The Raid At Dieppe - Page 6




 
--
 
December 8th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 84RFK
So I am the one not reading here?

Did you notice what I wrote about the situation in Narvik?
The Germans was loosing, they were practicly beaten, even though the allies didn't have the air superiority!

If I remember correctly a Norwegian rifle club held up a German Parachute Regiment causing so many casualties that the German Para's had to pull back and regroup.
December 8th, 2011  
84RFK
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
If I remember correctly a Norwegian rifle club held up a German Parachute Regiment causing so many casualties that the German Para's had to pull back and regroup.
Perhaps a bit exaggerated, but the myth is partially based on a true story, or stories.

Rifle clubs were found all over the country, and they were a part of "the voluntary shooting association" founded by the government in 1893, it was a civilian association but recieved a great deal of support from the military, and it was based upon the idea that the members would be better trained for military service and defense of the country.

The grain of truth mentioned here is from the "battle of Midtskogen" where elements of the 1. Royal Guards Company and volunteers from the local rifle club set up a roadblock and fought a sucsessfull battle against a "company" (about 100 soldiers) of German Fallschirmjäger.

But the rifle clubs did pull their load on several other places too, Valdres is one palce often mentioned, but Narvik was the place where the "regiment" of German paratroopers entered the story.
As many of the soldiers in the Norwegian 6. division was locals, most of them was naturally attached to a local rifle club, and many of them brought their own rifle when they were mobilized.
It should be noted here that both the army and the organized rifle clubs were using the same primary weapon, the Krag Jørgensen rifle in cal. 6,5x55.
The only difference being that the rifle clubs often sported more accurate sights, and the owners knew their rifle like the back of their hand.

Taken into consideration here that target-shooting, both practise and competition, back in those days was done on dostances ranging from 200 to 600 meters, depending on what discipline they were competing in, the number of long-distance head-shots became remarkable high on the Narvik front.

And the Germans was forced to pull back and regroup a number of times, the last incident being when the commander, general Dietl, had to face the possibility that he had to either surrender, or withdraw his force over the Swedish border and risk being interned by the Swedes.
December 21st, 2011  
Der Alte
 
The first point that must be made is that the British did not sacrificed Canadian troops rather than their own,the blame, if blame there is, rests on a Canadian commander, not the British. In England in the winter of 1942 the acting commander of the Canadian Corps, Lieutenant-General Harry Crerar, had learned of the raid and insisted that his men get the job, and he persuaded the British to select the 2nd Canadian Division.

But what went wrong?
Many Dieppe veterans still today maintains that the Germans had known the raid was coming. There is no evidence in the German military archives that the Germans knew a raid on Dieppe was planned. Bad weather cancelled the attack in July and the troops dispersed back to their bases and many blabbed to their girlfriends and pubmates. Should the German intelligence not have pick up that information? Well, apparently they did not, and if they did, would the Germans expect such a foolish violation of elementary military good sense that the same troops would be used against the same target the next month? That, we do not know. What likely doomed the raid to failure was when the flotilla ran into a German coastal convoy in the English Channel and the German coastal defences went to a heightened state of alert and the disembarking troops became easy targets.

What lessons Dieppe have taught!
The need for heavy air and naval support was recognized, as well as the requirement for better intelligence, better ship-to-shore communications, more specialized assault training for the attacking forces, and better tanks and landing craft. And certainly all these were essential for D-Day's success.

Let us be clear, however. Assaults from the sea were nothing new in 1942. The United States Marine Corps had a developed doctrine for such attacks, and the British themselves had staged seaborne attacks in the Great War. At Gallipoli in 1915 the operation failed because of inadequate covering fire, hostile cliffs, and failure to use sufficient capital ships in the narrow Dardanelles strait. The same elements of failure were present in the Dieppe. How many men have to die before planners learn a lesson? Must such lessons be relearned with each generation?

More to the point, what fool decided to attack Dieppe? No one who has stood on the stony beach in front of Dieppe, as hundreds of thousands of British vacationers must had done for a century before 1942, could have failed to notice the cliffs that commanded the Canadians' landing areas. Where else would the Germans have placed their weaponry? And by what planning principles did the staff decide that a relative handful of aircraft could provide air support and that eight destroyers could give sufficient covering fire?

When Lord Louis Mountbatten took over Combined Operations in March he envisioned commando-style raids on either side of Dieppe. Army representative Gen. Bernard Montgomery was in favour of a frontal attack. He then departed for North Africa, disenchanted with a scenario that was becoming more confused with each passing week. The original concept went down the drain when commanders picked up choice bits, but rejected anything that interfered with their personal agendas. The army still opted for a tank landing on a beach where the stones were like baseballs, whereas Bomber Command head Sir Arthur Harris rejected it, maintaining that his bombers could not provide the precision necessary to bomb the waterfront and not create chaos in Dieppe and the navy would provide no major firepower because the admiralty refused to send major ships into the relatively narrow coastal waters. Mistakes happen in planning and strategy. War always leads to deaths in action and many inevitably occur as a result of blunders. Yes, there were lessons learned from Dieppe, but most of them should have been obvious.

For the Canadians there was great courage and unspeakable horror in a few hours. Dieppe was a failure of intelligence, a gross lapse in command sense and leadership. But let us no longer wallow in conspiracy theses and in seeking to blame the British or this commander and that senior officer. The Canadians wanted to get into action, as Victoria Cross winner Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt said after the war. "We were very glad to go, we were delighted". Taken prisoner during the raid, Merritt recalled, "We were up against a very difficult situation and we didn't win; but to hell with this business of saying the generals did us dirt." His judgment was and remains the most sensible assessment of the tragedy of Dieppe.
--
December 21st, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Alte

Let us be clear, however. Assaults from the sea were nothing new in 1942. The United States Marine Corps had a developed doctrine for such attacks, and the British themselves had staged seaborne attacks in the Great War. At Gallipoli in 1915 the operation failed because of inadequate covering fire, hostile cliffs, and failure to use sufficient capital ships in the narrow Dardanelles strait. The same elements of failure were present in the Dieppe. How many men have to die before planners learn a lesson? Must such lessons be relearned with each generation?
I think you are being overly generous towards the leadership and planning of the Gallipoli campaign or at the very least understated.

But that is for another thread.

December 21st, 2011  
Der Alte
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I think you are being overly generous towards the leadership and planning of the Gallipoli campaign or at the very least understated.

But that is for another thread.

One should, as a German, be a little cautious when discussing British failures in wartime.

Many times I have heard: "Who won the bloody war anyway."
December 21st, 2011  
84RFK
 
 
As expected, here we are presented the points that we have overlooked with our eyes focused on the retrospective view.
And rather good points I dare say.
December 21st, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
I found Der Alte's post extremely interesting and informative.

In my simplistic opinion, the Dieppe raid was carried out due to the constant pressure from Stalin for a second front, despite being told time and time again that the Western Allies were not ready.
December 21st, 2011  
Del Boy
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Alte
One should, as a German, be a little cautious when discussing British failures in wartime.

Many times I have heard: "Who won the bloody war anyway."

Guilty as charged.
December 21st, 2011  
Der Alte
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boy
Guilty as charged.
That's what I love about you Brits.
You have the ability to be rude in a pleasant way.
December 22nd, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Alte
One should, as a German, be a little cautious when discussing British failures in wartime.

Many times I have heard: "Who won the bloody war anyway."
Fortunately I am a Kiwi we don't have to be nice about British failures because they usually cost us or the Australians dearly.