Background Introduce "The Raid on Dieppe"

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Introduce "The Raid on Dieppe" as it is traditionally presented using texts such as Challenge and Survival: The History of Canada by Herstein, Hughes, and Kirbyson or Ordeal by Fire by Allen. Have students note descriptors use such as "fiasco" and "carnage."

Have students read more recent representations of the raid that can be found at the Department of Veterans Affairs website ( and the Juno Beach Centre website (

View Department of Defense video “August 20, 1942 is…Dieppe.”


Having introduced the raid take students to a beach, in our case the beach at Whale Cove, North Head, Grand Manan. I have sixteen students in my history 113 class. I point out that of the 5000 Canadians at Dieppe 907 (18%) were killed and 1946 taken prisoner (39%). In terms of our class this would mean 6/16 would be prisoners for the duration of the war and 3/16 would never see Canada again.(

On the beach I ask students to read aloud first hand accounts by soldiers such as Private Jean J. D. O'Brien, Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal Regiment, Ray Gilbert and Elly Raskin, The King’s Own Calgary Regiment, and Bill Larin, Royal Hamilton Light Infantry that can be found on the internet.

Upon returning to the classroom play the CBC Radio report "Carnage on the Beaches of Dieppe" from August 20, 1942 (


Have students respond in their journals to one of the following questions:

Pretend you are one of the POWs. Write a letter to a wife, sweetheart, or family member back home. Use one of the POW accounts read in class as background for you letter.

Pretend you are a comrade of one of the fallen. Write a letter to a wife, sweetheart, or family member back home using one of the accounts of the battle as background for your letter.


Allen, Ralph. Ordeal by Fire. Toronto: Doubleday, 1961.

H. Herstein, L. Hughes, and R. Kirbyson. Challenge and Survival: The History of Canada. Toronto: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

“My Soldiers of Dieppe.” Candaian Battlefields. Internet. 24 May 2009:

“Carnage on the Beaches of Dieppe.” CBC Digital Archives. 7 October 2009:

“Dieppe and My POW Account.” Brisbois. 19 January 1992:

“The Juno Beach Raid.” The Juno Beach Centre homepage. 2003:

“Private Jean O’Brien.” Pegasus Archive. 07 October 2009:

“The Dieppe Raid-Pilgrimage.” Department of Veterans Affairs homepage. 29 January 2001:

Video: August 20, 1942 Is…Dieppe. Department of National Defense.

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