill in Moskau mitgeteilt haben, daß Churchill ihm die Zusage geben mußte, eine derartig aussichtslose Entlastungsaktion zu riskieren! Churchill hat sich in diesem Krieg immer wieder den gröbsten Selbsttäuschungen hingegeben‚ die dann regelmäßig zum Ausgangspunkt härtester Fehlschläge für England wurden. Wir wissen nicht, ob er wirklich seine Illusionsfähigkeit bis zu dem Grad gesteigert hat‚ von Aktionen im Dieppe-Stil Rückwirkungen auf die Lage an der Ostfront zu erwarten. Solite dies der Fall sein, so wäre es umso schlimmer für ihn und England. Glaubt er das aber nicht, so handelt er willenlos unter dem Zwang eines Spießgesellen‚ von dem die Plutokratien einst gehofft hatten, er werde den Landkrieg für sie gewinnen‚ während sie jetzt genötigt sind‚ sinnlose Opfer zu bringen‚ nur um den Sowjets einen Gefallen zu erweisen. Eine vernichtende Niederlage mehr ist jetzt die Quittung für eine Fehlrechnung, die allerdings noch ganz andere Früchte tragen wird.

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Combined Operations HQ, Britain (August 20, 1942)

Troops taking part in the raid on the Dieppe area have landed at all points selected.

Heavy opposition was encountered in some places, and on the left flank one landing part was instantly repulsed but reformed and later carried the beach by assault.

Troops on the right flank having achieved their objective, which included complete destruction of a six-gun battery and ammunition dump, now have been reembarked.

In the centre tanks were landed and heavy fighting is proceeding.

The military force consists mainly of Canadian troops.

Also taking part are British special service troops, a detachment from a United States Ranger battalion and a small contingent of Fighting French.

This force was carried and escorted by units of the Royal Navy.

Air support and protection on a large scale is being provided by bomber and fighter aircraft of the RAF in the face of considerable enemy resistance.

A further communiqué will be issued later.

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The Gazette (August 20, 1942)

Channel sky black

RCAF guards Flying Fortresses in blast at Nazi bases

Every squadron up

Loss of 82 German planes termed ‘very heavy;’ weather against Allies

London, England (CP Cable) – (Aug. 19)
One-third of the German Air Force’s fighter-plane strength in the West was probably destroyed today in the force sky battles that raged over Dieppe on a scale comparable to the titanic struggles of the Battle of Britain two years ago.

The Germans are believed to have had a force of about 500 fighters based in the West zone, and it is known that 82 of these were certainly destroyed today, and 100 others were probably destroyed or damaged.

United Nations planes providing a great canopy over the Commando landing and land operations beneath were estimated to number more than 1,000 – the largest daytime air armada ever sent up from this island.

Every Canadian fighter squadron was in action. Canadian Army cooperation squadrons were in action for the first time, possibly supporting Canadian troops who spearheaded the nine-hour assault on Nazi installations in the Dieppe area. This was not certain, however, as the cooperation squadrons may have been used on Channel patrol duty.

There was this difference between the fighting today and that in the Battle of Britain: The Germans lost four to five machines for every British one lost in the RAF defensive battle two years ago. And today, the losses given so far indicate the Nazis could do little better than claim one Allied machine for everyone they lost.

Conditions today were even less favorable for the United Nations air forces than they were for the Germans who came over England in swarms in 1940. For one being, they were met by a Nazi force big in numbers and, for another, their chief task was the protection of the Allied ground and sea forces.

The German losses of 82 planes must be considered “very heavy,” in the view of qualified observers, especially in relation to their total air strength in this theatre. It was believed these losses would produce some drain on German air strength in other areas. Allied losses were 95 planes.

One indirect outcome of the air successes over Dieppe will probably be a softening of German airpower against Russia, particularly if the Nazis find it necessary to withdraw fighters from the Eastern front to replace losses in the West.

The air protection afforded the ground forces was unparalleled in British fighting history.

