Described as one of the darkest chapters in Canada’s military history, the Dieppe Raid marks its 75th anniversary this weekend.
The Dieppe Raid of the Second World War, codenamed “Operation Jubilee” took place on Aug. 19, 1942. The Raid was planned by Allied Forces to test German fences, practice Allied assault techniques, force the enemy to divert military resources from the Eastern Front and acquire intelligence.
Almost 5,000 Canadian soldiers came ashore on the heavily defended French coast on Aug. 19 and fought valiantly alongside British and American Allies.
Unfortunately, the Allied Forces were met with heavy fire and Canadians suffered heavy losses, 916 Canadian soldiers were killed while 1,950 were taken as prisoners of war.
Even though the Dieppe Raid was one of the bloodiest days of the Second World War, the Allied Forces were able to learn valuable lessons from the Raid that would contribute to later successes including the D-Day invasion in June 1944.
It also gave hope to the French people in occupied France that they had not been forgotten.
To mark this important, yet tragic event, several commemorative ceremonies are planned in communities throughout Canada this weekend including in Windsor, ON; Montreal, QC; Toronto, ON; Dieppe, NB.
Earlier this summer, Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, announced that a Government of Canada contingent will be in France this weekend to attend the ceremonies in Dieppe.
“In marking the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, we remember the sacrifices and bravery shown by Canadian men and women in uniform throughout the Second World War. We recognize their courage and loss as we pay tribute and honour those who served Canada, at home and abroad when our country needed them. During this solemn anniversary, we also take the time to help tell the stories of Canadians at Dieppe and ensure that their efforts and experiences are shared and never forgotten by future generations,” said Hehr, when announcing the government’s plans.
The delegation, led by Minister Hehr, will include veterans, regimental representatives, youth, and Indigenous representatives.