Disaster at Dieppe

The biggest catastrophe in Canadian military history

by Jim Lotz

The incredible and harrowing story of Canada's worst day in the Second World War

In the early morning of August 19, 1942, over five thousand Canadian troops landed on the beach at Dieppe to reclaim the shore from German troops occupying France. It was a mission doomed from the start. Mere hours later, over two-thirds of the men were dead, wounded, or taken prisoner by German forces. It was the worst disaster in Canadian military history, and historians have found no convincing explanation for why the operation was mounted in the first place.

Through first-hand accounts, ground-level descriptions, and extensive research, author Jim Lotz takes us through the events of that morning. What emerges is a portrait of courage--of men doing what they could to maintain the honour of their regiments and save the lives of their comrades against impossible odds. The story of the Dieppe raid is made up of a hundred lesser-known tales of Canadian soldiers, which Jim Lotz brings together in this short and readable book.

About the Author

JIM LOTZ was born in Liverpool, England, where he survived the blitz on the city and spent two years in the Royal Air Force before arriving in Canada in 1973. His twenty-five published books include Canadians at War, A Century of Service: Canada's Armed Forces from the Boer War to East Timor and an autobiography, The Best Journey in the World. He lives and works in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


"Lotz is a well-known writer... In this book, he shows us the consequences of going to war insufficiently prepared."
Elizabeth Cran, The Guardian
"The book uses first-hand accounts, ground-level descriptions to take the reader through the events of that dark morning and paint the picture of what those soldiers did against insurmountable odds."
The Chronicle Herald

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