An RAF commentator said:

It is a very gratifying feature of the raid. Both the nation and the RAF have been waiting for this day when our troops would get the support they deserved. They got it today.

There was no doubt that a number of British planes were lost giving protection to the troops by low-flying attacks. But those air assaults must have eased the position for the ground troops.

The protective planes zoomed thick and fast over the Channel.

By mid-afternoon, several squadrons had made as many as six sweeps, pausing only to refuel and rearm. Action throughout the day was fast and heavy.

Under the command of Sqn. Ldr. Keith Hodson of London, Ontario, a fighter squadron also formed part of the escort for American Flying Fortresses which blasted at the Nazi fighter base at Abbeville, France.

After the attack on this base, the fighter squadron flew over the Dieppe sector. There it fought several Dornier 217’s, latest Nazi dive bomber.

Hodson, from 50 yards, got in one long burst at a Dornier and Sgt. M. Zobell of Raymond, Alberta, fired all his cannon and machine-gun ammunition into a second dive bomber. Meanwhile, Sgt. Stanley Cosburn of Calgary attacked two other Dorniers and was rewarded by seeing bullets rip into both.

A Focke-Wulf 190 was sighted by Hodson during the fight. He fired a burst of cannon fire into the enemy’s fuselage.

Throughout the day, beginning with the first grey streaks of dawn, there was intense aerial activity over the Channel. Off the south coast, air battles were going on almost continually. Observers reported a “constant procession” of aircraft flying over the coast and explosions “on the other side.”

Important in the Allied air action was the work of 24 American Flying Fortresses, which, at the start of the Dieppe action, raided the German fighter drome at Abbeville before many planes could leave the ground.

All the Fortresses returned home after all but one had dropped their bombs on or near the target. Three were damaged by anti-aircraft fire, and the radio operator of one was the only casualty. He had an injured kneecap.

Runways, fuel dumps and plane dispersal areas were hit.

Abbeville is 38 miles from Dieppe.

Union Jack at Dieppe points way to assault

A British port (CP) – (Aug. 19)
A Union Jack fluttered above the Dieppe cliffs today during the United Nations, Canadian-led Commando assault operations.

It was planted there two British soldiers who landed with one of the first parties ashore and it served as a marker for those who followed.

The soldiers picked it up at the end of the operation and brought it home.

Excitement is high as feeling prevails foray prelude to invasion

Tank landing noted

Considered as indication of successful increase in scope of commando operations
By G. H. Archambault

Berne, Switzerland – (Aug. 19)
There was intense excitement in all parts of France today, according to reports reaching here, following the action at Dieppe by forces of the United Nations. From the so-called free zone, the only news available was from German sources. Nevertheless, thousands of listeners to foreign broadcasts soon spread the word that at least an important demonstration had been undertaken.

In the occupied zone, the tenseness was even greater. All accounts agreed in declaring that heed was paid to British warnings that this was not an “invasion” and that consequently the population should go about their daily tasks. Despite cautions, however, there is a general feeling that this may prove the prelude toward creation of a second front on French soil, of which there has been so much talk for months.

The fact that tanks were landed is considered very significant. It is pointed out that Commando raids on the French coast have successfully increased in scope apparently according to an established plan. The country around Dieppe is difficult because of the chalk cliffs bordering the English Channel. But the fact, in the view of many, only adds to the significance of the operation, and it is to be considered as a prelude to others.

In the occupied zone, according to private advices, there has been an idea for many months that when the time came there would be test raids at many points until a weak spot was found where full efforts might be brought to bear. In the popular view, however – obviously it may not concord with the military view – it is still believed that the United Nations may seek a foothold on the Breton Peninsula with simultaneous landings on the sand beaches of the left bank of the Seine and at the mouth of the Loire.

