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Characters / Dieppe

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General Harry Crerar (Kenneth Welsh)

A historical figure, Crerar commanded the 1st Canadian Corps (and, after Dieppe, the 1st Canadian Army throughout Northwest Europe). In life he was seen as a bland leader with a penchant for administration. His superior, Field Marshal Montgomery, would have preferred Guy Simonds, a Canadian protégé, in his place. Crerar was keen to defend Canadian national interests - coincidentally that came to a head when Dieppe was liberated in 1944 and Crerar blew off a Montgomery staff meeting in order to attend the liberation celebration and memorial. In the TV series, Crerar is portrayed as desperate to get the Canadians into action before the Americans, even if it means compromising on Canadian national priorities such as keeping Canadian forces fighting together.

  • Foil: To General Mc Naughton. Ambitious and eager to get into action, particularly before the Americans.

General Andy Mc Naughton (Peter Donat)

A historical figure, Mc Naughton commanded 1st Canadian Army at the time of Dieppe. In life he served with distinction in the First World War as an artillery officer, helping spearhead new methods of detecting enemy guns and modernizing practices. He had a keen scientific mind, and after being replaced following Dieppe in command of the army, went on to serve as Minister of National Defence. In the series he is accurately shown as adamant that Canadian forces not be split up to fight in bits and pieces under British commanders.

  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Unwilling to break up his three Canadian divisions to fight under British command. Very aware of the disaster that befell Canadians at Hong Kong when forced to fight piecemeal under the British.

Major-General Hamilton Roberts (Gary Reineke)

Also a historical figure, "Ham" Roberts served in the First World War, and in 1940 commanded the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in France (they saw no action, being withdrawn before making contact with the rampaging Germans, but Roberts was personally responsible for ensuring the guns of the regiment were able to escape back to England). After Dieppe, he was removed from command of the 2nd Division, though historian Jack Granatstein points out that Dieppe wasn't the reason. It was six months later, following a poor showing of the division in Exercise Spartan. Nonetheless, Roberts, who never saw action again, being transferred to command reinforcements in England, remained bitter long after the war. In a CBC interview for the 20th anniversary of the Raid, he expressed disappointment that he never got to lead the division in battle after Dieppe.

  • A Father to His Men: Watches in disgust as the heroes are paraded in their underwear as punishment for a mess-hall riot. Once in command of the 2nd Canadian Division, drops by the barracks to administer fatherly advice. "Take him fishing, boys like that." Becomes emotional as the climactic battle unfolds, to the point Hughes-Hallett has to administer a Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!.

  • Deconfirmed Bachelor: prior tragedy is alluded to in dialogue, but Anne of course makes him change his ways.


Lieutenant-Colonel C. Churchill Mann (Joseph Ziegler)

A historical figure, described as something of a genius by Canadian Army historian C.P. Stacey. A staff officer rather than a combat leader, served on staff of senior Canadian formations. Apparently a master at Black Comedy, Stacey noted that after the raid he was able to deliver an account of the battle that left other senior commanders in stitches.

  • Genius Bruiser: Lord Mountbatten compliments him on his skill on the polo field and seems impressed with both his planning and his courage. Mann is portrayed as eager to get fighting (like the others, particularly if it gets them fighting before the Americans).

Major Magnus (Greg Ellwand)

A fictional officer of The Royal Regiment of Canada, a Toronto militia unit.

  • Majorly Awesome: particularly true to the trope.
    • Magnus obtains crucial information by flirting with an English secretary (Roberts asks "how many girlfriends have you got?", Magnus only smiles).
    • Involved in the planning for the raid, and assigned to the HQ ship, he nonetheless volunteers to land on the beach. "With me there, we're bound to win."

Major Morton (Brian Taylor)

  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Shown riding in his jeep while the men endure a 250-mile route march. Implied he is the second-in-command of the battalion, but never shown planning anything, nor interacting with the men other than to accompany them on assault training. His presence on the actual landing beach is mostly non-effectual. He gives impossible orders to his subordinates, getting them wounded and killed, and is finally shot in the stomach and left to die.


Casey (Aidan Devine)

  • 100% Adoration Rating: Despite being an Anti-Hero, has no real conflicts with others and when he’s late returning from AWOL, the others bring his gear along for him and congratulate him on his engagement.

Lionel (John Nelles)

  • The Everyman: Bespectacled, soft-spoken (though sometimes a Deadpan Snarker such as expressing surprise at Casey’s ability to think), and depicted with wife and child.
  • Flat Character: Compared to the rest of the cast, his 'everyman' personality is about the only major characteristic about him. Even in the climactic battle all we see him do is jump off the boat, get shot, and die.

Sergeant Jawarski (Thomas Mitchell)

  • Blood Knight: Implied to be this. So eager to get to grips with the Germans he tries to shoot an already downed flier and takes out his frustrations on a flock of seagulls, to the disgust of Lionel.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Tries to get the others to go find “Limeys” to beat up.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty when it comes time to fire live ammunition over his troops. Slightly averted when he tells Casey’s girlfriend’s child to leave the company alone while training, then shown giving him a chocolate bar and patting his head.
  • Pet the Dog: gives chocolate to Casey’s stepson when no one is watching. Also hit hard when Jean is killed on the beach.
  • Sergeant Rock: while under fire, wounded leading an attack on a pillbox in vain.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: a matter of taste, probably considers himself this. The girls in the pub take a different view:
    Jawarski: What do you say, Iris? How about you and me in the park?
    Iris: In this dress? Who do you think you are? Cary Grant?


Anne (Gabrielle Rose)

  • Crush Blush: When Anne sees General Roberts for the first time, the actress gives a very convincing bit of body language to suggest it's love at first sight.

Leith (Larissa Laskin)

  • Destructive Romance: It's unclear what she sees in Casey, but apparently feels it strongly enough that she's willing to see him despite being married to a British soldier fighting overseas (and not coincidentally, the father of her son). And of course, even when her husband is conveniently killed off, things must end badly when Casey goes into action for the first time, at the deadliest of the Dieppe beaches, on the deadliest day of the war for the Canadian Army.


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