Monday, January 28, 2019

Context: Dieppe Raid 1942 - Operations RUTTER/JUBILEE (6).

"Death Cuts Short a Writers Story", Hurricanes and More

Photo: As found on an interpretative panel in France, showing bodies of Canadian
soldiers piled up on the beach at the village of Puys, following the raid.
Photo Credit - The Canadian Encyclopedia

(There are seven additional photographs and accompanying article re the Dieppe raid at The Canadian Encyclopedia.)


Operation JUBILEE, the second attempt of a raid at Dieppe, took place approximately one month from the time of the columns, editorials, editorial cartoons, etc. displayed below from the July 18 - 22 issues of The Winnipeg Tribune.

Canadian members of RCNVR and Combined Ops are not mentioned directly but they would have been affected by the events on the war fronts that are highlighted.

"Mae West is asking for a divorce?" some sailors would say. "Maybe she'll go dancing with me this Saturday night!"

"Hurricanes are blowing in from Canada, I hear," another would say. "I'd really like to see one flying overhead when we're training on our landing crafts."

(When members of the first draft of Canadians in Combined Ops were serving in Sicily one year later from the time of these articles, they would indeed see Hurricanes in action, some flown by men from their own hometowns!)

Peruse the newspapers from 1942 for more details: e.g., The Winnipeg Tribune -

* * * * * *

Dangers in war were all too real. The Butcher's Bill was extremely high in all of the armed forces. Those who reported on the sights and sounds of war, the chaos and carnage, various war activities and human conditions, etc., also made supreme sacrifices. 

EUGENE PETROV, last words

Following Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union, Petrov became a war correspondent. He was killed in a plane crash while returning from besieged Sevastopol. The short film Envelope was dedicated to him. (Link to Wikipedia)

(Petrov) died in a plane crash in 1942, while working as a correspondent during the Second World War. (Link to Information on Writers)

My father Gordon Douglas (Doug) Harrison, a canadian in Combined Ops, wrote the following in memoirs:

One morning in Sicily I woke up in my hammock in our cave (the hammock was slung between two lime-stone piers and above the lizards) and I saw Hurricane planes taking off just a short distance away. We now began working eight hours on and eight hours off. When we were pretty well unloaded I decided, on my eight hours off, to investigate the air strip and, behold, they were Canadians with Hurricane fighters. I arrived about supper time and explained who I was and was invited for a supper of tomatoes and bully beef... Not that again!

“I have no mess fanny or spoon,” I said, and the cook told me there were some fellows washing theirs up and to ask one of them for the loan of their mess fanny and spoon.

So I walked over, tapped a man’s shoulder and asked if I could borrow his equipment. The man straightened up and said “sure” and it turned out to be Bill Donnelly from my own hometown of Norwich, Ontario. I got my oppo, A/B Buryl McIntyre from the cave and did the vino ever run that night. Small world.

So when we had had enough Bill crawled into his hole in the ground, covered himself with mosquito netting, and we headed back to the cave. Overhead, Beaufort night fighters were giving Jerry fighters and bombers hell. We felt the courage given us by the vino and slept quite soundly in our dank old cave ‘til morning rolled around again.

(Page 34 - "DAD, WELL DONE")

Editor's Note: John McTavish was bounced 59 feet. Not 58 feet, not 60 feet, not 55 - 60 feet. 59 feet. That's some feat!!

The Dieppe Raid is but a month away. Linked to demands for a second front?

We read above, "Thus the initial Allied invasion force would comprise 450,000 men at least."

The next paragraph reveals that "transporting and maintaining such an army" would require great efforts from such men as the Canadians in Combined Operations - and hundreds more - who manned landing crafts ("Don't call them barges," some of them said at one time) at Dieppe, then at the invasions of N. Africa (Nov. 1942), Sicily and Italy (July and Sept. 1943) prior to D-Day Normandy.

For many reasons (some hinted at above), a large-scale invasion of Europe was delayed until June, 1944. Was the (large-scale) raid at Dieppe a way of testing the waters, a way to appease the need now for Second front? Much has been written re the tragic raid. Some books re the raid are presented at this site, and more will follow.

