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  • Dieppe succeeds

    The Canadians land at Dieppe and win. What would this have meant for allied planning for invasion? I've read several articles on Dieppe but haven't seen anything about what was planned had the raid worked.

  • #2
    Most of my info here is taken from Robin Neillands' The Dieppe Raid.

    Objectives of Rutter (plan before actually implemented Jubilee):
    -destroy enemy defenses in vicinity of Dieppe
    -destroy airfield installations at St. Aubin
    -destroy RDF station, power stations, dock and rail facilities and petrol dumps
    -removing invasion barges for own use
    -removal of secret documents from divisional headquarters at Arques
    -to capture prisoners

    The plan was a botch job from the get-go. When Monty was re-assigned, he stated that it was destined to failure. Lord Lovat afterwards said that nobody could have made that plan work.

    The only way there could have been any success would have been with a radically different plan.

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    • #3
      Even with Dippes failure several other equally stupid plans were attempted. Operation Reservist (part of Operations Torch) is one example. Historicaly attacking fortified ports directly from the sea has been a nonstarter. That has been well understood since Roman times, if not since the Sumerians. But, leaders still attempt it and the results are usually the same. Every now and then someone actually pulls off one of these attempts. I recall the school room number was one of twenty or one of thirty actually suceeds. Usually because of either overwhelming firepower, absolutely inept defenders, or complete suprise.

      The more sucessfull technique is to land adjacent to the port, then envelop and attack from the land.

      Had the Dieppe raid suceeded more operations like Reservist would have been attempted & I am skeptical the sucess would have been repeated. Worst case is a large scale invasion would be planned with a port captured at the very start. Such a plan would likely lead to less preperation for cross beach supply of the landing force. That could be fatal when the port was not captured on schedule. Long before Operation Rutter or Jubilee werre concived Montbattens Combined Operations staff decided that direct capture of ports from the sea was not practical and begain reseaching improved methods for supply across the beach. That led directly to the elements that together formed the Mulberry harbors at Normandy, and which helped supply operations like Huskey, Avalance, and Shingle.

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      • #4
        Why in the world didn't they stop before starting then? Or was it one of those things that takes on it's own momentem?

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        • #5
          Using my one and only book on the subject, there is still a mystery as to who actually re-authorized the re-mounting of Rutter as Operation Jubilee, or whether it was officially authorized at all. Four months later, Churchill threatened a Court of Inquiry demanding an explanation for the decision to go-ahead. No explanation was ever provided.

          Two of the main reasons for going-ahead proposed by the book:
          Canadians were anxious to see some action and were willing to overlook a number of potential weaknesses in the plan.
          To show the world that they were still in the fight.

          Basically, it seems it was relaunched because they had to do something; no-one really opposed the plan and no other operation at this stage of planning was available.

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          • #6
            Who exactly was responsible for the actual planning and execution at various stages? I vaguely underrstand Montbattens command had the intial responsibility, but is was passed along. To whom exactly, and when?

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            • #7
              So even if it had worked it was already known that port attacks were a bad gamble.


              And that if there had been another attempted port landing it would have probably failed.


              Would the allies have tried to take a port in the D-Day landings along with the beacheads?

              This is the setting, Dieppe works. Your planning the landings. Someone (don't know who, but someone would have claimed responsibility for success) says hit a port too. Do the Canadians still hit a beach or are they sent after a port (which one?) since they are 'expierienced 'at taking ports.

              Or do you say no port attacks?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Psyhcoward View Post
                Why in the world didn't they stop before starting then? Or was it one of those things that takes on it's own momentem?
                I am a great admirer of Churchill and his ability to keep the British people together and fighting during those bad days but I do believe he was directed by 'outside' political pressures into having his fingers well and truly into some ' mistaken pies', and this was one of them!!
                'By Horse by Tram'.


                I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                  Who exactly was responsible for the actual planning and execution at various stages? I vaguely underrstand Montbattens command had the intial responsibility, but is was passed along. To whom exactly, and when?
                  Mountbatten was the commander of 'Combined Ops:' and his responsibility was to provide the men to do the job and have them properly trained and who was overall commander of the whole operation, no idea perhaps one of our well read friends can enlighten us on that point!
                  'By Horse by Tram'.


                  I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                  " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
                    Mountbatten was the commander of 'Combined Ops:' and his responsibility was to provide the men to do the job and have them properly trained and who was overall commander of the whole operation, no idea perhaps one of our well read friends can enlighten us on that point!
                    Well, I like to consider myself as friend, just don't know if it's of the well read variety! Hopefully this will help you and Carl until someone else responds or I get to my book tonite (don't tell anyone but I'm supposed to be working right now)

                    Seems the operation was in overall control of a triumverate, Mountbatten being one of them and can't remember the other two. Every decision had to be reached by consensus and you can imagine all the give-and-takes required and of the results. Proves the old chestnut:

                    'A camel is a horse designed by committee'

                    To me that is probably the single most important lesson learned, that you need one person in overall command calling the shots.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Psyhcoward View Post
                      So even if it had worked it was already known that port attacks were a bad gamble.


