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Dieppe

Hi Everyone,
We are planning a trip to France this year, and as Canadians, we want to visit Dieppe and see the site of the attempted landing of the Canadian troops in August of 1942. We do not seem to be able to find much in the way of organized tours of the area. Has anyone had any experience in here? We will be passing through on our way to Bayeux, but should have several of hours to spend.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Rob in Richmond Hill Ontairo

Posted by
776 posts

I did a day trip to Dieppe from Paris. The Canadian monument is moving. There was a sign somewhere in French that told in no uncertain words, how these boys were used as experimental cannon fodder. Quite something. Most of the sea front area has not been rebuilt leaving a huge empty space where a kite flying contest is held each year. Dieppe isn't that big that you would need an organized tour. Will you have a car?

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks for that reply. We will have a car. We will leave Lille about 9 in the morning so hoping to be in Dieppe before noon.

Posted by
80 posts

Hello Rob,
Unfortunately I’ve not been to Dieppe and can offer no help with that. However I notice that you’re staying in Lille which is only about a 45 minute drive to Ypres. If you’ve not already been there and your itinerary is not full I highly recommend you visit the WW1 sights there. They’re incredible and as you know especially significant for Canadians. Safe travels.

Posted by
32273 posts

"There was a sign somewhere in French that told in no uncertain words, how these boys were used as experimental cannon fodder."

Actually, there's more to the story. The Dieppe raid was primarily intended as a "pinch raid" to obtain a four-rotor Enigma machine, and the landings were partially a diversion. Recent information revealed by Canadian historian David O'Keefe indicates the "pinch" part of the mission was planned by none other than Ian Fleming, who was offshore in one of the support ships during the landings. This short video explains further - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qA9_Ec-8YI .

Rob,

You might find it interesting to read One Day in August before your trip, as that explains the whole story.

Are you planning to take any D-Day tours during your stay in Bayeux?

Posted by
14580 posts

The Vimy Monument is the big Canadian monument near Arras. You basically need a car to reach it. Arras was a military in both wars, also the British General HQ in WW1. Between Arras and Ypres is the countryside dotted with British Commonwealth military cemeteries from WW1, recognisable by the green and white signs indicating that. One of these cemeteries is in Arras itself.

Posted by
4066 posts

Dieppe is small and easily seen on foot. Individual monuments to each of the regiments sacrificed here stretch along the pebbled beach beside the harbour. Read more at: http://ca.france.fr/en/discover/dieppe-memorial

A car is useful to reach the beach at Puys, with a small memorial, several deadly German machine gun emplacements which are not open to the public, and no shelter whatsoever for the doomed invaders. As well, the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery is located approximately five kilometres south of Dieppe, in the town of Hautot-sur-Mer, and holds the graves of 955 soldiers. It was built by the Germans for their enemy's casualties.

Here is a detailed history prepared by a Canadian company that runs tours to Dieppe. It mentions David O'Keefe's well-publicized theory about Ultra which some historians have discredited or at least cut down to size -- including the connection to spymaster Ian Fleming. His theories did make an entertaining TV documentary, though. https://www.thebattlefieldtours.com/single-post/2016/01/07/Dieppe-Operation-Jubilee

Also worth a visit is the Operation Jubilee Dieppe museum in the centre of town. It is operated by a dedicated family who have collected artifacts and mementoes from the raid and more recently from the families of veterans who visit the museum. 9 Place Camille Saint-Saens.
One other curiosity: If you walk along the small street to the east of the museum, across form the casino, towards the beach, you will come to a portal through the city walls. On the left of the gateway is an historical plaque noting that Dieppe was the departure point for the majority of the "filles du roi", the so-called daughters of the king, who shipped out to become the wives of the first settlers of Quebec. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Daughters
https://www.dieppe-operationjubilee-19aout1942.fr/english-version/19th-august-1942-memorial/

Posted by
45 posts

Thanks everyone for all the information. It is always nice to hear from folks who have been there. Much appreciated all!