Three-quarters of a century ago - August 19th 1942 - the Allies staged what became known as "the Dieppe Raid", a daring assault on the French port of Dieppe, then held by the Germans. It was a predominantly Canadian operation: the 2nd Infantry Division provided 5,000 troops, supported by the Royal Navy and RAF, a thousand UK commandos and about 50 US Army Rangers. It was a necessary operation, but also an all but foredoomed one. In the end, of the 6,086 men put ashore at Dieppe, 3,623 were killed or wounded or carted off to German PoW camps.
The bravery of those young Canadian men cannot be overstated. In this reprise of The Mark Steyn Weekend Show from earlier this year, I talk to the screenwriter, producer and director Lionel Chetwynd - born in Hackney, raised in Montreal, but long resident in Hollywood. We discuss politics and popular culture, but the great weight of the conversation is about the Dieppe Raid, with which Lionel has a personal and regimental connection, and about what happened when he pitched a tale of wartime sacrifice with a dash of Ian Fleming to Hollywood studio execs. Click below to watch:
The Mark Steyn Show is made possible through the support of members of The Mark Steyn Club, for which we are profoundly grateful. As I always say, membership is not for everyone, but it does help assure that our content remains available for everyone, and that important stories like this get heard around the world. If you'd like to find out more about it, see here.
Among the benefits of membership is that you can enjoy The Mark Steyn Show in any medium you desire: video, audio or text. So, if you find me less stressful in non-visual form, you can listen to the above show by logging-in and clicking here. If you take issue with what Lionel Chetwynd said about Dieppe, then feel free to comment away below - and ask yourself what you would have done had you been offered the choice those young infantrymen faced.