The Dieppe Raid...

 

...The Combined Operations Assault on Hitler's European Fortress, August 1942, from Frontline Books

 

Title: The Dieppe Raid

Author: An Official History

Publisher: Pen & Sword

ISBN: 978-1-52675-291-8

 

This new book on the Dieppe Raid I found to be one of the most interesting I have seen on the subject. It is actually the official report on the raid, written soon after the raid took place, though updated later for the benefit of adding additional information when some of the POWs finally returned home. The document is re-printed as a straight reproduction of it as held in the National Archives.

Perhaps a little unusual in that the report itself occupies less than half of the book, as it is accompanied by no fewer than 39 Appendices, which in themselves are packed with a host of detailed information about the raid. The report was to record not only the events of the raid but also the lessons to be learnt and carried forward to future operations. The main report is split into 6 parts, each with further sub-divisions. The main sections consider the Preparations: the Passage: the Assault: the Withdrawal: the Air Battle: and the Aftermath. It's interesting to read such a factual account and without some of the commentary find in many other books on the topic which try to find someone to 'blame' for the failure of the attack and the level of casualties. I also learnt that the original planned assault was known as Operation Rutter though that was called off, only to be reinstated later as Operation Jubilee, with just minor adjustments to the original plan. Add maps and a number of archive photos to support the text there is plenty to find in here.

The level of extra detail held in the appendices is fantastic. with 39 of them there are far too many to even try and list, but as a sample, they include such as Instructions to Destroyers and to LSI's, the RAF Order of Battle and even the names of the commanders of all the individual landing craft.  A marvellous reference of this famous raid packed with factual information that should be great for anyone interested in the history of allied assaults on Hitler's Fortress Europe.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.

Robin