The Military Museums

Dieppe Remembered: Eighty Years After

 On August 19, 1942, the Allies launched one of the most disastrous military operations during the Second World War at Dieppe, France. Of the 4,963 Canadians who embarked on the operation, only 2,210 returned to England, many of whom were wounded. Although extremely valuable lessons were learned in the raid on Dieppe, a steep price was paid. During the one-day raid, there were 3,367 casualties, including 1,946 prisoners of war, and 916 Canadians lost their lives.

The goal of the raid was to seize and hold the town for a brief length of time in order to collect intelligence and assess German defences. "Operation Rutter", the original name for the raid, was slated to take place in July 1942 to achieve this. The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division was selected for the operation and began preparing for amphibious operations on the Isle of Wight in the English Channel. Operation Rutter was halted in July due to bad weather. Many of the planners favoured calling off the raid, but despite the controversy, "Operation Jubilee" was resurrected with Dieppe, France, as the destination.

The raid was short-lived, with most soldiers killed or captured within hours. Operation Jubilee ended early on August 19, 1942 with the withdrawal of the raiding force and the capture of a great number of Canadians, who spent the next three years as prisoners of war.

The raid's effectiveness is still being debated, with some saying it accomplished nothing, while others say it was a crucial learning experience for the D-Day invasion two years later. The Canadians who participated in the Raid on Dieppe sacrificed much in the effort to establish peace and freedom for the people of occupied Europe. This group of soldiers represents a small but considerable fraction of the over one million Canadians who served in the military during the Second World War. There were more than 42,000 Canadian casualties due to the conflict. All Canadians, including those who participated in the Raid on Dieppe, are remembered for their contributions to Canada and the world.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Dieppe raid. To commemorate this solemn milestone, we have displayed some Dieppe artifacts in the museum's atrium. The exhibition will run from August 8th until August 22nd, 2022.

Visit the King's Own Calgary Regiment gallery at the Military Museums to learn more about the Dieppe raid.



●Final exercise prior to assault landing at Dieppe. Photo: Library and Archives Canada 4341223

●Landing craft preparing to hit the beaches at Dieppe. Photo: Library and Archives Canada PA-113247

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