They are the brave; the heroic; the everyday Canadians who, over the course of nine terrible hours of fighting, would prove a nation’s mettle under a relentless hail of enemy fire. This fine silver coin reflects on the legacy of the Dieppe Raid as a lesson in heroism, sacrifice and remembrance, represented by those who lived it and the many who never returned. The coin is dated 2018 with a $20 denomination and weighs one ounce of pure silver. Adding to its collectability, the mintage is extremely limited to just 5,000. As a pure silver coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint, this item is HST/GST exempt.
Artist Laurie McGaw bridges the past and present with the poignant image of a Canadian veteran returning to the site of the 1942 landing at Dieppe, France. Standing at the water’s edge, the decorated veteran leans on his cane with his right arm raised in an open-palm salute. Prominently pinned on his blazer are two campaign stars — the 1939-45 Star and the France and Germany Star — alongside the Defence Medal, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with the Dieppe Bar and the Overseas Bar, and the War Medal. Behind him are the alabaster cliffs that gave the enemy a commanding view of the beach below, where Canadians came ashore under heavy enemy fire. Reflected on the water’s surface, the appearance of Canadian soldiers standing at attention is an additional act of remembrance for Canada’s combatants, whose actions and sacrifice at Dieppe will not be forgotten. The reverse includes the words “THE DIEPPE RAID LE RAID SUR DIEPPE” engraved on a banner, along with the word “CANADA” and the year “2018”. The obverse features the effigy of King George VI by T. H. Paget.
The Dieppe Raid:
Dieppe is situated at a break in the cliffs along the northwest coast of France and was selected as the main target of the raid partially because it was within range of fighter planes from Britain.
The Dieppe Raid was launched in the early morning hours on August 19, 1942. The Allies arrived off the French coast on a naval task force of 237 ships and landing craft. Although the shoreline of Dieppe itself is relatively flat, the town is bookended on both sides by high, chalky-white cliffs rising directly from the beaches. From these cliffs, heavy German guns and machine guns situated inside concrete bunkers guarded the port and its surrounding beaches.--- The Canadians assaulted Dieppe at four designated sections. Blue Beach, below the village of Puys (1.6 km east of Dieppe), Green Beach, by the village of Pourville (4 km west of Dieppe), Red and White Beaches directly in front of the main port.
The raid was over by mid-day. In nine hours, 907 Canadian soldiers were killed, 2,460 were wounded, and 1,946 were taken prisoner. That's more prisoners than the Canadian Army would lose in 11 months of fighting during the Northwest Europe campaign of 1944-1945. Fewer than half the Canadians who departed for Dieppe made it back to England.--- Despite its failure, the raid provided valuable lessons for the Allies. It erased the idea that surprise and tanks were enough to succeed in an amphibious assault against occupied France. Three essential factors were missing; naval artillery support, dominance over the skies, and heavy firepower.