Dieppe

The Allies 1939-1945, and those fighting against Germany.

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joefraser
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Dieppe

Post by joefraser » Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:56 am

Hi,
When I was younger I heard a bit of a conspiracy theory regarding the Dieppe raid. As we know the raid was mainly by Canadians and the rumour that I heard was that Churchill had leaked details of the raid to the Germans. Thus the raid was doomed to failure, but when the real D-day came about, the same sources were then fed false details. The idea being that having had good info one time the Germans would fall for the false info. Thus sacrificing a few lives to save others in the future. I think the records for the Dieppe raid are still locked away, but has anyone heard anything similar about this raid?
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Post by Rodger Herbst » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:36 am

To my way of looking at it,it was one screwed up mess,Monty washed his hands of it, saw it was a loser,Mountbatten to me was the dumb ass who wouldn't let go.

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Post by phylo_roadking » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:50 am

Quite frankly there was ENOUGH going against it, and the list of mistakes and problems long enough - without needing to add outside interference to it. The conspiracy theory most common nowadays is that Churchill was coming under very great pressure from the US - and of course Stalin - to mount SOME sort of Second Front ASAP, so that he needed something to demonstrate how hard a nut to crack the Frnch coast would be, even in early Atlantic Wall days.....and lend weight to his argument of putting the invasion back as far as possible.

Hence ALL sorts of funnies; a "raid in force" that made no real sense. No real landing vessels bar the few commando carriers converted so far for large raids like Vaasgo and Loftoten, an amorphous fleet of landing craft and gunboats. Using the Churchill Mk1s in combat - that were universally disliked in testing. Using the Canadians with very little support from Combined Ops apart from transport and planning.
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Post by phylo_roadking » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:53 am

I know the main argument is that it was to gain experience in amphibious landings etc. ......but if this is so, then didnt take very long to incorporate all those lessons in Torch did it? If someone could check the date of planning beginning on the new landing ships etc first seen in NorthAfrica, versus the date of Dieppe...looks like the "lessoons" were a bit late...
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Post by Cott Tiger » Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:24 am

In relation to matters such as this it is up to those who advocate and instigate such theories to come up with serious valid evidence to back them up in the first place. Without any such evidence such a debate is really pure conjecture and largely nonsensical.
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Post by phylo_roadking » Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:39 am

"1943 the victory that never was" by John Grigg, first pblished 1980, 7 more editions. Argues that Churchill held off the Second Front by any means at his disposal because of the significant ****-ups of the regular British soldiery right up until El Alamein - including the Fall of Tobruk after four days ..... when he was in Washington discussing a date for the Second Front with FDR! John Colville's memoirs also record Churchill as being at his lowest personal ebb at that point and on the brink of resignation.
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dieppe

Post by joefraser » Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:19 pm

Hi Cott Tiger,
that is why I asked if anyone had heard anything. The government has locked the files away for longer which only adds to the theory that something was done that has to be covered up. What other reason is there to lock files away. It can't be in the public interest still.
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Post by phylo_roadking » Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:46 pm

Joe, I'm a firm believer in everything that needs to be known coming out in the end in the fullness of time. Even in my lifetime to knowledge of events from 1939 to 1945 has grown immensely - so many things have been revealed, so much just plain added to our whole cannon of knowledge. What you find is ommissions like this tend to make people with more than half a brain, like all of us here, dweel on the gaps ans wonder exactly what IS in there to be hidden.....

Andre, its not just blind conjecturing; do you remember or have you heard of the ABC Trial? Its the court case in the late '70s when Donald Campbell and another guy were taken to trial against the Official Secrets Act for publishing a State Secret - the existence (or rather complete f**k-up) of the Zircon spy satellite. What they simply did was take Fact A, add it to Fact B - and extrapolate Fact C...which was the state secret. Of course, in the end they were acquited of spying.