Be that as it may, reports come of the impression produced by the fact that the action at Dieppe was timed for mid-August – a date indicated long ago – and also by the composition of the forces, including as it did Canadian, English, American and Fighting French. Due attention is also paid to the fact that the air arm lent active aid by bombing positions inland as far distant as Abbeville, which played such an important part in the Battle of France in June 1940.

So far as can be judged from reports brought by foreign observers and despite propaganda suggesting a continuous fortified front, the German system of defence along the Channel and Atlantic coasts seems based on string points at various intervals, with mobile columns ready to intervene at short notice.

There is a general feeling in France that following the raid on Dieppe recent decrees will be applied with greater vigor aimed at preventing any aid being given to a possible invader.

Vichy announces landing

Vichy, France – (Aug. 19, by telephone to The New York Times and The Gazette)
Chief of State Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain today received Chief of Government Pierre Laval in conference and the latter conferred with Adm. François Darlan, as chief of land, air and sea forces.

The British landing at Dieppe was not announced until late this evening, when a communiqué was issued giving details as reported from Berlin. The communiqué said the British raid has ended in complete failure. The earlier Berlin communiqué cited the British radio as reporting that Canadians, Americans and de Gaullists participated and that the British had landed tanks. Fighting was said to be severe and there were reports of considerable aerial activity.

The radio invited the population to keep calm and the final communiqué said that the major part of the British expedition had been destroyed. It added:

There is an important number of prisoners, numerous British ships have been sunk and numerous airplanes brought down.

Commando raid intensity grows with size and scope of force

By the Canadian Press

The Commandos, secretly organized in Sept. 1940, have raided and harassed the Germans from the far northern wastes of Spitsbergen Island to the sands of Libya.

The first raid by this tough force of special troops with a name borrowed from the Boer War was in the Lofoten Islands of Norway, March 4, 1941, when they blew up oil tanks, captured 215 Germans and liberated 323 Norwegians.

Canadians and Britons raided Spitsbergen Sept. 9, 1941, smashing coal mines used by the Germans, freeing 1,000 Norwegians and 2,000 Russian miners. On that occasion they stayed long enough for the Canadians to play – and lost – a football game with some of the Norwegian miners.

It was only last Nov. 15 that the origin and scope of the Commandos as a separate force became known with retirement of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Keyes, who had been training them for 15 months.

Again Dec. 26 the Commandos raided the Lofoten Islands, and on Dec. 28 struck at the Norwegian islands of Vågsøy and Måløy. Riots all over Western Norway resulted and the Germans, despite their scoffing at the effectiveness of such tactics, had to take stern reprisal measures to get the Norwegians under a semblance of control again.

The biggest Commando raid until the present one at Dieppe was that on the Nazi U-boat base at St. Nazaire last March 28. The Campbeltown was loaded with explosives and blown up in the St. Nazaire dock gate, obliterating it.

The British losses were listed at less than 100 men; their gains the crippling of the base for at least a year, naval men said.

Today’s radio warnings to the French were intended to prevent a repetition of a tragic phase of the St. Nazaire raid, when French patriots took up hidden weapons and battled the Nazis for days in the belief an invasion had started. Appalling reprisals by the Germans resulted.

Last April Swedish reports said the Commandos had blasted German shipping in Narvik, northern Norwegian iron port, but British authorities never confirmed this.

Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Lord Louis Mountbatten, a cousin of the King, had been the new chief of the Commandos since March 18, with high rank in the Navy, Army and Air Force so that he could direct readily the activities which Britons drily call “combined operations.”

Lord Louis was quick in producing results, with a near raid on the French coast around Boulogne that caught the Germans napping.

Commandos led the way ashore last May when Britain seized the Diego-Suarez Naval Base at Madagascar.

The Germans, belatedly, disclosed about the same time they were organizing a special force to guard against Commandos.

Italy nervously rushed to fortify her Riviera coastline against the tough, silent men whose dread landings might occur at any time, at any place.

On June 4, the British Commandos again raided the French coast in the Boulogne-Le Touquet area, throwing the Nazis into confusion again.

