Gripping in its intensity, excruciating in its detail, John Mellor's account of the 1942 Canadian raid on the well-fortified beach town of Dieppe, France, is written with the fairness of a good historian, the eloquence of a well-honed author, and the compassion of a good interviewer - a man who was there. Mellor quickly putsthe reader in the landing craft and on the beaches with individual Canadians who formed the bulk of the attackers. In nine hours, we experience the terrible deaths of 807 Canadians and the damage to 1,946 survivors whose subsequent march to German prisoner-of-war camps is nearly as tragicas the raid. We witness the survival tactics, the successful tunnel escapes, and the heroism of nearly three years in appalling captivity, including the desperate "death marches" the prisoners endured. At the 75th anniversary of this intensely debated tactical failure, this book brings the tragedy to life. Mellor's research and writing are so good, we hardly need the excellent photos - from the battle and the camps - included in Dieppe: Canada's Forgotten Heroes. Man by man, John Mellor keeps this essential Canadian story alive.
About the author
John Mellor was a volunteer with the British Naval Commandos - on the beach in the Dieppe Raid and at Normandy on D-Day. He carried shrapnel from Dieppe the rest of his life. He was a sailor with the Royal Navy until 1953, then had a varied career as electrical engineer, high school teacher and freelance writer. His first book, Dieppe: Canada's Forgotten Heroes, took the prestigious Canadian Authors' Association Award for Literary Excellence and the Canadian Non-Fiction Award.