Dieppe - as the years go by - is attracting more and more concern, simply because so mch secrecy remains around it. If it was a plain foul-up then enough of the details are known to explain it all a hundred times over. Its the sealed files that are raising eyebrows. As we know SO much....then what on earth could be in there....? And some where among all the theories, ONE of them has to be correct by default.
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Post by nigelfe » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:22 am

There is some modern work, but I can't recall author. Basically its argument is that Dieppe was never a properly authorised operation and that it was badly planned. Remember it was cancelled the first time around but quietly resurrected by combined ops, who were even more careful to keep Monty out of the loop. Mountbatten dealt directly wth the Cdns who were gung-ho to go.

I've never come across anything to suggest the Germans reinforced their defences before the op. In fact the Cdo ops on the flanks were successful, although at the cost of proportionally heavier casualties than the Cdns suffered.

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Post by Cott Tiger » Sat Aug 26, 2006 6:55 am

Joe, I am not criticising anyone for asking the question. However, the question will never be given any serious weight until any real evidence is forthcoming.

Phylo, I am not aware of the ABC trail you mention. However, one point I would put across is that they appear to have been in possession of facts A and B. Where are the facts in relation to the conspiracy about Churchill orchestrating the deaths of several hundred Allied soldiers? There aren’t any, yet many people will already have decided on outcome C.

I am all for keeping an open mind, especially while official documentation is still withheld, but on balance, and with a total lack of any supporting evidence this story is a non-starter.

Regards,

Andre
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Post by phylo_roadking » Sat Aug 26, 2006 7:19 am

Andre, all I can say is - do your algebra....

A(open) + B(open) = C (secret)

but also

C (knowledge that theres a secret) = A + B + whatever

Theres an answer already in existence, but hidden even after 64 years. So WHY is it hidden? We won't know until it isnt hidden, bt its honour-bound to be something major. The WHY is maybe more important at this point that the actual content.
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Post by Cott Tiger » Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:32 am

The key question remains: What are the facts / evidence in relation to this conspiracy about Churchill orchestrating the deaths of several hundred Canadian soldiers.?
Until some surface then this debate is largely fruitless and is straying into the realms of fantasy.

PS : I bloody hated algebra at school – I was much better at History :wink: :D :[]

Best wishes

Andre
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Post by phylo_roadking » Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:32 am

The fact is the Dieppe papers remain sealed after 64 years. Why? Nothing in them now that could threaten national security, surely. But threaten reputations - thats another matter.
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." - Malcolm Reynolds

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Post by Rodger Herbst » Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:56 am

"Unauthorized Action" by Brian Loring Villa is the book i think you are looking for.

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Post by Gerry Chester » Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:20 pm

The whys and wherefores of Operation Jubilee have been discussed ad infinitum however, whatever the conjecture there was one very positive result - it concerns the performance of the Churchill tank.

Despite Hitler, after Dieppe, commenting: "This is the first time the British have had the courtesy to cross the sea to offer the enemy a complete sample of their new weapons," one lesson that could have been learned by the Germans was not.
phylo_roadking wrote: Using the Churchill Mk1s in combat - that were universally disliked in testing.

This is misleading - The 29 tanks exited the landing craft as follows: Mark I Reworked - 4. Mark II - 4. Mark III - 18. OKE Flamethrower - 3.

The Mark Is (equally divided between 'B' and 'C' Squadron's HQF Troops) intended purpose (other than command) was to fire 3 inch HE while the Mark IIIs made their way up to the promenade. Despite the track problems caused by having to negotiate a chert beach - not 'shingle' as so often incorrectly stated - all but three managed to climb up and over the sea wall, only to find they could not proceed into the town as the road blocks had not been demolished as was intended.

While the first Mark Is had problems, they were largely overcome in the Reworked versions and the later Mark Ics, that saw action in Tunisa and Italy. Each unit in the two Brigades had six - the North Irish Horse, the regiment in which I served, had the only Cs Churchills fitted with German cupolas.

The "Mountain Goat" successes were substantially due to lessons learnt at Dieppe - fortunately not so by the Wehrmacht.

Cheers, Gerry

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