Character(s) or Pairing(s): Canadaaaaaa
Rating: erp... PG?
Warnings: deaths, bad writing
Summary: "We’re in the middle of a war Matthew, there had to be sacrifices."
“I need you to lessen the concentration the German army has on the East. Your constant failures are taking a heavy toll on my soldiers.” Ivan leaned back comfortably while his allies reflected on what he said. He smirked knowing fully that his comrades would have to oblige seeing as he was the only one able to make a breakthrough, no matter how little.
“I agree with him.” Alfred replied almost immediately. “We need to take action if we want to win this war. We’re not doing very well on any other front so we have to aid Ivan in any way we can. Only when we take initiative can we grasp the victory before us.”
There was a murmur of agreement among those gathered, but none were willing to speak. It was finally Arthur who proposed, “We could launch several raids along the Northern coast of France. There isn’t much we can do if we don’t have a firm hold on the mainland.” Arthur crossed his arms moodily, “Damn that Francis for getting captured so quickly by the enemy.”
There was another murmur of agreement but Arthur could sense the unease in his allies. He knew they weren’t stupid. Capturing the coast was a difficult task and none were willing to risk themselves.
Tentatively Alfred asked, “So, who’s going to do it?”
A heavy silence fell upon the room... then quietly a small voice spoke, “I’ll do it.”
The plan was to attack at daybreak.
Matthew led the raid with several of his regiments spread along the beaches of Dieppe, one of the few places along the French coast that was not made of cliffs. Above them they would also have the support of the RAF and RCAF, but surprise was their main weapon.
Around him everything was silent, the only sounds he could hear was the quiet waves trailing behind the landing craft. It made him nervous. A slight pinkish tinge on the horizon indicated the incoming dawn.
There was a soft crunch of gravel and slowly Matthew threw himself over the side into waist-high water. Around him other soldiers were doing the same. Together they crept slowly towards the beach, crouching low with their weapons ready. As they made their way up the beach, Matthew immediately realized something was wrong. Something small flew past his head, and again. The soldier in front of him suddenly fell. It was then that Matthew knew their attack was expected.
Shells and mortar rained down upon them. Entire platoons were annihilated as soon as they landed. Landing crafts were targeted and destroyed, making retreat difficult. Around him, corpses littered the beach as though they were merely dolls, thrown away when unneeded. Matthew pushed forward, as did others who survived. They had a mission to complete.
None of them made it very far.
Something hit him then. It was like a heavy object had slammed into him, causing him to lose his balance. There was no pain at first, leaving Matthew confused as to why he had fallen. He raised his hand to touch the shoulder where he had felt impact. It was wet and sticky.
Blood... he was bleeding.
“You’re just gonna let him go like that?”
“He did well in the Great War. He was quite able against Ludwig’s army.”
“That’s not the point Arthur. This isn’t the same. You know stepping onto that beach is the same as suicide. Even if they managed to surprise the enemy, then what? Matt’s still at a disadvantage.”
“If you are so against your younger brother’s involvement then why did you not offer to go in his place?” Alfred hesitated uncomfortably. Arthur continued, “Besides, he’s doing this willingly. He wants to be useful.”
Alfred sighed unhappily, “What a naive kid Matt still is. He would do anything for you wouldn’t he, if you asked him to.”
Arthur didn’t reply.
They were losing.
There had been a moment of confusion when the reserve troops were sent in due to miscommunications between those on the beach and those on the water. Thinking the battle was won a commander had ordered the reserves to aid in taking the city. They were shot down immediately, some even before they left the landing craft.
Those who were able to make as far as the seawall were either captured or killed when they were forced to return to the beach. Finally the order came to retreat, but even that proved difficult. The fighting continued as they made their way back to the boats. Matthew was hit a second time, a shell lodged itself in his ankle making his leg buckle beneath him. Biting back his pain he struggled to stand up and immediately another bullet struck his back. He fell again.
Around him the voices of the dying were crying out, weeping and praying. They invaded his mind and crushed him. He felt the despair seeping into him, chasing away any remaining hope. Never before had he been bombarded with such misery. Mustering the last of his strength, Matthew crawled down the beach among the bodies of those who were dead or near it. Finally he reached the water’s edge and threw himself into the water now stained red by blood. Painfully he climbed into the landing craft nearest to him and collapsed onto the floor.
The boat rumbled as it made its way back across the channel, leaving behind those who weren’t able to make it aboard. Most would be taken as prisoners of war, the rest would die either from loss of blood or from drowning when the tide rose.
They put him in a white room with a stiff bed and an uncomfortable pillow. Matthew blinked slowly to make the red that was slowly creeping into his vision disappear. It reminded him too much of blood. As he thought this, visions of the battle field appeared before him. He bit his lip and blinked again, trying to make it go away. It was useless though, he knew. Those images were forever imprinted in his mind and try as he might he will never be able to forget. They would continue to haunt him.
There was a soft sigh as the door opened. He could hear the faint clicking of military boots walking towards him.
“You knew, didn’t you?” Matthew asked out loud when the boot’s owner stopped at his bedside. He didn’t need to look, he knew who it was.
Arthur’s stoic expression did not change.
“You knew taking Dieppe was impossible yet you let me go anyway.” The younger boy’s voice was unaccusing, as if he was merely stating fact.
“We needed to test German defences, this would’ve happened sooner or later. We’re in the middle of a war Matthew, there had to be sacrifices.”
Matthew stared at the ceiling intently, “I know. That’s why it was me. You and Al and the others are all strong, that’s why it was better if it was me.”
Arthur frowned slightly, “That’s not...”
Turning over on his side, Matthew reached out with his good arm and grasped onto the cuff of Arthur’s jacket. “...Arthur...” his voice broke, “...it hurts.”
>> Notes: This was written for the anniversary of the Dieppe raid August 19, 1942 (operation Jubilee). It is by no way an accurate representation. The raid consisted on many assaults along the beach and in many stages but I only focused on the front attack, and even sorta skimmed through. Also the numbers that made up the raid weren’t exclusively Canadian, though they did make up the bulk of it. Dieppe is considered one of the biggest failures in warfare history, but it was thanks to its failure that led the allies to create better tactics for beach raids which resulted in the success of D Day.
Originally there were multiple raids planned. The first one was postponed because of unfavourable weather so the only one carried out was Jubilee.
The ending is a result of me being a UK/Ca fan even though Arthur is a total bastard and takes advantage of poor Matt. Also in my head for some reason America and Canada are the only ones who refer to each other as Al and Matt respectively while everyone else calls them by their full name. Iunno why... o_O
Anyways this is getting too tl;dr so I’ll stop here. I forgot some of the stuff I wanted to say anyways.
Also I wanted it to be longer with better descriptions and stuff but THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PROCRASTINATE. blahh, even though I started writing this a couple weeks ago it's still rushed and lame orz
And that CBC documentary thingy, Canada: A People’s History (which, if anyone is interested, is very interesting imo)
*crawls back into her hole of obscurity*