Operation Jubilee or the Dieppe Raid was an Allied amphibious assault on the German-occupied port of Dieppe in northern France which was launched on 19 August 1942. Over 6,050 infantry, predominantly Canadian, supported by a Canadian Armour regiment, landed ashore from a naval force operating under protection of the Royal Air Force (RAF).
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 UK to re-open the Western front and support the Soviet Union, fighting on the Eastern Front. The raid ended as a failure but many lessons were learnt which helped prepare for the Allies Normandy invasion on 6 June 1944.
The general armour plan was that the tanks of the 14 CATR would land on the main beach at Dieppe. C Squadron of the would support the Essex Scottish Regiment in establishing the bridgehead and taking out any armed trawlers in the harbor. They would then cross to the high ground on the east side of the River D’Arques to cover the approaches to the east. B Squadron was to support the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry in establishing the right flank of the bridgehead. They would then push inland and take the aerodrome (airfield) at St. Aubin with The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada. A Squadron was held in reserve and would land later. Once the beachhead was secured, the HQ of the German 302 Infantry Division at Arques la Battaille (south of Dieppe) would be captured by the Camerons, supported by either A or B Squadron depending on the tactical situation at the time.
Allied Units 2nd Canadian Infantry Division 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, 1st Battalion 'Rileys' The Essex Scottish Regiment The Royal Regiment of Canada 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade Three platoons of The Black Watch of Canada Mortar Platoon of The Calgary Highlanders 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal (Floating reserve) The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada The South Saskatchewan Regiment No. 6 Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots) 14th Army Tank Regiment, The Calgary Regiment (14 CATR) The Toronto Scottish Regiment (Machine Gun) Detachment of 3rd Light AA Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery Detachment of 4th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery No. 3 Commando (British Army) No. 4 Commando (British Army) In addition, a detachment of about 70 rangers of the US 1st Ranger Battalion was assigned as observers to various units. German Units 302. Static Infanterie-Division Infanterie-Regiment 570 Infanterie-Regiment 571 Infanterie-Regiment 572 Artillerie-Regiment 302 Panzerjäger-Abteilung 302 Pionier-Bataillon 302
For the 14 CATR, three Flights (FLT) or waves landed on White and Red Beaches during the raid and they were numbered Flights 1, 1A and 2. There were a total of 10 Tank Landing Crafts (TLC) each transporting 3 tanks and support vehicles.
The whole A Squadron and the remaining three troops (11, 12, 14) of C Squadron were left aboard ships offshore in reserve and were never sent in.
Churchill III ROUNDER on TLC-8 had not landed (see below).
The 7 Daimler scout cars (S/C) were towed ashore by the third (last) tank on the TLC. A single steel cable was connected to the right front bumper of the scout car and the other end was hitched to the rear of the towing tank. Once ashore, the crews pulled a pin which released the towing cable.
TLC-3 and TLC-6 each included one Caterpillar D7 bulldozer which neither of them had landed. TLC-7, TLC-8 and TLC-10 each included one Jeep which none of them had landed.
Churchill I (303 produced) –
Armed with a 40mm 2-pounder gun in the turret (150 rounds) and a coaxial .303 Besa machine gun. Mounted in the hull was a 3-inch (76.2mm) howitzer (58 rounds), for use against infantry.
Churchill Mk II (1,127 produced) –
Same as Mk I but the hull howitzer was replaced with a .303 Besa machine gun to reduce cost and complexity.
Churchill II OKE –
A Churchill II tank with a flamethrower mounted. The OKE was named after its designer, Major J.M. Oke. The design was basically a Churchill tank fitted with the Ronson flamethrower equipment. A flame fuel tank was mounted on the rear hull, with a feeder pipe which passed through the left pannier and led to a fixed angle mounting on the front hull to the left of the hull machine gun. For the tanks used on the Dieppe raid, the flame fuel tank was enclosed within an armored hexagonal shaped box.
A Churchill Mk II T-32049 named “TINTAGEL” of 10 Troop, B Squadron, 48th Royal Tank Regiment (RTR), fitted with the OKE flame-thrower was transferred to The Calgary Regiment on 20 June 1942 and was renamed BOAR (B Squadron, 8 Troop). T-31862 and T-68875 48th RTR OKE tanks were also transferred and renamed BULL and BEETLE.
Churchill Mk III (675 produced) –
Was the first major armament overhaul of the series, eliminating the hull howitzer and equipping the tank with the more powerful 6-pounder (57mm) gun with 84 rounds and a coaxial .303 Besa machine gun in the turret.
All the tanks were adapted for amphibious landings for a depth up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) using rubber balloon fabric. Tall, box shaped ducts (louvre extensions) were fitted to the side air intake vents and the exhaust pipes were extended in a wide tuning fork shape so they were well above the water line. The waterproofing and the louvre extensions could be blown off by electrically triggered cordite charges mounted underneath them. At that time, the waterproofing process was still in the experimental stage and never have been used under combat conditions.
The white cliffs at Dieppe are composed of siliceous chalk, interspersed with chert lenses and beds. The chalk is easily dissolved and leaves behind the chert which with beach erosion is shaped into rounded and oblong stones (rocks) that resist cracking or breaking. The entire beach is composed of chert stones, boulders and rubble ranging from one to six inches (25 to 154 mm) in diameter which the tide left resting on the beach surface at an angle of about 15 to 20 degrees. The layers of these rocks, being fairly deep in some areas, prevented vehicles to dig down to a solid base for traction. Tracked or wheeled vehicles trying to climb up the beach would immediately dig itself down, and in the case of the tanks, these rocks would get caught between the drive sprocket and track causing the track link pins to break, thus immobilizing the tank. As the tide came in and goes out, the vehicles would sink deeper into the chert beach.
