Self Guided Historic Walking Tour of Vancouver - Practicing for D-Day

Kitsilano Beach

Vancouver, BC

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Digital

Architecture

History & heritage

Intercultural

Self-guided

Tour

It may seem odd to have a walking tour in peaceful Vancouver that examines amphibious invasions. History records no battles here, let alone a combined arms assault on a defended shore. As one historian noted, "No patch of ground has been so thoroughly unfought for as the Lower Mainland of British Columbia."1 Despite the tranquility of our corner of the world, two amphibious invasions still loom gigantic in the collective memory of Canadians: the disastrous Dieppe Raid of August 19, 1942, and the triumphant D-Day landings on June 6, 1944. In the collections of the Vancouver Archives there is a remarkable collection of photos from the spring of 1943. They show the events of D-Day and Dieppe playing out in miniature on Kitsilano Beach as Canadian troops stormed ashore in a mock amphibious assault. The dozen or so photos included in this tour hint at the almost sporting atmosphere that prevailed that day, showing war as the government intended people to see it: scrubbed clean of the blood and the misery, the deafening shellfire and the screams of the dying. An amphibious assault against a defended enemy shore is the most complex--and riskiest—military operation that can be undertaken. Success depends on the most careful and expert coordination of ships, aircraft and the men going ashore. The terrifying uncertainty of what lay before those men in the assault boats when the ramp dropped has fascinated us ever since. Though a continent and an ocean away from the beaches of France, we will use these photos to examine the techniques and technology of the major amphibious landings that involved Canadians in France: Dieppe and D-Day and hear the harrowing stories of those who took part.

This event runs the duration of Culture Days.

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This event is free.

Organized by

On This Spot

On This Spot​ guides people on a tour back in time, showing & telling the history that surrounds them. On each spot, users will find themselves standing in the footsteps of a photographer who took a historic photo. On site tourists/users can use the built-in camera feature to create their own then-and-photos, which can be shared on social media and saved as a digital souvenir. Selections of these photos are chained together into walking tours that take a deep dive into local history. On This Spot​ strives to make history engaging, educational, and accessible to all with a focus on easy to use features and a succinct writing style. The aim is to create an intuitive user experience that provides historical unparalleled depth without overwhelming or confusing users.

This event is part of a hub:

On This Spot - Virtual City Tours

On This Spot Vancouver, BC

On This Spot​ guides people on a tour back in time, showing & telling the history that surrounds them. On each spot, users will find themselves standing in the footsteps of a photographer who took a historic photo. On site tourists/users ca...

Location

Vancouver, BC

Event Contact

Ross Hiebert

info@onthisspot.ca

Language

English