19th of August 1942 Lest We Forget

On the 19th of August 1942 the allies launched the first landing on European soil around the French Town of Dieppe, High Command was convinced that a successful invasion of Europe would require the capturing of a port (Winston Churchill thought 4 ports would need to be captured).

Dieppe was to be a trial run and on the instance of the Canadians they would form the vast majority of the forces engaged that day. More information can be found on this wiki page. Information has recently come to light that another motive for the raid may have been to try to gather a German naval Enigma Machine and the codebook to go with it.

One of the reasons the Dieppe assault failed was bad intelligence on the make up of the beaches in the area. They are shingle beaches today I went to see exactly what they are like.
Basically it very difficult to even walk on the beach everything moves under your feet, as you get to the sea the beach drops away so when you get to the tide line you cannot even see the seafront at Dieppe.

Just to give you an idea of how much the beaches drop off and this is not even from the bottom of the slope but around halfway down

Just to give you an idea of how much the beaches drop off and this is not even from the bottom of the slope but around halfway down

 

A view along the beach you can just make out the sloping nature of it.

A view along the beach you can just make out the sloping nature of it.

 

Taken from the very top of the slope.

Taken from the very top of the slope.

The failure of the allies at Dieppe was a coup for German propaganda and they capitalised on it, especially awarding Dieppe 10 million Francs and releasing 1000 POW who came from the Dieppe area to reward them for not assisting the allies. This was not entirely true many of Dieppe’s citizens helped the Canadians especially when it came to the retreat from the beach.

All around the town there are many memorial’s to the brave men that fought that way here are some pictures of a few of them.

This one is at Agence Saint-Rémy

This one is at Agence Saint-Rémy

This is on the seafront

This is on the seafront

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The first American soldiers to die on French soil in World War II

The first American soldiers to die on French soil in World War II

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I went up on the cliff tops on the southern end of the beach and found an old bunker.

View down to the beach from the level of the bunker opening.

View down to the beach from the level of the bunker opening.

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Dieppe has a museum dedicated to the raid on the 19th of August and if you are Canadian or even slightly interested I urge you to go there is a film which is played constantly with genuine footage of the aftermath of the battle on the beaches of Dieppe and the surrounding beaches which is very thought-provoking.

Taken directly from the Wiki page
Of the nearly 5,000-strong Canadian contingent, 3,367 were killed, wounded or taken prisoner, an exceptional casualty rate of 68%. The 1,000 British Commandos lost 247 men. The Royal Navy lost one destroyer (HMS Berkeley) and 33 landing craft, suffering 550 dead and wounded. The RAF lost 106 aircraft to the 48 lost by the Luftwaffe. The German Army had 591 casualties.

Never forget.

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