Next day, it was disclosed the Commandos had also raided Nazi Marshal Rommel’s headquarters in North Africa, failing to bag that notable campaigner only because he happened to have been absent. In that raid, the son of Sir Roger Keyes, the Commandos’ organizer, was killed, but there was many a prominent Briton to take up the torch, including Randolph Churchill, son of the Prime Minister, and Lord Lovat, the Scottish peer who led the first Boulogne foray.

So successful were the Commando assaults everywhere that it was freely predicted a series of stronger and stronger raids would be the inevitable prelude to Allied invasion of the European continent.

Berlin boasts raiders thwarted; 60 Canadian officers captured

Berlin, Germany (AP) – (Aug. 19, from German broadcasts)
The German High Command claimed in a special bulletin tonight that the Allied forces which attacked the French coast near Dieppe today were:

…destroyed without the calling up of reinforcements of important strength.

The Allies suffered “very high casualties in killed and wounded,” and German defence forces captured 1,500 prisoners, including 60 Canadian officers, the communiqué said.

British Combined Operations Headquarters said casualties on both sides were heavy but gave no figures.

The Allies also lost three destroyers, two torpedo boats, four transports, one speedboat and 83 planes in this “invasion catastrophe,” the Germans claim.

The Allies announced their plane losses as 95 as against 82 for the Germans.

From 300 to 400 landing boats participated in the first wave of the attack, the Nazi communiqué said, protected by 13-15 cruisers and destroyers. A reserve of 32 transports was also concentrated in the Channel, but “probably the great mass of landing forces were not sent into action,” the Germans said.

The Berlin radio announcer in giving these details of the Dieppe fight said:

The Churchill landing attempt near Dieppe was made under Stalin’s pressure despite all objections by Churchill’s military experts and advisers, states official German comment on the invasion catastrophe of the Allied Expedition Corps on the European continent.

The first wave of troops was transferred at sea from transport ships to 300 or 400 landing barges, DNB said.

This number appeared to be excessive since some of the newer type Allied barges carry 100 soldiers each, and London dispatches have not indicated that such a strong Allied force was employed.

German coastal artillery and airplanes went into action “according to plan” when the Allies first attacked, the agency said. Numerous British landing boats were reported sunk in these first broadsides and several transports were said to have turned back to sea without landing their troops.

The Berlin radio broadcast a Paris dispatch tonight that after the “complete liquidation of the British landing attempt,” Dieppe’s life returned to normal, with all shops reopening by 6 p.m.:

…and the inhabitants going shopping as if nothing had happened.

The announcer said:

The attitude of the French population showed the fullest confidence in German defences and considered the British action as a mere nuisance.

French-Canadian waves tunic of Nazi soldier he ‘finished’

A southern British port (CP Cable) – (Aug. 19)
Canadian commandos, back from the fierce nine-hour battle of Dieppe, landed in the evening’s dusk at this southern port in power-driven, seagoing barges amid the cheers of Army transport drivers waiting to receive them.

Their faces splotched with black, green and yellow paint and their uniforms torn, the Canadians were cheerful and singing as they transferred to lorries which drove them away from the harbor.

The waiting transport drivers shouted:

Good show, boy!

Hospital trains were on hand to care for the wounded, many of whom were taken to nearby hospitals in ambulances.

The first barge entered the harbor about 4 p.m. and a few minutes later, an ambulance containing men with their legs bound in splints sped from the dockside.

One returning soldier, walked barefoot across the street, carrying his boots in his hands.

All wore balaclava helmets and the majority had on soft tennis shoes.

Cottagers, during a brief delay while one group of commandos waited for places in trucks, rushed indoors and came out with cups of tea and cigarettes for the soldiers.

One truck drive off so quickly that a commando had no time to return his cup. The woman who had given it to him looked glum for a second, then said:

Well, he’s worth it.

Just after dusk more barges arrived and another large contingent, carrying rifles and wearing deflated life preservers, marched to the trucks and were driven away with motorcycle escort.

