Dieppe 1942: Reconnaissance in Force with Strategic Overtones
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
In the early hours of August 19,1942 an amphibious force of approximately 6000 troops, primarily Canadians of the 2nd Infantry Division, approached the coast of France. Their destination was the small port of Dieppe and their mission was to foster German fear of an attack in the West and compel them to strengthen their Channel defenses at the expense of other operational areas. Their secondary purpose was to learn as much as possible about new techniques and equipment and gain experience and knowledge necessary for a future great amphibious assault. By early afternoon, 807 Canadians lay dead in and around Dieppe. Another 100 would die of wounds, and in captivity, and about 1900 more would sit out the rest of the war in POW camps. The intent of this paper is not to refight the battle in detail, but to examine the strategic implications of the raid in terms of future operations by the Allies. This paper will also inform the reader on the utility of the mission given the tragic loss of life that day. Historians still debate whether Dieppe was a needless slaughter or a precursor for success at Normandy on 6 June 1944.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics