Day: July 19, 2021

Harry Crerar & Benito Mussolini
Heroes And Villains, Military History

Harry Crerar & Benito Mussolini

In Italy in 1943, both leaders failed at command Even heroes have flaws. General Henry (Harry) Crerar rose to lieutenant-colonel of artillery in the First World War, then commanded divisions and corps in the Second World War. Shortly after the December 1943 Ortona bloodbath, he visited the front north of the town. Studying the battlefield’s splintered olive trees and vineyards and water-filled shell craters, he muttered, “Just like Passchendaele.” Having come to Italy in late October 1943, Crerar was to expand the Canadian presence there from a single division to a corps comprised of 1st Infantry and 5th Armoured divisions, 1st Armoured Brigade and a corps headquarters with supporting units—approximately 75,000 men. Crerar was determined the corps would be distinctly Canadian and run a...

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