Secret Revelations About Dieppe


Winston Churchill believed the results of Canada's raid on Dieppe, France justified the heavy cost. Many Canadians would disagree. But Churchill may have known a secret about Dieppe. A secret so vital to the Allied cause that obtaining it would shorten the war. We hear how newly accessed documents may transform our understanding of one of Canada's darkest days. News Promo: New research has upset everything we thought we knew about the disastrous allied raid on the port of Dieppe in the Second World War.

Part Two of The Current

Secret Revelations About Dieppe - Military Historian David O'Keefe

We started this segment with a clip from CBC Radio's Robert Bowman trying hard to sound hopeful on a day of national despair. Just hours before, more than 6000 soldiers, most of them Canadian, raided the French coastal town of Dieppe. In less than six hours, 60 per cent of the infantrymen were dead, injured or captured. 907 Canadians died that day.

It was seventy years ago this Sunday that Ron Beal's landing craft headed towards Dieppe's gravely beach. He remembers thinking Dieppe had an ominous name. Ron Beal is a veteran of the Royal Regiment of Canada and a survivor of the raid on Dieppe. We aired a clip.

Dieppe's cliffs rise up like a tombstone in Canadian history. So many lost in an operation that seemed rushed, under supplied, and not particularly tactical. But my next guest believes there was a very good motive for the raid -- but not one you've ever heard before, because until recently it was top secret.

Military historian David O'Keefe has spent the past 15 years analyzing recently declassified documents. He believes his research will forever change the way the raid is understood. His work will be featured in the documentary Dieppe Uncovered, which airs on History this Sunday night .

Today David O'Keefe is in Dieppe, near the same beach where the allied troops landed almost 70 years ago. He is based in Montreal.

The documentary Dieppe Uncovered airs this Sunday night on History.

This segment was produced by The Current's Pedro Sanchez.

Last Word - Ian Fleming

We've been talking today about the Dieppe raid and the role Ian Fleming played as Intelligence Officer. After the war, Fleming lived in Jamaica where he wrote a series of spy novels that enjoyed some success. He was asked how he came up with the name of his most famous character.

Was it a fellow comrade-in-arms? The code name of a fondly remembered place? A talisman to conjure an old affaire-de-coeur? Nnnnnnope. On today's Last word, Ian Fleming explaining how 007 got his name.

Other segment from today's show:

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