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Operation Jubilee - The Dieppe Raid Timeline

Authored By Dan Alex | Last Updated: 5/11/2014

Before the storied Invasion of Normandy to retake northern France, the Allies gave it a go with the ill-fated Invasion of Dieppe.

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From the get-go, the Allies knew that to put pressure on the German war machine, an invasion of northern France had to be in the stars. More importantly, any invasion of this magnitude would need a strategic port under Allied control for the amphibious landing forces to have any kind of sustainability. A plan - Operation Rutter - was devised which saw the French port city of Dieppe as its ultimate prize. Unfortunately for the Allies, the stars were misaligned on this fateful day.


Though the initial invasion date was set for July 7th, 1942, poor weather forced the plan to be scrapped. Though there were discussions as to whether or not continue with such an assault, British Vice-Admiral Mountbatten continued with the same general idea under a new codename - Operation Jubilee.


The operation was given the green light for August 19th. The invasion force was made up primarily of Canadian troops along with a smaller contingent of British soldiers and an even smaller group of Americans. The boats set sail - numbering some 237 vessels containing some 4,962 soldiers towards landing positions near Dieppe.


As luck would have it, the invasion force - hours from their intended landing spots - ran into a German convoy and essentially lost any element of surprise they were hoping for. From then on, the situation deteriorated from bad to worse.


Allied commando forces arrived before the main invasion force to enact their brand of battle. Some coastal batteries were destroyed but many of the German defenses remained in place. By this time, the Germans were all but ready for the Allies to make their way to shore along the 10-mile landing front.


Army forces waded their way onto shore only to be greeted by machine gun, sniper and cannon fire. By the time the main assault was launched, the invasion force was everywhere. The 27 tanks intended to assist the army forces were either destroyed or made irrelevant thanks to the German beach defenses. With no choice but to fight on or die, the Allies began an evacuation that only netted a fraction of the near-5,000 invasion force.


At least 3,300 Allied soldiers were not to return from Dieppe. The invasion of the northern French coast would have to wait.


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There are a total of 13 Dieppe Raid Timeline Events. Entries are listed below by date of occurrence.

1942
Wednesday
May 20th

The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division begins training for Operation Rutter on the Isle of Wight.

1942
Tuesday
July 7th

Bad weather cancels this original date for Operation Rutter. Discussions begin on whether or not to nix the entire endeavor. It returns to the planning stages under a new name - Operation Jubilee.

1942
Tuesday
July 7th

This date is set aside for Operation Rutter - the amphibious landing at the port city of Dieppe in occupied France.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

This date is targeted for Operation Jubilee.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

Operation Jubilee is officially put into action.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

4,962 Canadian soldiers, along with 1,000 British troops and a 50-man contingent of American US Army Rangers set sail on no fewer than 237 boats towards Dieppe.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

At 3:48 AM, several Allied invasion vessels run into a German convoy, which actively engages the ships, ruining any chance the Allies held in the element of surprise. This event is a fore-telling of the day to follow.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

At 4:30 AM, Canadian soldiers wade ashore and take on the German coastal batteries at Berneval, Puys, Pourville and Varengville.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

At 5:20 AM, the main invasion force - made up of the 14th Army Tank Regiment, the Essex Scottish Regiment, and the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry - come ashore.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

At 5:35 AM, Allied armor makes it to the beach. Over half of the tanks are lost in the action.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

By 11:00 AM, disaster has completely befallen the invaders. Many are trapped, forced back or dead to a prepared German defense.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

By 2:00 PM, all survivors of the Dieppe invasion have been rescued. Left behind are 3,367 casualties, wounded, prisoners of war or missing.

1942
Friday
August 21st

Nazi-allied French leader Marshal Petain celebrates the German victory over the Allied invasion at Dieppe.