Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dieppe

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There were many different things going on at this time in July 14. The Germans were deep into Russian territory. The allied forces were facing the Germans at the English Channel, and were planning a full-scale invasion of Western Europe, but the time was not right to do it, so they decided to raid the port in Dieppe, France.


The main reason for the raid was to take the German’s attention away from Western Europe, and make them focus more on what was happening in England and try to con them into putting more men at the Channel. This would also give them an opportunity to use new types of weaponry and different techniques they may be able to use on the opponents from Germany. The weather was tough in Dieppe for the month of July, so there were plans to not even attempt the raid on Dieppe, but they did.


On August 1, 14, the allies raided Dieppe, led by the Canadians as the main unit. The attack involved 6,100 troops, and roughly 5,000 of those troops were Canadian. The rest of the troops in the raid were either American or British.


The raid involved 8 allied destroyers, and 74 air squadrons. There was roughly 16 kilometers of beach along the port of Dieppe, and there were 4 attacks taking place on the beach and one raid, taking place on the actual town of Dieppe. Each force was assigned a place to attack, which included Pourville, Puys, Berneval, and Varengeville.


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While troops were going towards the eastern coast, they encountered a small German convoy that alerted the German defenses that were on the water. That was not the least of their problems, as they were going through the narrow beaches of Puys, there tactic of getting there was surprise, and darkness; yet neither of them worked. As they were delayed getting upon the shore, they encountered daylight, and the German machine guns had clear fire. Only a few troops were actually able to get over the seawall, but there were to few to do any damage. The rest of the troops were pinned down on the beaches, shooting at machine guns, and were forced to surrender. Of all the troops that landed, 00 had died on the beach and 0 later died of severe wounds. This was the worst one day total of deaths that the Canadians had encountered throughout the war so far. This failure to clear the eastern part of the beach allowed the Germans to invalidate the main attack.


Meanwhile some surprise was achieved on the western coast as they went in according to plan and destroyed the guns in the battery near Varengeville, and got out safely.


At Pourville there was a good degree of surprise as the contingent faced light competition on the beaches, but the competition became harder as they advanced three kilometers before they were forced to halt. While withdrawing from their mission and going back, many were killed or wounded, but because of their courage, many of the troops got back safely and reunited. But the same was not to be said for the rearguard, as it was decimated and were forced to surrender because they ran out of ammunition.


Half an hour after these smaller missions, there was the main assault, which was to get into the town of Dieppe. There was heavy assault from the German machine guns that were placed atop the cliffs. One group got through and over the seawall, and to the town, but there was a false message sent to the ships saying that they were dying, so they sent more people in that got pinned down with intense German machine gun fire. With the raid, came along a tremendous air battle, which had left the allies down 106 aircrafts, all in one day.


This begs the question, was the raid necessary as a stepping-stone in the war, for the years to come or useless. Some argue that without this D-Day would not have been a success, others argue that it was a useless bloodbath, where many lost their lives. Of the 5,000 Canadians who left for the raid, only ,10 returned, and many of these men were wounded. There were ,67 casualties, including 1,46 prisoners of war; 07 Canadians lost their lives in the Dieppe raid. That leaves the question for each and every individual to think about. Was the Dieppe Raid, worth the casualties?





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