This turned out to be a very long day. We had intended to stay in Paris for one more day, but decided at the last minute to scrap our plans and head to Dieppe, France instead, a distance of about 200 kms. I had wanted to check out the World War 2 D-Day invasion sights and had figured that Dieppe would be where the Canadian memorial would be.
Turns out I was only half right.
The Dieppe Raid, also known as The Battle of Dieppe, Operation Rutter or later on Operation
Jubilee, during the Second World War, was an Alliedattack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe on the northern coast of France on 19 August 1942. The assault began at 5:00 AM and by 10:50 AM the Allied commanders had
been forced to call a retreat. Over 6,000 infantrymen, predominantly Canadian, were supported by large Royal Navy and Royal Air Force contingents. The objective was to seize and hold a major port for a short period, both to prove it was possible and to gather intelligence from prisoners and captured materials while assessing the German
responses. The Allies also wanted to destroy coastal defences, port structures and all strategic buildings
The D-Day invasion actually occured on June 6, 1944 and Canada was involved, but not in
Dieppe, France. The actual D-Day beaches, like Juno beach and Omaha beach, turned out to be a 2 hour drive down the coast in the opposite direction that we were travelling.
And even though I had got my information wrong, my wife took pity on me and decided we
should make the 4 hour detour to go see the sights and to pay our respects. Unfortunately because we started so late in the day we were only able to see half of them before it got too dark.
It was enough for us to realize just how much of a sacrifice those soldiers made on that beach so many years ago.