One Day in August (Hardback)

Ian Fleming, Enigma, and the Deadly Raid on Dieppe

David O’Keefe

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'A lively and readable account' Spectator

'A fine book … well-written and well-researched' Washington Times

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 classified intelligence archives to prove that this catastrophic and apparently futile raid was in fact a mission, set up by Ian Fleming of British Naval Intelligence as part of a 'pinch' policy designed to capture material relating to the four-rotor Enigma Machine that would permit codebreakers like Alan Turing at Bletchley Park to turn the tide of the Second World War.

'A fast-paced and convincing book … that clears up decades of misinformation about the ignoble raid' Toronto Star

Professor David O'Keefe, a former officer in the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment of Canada) is an award-winning historian, author, film-maker and leading authority on Canadian military historical research. He currently teaches history at Marianopolis College in Quebec.

A fast-paced and convincing book … that clears up decades of misinformation about the ignoble raidToronto Star
A lively and readable accountThe Spectator
Magnificent and engrossing, this is a deep dive into one of the most fascinating and clandestine mysteries, which O'Keefe has cracked open. With extensive research, he produces a captivating and revealing narrative full of intricate detail and written in an accessible and flowing manner. Much of the information is new and I can safely say this will appeal to those interested in history, in particular, that of WWII, and those who find strange and enduring mysteries compelling. A compulsive, informative and eminently readable book, One Day in August is a multilayered and deeply thrilling expose.The Book Doctor
[A] fine book … well-written and well-researchedWashington Times
Simply put – One Day in August is a game-changer. David O'Keefe makes a bold claim about the real purpose of the Dieppe raid but does so with eloquence and clarity. Through his masterful analysis of thousands of pages of documents and sources, he builds a compelling case that finally answers our questions about the events of August 1942.Paul Woodadge, WW2TV
A must-read if one is to really understand the Dieppe raid.Julian Thompson

Based on extensive original research … O'Keefe's landmark new book presents a new and original explanation of what happened on that fateful August day in 1942.

The Globe and Mail (Best Book)

Highly original and bracingly revisionist, One Day in August is that rare book that is able to say something new about something so familiar. Based on extensive research in official records in Canada and Britain, many of them previously undiscovered or long-forgotten, One Day in August is historical writing at its best: engrossing, revealing, and enlightening.

Citation, RBC Taylor Prize

O'Keefe has definitely made the biggest breakthrough of the last twenty years in our understanding of the raid … His principal research achievement is to have kept digging in the British archives with such persistence that the keepers of the British code-breaking secrets conceded that there was no point holding back the remaining records linking Bletchley Park, Ian Fleming and the Dieppe raid.

Peter Henshaw, Dieppe scholar and intelligence analyst, Privy Council Office

In the same way that intelligence in the Second World War had to be based on multiple sources rather than a single thunderclap moment or dramatic source, David has built this case through a whole series of small pieces of evidence … [He] has certainly changed our view of Dieppe into the future; he has added a new dimension that we really weren't aware of before.

Stephen Prince, Head, Naval Historical Branch, Royal Navy

The most important work on the [Dieppe] raid since it occurred in 1942.Rocky Mountain Outlook

O'Keefe tells a masterful story of the intrigue and cryptology behind the fighting forces … I will be among the first to say that any subsequent book on Dieppe or Ultra intelligence will have to take into account his stunning new research and bold claims … For years, popular histories were derided, especially by academics, as all story and no analysis, and for offering few new contributions to understanding the past. But that seems to be changing in recent years, as the best popularizers find new hooks and angles for their histories, and employ new evidence – usually oral histories, or, in O'Keefe's case, deep archival research – in innovative and revealing ways.

The Globe and Mail


about this book

ISBN: 9781785786303

Price: 25.00 GBP

Pages: 496

Publication date: 05/11/2020


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