Message by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the 75th Anniversary of the Dieppe Raid
August 19, 2017
75 years ago today, Canadian troops, along with a number of British and American allies, landed on the beaches at Dieppe. It was one of the tragedies of the Second World War, but it proved critical.
Today, we remember those Canadians who sacrificed so much during that raid. Nearly 5,000 Canadian soldiers stormed Dieppe’s beaches in an attempt to establish a strategic presence on the continent for Allied forces. They showed tremendous courage and suffered heavy casualties in an attack that ultimately ended in tragedy.
Only 2,200 soldiers returned to England. Many of them were injured. Nearly 2,000 soldiers were captured and became prisoners of war, and 916 Canadians were killed during the operation.
In Dieppe, what lasted mere hours amounted to the most devastating day for a Canadian battalion in the Second World War. But their immense sacrifice taught the Allies invaluable lessons and two years later, they used those lessons to turn the tide of the Second World War – on D-Day.
Today, we honour Canadians who gave their lives, and the thousands of others who gave so much, to change the course of history.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, thank you to all our veterans for your courage, strength, and profound service. You have helped to bring us the peace and freedom we enjoy today. We will never forget your service and your sacrifices.