Jul 03, 2015 · Thank you for the reply, Matt
On the 19th August 1942 the British Combined Operations launched a cross channel raid on the French port of Dieppe. The main force of Canadian troops sought to capture the port facilities. It was allegedly an exercise in discovering how difficult such an operation would be, and a means of developing inter service co-operation for amphibious operations.
Dieppe travel guide - Cross Channel Ferries to France & Spain
For matchless gallantry and inspiring leadership whilst commanding his battalion during the Dieppe raid on the 19th August 1942. From the point of landing his unit’s advance had to be made across a bridge in Pouville which was swept by very heavy machine-gun, motar and artillery fire, the first parties were mostly destroyed and the bridge thickly covered by their bodies. A daring lead was required: waving his helmet, Lieutenant Colonel Merritt rushed forward shouting “Come on over! There’s nothing to worry about here”. He thus personally led the survivors of at least four parties in turn across the bridge.
Landing craft of No 4 Commando running in to land at Vasterival on the right flank of the main assault at Dieppe. The unit achieved its objective, the destruction of the ‘Hess’ Battery in a copybook action, the only success of the raid.
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Only British commandos, assigned to subdue coast artillery batteries to the east and west of Dieppe, enjoyed some success. And for the Canadians, the day was not without heroism. Honorary Captain J.W. Foote of the RHLI, and Lieutenant-Colonel C.C.I. Merritt of the South Saskatchewans both received the , the British Empire's highest award for military valour. Foote, a chaplain, helped care for wounded troops under fire. Merritt bravely led his men over the Pourville bridge and later commanded a rearguard that allowed some troops to escape. Both were taken prisoner.
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Allied commanders knew the raid was risky. But none imagined it would be such a terrible failure, with so much loss of life. The planners believed the element of surprise would allow landing troops to overcome German defenders and occupy the town, before withdrawing. Little thought was given to the importance of air superiority and the need for overwhelming firepower, including artillery support from naval warships. The assaulting infantry had only light destroyers firing at the Germans from offshore; no battleships or cruisers were made available for the raid, nor heavy bombers overhead.
Talk:Dieppe Raid This article is ..
The raid was over by mid-day. In nine hours, 907 Canadian soldiers were killed, 2,460 were wounded, and 1,946 were taken prisoner. That's more prisoners than the Canadian Army would lose in 11 months of fighting during the Northwest Europe campaign of 1944-1945. Fewer than half the Canadians who departed for Dieppe made it back to England.
What possible goal in Dieppe could be worth that?
At Red and White Beaches directly in front of the main port, the Essex Scottish and Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (RHLI) regiments landed without their armoured support, the 14th Canadian Army Tank Regiment (the Calgary Tanks), which was late. The enemy, from higher ground and in the town's beachfront casino, hit these units hard. Some infantry managed to get off the beach and enter Dieppe, but the Canadians also failed to achieve their objectives here.
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942 - Canadian War Museum
Launched across the English Channel from southern England, Operation Jubilee (as the raid was called) involved more than 6,000 soldiers — 4,963 of them Canadian, plus 1,075 British troops, 15 French nationals and hundreds of airmen and sailors from Canada, Britain and the United States.