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Historica Canada Education Portal

Raid on Dieppe

  • Military History
  • Secondary – Junior

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Overview


After the students have done some background reading on the Dieppe Raid, take the class to a beach to have a full discussion of the event and to participate in readings of soldiers' diaries.

Background


Introduce "The Raid on Dieppe" as it is traditionally presented using textbooks. 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.

Activities


Procedures:

Having introduced the raid, take students to a beach.

Based on the number of students in the class, offer numbers relative to the number of Canadians taken prisoner. Of the 5,000 Canadians at Dieppe, 907 (18%) were killed and 1,946 taken prisoner (39%). So, in a class of 16, this would mean 6/16 would be prisoners for the duration of the war and 3/16 would never see Canada again.

Students should 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.

Evaluation:

In the classroom, have students respond in writing to one of the following questions:

1. 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.

2. 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.

Resources


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.”