A military fiasco
On the night of 18-19 August 1942, some 6,000 soldiers (5,000 Canadians, 1,000 Brits, 50 US Rangers and 15 Free French commandos) were heading for Dieppe aboard 150 ships. Their mission? To destroy the Germans’ coastal defences and select strategic infrastructure. The plan? To attack at night.
Only, they lost the element of surprise when one of the groups bumped into a small German convoy coming down from the North Sea. Not only that, but the offensive was running late and so it was in the light of dawn that the troops landed on a front of five beaches stretching 20 kilometres in length: Berneval, Dieppe, Pourville, Puys and Varengeville.