At 0500 on August 19th, 1942, the men from the Royal Regiment of Canada were approaching the beach of Puys, a small seaside village two kilometres east of Dieppe. They were already behind schedule and, as the sun rose, their presence was detected. The Germans took aim at the landing crafts that were still ten metres from the shore. At 0507, the first LCA lowered its ramp. Canadian soldiers dashed forward in the noise of machine-gun and mortar fire that targeted them. They fell, mowed down by bullets, hit by mortar shells. Some tried to reach the seawall bordering the beach, hoping to find shelter. They were to be made prisoner after a few hours of useless resistance.
The Dieppe Raid was one of the most devastating and bloody chapters in Canadian military history. Of the 4,963 Canadians who embarked from England for the operation, only 2,210 returned, and many of them were wounded. Casualties totalled 3,367, including 916 dead and 1,946 prisoners of war. (VAC)
In partnership with The Military Museums of Calgary, the Juno Beach Centre hosted a special commemorative ceremony and reception marking the 74th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid today. The event coincides with the exhibition of From Vimy to Juno: Canada in France 1914-1945, on display at The Military Museums of Calgary from July 30 to August 28.