Operation Jubilee


On the moonless night of 18 August 1942 a flotilla pushes out into the flat water of the Channel. They are to seize the German-held port of Dieppe and hold it for at least 24 hours, showing the Soviets the Allies were serious about a second front and to get experience ahead of a full-scale invasion.But confidence turned to carnage with nearly two thirds of the attackers dead, wounded or captured. Operation Jubilee – the Royal Air Force’s biggest battle since 1940 – has drama from start to finish, human folly and tragedy in spades and a fast, tight narrative with heroes at every level. The raid was both a disaster and a milestone in the narrative of the war – it had powerful lessons and far-reaching consequences that paved the way to D-Day. Patrick Bishop’s account of this gallant endeavour reveals the big picture and unearths telling details, establishing definitively Operation Jubilee’s place in history.

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‘An exemplary account of this wartime fiasco’ Max Hastings, Sunday Times

‘well-researched, crisply written and utterly absorbing . . . will live for the reader long afterwards’ Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny

On the warm night of 18 August 1942, a flotilla pushed out into the flat water of the Channel. They were to seize the German-held port of Dieppe, destroy key installations, seize intelligence material and then sail for home.

This was the greatest amphibious operation since Gallipoli, with the biggest accumulation of fighter power ever assembled. But by the morning of the attack, one of its architects already feared that the operation would “go down as one of the great failures in history”. Its key players claimed it was essential to D-Day, with the media telling listeners that it was a success — but the tragedy was all too predictable.

Using first-hand testimony from combatants and civilians, and colourful analysis of the roles of Mountbatten and Montgomery, bestselling author Patrick Bishop’s gripping account brings Operation Jubilee powerfully and vividly to life, in an epic demonstration of how ambition, folly and courage came together in one of the most tragic episodes of the war.

‘Bishop’s account of the operation is the best I’ve read. He understands war, he understands battle, and he understands men’ Allan Mallinson, Spectator

‘Riveting and powerfully written. Patrick Bishop has turned this tragic cautionary tale into a fascinating, shrewd and timely reflection on leadership in a time of crisis’ Henry Hemming, author of Our Man in New York

‘[This] gripping new book sets the record straight and honours the 6,000 brave men sent into the jaws of death’
Daily Express

‘a masterclass of heart-stopping historical narrative . . . a gripping, beautifully written account’ Saul David, Telegraph

Additional information

Weight 0.312 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 2.5 cm






xi, 386 , 24 unnumbered of plates




940.5421425 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K