Canadians, Frenchmen and Britons today (Saturday) gathered in the Channel coast town of Dieppe to remember the 697 Canadian troops killed in the raid on Nazi-occupied France 25 years ago.
Canadians, Frenchmen and Britons today (Saturday) gathered in the Channel coast town of Dieppe to remember the 697 Canadian troops killed in the raid on Nazi-occupied France 25 years ago. Canadian and French ministers attended the ceremonies today at a time of strained Franco-Canadian relations following President de Gaulle's controversial visit to Canada this summer.
Hundreds of Canadian war veterans and their families and Canadian servicemen and officers were present at ceremonies marking the raid, the first large-scale allied assault on Hitler's "Atlantic wall" in which 3,369 of the 5,000 Canadian troops taking part were killed, wounded or taken prisoners.
There too was British Admiral of the Fleet Earl Mountbatten, who was combined operations chief at the time of the raid. He said that France owed her successful liberation to a large extent to the lessons learned from the 1942 raid.
The day began with an early morning memorial service in the Canadian war cemetery. Wreaths were placed on the cemetery memorial by Canadian Associate Defence Minister, Mr. Leo Cadieux, British Ambassador to France, Sir Patrick Reilly, the French Minister of War, M. Henri Duvillard and other officials.
At the end of the ceremony three Royal Canadian Air Force transport aircraft dating from the time of the raid flew overhead to shower thousands of poppies on to the graves.