Friday, 26 July 2013

The Dieppe Raid of 1942 - 70 years later - The Truth is Known, but is it being taught?

Almost a year ago, Montreal historian David O'Keefe announced that he had uncovered the true meaning behind the 1942 raid on the city of Dieppe. For nearly 70 years many Canadian veterans felt that they had fought on the beaches of Dieppe for nothing, that their comrades died for nothing. For 70 years, historians have argued that the Dieppe Raid was a test run for D-Day in 1944, that it was merely to test Hitler's Atlantic Wall defences, that it was to prove to Stalin a Second Front was impossible.

Each of these reasons has been discussed in high school history classrooms, in seminars on university campuses since the end of the Second World War. I am sure more students than I can count have written essay's arguing for an against each of the reasons given by historians. For years the true reasons behind the raid were kept from the world as the file was still considered "Top Secret."

David O'Keefe uncovered the true reason for Dieppe was to steal German Naval intelligence from the Naval HQ which was stationed in Dieppe, as well as steal an Enigma machine and operation manual to continue to decode the German's messages. Sir Ian Fleming (most famous for his 007 James Bond Novels) was involved in the planning an was even in the English Channel that night in hopes of success.

To learn more about O'Keefe's discovery please read Random Houses' post.

What I am interested to know, is how many Teachers took into account this recent discovery when teaching the minds of tomorrow about the 1942 Dieppe Raid this past 2012-13 School year? Or did History teachers continue with the lessons they have been using their entire career, keeping the Dieppe myth alive? It is something to think about...history is continually changing, and we as teachers, who have agreed to a life continued learning. I am extremely passionate about history, and have met my fair share of history teachers who don't actually enjoy or engage with history. It is I believe these teachers that give history the impression of being boring...causing students not to enjoy or look forward to taking history.

Remembering History - The 1942 Dieppe Raid, the Truth behind the raid - make sure to teach it!