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Excerpt from Rendezvous at Dieppe

Josephson stood on the beach until the landing craft had backed off and was plowing its way out to sea. Then he went up the beach, climbed over the seawall, and ran across the esplanade, searching for the remnants of his company. After this, Josephson could not remember what happened with any clarity. He recalled searching the town until he found a dozen men, including Buckley and a seriously injured lieu-tenant, holed up inside the ruin of a house. They had been pinned there by concentrated fire from tanks which had seemed to materialize out of nowhere. Josephson organized the defence of their position, and later, when a runner got through to them from company headquarters wth an order to retreat to the beach, he carefully coordinated their movement.

Buckley was killed during the retreat, by a shell from one of the tanks that seemed to be practically on their heels as they ran from house to house back towards the beach. It was hell. The closer the men got to the beach, the heavier the German shelling be-came. As they dropped over the seawall, they saw a landmg craft backing off, and they raced down over the cobblestones to the water's edge. The landing craft hung on the waves, waiting for them Josephson dropped his gun, waded into the water and swam towards the boat. When he was half the way there, he looked back and saw that a few men were stilll standing on the beach at the edge of the water.

"Come on!" he screamed, as a wave broke over his head and filled his mouth with sea water. "Get going!"

As from a great distance he heard one of them shout back, "Can't swim!" Without stopping to consider the consequences, he swam back to the beach.

"Come on. Two of you. ... get on my back," he yelled. At once two men plunged in and grabbed his shirt. "Kick your goddamn feet!" he yelled.

Slowly they paddled to the landing craft, and as they approached it, the ramp dropped and two, sailors leaned over and dragged them out from the water into the boat. "Get the others! Get the others! " Josephson gasped. The sailors ignored him, and the landing craft hastily backed away from the beach and plowed out to sea, just as the first German soldiers cautiously approached the edge of the seawall.

Josephson lay in the blood and water that sloshed around in the bottom of the landing craft, exhausted and unaware of what was happening. The motion of the boat produced a horrible nausea in him, and he vomited in the water that slapped against his face. There he lay in a state of semi-consciousness.

"Come on, matey," a voice said. The landing craft was lying against a big ship, and heavy netting from it hung down into the landing craft.

"Up you go," a sailor said. "lt's all over."

Slowly, Josephson - the last Canadian to get off the Dieppe beaches - climbed up the netting towards the hands that reached out to assist him. He looked at faces he had not seen before; he heard words that he could not entirely understand. Then he slid over the bulwark and collapsed on the deck of the mother ship.