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The Failed Raid


Dieppe - The objective


- France

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Dieppe is a city on the channel coast of France. For a few hours on a August morning in 1943 it became the focal point of the Second World War when a raid by Canadian troops hit the beaches in an attempt to test the German defences and capture German encryption devices. The raid was a bloody failure for the Canadians as they were bogged down on the beach and slaughtered or capture by German forces. Only a lucky few escaped back onto the vessels that brought them in.

A visit to Dieppe today will quickly reveal why the raid was faced with powerful obstacles. The beach is made up of larger pebbles which are difficult to walk on much less run. The city itself is in a ravine with elevated points at either end of the beach which had German pill boxes and are still there today.

This is the site of Canada's first major combat in the European theatre and one which tested the Canadian troops to extremes. Although the raid was considered a failure from the point of view of the results of the fighting and casualties, the lessons learned proved to be invaluable for the planning and execution of the Normandy invasions.

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