One Day in August

One Day in August

The Untold Story Behind Canada's Tragedy at Dieppe

Book - 2013
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Using recently declassified evidence O'Keefe provides new explanations for the motives behind the raid on Dieppe.
Publisher: Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2013
ISBN: 9780345807694
Characteristics: xx, 471 p. :,ill, maps


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Dec 31, 2016

very complete

patcumming Apr 10, 2015

If you saw The Imitation Game, this book will fascinate. It's a bit heavy going at times but sheds light on one of the most disastrous events of WWII.

Dec 27, 2014

Detailed description of a sad day in Canadian history. The story behind the day, its purpose and some explanations for the final result help us to understand the mess. Let's face it - War is messy, but there is no need for stupidity. And stupidity was clouding some people's minds back then.
O'Keefe does holds the reader's interest by tossing in interesting tidbits about Ian Fleming, Lord Mountbatten, Winston Churchill and other key players of the day.

bibliotechnocrat Oct 25, 2014

"This was too big for a raid and too small for invasion: What were you trying to do?" So opens Okeefe's first chapter, quoting a German interrogator questioning a captured Allied Major. This question has long been a puzzle, and the conventional answers about testing Nazi coastal defences as a precursor to D-Day has never made sense. After all, pretty good intelligence was already available - there was no need to sacrifice 907 lives, with almost 3,000 more wounded or taken captive in order to demonstrate that the Nazis intended to stay in France.

This well-researched book finally provides a rationale for the Dieppe fiasco, namely the pressing need to capture cypher materials necessary to win the battle of the Atlantic. However, this reason is far from satisfactory. Raids are typically small and nimble allowing for rapid action and retreat; Dieppe by contrast involved thousands of men, multiple branches of the military, multiple national forces, and relied on an absurdly optimistic degree of luck.

Okeefe's carefully constructed analysis shows the arrogance and Machiavellian willingness to sacrifice the lives of others demonstrated by Fleming, Mountbatten, and the secret service generally. It's a warning from history; Canada must beware of participating in military action directed by others.

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