On 19 August 1942 a mainly Canadian force left England in an attempt to seize the German-occupied French port of Dieppe, on a mission that has been described as the largest raid in history. The result was a complete disaster. That some 4,000 Canadian soliders and marines should wait over 21/2 years for combat and then be killed, maimed, or captured in a single morning is one of the great tragedies of the Second World War, and represents for Canadians a problem of acceptance. Many books, and accounts by participants, have failed to explain certain mysteries, such as: "Why was itexecuted when it was known to court failure?" and, "Who was responsible?" Brian Villa has devoted nearly eight years to examining documents in search of answers to these and other questions about a major event of the war that has been subjected to much obfuscation. The result is a book thatunravels all the complexities that led to it, having the British Chiefs of Staff, and especially the vagaries of Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was ultimately responsible as Chief of Combined Operations. As the first thorough examination of the disaster--one that will fascinate the general reader for its detective-like treatment of facts and evidence leading to clarification--this book is a primary contribution to the literature of the Second World War. Students of political science will value anAppendix that examines the evidence in an attempt to answer the question: Why do governments do what they know they should not do? Combined Operations.