Last week I spent several days in Dieppe, a Norman resort city, for the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of a terrible event there: the Dieppe raid, a disastrous Allied attack on the Normandy coast on August 19, 1942. I’ve got a personal connection to Dieppe: my father, an American volunteer fighting with Canada’s Black Watch Regiment, landed on the beach you see above and was among the 1,950 Canadian prisoners taken that day.
Please check out my two pieces for The New York Times about all this!
Dad’s story–and my journey–is here on At War, the Times’ military blog. There’s audio from my father and another veteran, and video, too.
This Dieppe Journal is about the commemoration and the history of the battle itself.
After two failed escape attempts, and several other brushes with death in captivity, my father made it home in 1945.
He considered himself lucky: of the roughly 5,000 Canadians who landed at Dieppe, only about 2,000–roughly a third of them–made it back that day. More than 900 Canadians were slaughtered almost immediately; and again, nearly 2,000 were taken prisoner.
So that makes me very lucky too. More to come.