2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, also known as Operation JUBILEE. Canada’s experiences in war have been marked by great triumphs but also by harsh setbacks. The Dieppe Raid during the Second World War was one of the darkest chapters in Canada’s military history. It did, however, help lead to important lessons being learned.
The Dieppe Raid took place on August 19, 1942, with almost 5,000 Canadians coming onshore on the heavily defended French coast. With British and American Allies, the Canadian troops fought valiantly against the German forces during the Dieppe Raid. The Canadian forces sustained heavy losses with 916 making the ultimate sacrifice and some 1,950 becoming prisoners of war.
While many men were lost and the raid did not meet most of its objectives, many historians feel that the lessons learned played an important role in the success of later actions. The Dieppe Raid and later beach assaults contributed to improvements in amphibious landing techniques. While the cost of gaining this knowledge was steep, it likely saved many lives on the beaches of Normandy when the Allies returned to the shores of continental Western Europe on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
Commemorative events will be held in France on August 19-20, 2017. Events to mark this milestone will be held in Canada including commemorative ceremonies in Montreal, Quebec; Calgary, Alberta; and Dieppe, New Brunswick on August 19 to 20, 2017. There will also be a series of events over the August 19 to 20 weekend in a number of other cities and communities across Canada.
The CMEA was unable to find a Sapper veteran of the Dieppe Raid who was in good health and had the stamina to participate in the Anniversary Events in France this August. The Colonel Commandant, BGen S.M. Irwin, is pleased to advise that the former CME CWO, Ron Swift, CD (Ret'd) will be representing the RCE and the CME at these ceremonies and events.