Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kriegsmarine Sailor Posed Next to British Churchill Tank

Puys Beach, Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, Upper Normandy, France.  20 August 1942: A German Kriegsmarine (War Navy) Bootsmaat (equivalent to an Unteroffizier in the German Army, a Petty Officer Third Class in the U.S. Navy and to a Corporal in the British Royal Navy) poses next to a knocked out British Mk IV (A22) Churchill heavy infantry tank ("Boar" T32049) of Sgt. J Sullivan, B Squadron, 8 Troop Calgary Regiment (14th Canadian Tank Regiment), following the failed Allied Dieppe Raid (codename: Operation Rutter). In his hand he wields a captured Canadian Legitimus Collins & Co. No. 1250 machete taken as a souvenir. The Dieppe Raid occurred on 19 August 1942 and involved over 6,000 infantrymen, predominantly Canadian, who were supported by a Canadian Armored regiment and a strong force of Royal Navy and smaller Royal Air Force landing contingents. It involved 5,000 Canadians, 1,000 British troops, 50 United States Army Rangers and a number of Polish squadrons of the Polish Air Forces exiled in the U.K. The objectives included seizing and holding the major port of Dieppe in Upper Normandy in France for a short period, both to prove that it was possible and to gather intelligence. Upon retreat, the Allies also wanted to destroy coastal defenses, port structures and all strategic buildings. The raid had the added objectives of boosting morale and demonstrating the firm commitment of the United Kingdom to open a western front in Europe. Virtually none of these objectives were met. Allied fire support was grossly inadequate and the raiding force was largely trapped on the beach by obstacles and German fire. After less than 10 hours since the first landings, the last Allied troops had all been either killed, evacuated, or left behind to be captured by the Germans. Instead of a demonstration of resolve, the bloody fiasco showed the world that the Allies could not hope to invade France for a long time. A total of 3,623 of the 6,086 men (almost 60%) who made it ashore were either killed, wounded, or captured.

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