In less than six hours in August 1942, nearly 1,000 British, Canadian and American commandos died in the French port of Dieppe in an operation that, for decades, seemed to have no real purpose. Was it a dry-run for D-Day, or perhaps a gesture by the Allies to placate Stalin's impatience for a second front in the west?
Historian David O'Keefe uses hitherto Ultra Secret classified intelligence archives to prove that at the heart of his catastrophic raid was a special operation designed by Ian Fleming of the British Naval Intelligence Division — part of a fully sanctioned ‘pinch’ policy designed to capture material relating to the Enigma machine that would allow codebreakers like Alan Turing at Bletchley Park to turn the tide of the war.
The future author of the James Bond series played a pivotal role linking MI5, MI6, SOE and others. O'Keefe explores this background to the operation and fundamentally changes our understanding of one of the greatest mysteries of the Second World War. Along the way, he sheds new light on characters such as the controversial Lord Louis Mountbatten, Professor Harry Hinsley, and Fleming's boss Admiral John Godfrey, as well as the Allied commandos who fought and died on the beaches of Dieppe. For those men, and for military historians, Dieppe has seemed like a disastrous misadventure that defied logical explanation — until now.