Day: June 5, 2019

From Dieppe to D-Day
Front Lines

From Dieppe to D-Day

In his orders of the day on June 6, 1944, Lieutenant-General Henry D.G. (Harry) Crerar told some 14,500 Canadian soldiers destined for the beaches and drop zones of Normandy that their impending success was thanks largely to the disaster at Dieppe. Almost two years earlier, 5,000 Canadians, 1,000 British and 50 U.S. Army Rangers launched an ill-planned and poorly supported raid on the French seaside town northeast of the D-Day beaches. They were under orders to seize and briefly occupy the port, to prove it was possible and to gather intelligence. Withdrawing troops were to destroy coastal defences, port facilities and strategic buildings on the way out. But for more than half the troops involved, there was no way out. The operation ended in abject defeat: 3,367 soldiers ...
Firefight in Zhari District
Military Milestones

Firefight in Zhari District

It was the middle of the night on June 4, 2008, when a squad of five Canadians and a company of 55 Afghan army recruits they were mentoring left base to check on some empty Taliban weapon caches in the Zhari District west of Kandahar. After a long march, they stopped between two farmers’ fields. Bullets suddenly hit a low mud wall nearby. The Taliban, perhaps as many as 60, had been waiting for them. The Canadians and Afghans dove for cover behind the metre-high wall, and soon realized they were pinned down. “They pretty much had us,” Corporal Cary Baker said in a Global News interview. “They came very close to completely encircling us.” The Afghan recruits were green, but soon followed the Canadians’ example in shooting back: popping up over the wall to fire some shots, duckin...

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An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.