Was Dieppe Worth It?
On August 19th 1942, Allied forces from Britain and Canada tried to capture the port of Dieppe, in German controlled France. Over 6000 allied troops took part in the attack, and more that half were killed, wounded, or captured. The battle only lasted nine hours. Even though the raid was a failure, it taught the Allies important things about planning and carrying out an attack, and helped the Allies succeed on D-Day, June 6th 1944, with the invasion of Normandy. If Canada had not made the sacrifice at Dieppe, these lessons would not have been learned and the invasion of Normandy could have turned out to be as bad, if not worse, of a failure. On the night of August 18th, almost 240 ships left British ports, carrying Allied troops to a raid that was supposed to gather intelligence, destroy German-controlled coastal defences, and show that capturing a port was possible. The next morning, the attack started at 5:00AM. Things started going wrong from the beginning. Ships carrying the No. 3 Commando operation ran into a German convoy that alerted coastal defences of an attack, and ended up being scattered. Most of the troops from those ships never reached shore, but the few who did were almost immediately overwhelmed. Two kilometres east of Dieppe, troops from the Royal Regiment of Canada approached Puys, a small seaside village. Because they were behind schedule, they lost the advantages of the cover of night and the element of surprise. Most of the soldiers were shot coming out of the boats, and were killed before they even hit the water. The few who made it to the wired seawall were forced to surrender after a few hours of pointless resistance. There where three platoons of reinforcements from the “Black Watch”, or the Royal Highland Regiment of Canada, who suffered the greatest loss of life by a Canadian battalion in a single day in the entire war. 200 men were killed at the scene, 20 died later from their wounds, only 33 made it back to...
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