On the early morning of August 19 a similar incident to the one below took place as (chiefly Canadian) Allied troops made their way across the English Channel on their way to Dieppe.

Editor's Note - I have read that Canada was home to the world's third largest navy at the end of World War II.

Some sailors would say, "Maybe she'll go dancing with me this Saturday night!"

Is this artist, writer, related to Robert Wagner, well-known
Hollywood actor (also born in Detroit)?

Interesting quotes follow from some of the returning Canadian forces:

More newspaper articles, editorial cartoons will follow.

Please link to Context: Dieppe Raid 1942 - Operations RUTTER/JUBILEE (5)

Unattributed Photos GH

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Photographs: Dieppe Raid 1942 - Operations RUTTER/JUBILEE (5).

Canadians in Training and Actual Operation 

[The article above, from the July 13, 1942 issue of The Winnipeg Tribune*,
is a rare one. It is written by the well-known Canadian war correspondent
Ross Munro, and refers to "invasion manoeuvres" prior to the Dieppe
Raid as part of "advanced combined operations training."]


During the Second World War, on 19 August 1942, the Allies launched a major raid on the French coastal port of Dieppe. Operation Jubilee was the first Canadian Army engagement in the European theatre of the war, designed to test the Allies' ability to launch amphibious assaults against Adolf Hitler's "Fortress Europe." The raid was a disaster: More than 900 Canadian soldiers were killed, and thousands more were wounded and taken prisoner. Despite the bloodshed, the raid provided valuable lessons for subsequent Allied amphibious assaults on Africa, Italy and Normandy. 

(Link to The Canadian Encyclopedia for more information)

The following account of the Dieppe Raid was written by Al Kirby (RCNVR, Combined Ops), Woodstock, Ontario:

(Link to previous section of Kirby's account.)

As the smoke cleared away, we began to see the beach, and as the large flashes from the continous explosions lit up the scene, we assumed that this was evidence of the pounding that our boys were giving the Jerries.

Looking up into the azure of the morning sky over France, I was attracted by the sight of a formation of bombers heading our way. Just as I was trying to decide whether they were theirs or ours, a group of Spitfires came hurtling down from above them and a wild dogfight took place. It was really more like a rat kill than a dog fight, as the Dornier Formation scattered and the Spits went after them piecemeal, diving, twisting and turning, as the fighters spat cannon fire into them.

Then one of the bombers began to burn, rolled onto its side and screamed blue murder for the sea. I couldn't take my eyes off the sight as the plane streaked into the water with a mighty splash, then a great roar of cheering went up from the sailors in the assembly of landing craft. Now, as I shifted my gaze around above me there seemed to be dog fights going on all over the sky.

Parachutes were descending into the water and landing craft in the vicinity of their landing went immediately to pick them up. There seemed to be at least fifty or sixty aircraft in the sky at once, most of them R.A.F. fighters. They were having a field day up there as they seemed to be shooting down aircraft all over the place.

Hop and I pulled our weapons out from under the focs'1 and took them out of their boxes, checked the magazines and got ready to take a pot shot at any of them that may venture near us. Leach warned us not to shoot at anything that we could not definitely identify, as most of the planes were ours right now. However, he did tell us that any aircraft below 3000 feet would be an enemy, as our planes were all instructed to keep above this altitude.

As the battle continued ashore, we were able to see the flashes and the smoke, but we were too far away to hear the noise above our own engine noises.

Eventually hunger and thirst began to push themselves to the forefront. Fortunately, we had brought with us a four gallon can of water, but we had no food. I asked Leach if he would mind if I tried to beg something from the destroyer. He then produced a box, which he had brought with him, containing sandwiches, so we each had two, then they were gone.

My left hand, which I had burned on the smoke generator as we pulled off the beach, was now beginning to bother me a little. It didn't look bad but the skin was now very stiff, like cardboard, and if I tried to bend it the pain was noticeable.

Page 54 - 55, Combined Operations by Londoner Clayton Marks

* * * * * *

The following eight photographs are from The Canadian Encyclopedia as found at this link: .

CAN.EN1 Wrecked Allied tanks and landing craft lie strewn across a beach at
Dieppe, France, following the failed raid there on 19 August, 1942.