Major Bert Sucharov, an officer of the Royal Canadian Engineers of Winnipeg, was assigned to develop a device to enable the tanks, to get over the beach and the sea wall that separated the beach from the Promenade. Sucharov came up with a carpet‑laying device using chespaling. Chespaling was flexible roll fencing similar to wood slat snow fencing, but made with tough split slats made of chestnut. The apparatus carried two separate rolls of chespaling, one for each tank track, which were suspended, about 24 inches (60.96 cm) in front of each track, on a spindle that was supported by two short brackets above the front horns of the tank. It was mounted low enough to allow the tank commander a clear field of vision, and gave a clear field of fire for the turret mounted main armament and co-axial machine gun. On the inside and outside of each roll of chespaling, there was provided a 14-gauge metal disc shield, 3 feet (0.9 meters) in diameter to prevent the chespaling from fouling the brackets and spindle. Each roll of chespaling was 3 feet wide and 25 to 30 feet (7.62 to 9.1 meters) in length, with weighted ends that upon release, fell to the ground with the tank tracks themselves feeding out the rolls as the tank moved forward. These rolls could be released by means of an electrically fired small explosive charge controlled from the turret. After use, the whole apparatus could be jettisoned by a small explosive charge, electrically set off from inside the turret. The apparatus was referred to as the “Beach Track Laying Device” (BTLD).
Major Sucharov commanded an engineer Beach Assault Party at Dieppe and was known as “The Mad Major” on account of his recklessness under fire. He was WIA, evacuated and hospitalized in Sussex. Later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and became 2nd in Command of the Royal Canadian Engineers of Winnipeg.
CHIEF, COUGAR, and BUTTERCUP were fitted with a BTLD. The BTLD for BOB and BURNS were damaged in transit and had been removed before the landings. The lead tank on TLC-3, BULL, could not be fitted with the BTLD because of the OKE flame thrower.
THE ASSAULT BEGINS
About 30 minutes prior to the TLC’s touchdown, the tanks started warming up their engines. Radio silence was maintained until zero hour. On the run in, mortar detachments of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, positioned in the rear of two of the first TLCs lobbed 3-inch smoke shells onto the promenade adding to the smoke screen already laid by the Royal Air Force. The infantry units were to land first, immediately followed by the TLCs carrying the tanks and the engineers. The infantry landed on time but first flight (wave) of TLCs were late due to a navigational error. During that critical time, the infantry had no fire support and the element of surprise was lost. The German defenders were able to recover from the short preliminary aerial and naval bombardment and manned their weapons.
The assaulting infantry tried to blast gaps in the unexpectedly strong rows of barb wire and the majority of them were pinned down at the sea wall, unable to dig slit trenches in the chert beach. The Essex Scottish Regiment, who landed on Red Beach, tried 3 times to cross the promenade but were repulsed each time with heavy casualties. On White Beach, the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry were initially held up by the strongly fortified Casino. After heavy fighting, they had cleared it despite heavy casualties. The Casino was then used to provide covering fire for some small groups attempting to penetrate the town. These units engaged in house to house and street fighting with Germans until their ammunition ran low. Some were taken prisoner when they attempted to withdraw back to the Casino. The infantry pinned down behind the sea wall were later able to take the Casino after the first flights of TLCs landed the supporting tanks and engineers.
Film (age restricted): Canadian Raid On Dieppe – 1942
This is an aerial photograph of Red and White Beaches. German defenses on and in the caves of the west headland included 75mm beach defense guns, 37mm and 47mm AT guns, 80mm heavy mortars and numerous machine guns. A case-mate with a 47mm gun was located at the northwest corner of the Casino and another with a 37mm gun in front at the northeast corner. Located on the West Jetty were a couple of 37mm guns. Many trenches along the rear of the promenade sheltered many machine gun positions. All the streets into the town were blocked by thick concrete anti-tank barriers and covered by AT guns. The Rue de Sygogne located behind the Casino on the west side had a heavily defended metal gate which allow German vehicles to access to the promenade. Allied tanks were to have advance into the town using this street. The Allied planners had incorrectly identified the Tobacco factory as being an ammunition dump.
This is the view from atop of the cliff facing east looking down on the Casino. In front of the Casino is White Beach and further down is Red Beach and the West Jetty of the Dieppe port. The wide area between the beach and the town buildings is the promenade.
Flight 1 consisting of three TLCs landing between approximately 0525 and 0530 hours (5 to 10 minutes late). TLC-1 No. 145 touched down on the eastern end of Red Beach transporting C Squadron HQ, F Troop, consisting of tanks CHIEF, COMPANY and CALGARY, as well as scout car HORACE. On landing, TLC-1 received several direct hits from German shore batteries. After disembarking all it vehicles, continuous hits partially sank and stranded the TLC in shallow water.
CHIEF, commanded by Major Allen Glenn, commanding officer of C Squadron, was the first tank ashore and prematurely deployed the chespaling track-laying device to advance to the high ridge of chert stones then jettisoned the whole apparatus. On the other side of the ridge was a wide trench about 7 feet (2.13 meters) deep running the entire length of the beach to the Casino. The tides formed this trench and German excavations of rubble for building fortifications had made it deeper. From the ridge, Glenn had a good view (when not obscured by smoke) of the promenade and of the beach therefore he kept his tank on the beach to set up a command post to observe and to provide support if needed. Near the end of the action, CHIEF moved west along the ridge to observe other developments. Upon arriving at TLC-3 No. 159 near the center of the beach (east of the Casino), CHIEF stopped at the western end (the stern) of the TLC to provide protection for men sheltering behind it from enemy fire.
A “3” is painted on hull side of the beached TLC-3 and CHIEF is flying a command pennant on the turret antenna. Later, a German sailor removed the pennant from the turret as a trophy.
The Circle F1 on the turret of this Churchill tank indicate that it is CHIEF. This German soldier is posing next to the tank holding a machete in his right hand. Not sure if this photo has been colorized or is an actual color photo. Note the color of the track and the shell hole in the front plate.
COMPANY, commanded by Captain George T. Valentine, landed and was about to turn right of CHIEF when an enemy shell hit the left front drive wheel which broke a track pin and immobilized the tank just in front of the ridge on the beach. The co-driver, Trooper James W. Hilsabeck, cleared the water proofing around the 3-inch howitzer by firing a smoke round but did not have enough elevation to fire over the ridge which the infantry was using for cover. Only the 2-pounder gun and the Besa machine gun in the turret could be used. COMPANY was hit by several mortar shells but although filled with smoke there were no injuries to the trapped crew by the time of its surrender.
This is the front view of COMPANY.
This is the right side view of COMPANY.
