Dieppe, France. A Soldier's Story from WWII

clipping from the Windsor Star, August 1942.

The Dieppe Raid: August 19, 1942

Of the 6100 assault troops to land at Dieppe, 5000 were Canadians, many from Windsor, Ontario. Dieppe was a nightmare - over 900 Allied soldiers killed, 2000 captured, hundreds more wounded. Here is one story -  my dad's story. He was one of the lucky ones to escape the slaughter at Dieppe on August 19, 1942.

My father, Henry Charles Read, and his younger brother, William George Read, from Windsor, Ontario, were both at the Dieppe raid. They were Sergeants with the 11th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers. As engineers their job in the Dieppe raid was to get into the town, set explosives and blow up their target, I believe it was a factory. They landed at Dieppe in the dark, before sunrise and before the majority of the troops came ashore. The Germans were waiting for them, and there was heavy gunfire and shelling. My uncle was injured shortly after landing. His arm was badly wounded and he was evacuated back to a hospital in England. My dad continued on with other engineers into the town of Dieppe where they set and detonated the explosives, as ordered. Eventually, the word came down the line from the Canadian command that they were to surrender to the Germans. My dad and a few of his buddies would have nothing of that. As he said, he wasn't going to sit out the rest of the war in a German prisoner of war camp. Instead, they surveyed the land and the beach and found a spot where they 'went into the water'. They waded way out into the English Channel, where a Polish destroyer picked them up a few hours later, and they were returned safely to England.

For pictures of the day on the Dieppe Raid

A link to video of the Assault on Dieppe

A link to video footage of the Aftermath at Dieppe, August 19, 1942


Dieppe now......
The pebbled, rocky beach at Dieppe. Was it any wonder the tanks got stuck?
We traveled to Dieppe a few years ago.
Arrived by train
From the cliffs, it was evident that Dieppe could be easily defended by the Germans.
On main street, Dieppe, France.
Canadian War Memorial on the beach at Dieppe, France


Poppies growing near the beach at Dieppe, France

On August 19, the sun shines exactly through the maple leaf carved out on the monument, to match up with the cement maple leaf on the ground.