Not only was the air component an essential offensive and defensive element of Operation Jubilee, but it also gave the RAF its long-awaited opportunity to have the major confrontation with the Luftwaffe it had wanted since the Germans had turned their attentions eastwards in 1941.

RAF pilots gatheraround a 43 Squadron Hurricane at Tangmere immediately after the Dieppe raid.


By the end of that August day in 1942, the RAF and the Luftwaffe had engaged in what must be regarded as the greatest air battle of the war - if only in terms of the sorties flown and aircraft lost in combat, on both sides, in the space of just sixteen hours. However, and despite the tragic losses on the ground amongst the Canadian forces, the RAF were able to claim the day as a victory.

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