On August 19, 1942, over six-thousand Allied-forces infantrymen (primarily Canadian, supported by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force) endeavored to penetrate the German stronghold at the port of Dieppe, via a stone beach along the northern coast of France. The Operation was a complete disaster; within six hours, sixty-percent of the attacking infantrymen were dead, injured, or captured. Nine-hundred and seven Canadians died in the aborted raid.
Until recently, it was unclear why the Allied forces had followed through with the Dieppe Raid, which was a poorly planned assault. But a military historian, David O’Keefe, sifted through top-secret, British military documents until he discovered an answer that is like the plot of a spy novel, which makes sense, because Ian Fleming — WW II British Intelligence Officer and author of the James Bond books — was involved.
When O’Keefe confronted British Navel authorities with his evidence, they acknowledged that he had discovered the truth.
The Dieppe Raid was initiated as a diversion for a pinch operation; the raid provided cover for a commando unit’s infiltration into German Naval headquarters (intelligence indicated it was in Dieppe’s Hôtel Moderne) and to board specific boats within the inner harbor: the ultimate goal of the mission was to ‘appropriate’ German code-books and a code-machine. Ian Fleming was the head of the commando unit.
To me, that seems like a lot of lives to use as a diversion, but hopefully this will provide solace and meaning for survivors. The Dieppe Raid was poorly planned and doomed to fail: the troops arrived late, and the planned cover of darkness had dissipated.
A documentary of the Dieppe Raid, based on the evidence that O’Keefe uncovered, has been created; the documentary, Dieppe Uncovered, will be aired on History Television on Sunday, August 19 (the seventieth anniversary of the raid).