This is the left side view of COMPANY facing east. Down the beach is TLC-3 No. 159 with BEETLE (see below) to the left of it. Note the pieces of the waterproofing on the turret side.
This is another view of COMPANY with German troops examining the captured tank. Laying on the beach in the foreground is a louvre extension from another tank.
CALGARY, commanded by C Squadron’s reconnaissance officer, Lieutenant Brice G. Douglas, was the last tank out of TLC-1 towing scout car HORACE. CALGARY turned right, proceeding parallel with the sea wall east towards the Casino, looking for a spot to cross onto the promenade. About halfway down White Beach its left track was suddenly blown. CALGARY spent the rest of the day acting as a pillbox, concentrating its 6-pounder fire on predetermined targets such as the Casino and the tobacco factory. The gunner blasted away at targets found by Lieutenant Douglas until their ammunition was depleted. Meanwhile, they attracted a lot of enemy gun fire and took several direct hits on the turret. The crew stayed in the tank until they were ordered to surrender.
CALGARY is the tank in the surf on the right side of photo IWM HU 1905.
HORACE (driver: Trooper John G. Hocken and radio operator: Trooper Victor F. Olliffe) released within 15 feet (4.6 meters) of landing. The scout car immediately received a hit through the right side of the fighting compartment. Probably due to explosives or ammunition it carried, it caught fire and Trooper Olliffe was killed. In front of HORACE up the beach was the rear of immobilized COMPANY.
TLC-2 No. 127 touched down close to the West Jetty at the east end of the Red Beach transporting C Squadron, 13 Troop, consisting of tanks COUGAR, CHEETAH and CAT with scout car HECTOR. It soon became the main target for German coastal artillery, AA guns, machine guns and mortars of all sizes. Commanded by Troop Leader Lieutenant Thomas R. Cornett, the tank troop quickly exited the TLC after the engineers moved some of their wounded clear.
Cornett’s tank, COUGAR, successfully crossed the beach and the sea wall, employing its chespaling device and then jettisoned part of the apparatus. After crossing over the sea wall, COUGAR turned right to the west and was immediately hit by 75mm coastal gun, positioned on the far side of the canal below the east headland. The shell hit the turret ring and jammed it. CAT (see below) aimed its 6-pounder gun at the enemy gun position and silenced it. COUGAR, after concentrating its 6-pounder fire on the tobacco factory, broke its left track while maneuvering caused by chert stones lodged between the bogey wheel and the tracks. The tank briefly maneuvered on its own on the right track before it was also blown by enemy shell fire. The crew abandoned the immobilized tank and return back to the beach looking for cover. The gunner, Trooper Gerald M. Ross, was the last to leave the tank after setting off a sticky bomb to destroy the interior of the tank.
The second tank, CHEETAH, attempted to follow COUGAR over the sea wall but had trouble climbing onto the promenade. The driver, Trooper Fred Hilsabeck (brother of the co-driver in COMPANY) tried to drive as straight as possible to avoid getting chert rocks built up behind the bogey wheels. CHEETAH’s first attempt at trying to climb the sea wall, the tank’s exposed belly was hit by an enemy shell which came close to penetrating but it did blew all the fuses in tank which killed the engine. Quickly all the fuses were changed with a flashlight (torch) and the engine started up again. CHEETAH then climbed over the wall onto the promenade and drove back and forth along the promenade unable to find a way into the town.
CAT, the last tank off the TLC towed scout car HECTOR across the beach and over the sea wall. CAT and CHEETAH cruised up and down the promenade for hours, firing their machine guns at the German gun positions in the sea front buildings and trenches along the promenade, and firing their 6-pounders at German strong points. Throughout the battle, Junkers Ju87 Stukas made several diving attacks on the tanks. An aerial bomb hit the engine in the back of CAT and the blast of the bomb went up underneath the skirt of the turret wounding the loader-operator and the gunner. The hull side escape doors were still sealed by waterproofing, so Sergeant Jack Weaver, the commander, climbed out of the turret and pulled off the waterproofing allowing the crew to escape. CHEETAH came by to provide cover and to evacuate the two wounded troopers back to the beach. Sergeant Weaver then spread a few sticky bombs in CAT and set them off. Armed with some grenades and a machine gun, Weaver ran back to the beach dodging enemy machine gun and mortar fire. Meanwhile, CHEETAH started heading towards the beach when a Stuka made another pass and dropped its bomb. The blast hit CHEETAH’s engine compartment disabling the tank. The commander, Corporal George H. Wiggins, ordered the crew to abandon CHEETAH through the left side escape hatch. The crew of CHEETAH and the wounded troopers from CAT remained on the sheltered side of the tank until the surrender while they were consistently harassed by enemy snipers.
These are “Then and Now” photos of CAT’s location. Compare the buildings in the background.
HECTOR (driver, Trooper Edward G. Anderson and radio operator, Trooper Art E. Buckley), actually believed they drove up onto the promenade under their own power. HECTOR was the only scout car to cross over the sea wall and drove around the promenade. Unable to enter the town, HECTOR returned back to the beach. Later, a mortar shell explosion had flipped HECTOR around 360 degrees throwing both troopers out and they took immediate cover by the sea wall.
TLC-3 No. 159 transported B Squadron, 13 Troop, consisting of the three Churchill II OKE flame thrower tanks: BULL, BOAR and BEETLE.
Around 0525 hours, about 100 yards (91.44 meters) from shore near the junction between Red and White Beaches, a naval crewman lowered the bow ramp half way to provide Captain Purdy, the 13 Troop commander in his tank BULL a view of the shoreline. Believing that the TLC had touched down on the landing beach, Purdy ordered his driver, Corporal Isbister, to move forward. They could not hear the shouting from the seamen nearby since the tank was buttoned up and the radio (wireless) was jammed by German excited commands and chatter. The tank rolled ahead a few feet and the left side of the ramp went down and hesitated for a second. The TLC reversed, struggling to back up whipping from right to left, trying to shake the heavy tank off the ramp. Then the ramp collapsed and BULL sank in about 10 feet (3.048 meters) of water. Water started to pour from everywhere quickly flooding the inside of BULL and the crew managed to exit through the left side hull escape hatch. Captain Purdy could not swim and Trooper Percy W. Aide, the loader-operator, tried to save him but Purdy drowned and his body later washed ashore. The co-driver, Trooper W. Stewart was last seen swimming out into the English Channel while the other crewmen made it ashore. Trooper Aide was wounded and was evacuated, one of only two tank crewmen to had landed and returned to England (see below).