                      And that if there had been another attempted port landing it would have probably failed.


                      Would the allies have tried to take a port in the D-Day landings along with the beacheads?

                      This is the setting, Dieppe works. Your planning the landings. Someone (don't know who, but someone would have claimed responsibility for success) says hit a port too. Do the Canadians still hit a beach or are they sent after a port (which one?) since they are 'expierienced 'at taking ports.

                      Or do you say no port attacks?
                      Depends on who is making the decsions. Motngomery as commander of 21st Army Group had principle responsibility for Overlord/Neptune. Whatever his other qualities he did have a degree of common sense, and caution. I'd suspect he would have not fallen into such a trap or mistake. Although he might have agreed to a minor operation like a commando unit attempting a coup de main on a port, similar to operation Reservist. But not as the main effort.

                      Morgan as the chief of COSSAC also rejected the concept of a port as the intial assualt objective or focal point of a landing. Further, he endorsed the idea that Normandy was the ideal location for the amphibious landing. Normandy itself has only one really important port, Cherbourg. That city sits at the far end of the penesula and the beaches near it are smaller and less suitable than elsewhere. Even if it were possible to nail Cherborg on day one doing so would place the corps capturing it at the end of a sack and far from the beaches where the main army had to be put ashore.

                      Perhaps if the Pas de Calais area had been selected as the point of entry for Overlord then Morgan or some other leader might have fallen for the port first concept.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                        Depends on who is making the decsions. Motngomery as commander of 21st Army Group had principle responsibility for Overlord/Neptune. Whatever his other qualities he did have a degree of common sense, and caution. I'd suspect he would have not fallen into such a trap or mistake. Although he might have agreed to a minor operation like a commando unit attempting a coup de main on a port, similar to operation Reservist. But not as the main effort.

                        Morgan as the chief of COSSAC also rejected the concept of a port as the intial assualt objective or focal point of a landing. Further, he endorsed the idea that Normandy was the ideal location for the amphibious landing. Normandy itself has only one really important port, Cherbourg. That city sits at the far end of the penesula and the beaches near it are smaller and less suitable than elsewhere. Even if it were possible to nail Cherborg on day one doing so would place the corps capturing it at the end of a sack and far from the beaches where the main army had to be put ashore.

                        Perhaps if the Pas de Calais area had been selected as the point of entry for Overlord then Morgan or some other leader might have fallen for the port first concept.


                        I doubt Churchill or Ike would have liked going into a sack. Too much potential for getting stuck and pushed back into the sea. Monty in charge, even with a successful Dieppe he probalby would not have done anything different then. Huh, looks like Dieppe wouldn't have changed much if it had worked. Too bad they didn't call it off then.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Canuckster View Post
                          Well, I like to consider myself as friend, just don't know if it's of the well read variety! Hopefully this will help you and Carl until someone else responds or I get to my book tonite (don't tell anyone but I'm supposed to be working right now)

                          Seems the operation was in overall control of a triumverate, Mountbatten being one of them and can't remember the other two. Every decision had to be reached by consensus and you can imagine all the give-and-takes required and of the results. Proves the old chestnut:

                          'A camel is a horse designed by committee'

                          To me that is probably the single most important lesson learned, that you need one person in overall command calling the shots.
                          Thank you Canuckster, no smarm mate friend it is! Now like most blokes connected to the R.N. I have always leaned in defence of Lord Louis as he was always reffered to, he was great at his job which was originally a destroyer skipper, I have always suspected that he was worked into the EL Supremo Combined Operations job because of his position in the Royal Family and who can blame him for taking it? He had been 'Up the sharp end' for a while!! BUT, I do not believe he would have pulled much weight in the decision making when it came to picking a specific target! Probably Winnie: used his power quite considerably when they were round the table talking on such subjects and as respected as he was he was certainly not infallible!!!
                          'By Horse by Tram'.


                          I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                          " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Chatted about this discussion with a friend. He asked about the definistion of 'Succeded'. We had a chukle over the idea of the best case scenario. The local German commander makes a mess of his defense, the Canandians walk ashore and chase off the defenders, casualties are insignificant, and the port is secure in time for the evening news broadcast on the BBC.

                            Then forever after the folks who planned this are roundly criticized for withdrawing and not preparing for a permanet invasion. With it so obviously easy (look at the sucess) to capture a port why did they not come to stay?

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