Dieppe Raid August 19th 1942

The Dieppe Raid described as a “reconnaisance in force” to test Hitler’s West Wall Defences remains controversial to this day.

The raid lasted 9 hours. 5000 Canadian soldiers were involved along with British Commando’s and American Rangers. 900 Canadians were killed and 1874 taken prisoner.

Two Canadians, the Honorable Captain J.W. Foote of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry and Lieutenant-Colonel C.C. Merritt, commanding officer of the South Saskatchewan Regiment, received the VICTORIA CROSS.

More on the anniversary here.

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  • I find the annual newspaper photographs of old veterans weeping on battlefields tasteless, though. It is sad that 900 men were killed, but I think it is sadder that many more (?) were wounded, perhaps suffering from their wounds for the rest of their lives.

    Presumably 4100 Canadians survived, but we never hear about that. Oh no. And what, I wonder is the effect on our morale, especially now that we are at war with the Taliban?

    I think, instead of concentrating on the tears of the elderly, we concentrate on the importance of Dieppe and the other bloody battles that Canadians were involved in. Otherwise, young Canadians are going to believe that it is ALWAYS bad to fight in wars, and that there is NEVER a good reason to risk one’s life against oppression.

    Seriously, I would like to see a good serious discussion of Canada’s battles without the heart-rending shot of the weeping old souls.

  • You make good points Seraph. I am particularly fed up with the “Peacekeeper” myth.

    The teaching of Canadian history in general but especially our Military history has been savaged by leftist pedagogues.

  • Yes, and hence the teary photos.

    I knew a great, tough old codger who had been in the Royal Navy. He went down in the North Sea twice. Emigrated to Canada. Lived to be an old man. Old and sick, he stared down some punks and told them, “I was in the Royal Navy. We were taught a dozen ways to kill people. Now if you don’t leave me alone, you’ll find this out for yourselves.” The punks took off.

    But as he neared death, this tough old guy wept easily and often. When all the breast-beating went on about the 50th anniversary of bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he wept with rage. “WE WERE GLAD WHEN ‘WE’ DROPPED THE BOMB,” he exclaimed, tears running down his face. “IT MEANT THE WAR WAS OVER!”

    This guy didn’t waste time crying over battlefields, and he enjoyed telling the stories of waiting around in the North Sea to be rescued. I’m sure he saw horrible things, but he didn’t tell me. He told me the funny things: the guy who should have frozen to death but didn’t because he was practically pickled in rum. But, all the same, as I said, he wept often as death approached, and it was not a good example of who this man had been all his life and who he really was.
    I suppose the proud old men don’t mind so much being caught on camera crying over their dead friends (or the approach of their own deaths; I doubt there was as much crying when servicemen returned to Germany and Holland in the 50s and 60s with their families). After all, they are very old, and it doesn’t matter, really. But it does matter for us, who are not old and who wait tensely for the next terrorist bomb, for the next attack on Israel, for Iran to conclude its nuclear shenanigans.

  • Sounds like my Dad, he was not a “model soldier” – loved to tell of his escapades – read drinking binges with his buddies etc.

    What people forget is that WW II was a fight to the death – the debate on the morality of dropping the bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki is moot- there is no room for silly philosophical debate in a fight to the death.

  • Thanks very much for resurrecting that footage, furs! We mustn’t forget the old sacrifices, even as we stand before the new ones. Let it be an inspiration. Those that have become so relativised, they have no idea of right and wrong, or of reality, are a lost generation I fear. I’m afraid treason has become their second nature; it’s how they’ve been programmed. But we must not give in, if only because these old vets didn’t sacrifice life and limb, for a defeat 60 years hence.
    Thanks.

  • You’re welcome Cassandra!.

  • The impact on the raid shouldn’t be understated either, If we hadn’t landed hitler might have pulled troops out of france to send to stalingrad. If you were Stalin you wouldn’t have wanted to face 10-20 fresh divisions at stalingrad. I think there were 30 in france at the time. If he knew they were not going to invade. He could have acted freely.

    The comando raids and dieppe kept many axis troops there. Waiting for an invasion.

    IE If Hitler had done the same to the UK he might have won north afrika.

    My grandfather in law was one of the 1874 taken prisoner.

    good footage.