By Norman Franks
While Canadian troops and British Commandos made their now well-known ‘reconnaissance in force’ opposed to the harbor city of Dieppe on nineteenth August 1942, they have been supported and guarded by means of the most important array of Royal Air strength airplane ever noticeable in WWII until eventually that point. Air Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory, AOC of Fighter Command’s No.11 crew, was once given command of the air operation and had forty six Spitfire, eight typhoon, three hurricane and four Mustang Squadrons below his course, in addition to 7 Boston and Blenheim squadrons of two crew and Fighter Command. On nineteenth August Leigh-Mallory commanded extra squadrons than have been to be had to Air leader Marshal Hugh Dowding at anyone time in the course of the conflict of england years previously.
This publication offers an in depth, minute via minute, hour by means of hour, blow through blow account of operations on an afternoon which has develop into authorised because the one on which the Royal Air strength fought its maximum air conflict. The RAF flew approximately 3,000 sorties: the Luftwaffe 945, Air wrestle, flooring assaults, bombing and smoke laying missions rate the RAF over a hundred plane and the Luftwaffe approximately 50. All this occurred in exactly sixteen hours.
In addition to the in-depth examine into the RAF’s actions in this August day sixty eight years in the past, there also are many own money owed from pilots who took half including colour to the tale of this exact conflict within the heritage of the Royal Air strength. Norman Franks is an entire time writer and air historian, with numerous books on WWI and WWII released by means of Grub highway.
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Extra info for Dieppe: The Greatest Air Battle, 19th August 1942
We either had the pride of seeing our cannon and machine-gun bullets detonating at the weapons and scattering the gunners. 'It used to be too sturdy to final - the inevitable gentle flak seemed from the correct and my typhoon used to be mortally hit. Oil and glycol smoke poured from the engine which i used to be not able to nurse because the tnrottle linkage was once shot away. I broke to the appropriate heading for the coast and flew during the twelve weapons firing from Pilot Officer Dodson's storm. He had an ideal cine movie to end up it. At excessive velocity and at tree-top top I reached the coast the place the engine died with an outstanding thud. I eased the plane as much as approximately six hundred ft, laying off hood and correct facet panel at the manner, baling out because the stall approached. The jerk of my parachute commencing was once a reduction yet i used to be wondered by means of the smoke less than the cover till I realised that tracer bullets have been the reason. inside of a couple of seconds i used to be within the sea approximately 500 yards from the cliffs. I removed my parachute harness and boots and trigger for England with a gentle part stroke, dragging my dinghy in its unopened pack and inspired by means of the zipp of bullets within the sea round me. 'To my nice reduction I observed a small touchdown craft turning in the direction of me. The ramp used to be diminished and that i used to be dragged aboard LCA 188. i used to be passed a mug of chilly tea which I gulped down — I approximately choked - it was once neat whisky! the most convoy used to be a few miles away and this badly broken touchdown Craft attack with just one engine now attracted the eye of the large weapons. The shells arrived in salvos of 4 and the good plumes of water round us have been disconcerting to claim the least. 'Sub-Lieutenant corridor RNZVRwas the skipper and the group have been 3 leader Petty officials RN. They took all of it very evenly - in the end, they'd been experiencing this therapy for the previous 8 hours. "Can't we take evasive motion? " I requested. ' "Ten levels port," shouted Sub-Lieutenant corridor, which at four knots did not anything to elevate my spirits. all of sudden we observed an excellent white bow wave heading in the direction of us. a strong RN steam gun boat rotated around and got here along and took us in tow. Our depressing four knots grew to become 15 knots and the shell hearth used to be not a threat. We quickly joined the most convoy which used to be steaming in the direction of Newhaven. ' Flight Lieutenant John Ellacombe, 253 Squadron No. forty-one Squadron's Spitfires heavily escorted the Hurricanes into the assault. many varieties of enemy plane have been visible approximately yet forty-one didn't interact. Heavy flak got here as much as meet them and 5 Spitfires have been hit and broken. The CO, Squadron chief Geoffrey Cokayne Hyde, flying his 3rd challenge of the day, used to be misplaced to view of the others when popping out and did not go back. Hyde had purely taken command of the squadron on 28 July, coming from sixty four Squadron instead of Squadron chief Nobby expense who had long past to command 412 RCAF Squadron. among this storm attack and the lull prior to the following wave arrived, at the very least 3 Spitfire squadrons have been nonetheless excessive above and in touch with enemy plane. 232 Squadron led via Squadron chief Archie McDowell, flying in Duke-Woolley's Wing, observed 9 FW190s in brief within the clouds yet did not shut with them.