From the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestselling American Sniper comes a remarkable true story of heroism and sacrifice in World War II.
In the darkest days of 1942, an Allied force set out to capture the Nazi-occupied French port of Dieppe. More than two years had passed since the British had been humiliated at Dunkirk, and nearly nine months since the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The Germans held the continent in a death grip. Now, some six thousand British and Canadian troops were attempting to gain a foothold on Hitler's domain. Joining the crusaders were fifty hand-selected, specially-trained soldiers from a new commando unit. These were to be the first Americans to fight in Europe, and they would become known as the U.S. Army Rangers.
The mission was doomed, but the bravery the Rangers displayed proved that Americans were every bit as tough as their allies and enemies. Drawn from firsthand accounts and historical documents, this is an unforgettable story of the forging of an American legacy that still endures today.
“[A] carefully researched and brilliantly executed narrative of the modern Rangers’ baptism in blood.”—America in WWII
DeFelice (Leopards Kill) takes a fresh look at the disastrous 1942 Allied landing at German-occupied Dieppe, France, from the perspective of the 50 U.S. Army Rangers scattered among the British Commando units and the Canadian 2nd Division, which spearheaded the assault. With an eye on gaining experience in amphibious operations, the 50 Rangers were selected from the 1st Ranger Battalion, formed just months before Operation Jubilee, the code name for the raid at Dieppe. Beset by "poor planning, insufficient training, and inadequate support," the assault among a series of raids intended to harass the Germans and boost Allied morale was a sanguinary disaster. The Canadians suffered 67% casualties and the Rangers 22%. Noting Dieppe's lack of military importance, DeFelice rejects the notion that it was "a brutal but necessary rehearsal for D-Day," concluding that it was "an unnecessary and foreseeable fiasco." DeFelice honors the courage of the men on the ground, however, including Lt. Edwin Loustalot, Pvt. Owen Sweazey, Cpl. Franklin "Zip" Koons and Sgt. Alex Szima. Carefully researched and vividly told, this popular account of the blooding of the now iconic Rangers will appeal to fans of military history.