Author: Official History

PublisherFrontline Books, Pen & Sword. Hardback, 314 pages, 32 illustrations

Published: September 2019

Price: £25.00

ISBN: 9781526752918

Winston Churchill was under pressure. The Soviets felt that they were fighting the Germans by themselves. Stalin demanded that Britain should open a second front to draw German forces away from the east. Though the advice Churchill received from his staff was that an invasion of France would not be possible for at least another year, the British Prime Minister knew he had to do something to help the Russians.

The result was a large-scale raid upon the port of Dieppe. It would not be the second front that Stalin wanted, but at least it would demonstrate Britain’s intent to support the Soviets and it would be a useful rehearsal for the eventual invasion. Dieppe was chosen as it was thought that the success of any invasion would depend on the capture of a major port to enable heavy weapons, vehicles and reinforcements to be landed in support of the landing forces.

After an earlier postponement, the raid upon Dieppe, Operation Jubilee, was eventually scheduled for 19 August 1942. The assault was the most ambitious Allied attack against the German Channel defences of the war so far. Some 6,000 infantry, 237 naval vessels and seventy-four squadrons of aircraft were involved.


This Frontline Books publication, courtesy of Pen and Sword, gives a concise and interesting official account of the disastrous Dieppe Raid. The book, a re-print of the official history, provides the reader with a clear breakdown of events of Operation Jubilee and most importantly the lessons learnt that helped make D-Day a success in June 1944.

Still today the debate surrounding Jubilee’s purpose and cost has raged, although it was clear that many vital and important lessons were learnt. Written during the war and updated post 1945 with accounts from those returning from the POW camps, the chapters cover the preparations, the passage, the assault, the withdrawal, the air battle, the aftermath and 250 pages of appendices, including German reports on the raid. All in all this makes the book an interesting and highly detailed read of an operation that arguably should never have taken place. The Dieppe Raid remains a fascinating subject to study, whether from books, documents, talking to the veterans or visiting the battlefield. If you want a deeper understanding of Dieppe and Operation Jubilee, this is definitely the book for you. Highly Recommended.

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