This is a photo of BULL in the surf at low tide. At high tide, BULL would been completely submerged being only 8 feet 2 inches (2.49 meters) tall.
Two minutes after BULL made its premature exit off TLC-3, the second tank, BOAR, while making a heavy landing from the ramp-less TLC, knocked off or damaged its flame thrower fuel tank rendering it useless. BOAR proceeded west down the beach and crossed onto the promenade in the area of the Casino. It remained mobile throughout the morning before ordered to return back to the beach to cover the withdrawal. The crew was then ordered to immobilize the tank and use it as a pillbox. Note the flame gun mounted next to the left fender to the right of the hull MG. No photo is found of BOAR’s damaged rear.
The third tank, BEETLE, commanded by Lieutenant L. Drysdale started up but was not able to move forward. The driver put the tank in reverse and backed up crushing two unfortunate wounded soldiers behind the tank. The left track chock was not removed probably due to the men who were responsible had became casualties. BEETLE landed heavily, blowing out its lighting system and had to operate with its emergency power. After turning right, Drysdale soon heard a radio message from Lieutenant Edwin Bennett, 10 Troop, B Squadron, stating that he could cross over the sea wall in the area of the Casino. As BEETLE began to turn left, a pin in its right track broke due to a build up of chert rocks. BEETLE remained immobilized at the eastern edge of Red Beach for the remainder of day acting as a pillbox and was unable to use its flame thrower.
Soon after BEETLE disembarked, an enemy shell obliterated the wheel house of TLC-3 killing all its personnel. The TLC ended up grounded in shallow water at an angle pointing east, about 30 yards (27.4 meters) west of the tobacco factory, and was so badly damaged that it was not able to move.
BEETLE on the beach with grounded TLC-3 in the background.
The armored hexagonal shaped box enclosing flame fuel tank on the hull rear makes the tank appear longer.
This is a close up of the hexagonal shaped box showing details of the feeder pipe connection. Between BEETLE and TLC-3 is landing craft LCA 215 (rear). There is another view of LCA 215 below. Note the broken right track hanging.
Flight 1A landed a few minutes after Flight 1 on White Beach. TLC-4 No. 126 landed just east of the tobacco factory transporting B Squadron, HQ Troop, consisting of tanks BURNS, BACKER and BOLSTER with scout car HELEN. After disembarking all the vehicles, the TLC withdrew while under constant enemy shell fire. TLC-4 began sinking at the stern with the engine room and mess decks flooded. LCP(L)s came along side the sinking vessel and evacuated the surviving crew.
BURNS commanded by Major Page disembarked in under three minutes and headed across the beach over the first wire to the crest of the ridge. Page gave the order to turn right and that was when the right track was blown off by a shell hit. The left track went on for a few seconds and pulled the tank into the trench. The tank was immobilized pointing downward into the ditch and unable to use its guns. Page ordered the crew to abandon the tank and to seek cover along the sea wall.
The second tank, BACKER commanded by Lieutenant R. H. Wallace, left TLC-4 and immediately received a direct hit on the turret ring on the right side which prevented the turret from trans-versing. BACKER followed the same path as BURNS but went around BURNS turning westward. After advancing about another 100 yards (91.44 m), BACKER was immobilized ether by a direct hit on the left track or more likely by chert stones breaking the track. The tank was almost parallel to the sea wall facing west and the 2-pounder gun in the immobilized turret was point ahead down the beach at no enemy targets. The co-driver, Trooper Jack A. Chapman, crawled out of the left side escape hatch and attached a strong cable to the gun barrel. The other end of the cable was wrapped around the left drive sprocket The driver, Trooper Earl M. Snider, reversed the tank which pulled the gun around enough so they could fire on the houses west of the Casino. After depleting all their ammunition, the crew blew up the interior of the tank and took cover along the sea wall.
The third tank, BOLSTER successfully towed off scout car HELEN. BOLSTER was climbing up the beach when its right track broke by the build up of chert rocks and came to a full stop in the area of the beached TLC-3. Although unable to move, BOLSTER continued firing its 2-pounder gun and 3-inch howitzer until the ammunition ran out. The crew was able to silence a German AT gun in the west cliff before they abandoned the tank. In this photo, BOLSTER still has the tow cable connected to the rear.
Before HELEN (carrying Troopers William D. P. Sawers and Albert K. Thompson) could release the tow cable linked to BOLSTER, the Daimler scout car immediately bellied in the chert stones directly behind the tank. The burnt out interior was probably the result of hits on the stores by enemy fire or sabotage by the crew upon evacuation. Note the extended exhaust pipe which runs from the rear lower edge of the front left fender up the side of the fighting compartment. HELEN ended up directly in front of BEETLE (See photos above). Between HELEN and TLC-3 in the background is landing craft LCA 215 (with C pennant) which landed an infantry unit.
TLC-5 No. 121 touched down in front of the Casino and unloaded its tanks but very accurate enemy mortar and artillery fire wiped out the crew, leaving the burning craft beached in front of the Casino. TLC-5 transported B Squadron, 9 Troop, consisting of tanks BUTTERCUP, BLOSSUM and BLUEBELL with scout car HARRY. All three tanks and HARRY landed dry.
Film: 1942 – Raid de Dieppe
BUTTERCUP, commanded by Sergeant John D. Morrison, lead the way, laying down chespaling track and while advancing up the beach, enemy shell fire hitting the 6-pounder gun mantlet caused the paint to peel on the inside of the turret. BUTTERCUP successfully crossed the beach, wire and sea wall and for the remainder of the battle, concentrated its fire on the west headland and on the seafront buildings behind and to the west of the Casino. Later, BUTTERCUP returned to the beach below the Casino to provide some cover from the intense fire coming from the west headland. The driver positioned the tank parallel to the water’s edge to give the crew some protection for the evacuation. The crew could not blow up the interior of their tank because too many wounded infantry were huddled around the tank.
