The Packet

Canada's History - - CONTENTS -

Dieppe the­ory chal­lenged. Praise for Dieppe ar­ti­cle. Amer­i­can in the pic­ture. A rainy day at Expo. Men­tal wealth. Un­com­fort­able truth.

Iread with in­ter­est the ar­ti­cle [“Dieppe,” Au­gust-Septem­ber 2017] by David O’Keefe pur­port­ing to re­veal the “se­cret pur­pose” be­hind the Dieppe raid. Per­haps it is a re­flec­tion of our times that if one as­serts some­thing and re­peats it over and over the ten­dency of me­dia is to ac­cept same with­out crit­i­cal thought. Yet, as Tim Cook pointed out in his Globe and Mail 2013 re­view of the book the ar­ti­cle is based on, it is one thing to have un­earthed many doc­u­ments prov­ing that Com­bined Op­er­a­tions per­son­nel were en­gaged in plan­ning and ex­e­cut­ing “pinch” raids and an­other thing en­tirely to cor­rectly in­ter­pret such ma­te­rial.

When one reads — as I did while re­search­ing my book Tragedy at Dieppe — the hun­dreds of pages con­sti­tut­ing op­er­a­tional di­rec­tives as to what the Cana­di­ans were to do, where they were to go, and the tim­ings they were to fol­low, it is very hard to read much “pinch” into any of this. Yes, Ian Flem­ing’s team was present and surely hop­ing to get lucky. But it is im­prob­a­ble in the ex­treme that so many Cana­di­ans and other sol­diers were be­ing asked to die for this alone. Much more ev­i­dence is re­quired be­fore O’Keefe’s the­sis can be taken for fact.

Mark Zuehlke


Praise for Dieppe ar­ti­cle

David O’Keefe’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Dieppe fi­asco ap­pears rock-solid, and I am grate­ful for the ef­fort he has ex­pended in or­der to bring this crit­i­cal anal­y­sis to our at­ten­tion. Af­ter pe­rus­ing this item in your mag­a­zine, I sought out some ad­di­tional read­ing ma­te­rial at the lo­cal li­brary. The best and most ex­cit­ing cov­er­age on the topic was O’Keefe’s book, One Day in Au­gust. Of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est was his di­a­logue with a few vet­er­ans of this raid; their re­ac­tion to his find­ings brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye.

Hope­fully, O’Keefe will have more to say on this sub­ject specif­i­cally, and other war re­lated events gen­er­ally, in the not-too-dis­tant fu­ture.

Bill McMaster Ge­orge­town, On­tario

Amer­i­can in the pic­ture

A photo on page 48 ac­com­pa­ny­ing the Dieppe story may be the first pic­ture of an Amer­i­can ca­su­alty on a Nor­mandy shore in the Sec­ond World War. The sol­dier, who is sec­ond from the fore­ground, is wear­ing but­toned knee-high an­klets and a lighter bat­tle dress jacket. This was the uni­form of the U.S. Rangers. Fifty Rangers joined the Cana­dian and Bri­tish forces at Dieppe.

Three U. S. Rangers were killed in Dieppe: Sec­ond Lieu­tenant Ed­ward V. Loustalot, Lieu­tenant Joseph H. Ran­dall, and Ranger Howard Henry.

In the United States the story was re­leased as if the U.S. Rangers led the raid and made the first strike at oc­cu­pied Europe. They cer­tainly would not have ac­knowl­edged the pho­to­graph and would have done ev­ery­thing in their power to pre­vent it from be­ing dis­trib­uted or com­mented on.

Mark An­drews Cor­beil, On­tario

A rainy day at Expo

Thank you for the story about Expo 67 [ June- July 2017]. It brought back so many mem­o­ries for me. Im­pul­sively, my dad de­cided to take part of the fam­ily to Mon­treal for the fair. On one of the days we were there, rain cre­ated an im­promptu river at the On­tario pavil­ion res­tau­rant, and we watched bas­kets of chicken float away. The rain also cleared the plaza, and the only other per­son walk­ing to­wards us was a neigh­bour from Owen Sound. If there had been a crowd we would have missed him.

It was an awe­some ad­ven­ture for three gals from small-town On­tario. Anne Loney Lon­don, On­tario

Men­tal wealth

I en­joyed Ry Moran’s es­say “Rights and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion” [June-July 2017]. Howev- er, he says, “all wealth gen­er­ated from this planet comes from the earth.” This misses the tremen­dous riches cre­ated by hu­mans.

Is there not enor­mous wealth in a dance, a piece of mu­sic, a com­puter pro­gram, or an es­say on Canada? Yet th­ese are not ma­te­rial items so much as men­tal or spir­i­tual.

Erik Talvila Ab­bots­ford, Bri­tish Columbia

Un­com­fort­able truth

The let­ter from Ber­nice Mason Lo­gan [“De­fend­ing Res­i­den­tial Schools,” De­cem­ber 2016- Jan­uary 2017; see also “Lost Gen­er­a­tions,” April-May 2017] par­al­lels my own con­cern that the com­plex­ity of the res­i­den­tial school phe­nom­e­non is be­ing re­duced to a stereo­type.

Have we made the res­i­den­tial schools our scapegoat to carry all of our sins, so that we can tell our­selves that the sit­u­a­tion of In­dige­nous peo­ples to­day is caused by those peo­ple then, and not by us now?

Robert J. MacMil­lan

Brant­ford, On­tario

Dur­ing the fur trade era, out­posts reg­u­larly re­ceived “pack­ets” of cor­re­spon­dence. Email your com­ments to edi­tors@CanadasHis­ or write to Canada’s His­tory, Bryce Hall Main Floor, 515 Portage Av­enue, Win­nipeg, MB R3B 2E9 Canada.

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