One of them, a young French-Canadian, proudly waved a field-gray tunic.

A soldier from the curb called:

What happened to the owner?

The French-Canadian replied:

I finished him.

A second commando who had been on three previous raids said grimly:

This was the hottest I’ve been in.

A dance hall was converted into a casualty clearing station and cots which covered the floor were soon filled with wounded, the majority only slightly hurt. There was a constant stream of ambulances from the hall to hospitals near Army bases.

Dominion unit, repulsed at 1st landing, reforms, succeeds

Roberts leads force

Bored with inaction, troops respond with vim to first chance at Nazi foe
By L. S. B. Shapiro

Canadian Corps HQ, somewhere in England – (Aug. 19)
After two years of heartbreaking vigil on the beaches and countrysides of England, Canadians have met their zero hour. The signal for their long-sought rendezvous with the Hun came through, muffled in this morning’s dark hours. Men of the regiments representing areas from the St. Lawrence to the Rockies, speaking both languages of the Dominion, moved silently across the Channel and suddenly at daybreak in a screaming crescendo of guns and men they hurled themselves against the German coast defences near Dieppe.

It was a grand and terrifying prologue to the opening of a Western front in Europe. The objective was limited to commando operations, but this was no commando raid. It was a small-scale rehearsal for invasion of the continent. And Canadians, the best-trained attack force in the British Isles, were tested as a unit for the first time. They formed the bulk of the force which included United States, British and Fighting French units.

The Canadians had been waiting for this fateful hour since June 1940. In that month of France’s dying resistance, McNaughton’s troops moved into France in a last desperate effort to stem the German advance across the Loire. But they did not meet the enemy. French resistance crumbled like chalk, and the Canadians were ordered back to their ships and to England.

This morning, the Canadians returned to France. In a battle of singular fury on the beaches, they smashed through German defences on the right flank, destroyed a six-gun battery and blew up an ammunition dump. On the left flank they had not fared so well. Met by an intense concentration of enemy fire, they fell back momentarily, reformed their lines and fought their way foot by foot to complete command of the sector.

In the centre, tanks rumbled up the beach from barges, under protective fire from Royal Navy units and Royal Canadian Air Force planes. In all sectors, although it was a primarily Canadian “show,” the Dominion troops were strongly supported by small representative units of their fighting allies.

Late tonight weary, mud-caked soldiers were returning to their stations on this side of the Channel. In that sector of England held down by Canadians, new epics of gallantry are being told by the survivors of as fierce a battle as the Dominion’s storied troops have ever fought.

While headquarters officers were estimating their losses and assessing the damage to the enemy, stories no communiqué can contain were being related by the men – stories of commanders who led charges against curtains of fire so that other units might extricate themselves from desperate positions – stories of personal drama behind the power of exhausted men to tell fully – stories like those of Passchendaele and Ypres in another war.

As it was in the other war, the Germans have cause to remember the coming of the Canadians to France.

Casualties to be expected in operation of Dieppe scope

Lauds role played by Canadians who proved mettle at first opportunity

Ottawa (CP) – (Aug. 19)
Defence Minister Ralston said tonight that “casualties were severe” in today’s monster combined operations raid on the Channel port of Dieppe.

The Minister said in a 350-word statement on the raid:

For that we must be prepared, for war is a grim business.

Col. Ralston could not be reached immediately for clarification of his reference to “casualties” but sources close to him said it was not a specific reference to casualties among the Canadians involved – that it was based on the general expectation that casualties would necessarily be heavy among the whole force involved in such a major operation.

The real test of whether the price of the Dieppe raid – in which he said Canadian troops who spearheaded the invaders “bore themselves with stout-hearted resolution and matchless courage” – was great or small lay in the hearts of the people of Canada.

Col. Ralston said:

Against the cost there has to be placed the right of men and women and little children to live in freedom as compared with the prospect of enslavement and degeneration under the heel of German tyrants.