CAN.EN2 Bodies of Canadian soldiers of the Calgary Regiment lie dead on
the beach at Dieppe, France, following the disastrous Allied raid.

CAN.EN3 A painting by Canadian war artist Charles Comfort, of the Allied raid
on Dieppe in 1942.

CAN.EN4 Infantrymen of The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of
Canada boarding landing craft before the raid on Dieppe on 19 August. 

CAN.EN5 No caption* available at The Canadian Encyclopedia

* Editor found the following caption re the photo: A11230. A naval motor-launch seen with four of the landing craft personnel (large) used during the Combined Operations daylight raid on Dieppe. The landing craft are numbered (left - right) LCP (L) 85, LCP (L) 41, number not visible and R 145.
Lt. L. Pelman, RN official photographer, Admiralty Official Collection, Imperial War Museum (IWM).

CAN.EN6 The beach at the village of Puys, east of Dieppe, where Canadian
soldiers landed on 19 August, 1942.

CAN.EN7 A photograph on an interpretative panel in France, showing the bodies of
Canadian soldiers piled up on the beach at the village of Puys, following the raid.

CAN.EN8 The graves of Canadian soldiers -- buried head-to-head
in the local style -- at the Canadian War Cemetery at Dieppe.

The next photographs are found at Legion Magazine along with another informative article about the Dieppe Raid. (Please link to article for more information). 

Legion1. Soldiers arrive in England after the raid.

Legion2. A Canadian escorts a German captured during the raid. An unidentified
Canadian soldier, who is armed with a Thompson machine gun, escorting a German
prisoner who was captured during Operation JUBILEE, the Dieppe raid. England,

Legion4 A German officer (third left) surveys the damage.

Legion5 Captured Canadians on the move.

Legion6 A German soldier points to Canadian soldiers lined up in the street

Legion7 The beach after the raid. PHOTO: LEGION MAGAZINE ARCHIVES

Legion8 Enemy fortifications are examined two years after the raid.

More photographs related to the Dieppe Raid to follow.

Please link to Photographs: Dieppe Raid 1942 - Operations RUTTER/JUBILEE (4).

Unattributed Photos GH

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Context: Dieppe Raid 1942 - Operations RUTTER/JUBILEE (5)

New Canadian Stamps, France's Edith Cavell and More

[113243. Canadian infantrymen disembarking from a landing craft during a training
exercise before Operation JUBILEE, the raid on Dieppe, France. England, August


The following news items, editorial(s), cartoons, etc. are from issues of The Winnipeg Tribune first published in July 14 - July 17, 1942. They do not relate directly to Canadians who served in the RCNVR and Combined Operations but provide details of what was happening on other war fronts during the weeks before the Dieppe raid took place.

One article about the Fishermen's Reserve (from British Columbia) would have been of interest to many Canadians who served in Combined Ops, particularly those who were stationed at HMCS Givenchy III on Vancouver Island (from Jan. 1944 until discharged in Sept. 1945) after training for and handling landing crafts at Dieppe, Nortrh Africa, Sicily and Italy.

Readers can link to The Winnipeg Tribune here in order to explore issues from many decades gone by.

* * * * * *

"La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of France. The song was written in 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in Strasbourg after the declaration of war by France against Austria, and was originally titled "Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin" ("War Song for the Rhine Army"). (Link to Wikipedia)

The English translation of Verse 1, seen beneath the editorial cartoon above, is as follows:

Let's go children of the fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us tyranny's
Bloody flag is raised! (repeat)
In the countryside, do you hear
The roaring of these fierce soldiers?
They come right to our arms
To slit the throats of our sons, our friends!


Grab your weapons, citizens!
Form your battalions!
Let us march! Let us march!
May impure blood
Water our fields!

Link to lyrics at THOUGHT COMPANY.

The photo below may have been taken during the combined operations exercises that were featured in an earlier post and found in the July 13, 1942 issue of The Winnipeg Tribune.

More news articles, editorial cartoons, ads, etc. - to provide context related to the time of the Dieppe raid - will follow.

Please link to Context: Dieppe Raid 1942 - Operations RUTTER/JUBILEE (4)

Unattributed Photos GH