Dieppe: The Making of a Myth

Béatrice Richard

Abstract: As historian Paul Veyne wondered whether the ancient Greeks believed in their myths, one may wonder to what extent Canadians were the dupes of propaganda during the Second World War, particularly with regards to the Dieppe Raid of 19 August 1942. This article attempts to clarify the issue by analyzing the way French-Canadian newspapers “sold” the news and how this communications strategy led to the opposite result to that intended. Ironically, by focusing on the heroic struggle of the only French-Canadian regiment involved in the operation – les Fusiliers Mont-Royal – and on its casualties, the francophone press in Quebec helped shaped the myth that French-Canadian troops were the principal victims of the disaster.

Dieppe: la fabrication d’un mythe

Béatrice Richard

Résumé : Tout comme l’historien Paul Veyne se demandait si les Grecs de l’antiquité croyaient à leurs mythes, on peut se demander jusqu’à quel point les Canadiens furent dupes de la propagande durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, notamment quand vint le moment de relater le raid de Dieppe, au lendemain du 19 août 1942. Cet article tente d’élucider la question en analysant la façon dont les journaux canadiens-français « vendirent » la nouvelle et comment cette stratégie de communication aboutit au résultat inverse de celui escompté. Ironiquement, en mettant l’accent sur le combat héroïque de l’unique régiment canadien-français – les Fusiliers Mont-Royal – et sur les pertes francophones, la presse francophone québécoise contribua à façonner le mythe voulant que les troupes canadiennes-françaises aient été les principales victimes du désastre.

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