The controversial coin commemorating the *Battle of Dieppe*. Veterans say it is properly called the *Dieppe Raid*

The controversial coin commemorating the *Battle of Dieppe*. Veterans say it is properly called the *Dieppe Raid*
Photo Credit: Royal Canadian Mint

Canadian mint angers veterans

Historically incorrect

The 75th anniversary of a disastrous and tragic military action during the Second World War is fast approaching. To commemorate the event the Royal Canadian Mint created and released a special anniversary silver coin in May. But the coin commemorating the “Battle of Dieppe” has raised the ire of veterans.

They say, it wasn’t a battle, it was a “raid”, a much different type of action.

August 19, 1942 saw a sea-borne force of almost 5,000 Canadians, about 1,000 British, and 50 Americans attack the German defences at the small French coastal town of Dieppe.

The concrete barriers, wire fencing, and other obstacles on the beach show how well the Germans fortified the Dieppe beach. British intelligence about beach conditions and defences failed miserably leading to the catasophe.
The concrete barriers, wire fencing, and other obstacles on the beach show how well the Germans fortified the Dieppe beach, also heavily defended by guns, mortars and cannon. British intelligence about beach conditions and defences failed miserably leading to the catastrophe. © L/O 54162 and DVA 734 and 8160

The raid was designed primarily as a test amphibious landing in which the force would take and hold the town briefly to show that it could be done, while destroying German infrastructure and equipment  . It was also an effort to placate the Soviets who were demanding an attack to relieve German pressure on the Eastern front.

Another aspect was to cover a mission to steal elements of the German radar system, and possibly as well to steal an enigma encoding machine, although the British had already captured the secret coding device a year earlier from U-110 (unlike the historically inaccurate American film U-571)

But the British-planned raid lacked proper intelligence and was severely flawed on a number of issues.  The critical element of surprise had been lost due to an unexpected meeting with a German convoy offshore where a brief firefight alerted the German forces on shore.

In the end, only 2,210 made it back, many of them wounded.  Over 900 Canadians were killed and the rest captured, many of them wounded as well.

Canadian dead on the beach after the raid
Canadian dead on the beach after the raid © Public archives Canada C-014160

The Dieppe Veterans Association in the town of Dieppe, New Brunswick, wants the coin withdrawn and corrected. They say a battle is an attempt to capture and hold ground, while a raid is a hit and run action, adding that the Dieppe action of 1942 was clearly a raid.

One might also question the image showing fixed bayonets, which do not appear in any historic photos of the action. The helmet also appears wrong for the period resembling more the “turtle” style that became available only later in the war,

The mint says it consulted with the military’s history and heritage directorate to confirm accuracy and also use of the term “battle of Dieppe”.

The veterans say they find it hard to believe that a military historian would have signed off on the coin.

The Canadian War Museum, and Veterans Affairs Canada refer to it as the “Dieppe Raid” and a military historian at Dalhousie university said he’s never heard of the action being called “Battle of Dieppe”.

The mint meanwhile has sold about half of the 7.500 silver coins. It also says it understands the veterans concerns and will produce another commemorative Dieppe Raid coin in 2018.

YouTube: Dieppe period footage (French language)

additional information-sources

Categories: International, Society
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


One comment on “Canadian mint angers veterans
  1. Avatar James Vandenblink says:

    This tragic event should never be commemorated!
    These valiant men were used and abused in this
    needless assault!
    I, personally, owe a debt of gratitude to Canadian soldiers
    who liberated my native Netherlands!