Dieppe Raid France 19th August 1942 3,623 captured or dead
Today the 19th August 2012 marks the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid. This disastrous raid was a Second World War Allied attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe. The raid took place on the northern coast of France on 19 August 1942. The assault began at 5:00 a.m. and by 10:50 a.m generals were forced to call a full retreat.
Road to Disaster
At 5:00 am 6,086 brave mostly Canadians boarded there landing crafts and set of for the fortified beaches of Dieppe. Within 6 hours 3,623 brave souls would be either killed,wounded or taken prisoners by the Germans. Although all combatants fought bravely the Dieppe raid was a lesson in what not to do while making an amphibious landing.
The Futility of War
As the young brave men climbed into there landing crafts none of them new that security for the landing had been breached allowing the Germans controlling the beachhead to know in advance, that the attack was coming. Once ashore the brave Canadians did not have a chance, the young men waded ashore neck deep in water with absolutely no cover from the devastating cross fire set up by the German defenders. Most were cut down after just placing one foot on the beach even the Germans soldiers recoiled in absolute disgust at what they saw before them. Today when you visit Dieppe you will see both German and Canadian soldiers buried side by side, a monument to the stupidity of War, a monument to the young of both sides. Within this graveyard you will find no politicians buried, just there tools who stormed the beaches never to return.
The Crossword Puzzle
Two days before the attack on the 17th August the Daily Telegraph Newspaper carried within its crossword puzzle the clue “French Port" the following day, one day before the attack the solution was given to the clue as “Dieppe" To much of a coincidence the War Office thought and came to the conclusion that the crossword puzzle had been used to pass intelligence to the enemy. In other words the Germans new when and where the attack was coming, leaving the brave Canadians in dire danger.
Holliday Snaps and mementoes.
The use of tanks was a very important element of the attack without them the operation was doomed. Amazing as it might seem planners had assessed the beach gradient and its suitability for tanks by only scanning holiday snapshots of the area because of this most tanks nether made it up the beach and were in-fact useless. Add this to the total underestimation of the German strength and not knowing that French collaborators had passed on the actual plans to the Germans the whole episode was just a recipe for disaster. The Canadians along with an attachment of New Zealanders, Americans and British troops would be annihilated.
In retrospect many believe that this attack should have never taken place others believe that many lessons were learnt, lessons that would help the allies when they invaded fortress Europe on the 6th June 1944 (D Day) but they were expensive lessons, 3,623 brave souls were either killed wounded or taken prisoners, brave Canadian souls who should be remembered today the 19th August 2012.
Credits Wikipedia for the pictures.