News for this August 19th in 1942 was about a glimmer of hope for the allies during World War 2. A raid on the French coastal port of Dieppe. Intended as a morale boost, the raid was in fact a dismal failure. But much propaganda was gleaned from it, for both sides.
Despite upbeat reports from London, the raid lasted only a few hours, involved a large number of Allied casualties and evidence the allies needed a lot more preparation if they were going to pull off a major invasion anytime soon.
But at the time of this newscast, the raid was still going on and details were sketchy. Reports of a massive air assault and B-17’s staging raids on the airfield at Abbeville were coming in via London.
Cautious word this may have been the start of a full-scale invasion were coming out. But news on the ground was a different story entirely.
Operation Jubilee or the Dieppe Raid (19 August 1942) was an Allied amphibious attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe in northern France, during the Second World War. Over 6,050 infantry, predominantly Canadian, supported by a regiment of tanks, were put ashore from a naval force operating under protection of Royal Air Force (RAF) fighters.
The port was to be captured and held for a short period, to test the feasibility of a landing and to gather intelligence. German coastal defenses, port structures and important buildings were to be demolished. The raid was intended to boost Allied morale, demonstrate the commitment of the United Kingdom to re-open the Western Front and support the Soviet Union, fighting on the Eastern Front.
Aerial and naval support was insufficient to enable the ground forces to achieve their objectives; the tanks were trapped on the beach and the infantry was largely prevented from entering the town by obstacles and German fire. After less than six hours, mounting casualties forced a retreat. The operation was a fiasco in which only one landing force achieved its objective and some intelligence including electronic intelligence was gathered.
Within ten hours, 3,623 of the 6,086 men who landed had been killed, wounded or became prisoners of war. The Luftwaffe made a maximum effort against the landing as the RAF had expected, but the RAF lost 106 aircraft (at least 32 to anti-aircraft fire or accidents) against 48 German losses. The Royal Navy lost 33 landing craft and a destroyer.
And this was what was going on, the August 19th in 1942 as reported via a special newscast via NBC Radio.
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