Tragedy at Dieppe

Mark Zuehlke, Author
Mark Zuehlke. Douglas & McIntyre/Harbour Publishing (HarperCollins Canada, $27.95 trade paper (472p) ISBN 978-155365-835-1
Reviewed on: 12/23/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Ebook - 458 pages - 978-1-55365-836-8
Paperback - 437 pages - 978-1-77162-016-1
Hardcover - 978-1-77100-339-1
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On August 19, 1942, Allied troops landed at Nazi-held Dieppe and the subsequent carnage, particularly Canadian, so faithfully portrayed in this book, continues to shock, appall and disturb decades later. Zuehlke (Juno Beach) analyzes this infamous day using period documents and personal records to accurately place Operation Jubilee in the greater historical context. With exquisite detail and methodical description, Zuehlke plows through the months of enthusiastic staff reshuffling, chaotic planning, tedious drilling, desperate political juggling and hasty training prior to that fateful dawn. Following the names of all the major and minor players is dizzying at times, but readers will become well-acquainted with every level of personnel involved, from Lord Mountbatten to Major General "Ham" Roberts to Canadian privates. Each come to life through Zuehlke's often pithy depictions, which lead readers to identify with the characters and anxiously follow the soldiers' collision course with destiny that ended on a rocky French beach. On the beach itself, no detail is spared, as Zuehlke chronicles the Dieppe raid from every agonizing perspective. This testimony is a brilliant combination of scholarly analysis and emotional human breath. Readers who thought they knew Dieppe will be contrite, astonished and, above all, deeply moved. (Apr.)
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