Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dieppe Remembered: Seventy years on

This weekend is a very special gathering of old War Heroes.. All in their 90s now, they are gathering in France to remember a bloody battle of WW2.

(picture courtesy of Veterans Affairs Canada)

From the CBC:

Canadians mark ill-fated Dieppe raid 70 years later

Aug 18, 2012

This weekend marks one of the most devastating and bloody chapters in Canadian military history. On Aug. 19, 1942 nearly 5,000 Canadians took part in the raid on Dieppe, France. Less than half of them returned.

Over 900 Canadians were killed in roughly three hours. Another 2,000 were captured, and many spent the next year and a half shackled to one another.

A Canadian delegation is in France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe raid....

CBC has more - plus videos. Well worth the time here.

The Canadian Battlefields Foundation (where I got the above graphic from) has a great write up with details of The Dieppe Raid:

The Allied situation in the spring of 1942 was grim. The Germans had penetrated deep into Russia, the British Eighth Army in North Africa had been forced back into Egypt, and in Western Europe the Allied forces faced the Germans across the English Channel.

The Russians were demanding a Second Front --- a full-scale invasion of Western Europe. Since the Allies had not the logistical power to mount an invasion, they decided to stage a major raid on the French port of Dieppe. Designed to foster German fears of an attack in the west, compelling them to strengthen their Channel defences at the expense of other areas of operation as well as to placate Stalin, the raid would also provide an opportunity to test new techniques and equipment, and be the means to gain the experience and knowledge necessary for planning the great amphibious assault.

The attack upon Dieppe took place on August 19, 1942. The troops involved totalled 6,100 of whom roughly 5,000 were Canadians, the remainder being British Commandos and 50 American Rangers. They had received extensive commando-type training earlier in the summer, when the first attempt had been cancelled at the last minute because of bad weather. The raid was supported by eight Allied destroyers and 74 Allied air squadrons (eight belonging to the RCAF).

The plan called for attacks at five different points on a front of roughly 16 kilometres. Canadian forces would launch simultaneous flank attacks just before dawn on the cliffs east and west of the port (at Pourville and Puys), followed half an hour later by the main attack on the town of Dieppe itself. British commandos were assigned to destroy the coastal batteries at Berneval on the eastern flank, and at Varengeville in the west....

GO here and read the rest.

Matthew Worth, a Canadian Serviceman, shared these facts, as well as creating an awesome video:

The Dieppe Raid, code-named "Operation Jubilee", saw more than 6,000 men come ashore at five different points along a 16 kilometer-long stretch of heavily defended coastline. Four of the attacks were to take place just before dawn at points east and west of Dieppe, while the main attack on the town itself would take place half an hour later. The raiding force was made up of almost 5,000 Canadians, approximately 1,000 British commandos and 50 American Army Rangers. The Raid on Dieppe, France, on August 19, 1942, was a pivotal moment in the Second World War. With virtually all of continental Europe under German occupation, the Allied forces faced a well-entrenched enemy. Of the 4,963 Canadians who embarked from England for the operation, only 2,210 returned, and many of these were wounded. Casualties totalled 3,367, including 913 Canadian dead and 1,946 prisoners of war.

Aug 3, 2012 by

Canadian Forces in World War II. More than 1.1 million Canadians served in the armed forces in the Second World War. Of these 42,042 members of the Canadian Armed Forces gave their lives, and another 55,000 were wounded, a heavy price to pay for such a small young nation.

Video made by: Matthew Worth (Canadianmatt3)
Audio: "Fate Has Smiled Upon Us"

Veterans Affairs Canada has a series of photos of Dieppe; far too many for me to choose one, but they all should be seen. There are also many other materials on the Dieppe Raid here.

As our precious Veterans of bygone eras grow old and pass on, it more important that we learn, honour, and remember.

Lest we forget.

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