By Canadian war artist Charles Fraser Comfort, painting "Dieppe Raid" graphically shows Canadian landing at Dieppe 1942-08-19

Oil painting, "Dieppe Raid", Comfort, Dr. Charles Fraser, 1946.

Dr. Charles Fraser
1946
Dieppe, FRANCE
19710261-2183
© Canadian War Museum.


The 14th Calgary Tanks, one of the units of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade, left Halifax and arrived in Greenock, Scotland, on July 1, 1941. The regiment trained in Britain until it embarked on Exercise Jubilee on August 18, 1942, to take part in the raid on Dieppe.

Following the disaster at Dieppe, many of the Canadian prisoners of war, including members of the 14th Calgary Tanks, were incarcerated in the German prisoner of war camp Stalag VIII in Southern Poland. These prisoners were housed in huts enclosed in a compound. Each hut was divided into two and each side housed more than one hundred prisoners. They slept in three-tier wooden bunk beds and a half a dozen tables were used for distributing the food received from the kitchens in large, metal buckets.
One small heating stove was positioned in each side of the hut and could only be lit when fuel was supplied which, unfortunately, was not very often.

During the raid on Dieppe, the British ordered that German prisoners would be shackled (handcuffed) as they were returned to England. As a result of this, the German Camp Command ordered that Allied prisoners’ hands would also be shackled. Read More
The 14th Calgary Tanks, one of the units of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade, left Halifax and arrived in Greenock, Scotland, on July 1, 1941. The regiment trained in Britain until it embarked on Exercise Jubilee on August 18, 1942, to take part in the raid on Dieppe.

Following the disaster at Dieppe, many of the Canadian prisoners of war, including members of the 14th Calgary Tanks, were incarcerated in the German prisoner of war camp Stalag VIII in Southern Poland. These prisoners were housed in huts enclosed in a compound. Each hut was divided into two and each side housed more than one hundred prisoners. They slept in three-tier wooden bunk beds and a half a dozen tables were used for distributing the food received from the kitchens in large, metal buckets.
One small heating stove was positioned in each side of the hut and could only be lit when fuel was supplied which, unfortunately, was not very often.

During the raid on Dieppe, the British ordered that German prisoners would be shackled (handcuffed) as they were returned to England. As a result of this, the German Camp Command ordered that Allied prisoners’ hands would also be shackled.

Prisoners’ hands were originally tied with cord from Red Cross parcels until manacles became available. Their shackling lasted thirteen months or 400 days. Some ingenious prisoners of war managed to find ways of escaping their bonds. They fashioned keys to open the German manacles from the "can opener-keys" attached to sardine cans, available to them through the Red Cross packages.

"Blower stoves," were made by prisoners of war from metal containers or cooking pots. These items were modified by cutting a hole in them to receive the forced air from the blower. They were then fitted with a grate on which to set the food contained so that heat from the burning fuel under the grate would heat the food. The stoves were very efficient and could generate enough heat to boil a mug of water by burning a single cigarette package. The German guards would smash these stoves if the prisoners participated in any activity that the guards considered illegal. All of the supplementary food in the prisoners’ diet came through Red Cross packages. Early in 1945, as the Russian Army advanced westward, the prisoners were left unguarded. To avoid being captured by the Russians, the prisoners marched westward to meet up with the Allies, living off the land in the process. During this time, no Red Cross packages were available.

A major reason for the Allies’ failure at Dieppe were the problems experienced by The Calgary Regiment’s tanks during the operation. Due to navigational errors, the tank landing craft were almost ten minutes late bringing in the tanks to support the assault troops. When they did land, their crews discovered that the beach was covered in granite stones rather than the sand indicated by British Intelligence.

These stones got into the tank tracks and were carried into the drive sprockets, breaking the tracks, and preventing the tanks from moving. Anti-tank, mortar, and shellfire from the defenders further damaged the tanks and stopped several from making it to shore. Despite these difficulties, fifteen out of the twenty-five tanks that landed made it to the esplanade in front of the town. There, the tank crews discovered barricades preventing them from entering the town. As a result, they were forced to fire over the barricade at any targets they could find and provide cover fire for the retreating infantry.

© 2002, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

German manacles used to bind hands of Canadian prisoners of war

German manacles used to bind the hands of Canadian Prisoners Of War for 400 days following their capture at Dieppe.

unknown
c. 1942
POLAND
© The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC) Museum.


A model of a blower stove

A model of a "blower stove," a cooking stove made from a pot, created by Prisoners Of War to cook their food.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
c. 1942
© The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC) Museum


Picture of a Churchill Tank similar to those used in the Dieppe Raid

A Churchill Tank (type Mk-VIII Crocodile). This is a similar tank to the Mk.I-III type Churchill used by the 14th Armoured Regiment (Calgary Tanks) at Dieppe on August 19, 1942.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
1942-08-19
Dieppe, FRANCE
© The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC) Museum


Picture of a memento handkerchief from Dieppe

Memento handkerchief, Dieppe.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
c. 1942
Dieppe, FRANCE
19800524-004
© Canadian War Museum


Picture of a pennant made by Canadian prisoners of War in Stalag VIII

Pennant

Canadian Heritage Information Network
1943
POLAND
19810641-001
© Canadian War Museum


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Develop an understanding of the participation and role of Canada’s Army in the World War II
  • Examine the contributions, sacrifices and experiences of individuals who participated in military events during World War II
  • Identify key locations in which Canada’s military operated during World War II
  • Evaluate the weapons and technology used by Canadian soldiers

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