Raids, Rehearsals and Reverses - 2017 - DP

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The sacrifice and losses suffered in Operation Jubilee the amphibious raid on the French port of Dieppe on the morning of August 19, 1942 are seared into the Canadian national psyche. Of the nearly 5,000 men of the 2nd Canadian Division who landed nearly 3,600 men had been killed, wounded or captured by midday. In time and space these were losses as bad or worse than anything on the Western Front in World War I. It was also a morning that saw three Victoria Crosses won by a Colonel, a Captain and a Padre – for courage and selfless loyalty. We will return to Dieppe to honour the men who fought and died that summer morning. In addition to Dieppe your time in France will include the airborne and amphibious raid on the German radar station at Bruneval in 1942 that gathered invaluable technical intelligence. In addition we will visit St Valery the little port where the 51st Highland Division made a last stand in 1940. We will be based in Dieppe an attractive town with a remarkable history as well as superb restaurants and shops. The tour will be a unique experience – informative, enjoyable and moving.

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We will meet in London by 6.00am or at pick up points on our way to Newhaven. (*This tour can also be joined in Dieppe with reduction in cost over London joining tour participants) We will be travelling aboard the LD Lines ‘Seven Sisters’ ship departing at 10.00am. The journey takes 4 hours to Dieppe. (Lunch at own expense). This route was chosen so that we can see the town from the sea as the Canadians and Royal Navy did in August 1942. Arriving in Dieppe at 3.00pm we will check into the Windsor Hotel. Afternoon at leisure.

Dinner in the hotel
Accommodation: Dieppe

Breakfast in the hotel. Depart hotel with packed lunch. The day starts at the eastern end and works its way westward. Yellow Beach: Failure and improvisation. The small party from No 3 Commando under Major Peter Young neutralise the German battery though other elements of No 3 are killed or captured. We will follow the route taken by Young and see memorials to No 3 Commando. Blue Beach: The ill-fated landing by the Royal Regiment of Canada at Puys. Lt Colonel Cato makes it off the beach but is obliged to join his battalion as a PoW. We will see the cramped beach and the memorials to a battalion that in a morning suffered a higher casualty rate than any in World War I or II. White and Red Beach: These are the beaches where the bulk of the Canadian division landed along with Churchill tanks - we see as they did 70 years ago. We then ascend to the viewpoint above the castle to see it from a German perspective. We see the site of the casino and memorials to the Canadian regiments who landed The Essex Scottish, Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, Calgary Regiment and les Fusiliers Mont Royal. We visit the memorial garden at the foot of the castle and see the beach where Padre John Foote chose to remain with the wounded rather than be evacuated to safety. Picnic lunch. Green Beach: The initial success of the landings at this beach by the South Saskatchewan gives the lie to the myth that the Germans expected an attack. We see Merrit's bridge where the Colonel led his men under fire across the River Scie and the radar site on the high ground to the east that was one of the objectives. Yellow Beach: The two beaches where No 4 Commando landed and whose action at the Hess battery was the only success in Operation JUBILEE. We see the steep gulley that the Commandos ascended and the location of the battery where Porteous won his VC.
Canadian Cemetery: We walk to the JUBILEE museum in the old theatre in Dieppe and have time off to shop and look around the town. Our final event is to take the coach to pay our respects at the Canadian Cemetery at Hautot-sur-Mer that is the last resting place of 948 Commonwealth servicemen, most of whom were killed in Operation JUBILEE. Return to the hotel.
Dinner in hotel
Accommodation: Dieppe
Meals: B: L: D

Breakfast in the hotel. Depart hotel to travel to the site of the German radar station at Bruneval and see the foundations of the villa occupied by the Germans as well as the pit where the radar was sited. Energetic members of the group can descend the steep gulley to the evacuation beach on foot or we drive to the beach and see the memorial to the operation by 2 Para. St Valery-en-Caux: We break for lunch at St Valery-en-Caux where two brigades of the 51st Highland Division made a heroic last stand in June 1940 and where they were forced to surrender and the commanding officer Major General Fortune was taken prisoner. Lunch at own expense. Free time in Dieppe to visit the JUBILEE museum in the old theatre in Dieppe and have time off to shop and look around the town.
Final group dinner in hotel.
Accommodation: Dieppe
Meals: BD

Breakfast in the hotel. Check out of hotel. Members who joined tour in Dieppe can leave tour here. Drive to Calais for P&O Ferry to Dover. Meal on ferry at own expense. Return to London

Accommodation: None
Meals: B


  1. London