Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the U.S. 1-503 Airborne and the Polish 16th Airborne Battalion advance in formation during training at the Czertyn Engineers Training Centre in Poland on May 27, 2014.
Private Michael Skinner of 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, advances on an obstacle during training at the Czertyn Engineers Training Center in Poland on May 27, 2014.
Paratroopers from 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the U.S. 1-503 Airborne and the Polish 16th Airborne Battalion wait for the C4 to detonate before they can advance on an obstacle during training at the Czertyn Engineer Training Center in Poland on May 29, 2014.
Paratroopers of Air Expeditionary Wing 1401 from 3 Royal Canadian Regiment prepare for a night drop over Wainwright, Alberta on May 30, 2014.
A Canadian Armed Forces soldier hurls a simulated explosive device at an enemy during a fictitious battle on the final day of Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright on 31 May 2014.
(Canadian troops on their way to Juno Beach on D-Day.)
D-Day 70: June 6, 1944 - June 6, 2014
As with World War 1, Canadians were not only considered expert and professional soldiers, they were feared by the Germans as an omen of impending attack. The Canadian forces were relied upon to provide defence on the high seas and over Britain, and to spearhead assaults for major battles. Once again Canadians had proved themselves on the battlefield and fought ferociously to win every battle they were engaged in.
Around 1.1 million Canadians served in WWII, including 106,000 in the Royal Canadian Navy and 200,000 in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The first Canadian infantryman to die in World War II was Private John Gray. He was captured and executed by the Japanese on December 13, 1941 in Hong Kong.
Canada was the first Commonwealth country to send troops to Britain in 1939.
During 1939-45 hundreds of thousands of Canadians - more than 40 per cent of the male population between the ages of 18 and 45, and virtually all of them volunteers - enlisted.
(General Montgomery addresses men of the 11th Canadian Tank Regiment (Ontario Regiment) near Lentini, Sicily, 25 July 1943.)
On 6 June 1944, the 3rd Canadian Division landed on Juno Beach in the Battle of Normandy and sustained heavy casualties in their first hour of attack. By the end of D-Day, the Canadians had penetrated deeper into France than either the British or the American troops at their landing sites, overcoming stronger resistance than any of the other beachheads except Omaha Beach.
(Canadians on Juno Beach, 1944)
By the war’s end, over 1 million citizens would serve in military uniform (out of a prewar population of 11 million) and Canada would possess the fourth-largest air force and third-largest naval surface fleet in the world.
(Aboriginal Canadians Sergeant Tommy Prince (r) with his brother Private Morris Prince of the Ojibway Nation at Buckingham Palace to receive military medals. Photo: Christopher J. Woods - Canada. Dept. of National Defence)
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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall meet British & Canadian veterans at Pegasus Bridge and Juno Beach in Normandy, France as part of the D Day 70th Commemorations.
© Copyright 2014 Mark Stewart Photography Ltd. All rights reserved.
A Sherman tank of the 27th Canadian Armoured Regiment (Sherbrooke Fusiliers), supporting 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade, comes ashore on Nan White beach, Juno area, near Bernieres-sur-Mer, 6 June 1944. Beach Group personnel can be seen constructing trackways over the sand, and an armoured bulldozer is partly visible on the right.
70 Years Ago - The Canadians on D-Day at Juno Beach
70 years ago today in Normandy….
Eisenhower Speech to the troops that be involved in Operation Overlord. D-Day.
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!
I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!
Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
— Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Rest in peace.
The crew commander of a Canadian Armed Forces Light Armoured Vehicle surveys the simulated battlefield as the sun begins to rise on the final day of Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright on 31 May 2014.
Canadian Armed Forces soldiers use building clearing tactics to eliminate an enemy during a simulated battle on the final day of Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright on 31 May 2014.