7 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Dieppe:Churchills other Gallipoli,
This review is from: The Dieppe Raid: The Story of the Disastrous 1942 Mission (Hardcover)
This is one of Robin Neillands better books,he usually writes in a dry,factual manner but seems to make Dieppe raid a very lively account.He sets out the pressures facing the Allied High Command brilliantly.The Canadian troops kicking their heels,the Soviets demanding a second front,theUS wanting to get on with it,and the British people through their trade unions and Labour MPs demanding action.He gets it wrong when he states the Soviets threatened to conclude a peace with Hitler unless the Allies initiated a second front.There is no reference to this and no other Historian has said Stalin said this.The British people were rightly suspicious of their leaders at this stage of the war.Churchill had presided over a catalouge of defeats from Dunkirk to Tobruck to Malaya,Singapore and Burma. Churchill used the same pool of discredited First World War generals and pre-war Establishment figures who came out of the woodwork to fill the highly paid positions that became available because of the war.The British High Command and Govt.were seething with intrigue and overcome with ineptness that cost thousands of unavoidable lives like the wrong equiptment such as lightly armoured tanks,no suitable anti-tank guns and bickering Generals whose caution led to major defeat like Percival in Singapore. Churchill was responsible for de-nuding the British forces of arms and equiptment by sending war materials to Russia when the reallity was the Soviets did not need it.Churchill was playing the big man.This led to a crisis of lack of air cover at Dieppe,Singapore etc. British lives were expendable to the likes of Churchill.Dieppe was Churchills attempt to wipe the slate clean for GAllipoli.
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Initial post: 22 Sep 2010 10:54:34 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Sep 2010 10:55:13 BDT
The reviewer only covers this book in the first couple of sentences. The rest of his contribution is a diatribe against Churchill without adducing the evidence for his allegations.
Posted on 1 May 2013 13:38:55 BDT
Yes, this review is not really a review of the book as such, but more a peg on which to hang the reviewer's personal opinion of Churchill. Let me state where I am in agreement - the book is worth reading. That's the essential point about this 'review'. As for the rest, I am not going to go through all the allegations made line by line, because many of them are obviously without substance. But just on his point about 'lightly armoured tanks' it is worth noting that the Allied forces at Dieppe had heavily armoured Churchill tank with them. It wasn't the armour or lack of it that was the problem on Dieppe's beaches - it was the nature of the beaches themselves.Dieppe was a disasterously designed attack - but the idea that British lives were expendable 'to the likes of Chruchill' is silly. In war you take decisions that will cost people their lives - even if you win.
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