Jacksontown’s Aaron Bouma took his military knowledge to the public on April 29, when he delivered a presentation on the Dieppe Raid, a pivotal battle in the Second World War, at the L.P. Fisher Library.
Bouma said the raid, with a large contingent of Canadian troops, on Aug. 19, 1942, played a prominent role in the Allied’s efforts in the war, but it’s not as well known as other war events, such as D-Day and Dunkirk.
“It’s always great to get out and educate the public,” Bouma said, “to let the people know what our veterans did and the sacrifices they made.”
Of the more than 6,000 men participating in the operation, 5,000 were Canadians, he said, adding 917 were killed and 1,950 captured.
Bouma said the raid, an Allied amphibious attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe in northern France, was somewhat of a test operation for new equipment and strategies.
It also provided information on how the Germans would respond and played a crucial role in intelligence gathering.
Bouma said the raid served as a decoy operation, which allowed a mission under the command of future James Bond author Ian Fleming to steal the Nazi’s famous Enigma Code Machine.
He said the attack on the Western Front also served to help relieve pressure on the Eastern Front, where Russia faced a massive German attack.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Bouma said, he had a smaller crowd at the library, but the presentation went well.
He enjoys doing military presentations and sharing information about Canada’s veterans and other war histories.
Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun