Daily Archives: 6 January, 2010

The Dieppe Raid – Marine William Rhodes

Allegedly, the raid on Dieppe gave valuable lessons that were put into place for the Invasion of Normandy on D-Day. However, historians such as Brian Lorings Villa have suggested that the raid was launched Lord Louis Mountbatten without approval from his seniors, and the story about ‘lessons’ was propogated afterwards to cover-up the poor planning and execution and the heavy losses suffered, particularly by Canadian troops. The raid remains highly controversial to this day, particularly in Canada.

Mountbatten, a member of the royal family and a favourite of Winston Churchill, was definitely used to getting his own way and bending the rules. He was also a master of self-promotion, so the story of ‘lessons for D-Day’ is hardly surprising. In truth, it should not have taken the deaths of almost a thousand men to learn these lessons: it was obvious even before the raid that it would be folly to attack a port full frontally. Many of the unique projects that aided D-Day were already under development at the time of Dieppe.

A total of 962 Canadian, British and American men were killed, unbelievably high losses for one day of battle. Among them was Marine William Rhodes, 36 and from Southsea. He landed with 40 Commando Royal Marines, and was killed on 19 August 1942. He is buried at Pihen-les-Guines Cemetery, France.


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Filed under Army, portsmouth heroes, Royal Marines, World War Two