In France, the Canadians have been observing the 35th anniversary of their raid on Dieppe during the Second World War.
In France, the Canadians have been observing the 35th anniversary of their raid on Dieppe during the Second World War. They suffered casualties during the attack on the German-occupied port in northern France.
SYNOPSIS: A guard of honour from the Royal Canadian Air Force lined up at the Canadian war cometary in Dieppe for inspection by the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Daniel MacDonald
The raid on Dieppe took place on the 19th of August, 1942. It had been occupied by the Germans in June 1940 after being used by the British as a hospital base. Other nationalities were involved in the attack, but the Canadians made up the large majority or troops -- and the casualties. They suffered heavy losses in the seaborne raid, which was intended mainly as a reconnaissance sortie.
Among those at the ceremony were veterans of the raid who'd come across form Canada for the occasion to honour their old comrades.
Despite the heavy casualties, military experts saw the raid as providing a valuable lesson which showed the need for bombardment and improvements in landing craft. At the time of the attack, D-Day, the Allied invasion of France, was still two years away.
After the remembrance service the veterans of the raid marched through the centre of Dieppe. During the war the port and docks were destroyed and one third of the town was damaged before it was finally taken by the Allies.
Many of those in the crowds watching the guard of honour as it marched past could remember the raid when, 35 years ago, they were still living under German occupation. In gratitude the citizens named a square after Canada.