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The Shame And The Glory: Dieppe.

1457 words - 6 pages

August 19, 1942. The Dieppe Raid would prove to be one of the most shameful and tragic disasters of World War Two to the many Canadian troops and British Commandoes who were killed, wounded, and taken prisoner. Yet at the same time, it can also be considered a lesson well learned. The Canadians first engagement with the German forces in World War Two was at The Dieppe Raid, and there encounter was a terrible one. The Canadians forces achieved next to none of the objectives of the raid on the beaches of France, causing this mission to end in a failure. The idea of the raid was to make a sea-borne assault on the Dieppe port, obtain military superiority in the town and surrounding area by eliminating the German artillery, gather prisoners and intelligence, and to hold the area for a day then pull out. To the planners of the raid, this was far easier said than done.Leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, was putting increasing pressure on the western allies to open up a second front to relieve the red army of the attacking whermacht, which is why the raid came about. Main reasons for the failure of Dieppe were that the Germans were already prepared for an invasion, the intelligence that the Dieppe planners had gathered was mostly false, and there were not enough men, tanks, or anything for that matter. There was no naval or air support either. Thrown together, these reasons would obviously spell failure for the allies.By 1942, the Germans were already prepared to defend the French coast from the allies. Maybe not as prepared as they were in 1944, but strong enough to hold back a raid such as Dieppe. Months before the raid, Adolf Hitler placed Minister of War Productions, Albert Speer in charge of building up the defense along the coast. Hitler had also ordered that the forces defending the English Channel needed to always be ready to fight off enemy forces to the last man. "To the last man, to the last bullet" (Motto of the Waffen SS). Conditions were perfect for an invasion on the night of the Dieppe Raid, so the Germans were put on a "threat of danger" alert. This means the Germans were already at their battle stations, awaiting the allied forces.The Germans had obstacles on the beach that would benefit them as well. Things like a shingle on the beach with a steep slope. If the allies wanted to get off the beach, they would have to get around obstacles such as this before they would have access to the town. "As I was walking off the landing craft I was actually walking out over own dead and wounded. I got half way up the beach and dropped... I looked around and there were men lying down... I got up and ran and made it to the wall and looked back and I said to myself, 'if they don't move, they're going to get killed', and then I suddenly realized they couldn't move, they were already dead" (Ron Beal). Speer made sure building and hotels that were facing the beach were fortified. There were sniper posts on the top of buildings and there were...

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