BURLINGTON, Ontario, July 29. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Juno Beach Center (JBC), Canada’s Second World War museum and memorial in Normandy, France, today announced the launch of the new commemorative postcard initiative. He lived where you live. Four hundred addresses across Canada will receive a unique postcard that shares the name and fate of a soldier who lived at that address and then perished in the 1942 Dieppe Raid.
“These postcards create a personal connection between contemporary Canadians and the young heroes who perished in the unfortunate Dieppe Raid 80 years ago,” said Alex Fitzgerald-Black, Executive Director of the Juno Beach Center Association. “The Dieppe Raid holds a large place in our collective memory of the Second World War, and we have a responsibility to remember that each soldier who participated had a unique personality, trade, family and home. These postcards remind us that their legacy can be traced back to our own communities, even today.
In 2021, the Juno Beach Center began compiling service records for Canadian soldiers who died in the raid. By cross-referencing the home addresses these soldiers gave in their service records with contemporary addresses, it became clear that approximately 400 still exist today.
In late July 2022, each of these individual addresses was mailed a unique postcard that shares the name and story of the Dieppe soldier who lived there when he enlisted.
The Dieppe Raid was the Canadian Army’s first major fight against Germany during the Second World War. It was a one-day operation carried out mainly by Canadian troops on August 19, 1942, with ground, air and naval support from British and American troops. Its official purpose remains shrouded in mystery and is the subject of widespread mythology and controversy.
In less than 10 hours of fighting, two-thirds of a force of 4,963 Canadians were wounded, captured or killed. In total, more than 900 Canadians were killed in action or died of wounds, of whom almost 600 are still buried at the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery in Hautot-sur-Mer, France.
Regiments from all over the country took part in the raid. While only about half of the addresses of the soldiers who died during the raid still exist today, they represent this diversity. Postcards will be sent to Nova Scotia (1), New Brunswick (1), Quebec (50), Ontario (316), Manitoba (22), Saskatchewan (5), Alberta (4) and in British Columbia (1).
“Like the 80se anniversary of the Dieppe Raid is approaching, fewer and fewer Canadians have a personal connection that inspires them to remember,” said Fitzgerald-Black. “By introducing them to the soldiers who lived at their current address, we hope to create new bonds that will foster remembrance for another 80 years and beyond.”
In addition to He lived where you livethe Juno Beach Center commemorates the 80e anniversary through a new temporary exhibition at the Museum of Normandy, France entitled From Dieppe to Juno and a digital educational website at junobeach.org titled Who tells the story of Dieppe?
More information on He lived where you live and the Juno Beach Center’s other Dieppe 80 commemorative initiatives can be viewed at https://www.junobeach.org/commemorating-the-80th-anniversary-of-the-dieppe-raid/.
ABOUT THE JUNO BEACH CENTER
The Juno Beach Center was established in 2003 as a permanent memorial to all Canadians who participated in the Allied victory in World War II, and to preserve this legacy for future generations through education. The Center in Normandy, France pays tribute to the nearly 45,000 Canadians who died during the war, including 5,500 in the Battle of Normandy and 359 on D-Day. Nearly 20 years and more than a million visitors later , the Center has been designated a site of national historic significance for Canada. It is owned and operated by the Juno Beach Center Association, a registered charity based in Burlington, ON, Canada. To learn more, please visit www.junobeach.org.
Highlights: The Dieppe Raid
- The Dieppe Raid took place on Wednesday August 19, 1942.
- Originally planned as Operation Rutter, the Dieppe Raid took place as Operation Jubilee.
- Operation Rutter was canceled in early July 1942 due to bad weather and a German airstrike on the raiding convoy.
- Lord Louis Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations, relaunched the raid with support from the Royal Air Force and Canadian Army.
- Bothn/a Canadian Infantry Division and Attaché 14e The Canadian Army Tank Regiment (the Calgary Regiment) provided 4,963 of the 6,090 soldiers involved in the raid.
- The Royal Navy mustered a force of 253 warships and landing craft to support the operation.
- The Allies committed some 1,190 aircraft to the operation and were opposed by 313 German aircraft. This made the Dieppe Raid one of the largest one-day air battles of the war.
- Fifty United States Army Rangers took part in the Dieppe Raid; the first time that US ground forces engaged German troops during World War II. The United States Air Force also contributed about 150 aircraft and crew.
- Although Canadians made up the bulk of the raiding force, British, American, Polish, Belgian, Norwegian, Czech, New Zealand and Free French forces also participated. Most of these contributions were made at sea or in the air.
- In nine hours of fighting, the Canadian force suffered more than 800 killed, two-thirds of whom were dead, wounded or captured.
- Total Canadian Army casualties were 3,367, including 907 dead (including those who died of wounds and as prisoners of war) and 1,946 captured.
- Two Toronto-based regiments fought at Dieppe: the Royal Regiment of Canada (554 soldiers) and the Toronto Scottish Regiment (125 soldiers). The Royal Regiment suffered 524 casualties in their assault on Blue Beach just east of Dieppe, including 227 killed, 33 wounded and 264 captured (many of whom were also wounded). The Toronto Scottish suffered 13 casualties, including 1 killed, 8 wounded and 4 captured.
- The casualty rate during the Dieppe Raid exceeded that of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, commonly considered the bloodiest day in British military history.
- Reasons given for the Dieppe Raid include: a dress rehearsal for D-Day and appeasement of the Soviet Union and the United States instead of starting the “second front” in 1942.
- New evidence suggests the Dieppe raid had a secret purpose: to capture a German Enigma machine and codebooks to help British cryptanalysts crack German ciphers.
- The Dieppe Raid failed to collect this intelligence, but the British broke the German numbers in November 1942 after capturing these materials from a German U-boat.
The overriding purpose of the Dieppe Raid, including the significance given to the “pinching” of an Enigma machine and codebooks at Dieppe, continues to be debated by historians.