The Canadians had helped carry the battle to an enemy “flushed with nearly three years of almost uninterrupted victory” and the fighting was severe.

The Minister said:

But from the beaches of Dieppe our men battled their way forward, reaching objectives which included the destruction of many of the enemy’s defence works. When their task was completed, they withdrew.

The statement said:

In the next few days there will emerge stories of dauntless heroism. Whether pieced together or surveyed in part, they will form a record of Canadian deeds of valor well worthy of the highest placed on the scroll whereon is written the achievements of brave men.

hmm… all of this hints that british are planning for an invasion of france. Definitely next year which. I am interested to see how this plays out.

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U.S. Rangers in Commando unit long seasoned for Dieppe raid

London, England (AP) – (Aug. 19)
The United States Rangers who joined Canadian, British and Fighting French units today in the Commando raid on France, had been training secretly for weeks under the tutelage of their seasoned British partners.

Their mentors are men who toss hand grenades across the dinner table and casually jump 20-foot cliffs and their American pupils have been taught to kill with the cunning of the Indian and the ruthlessness of a gangster.

I was the first American newspaperman to visit one of their camps when they were putting the finishing touches on training for such ventures as today’s raid on Dieppe.

They have climbed 4,000-foot mountains. They have been on speed marches of 36 miles in half a day time and again. They have practised beach landings while rifle and machine-gun fire bored holes through the paddles of the men manning the boats.

They have taken both their tactics and their name from Rogers’ Rangers, one of America’s most romantic fighting outfits who, under Robert Rogers, stalked North America in the French and Indian War.

Under Rogers’ daring leadership in the campaigns around Lake George in Upper New York State, those early-day Rangers became known for their courage and endurance – the traits for which their namesakes are now chosen.

Rogers led his men in the Montreal campaign of 1760.

Later, Rogers was sent to take possession of the northwestern posts, including what is now Detroit, and participated in the Battle of Bloody Ridge.

Just to show them what a modern Ranger is expected to do, their British instructors stalked a deer in the forest and when the stag was surrounded a big Scot leaped upon him and killed him with a knife.

A sentry’s throat can be slit in the same, silent way.

On my visit, I rowed with them in a collapsible canvas boat to a landing on a beach where tracer bullets from a British Bren gun were spewing so close to the gunwales you almost were able to reach out your hand to them.

Land mines and grenades splattered us with mud and water. Rifle bullets singed by so close that one punctured a mess kit slung from a Ranger’s belt. Another nicked the guard off a bayonet atop one soldier’s pack.

Wrestling (dark alley style) and ju jitsu were after-dinner pastimes at the camp I visited. A man out of condition was a candidate for the hospital if he joined the fun.

Often the boys ignored the stairway in the castle where they had their headquarters. They’d just grab a rope on the third floor and “absail down.”

“Absailing” is the simple device of looping a rope around your leg and letting yourself drop as fast as your leg can withstand it.

Brooklyn Eagle (August 20, 1942)

Second front chiefs study raid results

Allied conclave held on applying tactics used by Commandos

London, England (UP) –
A conclave of high leaders of the British, American and Canadian fighting forces was summoned less than 24 hours after the successful Dieppe attack, it was learned today, to study application of the Commando tactics to the eventual invasion of Europe.

Putting all emphasis upon speed, it was learned that the chiefs of the British Army, Navy and Royal Air Force have already received preliminary reports on methods employed in the hard-hitting assault.

The reports, it was said, are being examined with care in collaboration with American and Canadian officers.

Gaps in available information will be filled in later, it was understood, including whatever data can be obtained from German prisoners, including some wounded, who have arrived at a south coast port.

The German radio, quoting a High Command communiqué, reported Nazi casualties in the Dieppe engagement were 400 killed and wounded.

Many officers among captives

The German prisoners taken included a considerable number of officers, who, one Canadian officer said, “came along quietly.”

He said:

We were surprised since we thought they would fight to the last.