The second tank, BLOSSUM, commanded by Lieutenant Lambert, attempted to follow the same path as BUTTERCUP on the laid chespaling tracks but swerved off the chespaling, breaking its right track in the chert stones and stopped along side the chespaling track. While remaining stationary for the rest of the morning, BLOSSUM directed its fire at targets on the west headland and at a 37mm gun in a fortified blockhouse located at the northeast corner of the Casino. The 6-pounder shells had little effect on the blockhouse and BLOSSUM positioned at an angle to the east side of the blockhouse making it not exposed to its field of fire.
This is the front view of BLOSSUM with TLC-5 burning in the background.
This side view of BLOSSUM shows the front of the Casino in the background and the blockhouse was off to the left.
On the right edge of IWM HU 1904 is BLOODY (see below).
The third tank, BLUEBELL, towing scout car HARRY, attempted to move around BLOSSUM but became bogged down in the loose chert stones, immediately in front of the Casino and was only able to move a few feet (1 m) back and forth while firing its weapons. Using the tank’s telescopic sight, the crew located the flash of the barrel of a German sniper on the Casino roof and a well placed 6-pounder round silenced the sniper. Later, Trooper G. Volk was ordered to get out of the tank to release HARRY and to try to clear the rocks away from the tracks. In doing so, Volk was wounded and later evacuated as a casualty. Volk and Trooper Percy Aide of BULL were the only two tank crewmen to had landed and subsequently returned to England.
HARRY (driver: Corporal Arnold A. Butler, radio operator: Trooper Andrew E. Graham) got bogged down in the chert stones part way up the beach. For about an hour, HARRY was spinning its wheels only digging itself deeper. Note the chert stones caught in the engine grill. The tow cable release pin was stuck. Trooper Butler with the help of Trooper Volk and a couple of infantry had to pound it out to release the tow cable but afterwards HARRY could not go anywhere.
TLC-6 No. 163 transported B Squadron, 6 Troop, consisting of tanks BOB, BERT and BILL. TLC-6 attempted three times to come in but had three helmsmen killed. On the fourth attempt, it used the sinking TLC-1 as cover and was able to land all its tanks dry. TLC-6 passed a rope to TLC-1 in an attempt to tow her off but the line was shot away and TLC-6 was forced to leave TLC-1 behind.
The first tank, BOB, moved down the ramp and to the right along the water’s edge. The crew fired the charges under the waterproofing as the tank moved towards the Casino. When the crew test fired the Besa machine guns, the turret Besa jammed from a double feed. BOB stopped long enough to clear the jammed Besa. BERT was the second tank off, turned left and halted. The gunner, Trooper William G. Stewart, realized that the turret was not trans-versing due to a malfunction of blowing off the waterproofing. The co-driver, Trooper Thomas A. Dunsmore, got out and cut the turret loose with a machete. BILL, the last tank, disembarked without any problems and followed BERT. The three tanks went up the beach, over the sea wall by the Casino and drove onto the promenade.
The troop then headed around to the rear of the Casino, firing at strong points in the area below the chateau perched on top of the west headland. The troop commander then received a radio call from B Squadron, 9 Troop, reporting that a 37mm gun was firing from a concrete bunker on the northeast end of the Casino. BOB moved into position and fired into an opening at the rear of the bunker. BERT moved to fire the 6-pounder at a sandbagged gun emplacement at the side of a building facing the promenade and destroyed it. They could not find any way off the street because of the concrete road blocks so the three tanks continued to move about firing at any suspected targets.
Later in the morning, while maneuvering in the area immediately east of the Casino, BERT’s left track was blown off. The crew could not repair the track while under fire so they stayed inside the tank. BERT provided cover fire to about 20 soldiers of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry who ran from the Casino into the town. BILL moved along side the disabled BERT to take off three of BERT’s crew. It took some time because they had to cut through the waterproofing covering the side hatches with the tank’s machete. BOB then moved along side and retrieved the remaining two crewmen from BERT.
This is disabled BERT seen near the southeast corner of the camouflaged Casino with the Chateau on top of the west headland in the background. Directly across the street south of the Casino is PORTE DES TOURELLES which translates as “Turret Gate”. Note the wooden box structure behind BERT to the left.
The Germans started demolishing the Casino before the raid. During the raid, the Casino provided some cover for the Allies and interfered with German artillery ranging. Soon after the raid, the Germans demolished the Casino completely to provide a full line of sight of the beach in case the Allies planned to attack Dieppe again.
The Chateau is actually a castle which was founded in 1188 by King Henry II of England, and was destroyed in 1195 by King Philip II of France. The site was restored in the 14th century and the castle was later in large part reconstructed in 1433 by Charles des Marets. The Chateau today has a small art museum, Chateau Musee de Dieppe, which has a collection of paintings, carved ivory and old cannons, plus city and sea views.
PORTE DES TOURELLES was built in the 15th century of sandstone and flint and was altered several times. It consists of a vaulted passage, flanked by two circular towers crowned by two conical roofs. This gate is the only remaining gate of the seven gates of the old fortified enclosure that surrounded Dieppe.
This is the location today.
This is the front view of disabled BERT being examined by German soldiers.
This is a rear view of BERT with the wooden box structure to the right. The purpose of the box is unknown.
IWM HU 1902 is another rear view of BERT.
Eventually, BOB and BILL returned to the beach to lay down a smoke screen and provide cover for the withdrawal. The crewmen of the tanks had little chance of evacuation and later surrendered.
At about 0605 hours, Flight 2 of four TLCs landed on schedule, receiving extremely heavy enemy fire. TLC-7 No. 124 transporting B Squadron, 10 Troop, consisting of tanks BEEFY, BELLICOSE and BLOODY with scout car HUNTER, landed in the center of Red and White Beaches. On the way in, a gun emplacement on the west jetty fired a shell through the left side of TLC-7. It ricocheted off a tank turret and hit the barrage balloon storage area which exploded some hydrogen cylinders and set the balloons on fire. Some of the flaming rubberized material settled on the rear of the Troop commander’s tank BELLICOSE. A piece of metal from the explosion jammed BELLICOSE’s turret so it could not rotate.
