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