The prisoners were blindfolded before being brought ashore.

Contrary to the reports of the German radio, it was understood that Nazi troop losses were severe.

Throughout the night, United States Rangers, Canadian shock troops, British Commandos and Fighting French Volunteers streamed back across the English Channel and on through cheering English country towns and villages to their bases.

The last of the Allied troops, most of them seriously wounded, arrived in mid-morning under an umbrella of Spitfire and Hurricane planes which streaked a broad path across the 60-mile stretch of the Channel to Dieppe above warships and transports.

Long hospital trains wait

Long hospital trains waited at casualty clearing stations along the south coast to take the last of the seriously wounded to base hospitals.

It may be assumed that as a result of this dress rehearsal for a full-scale invasion the entire formidable German Army in Western Europe will be forced on a 24-hour-a-day alert from now on, from the Brest Peninsula to Narvik on the Norwegian Arctic coast 1,800 miles to the north.

Yesterday’s raid cost the Germans up to one-third of their fighter plane strength in Western Europe: 91 planes certainly destroyed and another and another 100 damaged, many so severely that they undoubtedly crashed, against 98 Allied planes of whose pilots 30 were saved.

The Allied casualties in dead and wounded were high but there was no indication that they had been higher, if as high, as the Allied command had reckoned in an operation of this ferocious sort.

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Nazis suffered big Dieppe loss, Vichy reports

39 French civilians slain, hundreds hurt – 91 Reich planes downed

Vichy, France (UP) –
German troops suffered “extremely heavy losses” in the Dieppe battle, it was reported in French sources today and 30 French civilians were killed and “hundreds” wounded in the encounter.

An authorized French spokesman said the French populace in the Dieppe region did not participate in the battle, but suffered severe casualties as bystanders in the heavy fighting.

Reports from Paris seemed to confirm Allied statements that at least 91 Nazi planes were shot down in the air combat over the Dieppe area.

An authorized source said that the conduct of the French populace at Dieppe was correct and that German military authorities had offered “congratulations” to the French prefect on the obedience of the citizens to the government’s instructions to keep hands off.

In neutral sources, the view was expressed that the Allied objective must have been important due to the strength of the attack which German sources said was backed up by at least 15 cruisers and destroyers and at least 1,000 planes. German sources estimated that 15,000-20,000 troops were employed in the assault.

Admit only 400 casualties

Berlin, Germany – (German broadcast recorded by United Press in New York)
The German High Command reported in a communiqué today that enemy troops were landed along a 15½-mile front at Dieppe yesterday from a fleet of 35 transports and 300-400 landing barges.

The German reported placed Nazi casualties in the Dieppe fighting at 400 killed and wounded.

The landing vessels were said to have been protected by a large force of cruisers, destroyers and patrol boats, of which 13 warships and transports were sunk in a pre-dawn naval battle off Dieppe.

Listed as sunk were four British destroyers, two torpedo boats and seven transports, while four cruisers, for destroyers and five transports were said to have been damaged.

German military quarters said that 1,500 prisoners were taken and that official quarters have not yet stated whether Americans were among them, but this is to be presumed.

Canadians suffered heavy losses at Dieppe

Ottawa, Canada (UP) –
Defense Minister J. L. Ralston said last night that Canadian forces who took part in the raid on Dieppe suffered heavy losses.

He said:

Casualties were severe. For that we must be prepared, for war is a grim business.

Raiders, spotted by patrol, drove into hail of fire, says eyewitness

By Alan Humphries

The following eyewitness account of the Allied attack on Dieppe was written by a British correspondent who watched the action from a tank-landing craft off the Dieppe shore.

London, England (UP) –
For eight hours, I watched our forces battling against the concentrated opposition of the enemy. The sky was filled with British aircraft throughout the whole operation.

By a thousand-to-one chance, the raiding craft carrying some of the Commandos was intercepted just before it was due to land.