BEEFY was the first tank out, landing dry, and immediately blew its waterproofing, but to remove the fabric still around the turret ring the co-driver, Trooper Roy A. Lincoln, climbed out on top of the moving tank while under enemy fire. BEEFY temporarily stopped about 30 feet (9.144 m) off the ramp to get their bearings. An ammunition party had attached a sled loaded with tank ammunition to the rear of BELLICOSE. It would had acted as an anchor and BELLICOSE probably been unable to get ashore. Fortunately, it did not slide very well on the steel TLC deck and the tow cable snapped. BLOODY, the last tank, towed scout car HUNTER ashore. After landing all its vehicles, TLC-7 withdrew badly damaged and sank with a 14 CATR Jeep still aboard.
BELLICOSE passed BEEFY and turned to the right towards the Casino and found a place where the chert had piled up to with 2 feet (0.6 m) of the sea wall near the Casino and crossed over it without any problem. The rest of the troop followed.
HUNTER was driven by Trooper Michael F. Zima and carried Major Gordon M. Rolfe, Royal Canadian Corps of signals (RCCS) and his two No. 19 wireless (radio) sets. Rolfe had three scout cars under his command, HUNTER, HOUND and HARE, and reported to the 6th Infantry Brigade HQ. Note the two antennas on HUNTER. Sergeant Ron B. Lee, commander of BLOODY, realizing he could not cross over the sea wall, stopped, reversed and crashed into HUNTER, crushing the front end. The damaged HUNTER appeared as a derelict to the enemy but the radio sets were not damaged and operated throughout the battle.
This the same photo HUNTER colorized. Note the Jeep in the background (See below).
After crossing onto the promenade, all three tanks went the east side of the Casino towards the buildings fronting the promenade. On the way, BLOODY dropped into an anti-tank ditch. BEEFY provided covering fire while Troopers Donald R. Lazier and Austin W. Hill attached a tow line to BLOODY while under constant fire. BEEFY pulled BLOODY out of the ditch.
The troop then proceeded down the boulevard, clearing the Germans out of the slit trenches and the tanks’ gunners fired at easy targets, although BELLICOSE had to rotate the whole tank to compensate for the jammed turret. At one point during the battle, the gunner of BEEFY, Corporal W. J. Hunt, spotted a sniper in a third story window. Unable to get sighting, he dropped the 6-pounder’s breech block, lined up on the sniper by looking through the gun barrel, then fired. He managed to take out several snipers in this manner.
BELLICOSE returned to the beach to have the steering system repaired which was damaged by frequent anti-tank shell hits. After the damage had been fixed, BELLICOSE started to move back down the beach towards the Casino intending to return to the promenade. An accumulation of chert stones broke the left track immobilizing the tank at the junction of Red and White Beaches, right beside the grounded TLC-3. BELLICOSE continued firing its 6-pounder at targets on the west headland, achieving a direct hit on a tower in the process.
BEEFY and BLOODY returned near the Casino. A rain of enemy shells first hit BLOODY’s turret seal causing the 6-pounder not able to transverse and then the left track finally broke, immobilizing the tank in the middle of White Beach.
This photo was taken at high tide after the battle. Note the sailboat offshore.
This is the front of BEEFY abandoned on the beach after the battle. To the right along the water edge is BOAR with BUTTERCUP and BLUEBELL behind it and in the background is the beached TLC-5.
TLC-8 No. 125 carried the 4th Brigade Headquarters consisting of tanks RINGER, REGIMENT and ROUNDER. On the first run to Red Beach, TLC-8 was able to land Captain Austin G. Stanton in his tank RINGER. Unfortunately, while moving up the beach it got stuck in the chert stones blocking the exit of the other tanks and the TLC pulled out. A beach assault party of 12 engineers rushed forward carrying chespaling rolls to assist RINGER. The attempt failed and 7 or 8 engineers were KIA. RINGER backed down towards the water under its own power, swung to the right and advanced slowly along the beach at the waters edge in the lowest gear because of the chert stones. A short distance along the beach, the left track broke and the tank stopped dead. RINGER spent the rest of the morning firing at targets until their ammunition was depleted. Several enemy mortar shells landed on the tank but did no harm to the crew. The crew remained in the tank until the surrender.
TLC-8 withdrew offshore for about an hour before attempting to land its two remaining tanks on the western end of White Beach. At that time no smoke cover remained and the TLC attracted an extremely heavy concentration of enemy fire. As the ramp was lowered in preparation for landing, a shell hit the front of the TLC, damaging the air intakes louvre extensions of REGIMENT and broke the chains of the ramp. The ramp fell open, touching down in 8 feet (2.43 m) of water. Believing a normal landing had been made, REGIMENT drove off and drowned. At that depth, the tank might have made it to the beach if the louvre and waterproofing were not damaged. The crew successfully evacuated the tank, climbing aboard a nearby motor launch. The launch was almost immediately hit by shell fire, bursting into flames, causing everyone to dive into the water. Not able to find a good photo of REGIMENT.
ROUNDER was unable to land because the volume of shell fire increased to the point where TLC-8 was actually blown off the beach. TLC-8 withdrew with most of its crew KIA, all guns were out of action and was hit by shell fire at least 35 times. A photo of ROUNDER or information of what happened to ROUNDER after the raid has not been found.
TLC-9 No. 166 landed on White Beach soon after 0605 hours using TLC-7 and TLC-8 as cover on her port (left) side. It transported B Squadron, 7 Troop, consisting of tanks BRENDA, BETTY and BLONDIE with scout car HARE.
BRENDA, commanded by Troop Sergeant W. W. Olive, was the first tank to land and drove immediately up the beach, blowing its waterproofing. BRENDA turned right and headed towards the Casino. Beside the Casino was a flight of concrete steps which BRENDA made its way onto the promenade. BRENDA along with other tanks drove around the promenade used up their ammo shooting at targets. Sometime in the early afternoon, two planes flew over the beach laying a smoke screen. BRENDA returned to the beach stopping on a slope where the crew bailed out. Sergeant Olive burnt out the interior of BRENDA with a sticky bomb. Later, while the crew was taking cover behind another immobilized tank, they noticed BRENDA rolling by into the water by itself. The sticky bomb must had destroyed the braking mechanisms.
