Hitler struggles to understand purpose of Dieppe raid

A view of the beach at Dieppe after the Allied raid on 19th August 1942.

The German presentation of events at Dieppe was exploited to the full for propaganda purposes. Allied dead lie on the beach.

A German infantryman picks his way among blanketed Canadian dead after the failed Dieppe raid

The wounded were photographed as they lay on the beach.

The Germans lost no time in exploiting the all the propaganda that they could get from the Dieppe Raid. The threat from across the Channel was only too well understood, Hitler had ordered the building of the Atlantic Wall in March. Yet the Allied military objective behind the Dieppe raid eluded Hitler:

At mealtimes Hitler was very open to conversation and talked at length with Admiral Theodor Krancke, Raeder’s representative. The usual wide range of subjects was discussed.

A particular talking point was the mysterious British landings at Dieppe on 19 August. I have never been clear what the purpose of this operation was. Enemy commandos came ashore on heavily fortified beaches, and after suffering heavy casualties left twelve hours later. Hitler and Krancke examined the affair from all angles but neither could come up with a satisfactory explanation.

Hitler was extremely indignant for several days following an unofficial Gebirgsiager operation on 21 August when the highest peak of the Caucasus, the 5,600-metre high Elbrus, was scaled in order to place the German war flag on the summit.

Although undoubtedly a great mountaineering feat, it served no military purpose, and such ‘events’ were expressly forbidden. Hitler’s permission had not been sought before- hand and he learned of the feat in a cinema newsreel preview. Every effort was made to track down the culprits, but they were never identified.

See The Hitler Book: The Secret Report by His Two Closest Aides. A Soviet study of Hitler’s personal movements and actions – based on the recollections of two of Adolf Hitler’s closest associates: his personal valet, Heinz Linge, and his SS adjutant, Otto Guensche – both men were captured when the Red Army overran Hitlers bunker.

Prisoners of War, captured at Dieppe, are marched away from the port area.

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