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This Most Gallant Affair

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Length (feet): 
1476 (16mm)
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Library and Archives Canada: 16mm, 1", VHS, Digibeta.
"Intended as a tribute to the Canadian soldiers who fought at Dieppe during World War II on August 19, 1942. This film part documentary, part dramatization, tells the story of the Canadian losses and how the raid had an impact on invasion strategy. The film combines Canadian Army footage, National Film Board footage and battle footage captured from the Germans intercut with dramatized scenes of a fictional character named Mary-Anne visiting various battle locations. Major General Churchill Mann, senior general staff officer under Major General Roberts who commanded the 22nd Canadian Division which supplied the majority of military personnel for the raid, outlines the objectives and plan of operation for the attack. The film details how a combination of errors, insufficient military equipment and failed strategy led to the disaster at Dieppe. Five thousand troops left for Dieppe with only 2,200 returning. Mary-Anne, sister of a Canadian soldier who died during the raid, returns to Dieppe to visit some of the sites. She sails to modern Dieppe from New Haven, England, the point of departure of some of the vessels in 1942. Some of the battle locations have been retraced with battle and post battle scenes shown followed by peaceful images from 1958. The losses at Dieppe are interpretted as lessons learned, essential to the successful landings in Sicily, North Africa and in Normandy. Winston Churchill is quoted from a speech in the British House of Commons crediting the Canadians and their contributions: 'The military credit for this most gallant affair goes to the Canadian troops who formed five-sixths of the assaulting force. This is the measure of humanity. They did not die in vain in 1942.'"