POLITICS

Some facts and figures about Canada's involvement in the '42 Dieppe raid

08/17/2012 09:00 EDT | Updated 10/17/2012 05:12 EDT
Facts about the bloody, ill-fated raid on the French port town of Dieppe during the Second World War:

Date: Aug. 19, 1942.

Who took part: 4,963 Canadian troops, 50 American Rangers, 1,075 British commandos and 20 inter-Allied commandos. The raid was also supported by 74 air squadrons, eight of which came from the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Purpose: The raid on Dieppe was intended to test the feasibility of launching a full-scale offensive by landing troops from the sea.

Motive: British politicians were under intense pressure from Russia to open a second front.

Problems: A German convoy discovered the incoming ships and sounded the alarm, eliminating the crucial element of surprise from the battle plan. Dieppe's rocky beach disabled Allied tanks. The Germans were more fortified than expected.

Outcome: 3,367 Canadian troops were either killed, wounded or taken prisoner. Deaths totalled more than 900.

Quote: "They thought that speed, surprise and shock were going to carry the day. The plan never envisioned a fight on the beaches, and when the Germans stopped them on the beaches, the plan was doomed to failure." - Michael Bechthold, managing editor of the journal Canadian Military History.

Sourced from Veterans Affairs Canada: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/history/secondWar/dieppe/dieppe2