Author Topic: The real reason for the Dieppe raid  (Read 4240 times)

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Offline Shelldrake

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The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« on: August 10, 2012, 06:58:59 AM »
Military historian David O’Keefe believes that the Dieppe raid's objective was to sieze an Enigma machine and related materials from the German naval HQ located in Hotel Moderne. Bond author Ian Fleming, then of British naval intelligence, participated in the raid which ultimately failed to meet its objective.

http://www.globalnews.ca/breaking+german+codes+real+reason+for+1942+dieppe+raid+historian/6442694158/story.html
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Offline Centurion40

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Re: The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 08:58:24 AM »
Interesting.
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Offline bob48

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Re: The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2012, 09:18:34 AM »
It is interesting, but the idea of it being to gain experience for amphib landings seems a more plausable reason.

Plus, if they had managed to capture an Enigma machine, would that not sorta have made the Germans ask 'Hmm, wonder what they want that for?' and made some siognificant changes to thier codes, even as inept as the German inteligence services were, they would have had to accept that the Enigma system had be compromised.
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 09:26:36 AM »
The other bit of valuable info that could have been desired was how fast the Germans could mobilize reserves to an 'underdefended' location after the Allies gained a foothold. IIRC the full scale 'Atlantic Wall' was still yet to be and the only counter to a surprise invasion would be a swift counterstroke.
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Offline eyebiter

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Re: The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2012, 11:35:51 AM »
The raid forced Hitler to deploy more troops to the Atlantic wall garrison, instead of sending additional reinforcements to the Eastern front.

Offline TheCommandTent

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Re: The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2012, 09:09:02 PM »
It would be interesting to see the documentary mentioned at the end of the article.
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Offline besilarius

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Re: The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2012, 11:40:11 AM »
Considering the care that the Royal Navy put into hiding their seizures of naval Enigma, it seems a bit farfetched that they'd blow into town like that, just to get army Enigma.
Certainly not impossible, but considering how Churchill loved what Bletchely Park provided, I have trouble with this.
Maybe some form of a commando raid to seize the set up tables (and wouldn't Peter Young have loved that.)
I suppose if they had some plan to destroy the building to cover up their grab, maybe Churchill would have gone along.  He would have probably had to weigh the pros and cons.
Would a very public grab of an enigma machine, rotors, and setting books be worth the danger if the the germans suspected a pinch?
They would then at least change their code settings, and maybe even gone to a different machine.  (like when naval engima added a fourth rotor to the existing three.)
Considering that each time the germans changed their settings, or their equipment, the flow of information stopped for months as the boffins tried to break into the codes and wiring , I'm not convinced the British High Command would buy it.
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Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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Re: The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2012, 03:56:59 PM »
I'm sceptical as well, especially as it has already been shown that some of the Commandos, an RAF expert, and his 12 man bodyguard/execution squad from the S. Saskatchewan regiment were already tasked with stealing all the intel they could find on German radar capabilities.  I'm going to watch the show to see what evidence they present though.  Should be interesting.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 04:05:48 PM by Silent Disapproval Robot »

Offline GDS_Starfury

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Re: The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2012, 12:16:58 AM »
Dieppe was an attempt at moral boosting.  it was put into play to make western allies get the idea that a northern invasion wasnt out of the question.  a test, sure.  nothing more then that.  afterward Churchill could say to America and Russia that now wasnt the right time.  Winston was all about the soft underbelly at the time.  anything else is pure horse hockey.  poor Canadians.
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Offline btrain

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Re: The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2012, 04:26:27 PM »
I wrote about Dieppe at length in the feature article for Strategy and Tactics #256 (featuring John Butterfield's game on the raid).
What was published was trimmed a bit from what I submitted, but the gist of it was there - my belief is that this was a demonstration pure and simple:
- first to the Soviet Union to show a bit of resolve that the Allies would do something, anything, about the Western Front in 1942;
- second to the United States that Britain would do something, anything, about the Western Front in 1942 if it took every last Canadian in the cupboard;
- third to the people of Britain that Albion, in ther person of Lord Louis Mountbatten, could reach out across 67 miles of Channel for a bit of old Drake-like smash-and-grab.

The point of my article was to show the flaws in the basic concepts of the operation, and how its fate was sealed before it was launched by the continual trimming, changes and compromises among its planners. If the raid had really been all about snatching an Enigma machine, you would think that it woudl have been done a bit better, or at least differently.

The mainstream historical interpretation of the Raid is that it was a necessary “dress rehearsal” for the eventual opening of the Second Front against Germany. This has arisen by dint of repetition. But repetition does not create reality, and an analysis of the planning, execution and aftermath of the raid shows that the operation was probably doomed in the planning, definitely doomed in its execution, and ultimately doomed to teach little to its planners that was new. What emerged was a catalogue of mostly negative lessons, in short a demonstration of how NOT to do it.

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Offline Shelldrake

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Re: The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 05:28:23 AM »
The documentary airs this Sunday at 2100 EST on History Channel for those who are interested. According to this article, British naval authorities have confirmed O'Keefe's conclusions.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/story_print.html?id=7094535&sponsor=
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Offline Shelldrake

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Re: The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2012, 03:40:40 AM »
While O'Keefe's conclusions seem controversial, one aspect of the raid that is known was an attempt to learn secrets of the German radar network.

http://www.globalnews.ca/sports/canada/SOMNIA/6442699371/story.html
"Just because something is beyond your comprehension doesn't mean it is scientific."

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Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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Re: The real reason for the Dieppe raid
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2012, 11:35:00 PM »
Well it was an interesting show and the evidence the historian presented seems very compelling.  There definitely was a special naval commando unit present and they were there to grab something.  The two things that the show didn't go into that I would've liked to have explained were:

1) As was already brought up in this thread, if they were after a 4-wheel Engima machine, how would they have kept the fact that they grabbed one secret from the Germans?

2) Given that neither Allied intelligence sources or the historian's first hand visits to the site could confirm whether or not the Hotel Moderne was in fact the German Naval H.Q., could not the historian have gone and checked German records to prove or disprove the HQ location?

At any rate, the evidence presented in the show makes the theory seem credible and, if nothing else, it gave some of the Dieppe vets who were interviewed on the show a sense of peace 70 years on. 

BTW,  did the one surviving member of the naval commando unit seem more than a little out of it?  It felt to me that the historian was almost leading him on at one stage in order to positively confirm that Huntington-Whiteley  (I think that was his name), was the unit leader that day.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 09:45:05 PM by Silent Disapproval Robot »