Lieutenant Breithaupt, in BETTY, was the second tank off TLC and went over the ridge into a trench. Realizing that he could not cross there, Breithaupt backed out of the trench and then headed west towards the Casino. He had heard the radio message about the low sea wall by the Casino. Once over the wall, BETTY and BRENDA spent the morning circling the promenade firing at enemy targets. At about 1115 hours, BETTY got a direct hit on the cupola broke the front and rear periscopes, knocked out the lights, broke off both antennas and knocked out both the radio and internal communications. The driver was given instructions to drive as best he could and the gunner to fire at will. The driver, Corporal James K. Nash, while circling spotted a large hole which the right was about to fall into which would had caused the tank to turn turtle. He turned the tank hard right and BETTY went into the hole head first. When BETTY hit the bottom right side up, the lights came back on and the internal communications and radio started working again. Nash tried to drive out of the hole but on the crest the tracks began to slip and he backed the tank down. Breithaupt then radioed three other tanks, BRENDA, BEEFY and BLOODY for help. Two tanks for protection and one tank to tow. Corporal Nash, while under enemy fire, attached the tow cable to BLOODY and they tried to get BETTY out again. BETTY was pulled out of the hole only to have its left track shot away by enemy fire. Breithaupt decided to back the tank down into the hole to provide his crew some protection to evacuate. At that moment, the order came over the radio for all units to return to the beach. After Nash had detached the tow cable, BETTY’s crew got into BEEFY and BLOODY (2 in one and 3 in the other) to return to the beach for evacuation.
This is a side view of BETTY. The “hole” referred to by Breithaupt was actually the entrance to an underground enemy bunker.
BLONDIE was the last tank off the TLC towing scout car HARE. It drove off and proceeded up the beach, only stopping to release HARE. While advancing towards the Casino, about half an hour after landing, BLONDIE broke its left track and was immobilized on the western end of Red Beach. It remained there acting as a pillbox, depleting all its 6-pounder and Besa ammunition before the crew abandoned the tank. The radio was knocked out, probably by a mortar hit. The crew took some weapons with them and took cover on the seaward side of the tank.
HARE, driven by Trooper Kasmir Doda with Corporal Chambers (RCCS), advanced up the steep beach before either being rammed by a maneuvering tank or was hit by a mortar shell. The crew abandoned the wreaked scout car and took cover by the sea wall.
Only one ‘Blitz Buggy’ jeep which was listed in the loading tables as belonging to the 14 CATR landed carrying ammunition and stores. The “5” on the disc is the Jeep’s bridge classification. Note the chespaling under the tires and the debris in the foreground.
TLC-10 No. 165 transporting C Squadron, 15 Troop, consisting of tanks CAUSTIC, CANNY and CONFIDENT with scout car HOUND, touched down at 0610 hours on the middle of Red Beach.
Troop Leader Lieutenant Arthur B. Patterson was in the first tank CAUSTIC. As soon as the ramp dropped, the TLC was hit by hail of artillery and anti-tank fire, the explosions blowing water, rock splinters and shrapnel into the opening of the craft. CAUSTIC moved onto the ramp immediately after touchdown and was hit by more enemy fire. The explosion stalled CAUSTIC on the ramp for a few minutes. CAUSTIC had got started again and moved left along the beach attempting to find a way across the wide trench and the sea wall. Patterson had spotted the earth ramp which reached the height of the sea wall and ordered this driver to drive up it onto the promenade.
The number two tank CANNY followed CAUSTIC immediately but was also hit while on the ramp, receiving slight damage to its left air louvre. It turned sideways to the right and took about five minutes to straighten itself out before following behind CAUSTIC. Both tanks were able to travel safely over the beach by turning a bit, backing up, then going ahead again, then turning a bit and so on. This process defeated the build up chert stones and rocks which go up into the drive sprocket thus breaking the tracks. The troop had heard about the chert stones over their No. 19 sets from the other troops who had landed before them and had ran into this problem.
The last tank, CONFIDENT had immediately followed CANNY towing scout car HOUND. As CONFIDENT was going out the door of the TLC it received a direct hit, fortunately a dud, above the engine compartment, causing one of the air louvres to hook the door frame and stalling the tank, half on the ramp and half on the beach. Revving its engines at the same time as the TLC reversed, the tank and scout car (which had also been hit) were released. CONFIDENT swung left to follow the other two tanks and maneuvered over the beach in a similar manner as the others. CONFIDENT climbed the earth ramp to the sea wall, but was suddenly hit by concentrated shell fire while cresting the wall and then backed back down the slope out of the enemy’s sight. The hits damaged CONFIDENT’s steering mechanism. CONFIDENT then drove back to the top of the wall to have a look see and fired a shot or two at whatever seemed worthwhile, then backed down out of sight again before the enemy could hit them again. CONFIDENT repeated this tacic for several hours and during this period the tank gradually moved sideways to the left. After a while, the gunner was not able to depress the 6-pounder low enough to shoot at anything because the tank was angled up. Since they were no longer useful, the crew evacuated the tank, blew up the inside and took cover nearby. Later, the brakes failed and the tank rolled slowly backwards into the water, disappearing in a cloud of steam.
CAUSTIC and CANNY spent the morning cruising around the promenade in circles in the area of Red Beach. The fire was intense and there were several other tanks on the promenade. If at any time a tank stopped for any reason, it immediately came under enemy fire. The order finally came over the radio for all units to pull back to the beach for evacuation. CAUSTIC and CANNY returned to the beach as ordered.
This is CONFIDENT on the beach at high tide after the raid.
This is the front view of CONFIDENT at low tide. CAUSTIC is in the background in the water with its turret almost awash.
This is CANNY lying in the surf.
Due to the unexpected heavy fire and preoccupation with the battle, the crew of CONFIDENT totally forgot about HOUND and accidentally reversed into it, ramming it into the beach pushing it aside. Its radios were knocked out of action and HOUND’s driver, Lance-Corporal Frank Howe was badly burned. He was the third and last man of the regiment lucky enough to be picked up off the beach and evacuated to England. The radio operator, Corporal Willis, reported to Major Rolfe and took over the radio in HUNTER which he operated throughout the morning.