An enemy patrol was the cause and the result was not only that the Commando craft was severely damaged by German flak (anti-aircraft) ships and E-boats which held their fire until the landing craft was within about 200 yards, but that a much more important warning was given to the German coastal batteries, which were the Commandos’ objectives.

Walk into curtain of fire

When the Commandos did succeed in landing at their assigned place on the beach, they walked into a curtain of fire which came from every small arm the enemy could muster.

The defenders even trained their anti-aircraft guns on the beach.

Against this rain of death, the Commandos, who had needed some measure of surprise, spent themselves in vain.

The guns, which were the objective of the raid, were never silent.

This initial setback was felt throughout the whole operation and was partly responsible for the later difficulties.

A demonstration of complete mastery of the sea and sky was given us by the Navy RAF.

The Navy did a superlative job of getting the large and complicated convoy in the right spots at the right time. This was accomplished without incident. So dominant was the Navy’s supremacy that during the entire raid, while the fleet lay to or three miles off Dieppe, not one attempt was made by the enemy to attack with surface craft.

The dimensions of our air support defy adequate description. Only a relative handful of bombers ever reached our ships and a good 50% of these never reported back to their base. Not once did the Luftwaffe attempt to fight it out with Spitfires.

In special craft carrying tanks, which were to be the third wave of armor to land, we arrived soon after the Commandos launched their attack against the coastal batteries of Berneval, about 4½ miles east of Dieppe and at Varengeville-sur-Mer.

The attack at Berneval was discovered before it could be made and was defeated.

The surviving Commandos dropped back to the beach for embarkation of many wounded and dying.

At Varengeville, however, the Commandos, many of them on their first raid, carried their objective triumphantly.

They captured and destroyed a battery of six-inch naval guns, with relatively light losses, and were withdrawn soon afterward.

Two Canadian Commando parties made ground-sneak landings on the flanks of Dieppe. As they did so, the whole coastline was springing into activity and the Germans threw up enormous quantities of ammunition against imaginary aircraft.

Simultaneously, the Berneval battery opened fire.

A few minutes later, a great fountain of flame spurted upward from the cliff – the Commandos had completed taking Varengeville. The guns had been destroyed.

A Royal regiment of Canadians, landing at points east of Dieppe, were beaten back by beach defenses on the first rush. They reformed and swept through. Under naval bombardment landings were made on the Dieppe beach. As the bombardment subsided ramps of the landing craft were dropped and the tanks crunched their way across the beach.

The Commandos sustained heavy losses at Berneval. The Canadians too had been severely handled.

Finally, the tank radio gave the word that everybody had been expecting for some time. Men on the beach and some deep in the town had had a hard fight but they stuck to it until the order came.

The radio said:


The show ended.


Dress rehearsal

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New raid on France points way 2nd front will open

After the first shock of disappointment at learning that the big-scale commando raid on the French coast was just a raid and not an invasion, American interest must center in the news that American forces took part in the action. It is an indication that our armed services are profiting by the lessons of the battles out Allies – and our enemies – have fought.

When the invasion of continental Europe is undertaken, it will begin much as the raid on the Dieppe area was begun, with overwhelming air superiority, with naval forces, with landing barges, artillery, parachutists and tanks. The most difficult of military operations, it will demand the highest degree if coordination, training and strength. Obviously, we and the British were not yet ready to undertake a full-scale invasion at Dieppe.

However, aside from the obvious fact that an action of this kind must be terribly harassing to the Germans, it also provides our forces with invaluable training. Every man in yesterday’s operation is not only better equipped to undertake such an action a second time but has gained experience which he can transmit to a hundred other men. The Germans of course know this and know that the raid may be repeated any hour, and repeated possibly on a scale a hundred times larger and so developed into an invasion. This forces them to keep on guard thousands of trained troops whose services they would prefer to use on the Russian front.

In the meantime, we here at home have the satisfaction of knowing that our men are proving themselves and are rapidly gaining the experience which will one day topple the Nazi conquerors from their uneasy thrones.