November 24, 2016

1944. Day of Glory as Canadians Take Dieppe

The Liberation of Dieppe
"In the Rue Claude Groulard, Dieppe, the 2nd Canadian Division marches past General Crerar" September 3, 1944 (source)

From The Washington Post, published September 2, 1944:

Day of Glory As Canadians Take Dieppe
New York. Sept. 1.—CBS Correspondent Bill Downs broadcast today:

"I was with the Canadian troops who entered Dieppe soon after noon today. They had advanced over 15 miles last night.

"They took the city without a struggle.

"There were only a few German snipers scattered throughout the port. A number of prisoners have been taken in the area, but there has been no exact total released. I saw about 100 of them as I drove into Dieppe.

"The same Canadian units which participated in the ill-fated Dieppe raid two years ago were selected to take Dieppe. The men were charged with avenging their comrades killed in the Dieppe action, and the later German actions which resulted in a number of Canadian prisoners taken at Dieppe being put into chains.

"This was more than a day of glory than a day of vengeance, because there simply were not enough Germans around to defend the city.

"In the capture of Dieppe, the Canadian Army has achieved one of the decisive strategic goals of this campaign. They were the first troops to reach the English Channel north of the Seine. They've already captured a number of flying bomb sites in the Dieppe area. They have isolated Le Havre, and the German troops and bomb installations in that region. And now they are established in a position to clear the channel coast of France and the Low Countries in one sweep.

"Entering the city, a large crowd made a funnel for the entering troops. We thought at first the crowd wanted to stop us. But then we saw the reason for the lane they made in the center of the road. In the middle of the street was a huge swastika flag, and the crowd forced every Canadian vehicle entering the town to drive over that flag. It was their demonstration of contempt for the Nazis.

"A large oil dump in the north part of the town was burning when we entered at noon today. But the town is surprisingly intact. The Germans were carrying out demolition of the port when the Canadians approached. They did not get a chance to complete the job."