One Universal (Bren) Carrier Mk.I did land from a Landing Craft, Mechanized Mk I (LCM). One source states it belonged to the Royal Regiment of Canada (Infantry) and was probably under the command of Major McCool, the Principal Military Landing Officer (PLMO) of the same regiment. During 1941-42, the Arm of Service (AoS) number 55 on Red Square was the Senior Infantry Battalion of the Senior Infantry Brigade of the Infantry Division which in this case would make it belonged to The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry who landed on White Beach. It probably brought ashore some ammunition, water and medical supplies for the infantry. From the photos, the war department or ‘T’ census number was “T-13145”.
This is my close up of IWM A 11228 . LCM No. 169 (white outlined numbers on bow) is carrying an Universal Carrier Mk. I but not the one which landed on the beach. Some sources state this photo was taken during training in the UK while the IWM caption states they just returned from the beaches of Dieppe.
The carrier was on White Beach to the east of beached TLC-3. Directly behind the carrier is BUTTERCUP, to the right is the rear of BLOODY and BRENDA is in the water. On the right front corner is “T5” and to the right of the driver’s view port is the Bridge Classification disc with a “5”. Note the number “55” on the right front fender.
This is another view taken showing BLOODY.
This is my close up showing the right side of the carrier.
This photo taken at high tide shows the left side of the carrier with some washed up debris in front of it.
This frame from a German Propaganda film shows the carrier. The dark areas along the edges is probably the waterproofing. The tank in the background is BLOSSUM and behind it is the front of the Casino.
At 1000 hours, the infantry units were rapidly using up their small arms ammunition and the situation was critical. At 1100 hours, all remaining mobile tanks were ordered to withdraw back to the beach and take up defensive positions to cover the withdrawing infantry. It appeared the Germans were preparing for an infantry counter-attack which the tanks probably deterred. By 1200 hours, all the tanks ha been immobilized, the majority with broken tracks, although many continued to fire until their ammunition was depleted. At 1225 hours, the tank crews were ordered to evacuate. At 1300 hours, about the time of the general surrender on Red and White Beaches, the code word VANCOUVER was sent out which was the signal for the entire Allied naval force to turn around and head back to England.
The Germans then rounded up the Allied soldiers who were not evacuated and took them as prisoners. The wounded received medical attention and all spent the rest of the war in POW camps.
AFTER THE RAID
Out of the 10 TLCs, 3 TLCs were beached and 2 had sank. The remaining 5 TLCs returned but were damaged.
In all, 29 tanks attempted to land, 2 drowned and 27 made it to shore. Of the 27, 15 crossed the sea wall, although 10 returned back to the beach in the area around the Casino, where 4 were immobilized by chert stones. The remaining 12 tanks never got off the beach. Of these, 4 had their tracks broken by enemy shell fire, 4 had their tracks broken by chert stones and 3 for unknown reasons. The last tank stayed on the beach and was mobile for the duration of the battle. None of the 27 tanks which landed managed to return to England.
Three men from the 14 CATR had landed, were wounded in action and later evacuated back to England. The first two were tank crewmen, the loader of BULL and the co-driver of BLUEBELL. The third man was the driver of scout car HOUND (see above).
The Germans repaired BLONDIE’s broken track and is test driving their captured war trophy.
The Germans also repaired BERT and is seen here using BERT to tow CHIEF onto the promenade. The two smoke stacks in the background mark the location of the Tobacco factory.
This is the front view of BERT being used by its new owners. In the background is a Sd.Kfz. 9/1 FAMO half-track with a crane (6 tons).
Only two Churchill IIIs were readied for combat. They were repainted overall Dunkelgrau (panzer grey) and large balkenkreuz (lit. “beam cross” or “bar cross”) were added to the turret. They were issued to Panzer-Kompanie 81 (equipped mainly of captured French tanks) which was incorporated into the Panzer-Regiment 100 in January 1943.
A Churchill of II.Abt./Pz.Rgt.100 at Yvetot station, France in 1943. Yvetot is 51 km (31.7 miles) southwest of Dieppe. No information is found indicating if the two Churchill tanks were still operational or used during the Allies invasion in 1944.
This is the view from atop of west headland overlooking White and Red Beaches with the west jetty at the eastern end of beach. The location where the Casino was is now a recreation area with a large swimming pool.
Two memorials can be found on the beach sidewalk today. The black granite memorial on the left was dedicated on 19 August 2006. It was designed by then University of Windsor student, Rory O’Connor with a unique feature that allows the sun to shine through the maple leaf hole at exactly 1:00 PM Dieppe time to illuminate a silver maple leaf embedded in the base. The inscription on the right memorial translates as “To the memory of those that left Canada, shed their blood on French ground while fighting under the banner of a Canadian French regiment“.
A museum dedicated to the raid is located close to the beach and the chateau. Click HERE to access the museum’s website.
MODEL KITS AND DECALS
MiniArt 35067 British Scout Car DINGO Mk.Ib w/CREW – 2009
AFV Club AF35176 British Infantry Tank Churchill Mk.III Dieppe Raid – 2013
Riich.Models RV35011 Universal Carrier Mk.I w/Crew – 2013
Echelon Fine Details ALT352016 Calgary Regiment Churchills in the Battle of Dieppe
Echelon Fine Details D356098 Calgary Regiment Dingos at Dieppe
Peddinghaus-Decals EP 1994 Churchill Mk I B-Squadron Canadian Army at Dieppe – 2009
Tamiya 32581 British Armored Scout Car “Dingo” Mk.II – 2014
Inside the Armour 48007D Daimler Dingo Interior & Exterior (Includes Options for Dieppe)
Gaso.line GAS50261K A22 Churchill Mk.III (Resin kit w/ RB Models metal gun barrel)
Gaso.line GAS50919 A22 Churchill infantry tank decals
Peddinghaus-Decals EP 1996 Churchill Mk I B-Squadron Canadian Army at Dieppe – 2009
Dragon 7510 Churchill Mk.III, Dieppe 1942 – 2014
Dragon 7520 Churchill Mk.III ‘Fitted for Wading’ Operation Jubilee – 2014
Hasegawa 30043 Churchill Mk.I/II & Daimler Mk.II “Dieppe Raid” Limited Edition – 2017
IBG Models 72023 Universal Carrier I Mk.I – 2011
Peddinghaus-Decals EP 1997 Churchill Mk I B-Squadron Canadian Army at Dieppe – 2009?
Black Lion Decals 72038 Raid on Dieppe