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Dieppe 1942: The Jubilee Disaster

In the summer of 1942 the war was almost at the end of its third year and the position of the Allies was desperate, both in Europe and on the Middle and Far Eastern fronts. The hard-pressed Russians were urging Winston Churchill to open a Second Front, about which he was understandably cool. Eventually it was decided to mount a “reconnaissance in force” against the French coast and at dawn on 19 August five thousand soldiers, mainly Canadians, were landed at and around Dieppe. The venture was doomed from the outset as en route the raiding force blundered into a German convoy heading for the same destination, alerting the port’s defenders. What followed was nine hours of carnage. Ronald Atkin has pieced together the full story of that day from all sides and the result is a masterly account of one of the most extraordinary – and tragic – episodes of the Second World War.


“Vivid with eye-witness accounts, probing sensibly and impartially into the claims, confusions and recriminations, this book is a model of its kind.” – The Observer

“Well researched and very readable...Mr Atkin is of the Cornelius Ryan school of historian, bringing his canvas to life by innumerable interviews with participators.” – Daily Telegraph

“A Fleet Street journalist, Mr Atkin has scrupulously avoided the temptations of his craft. He is neither vulgarly dramatic nor breezily speculative but simply offers, within a sensible framework of fact, a litany of the lost and the lucky who lived... a plain tale, blood-drenched by survivors’ memories.” – The Times

“A thoroughly researched piece of work with a keen eye for the human and humorous aspects.” – Birmingham Post

“A starkly evocative picture of a landmark of carnage which was later described as ‘one of the great failures of history’” – Daily Mail

“Ronald Atkin is a journalist whose book is in the best tradition of his profession: the telling use of official and regimental papers and the inclusion of information from survivors of the landing combine to make this an exciting and readable history of the operation.” – British Book News

“A mature assessment of the strategic issues involved....the reader is left in no doubt about both the cost and the value of this day-trip.” – The Bookseller

“Without a doubt this is one of the best military history books I have read. In my opinion, the author ranks with Antony Beevor.” - Netgalley


“Very interesting and well-written, covering the buildup, landings and aftermath from both sides. Lots of very relevant quotes from many participants help bring the events to life.”

Neal Fiske - Reviewer

“A worthy addition to the short list of books available on the Dieppe Raid.”

Manchester Military History Society

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