Army

Voices from war’s end

The most familiar images from the end of the war are the joyful and sometimes raucous VE-Day celebrations on May 8, 1945. But the war did not end all at once for everybody. Freedom came in stages as the Allied front crept forward across Europe. Canadian liberators fought town to town, beginning in Sicily...
  • Our Rescue Role At Arnhem: Army, Part 32

    September 1, 2000 by Terry Copp
      One of the most moving ceremonies associated with WW II takes place every September at the Arnhem-Oosterbeek war cemetery in Holland. That is when Dutch schoolchildren stand quietly next to each grave and then on a signal place bouquets of flowers. Three quarters of...
  • The March To The Seine: Army, Part 30

    March 1, 2000 by Terry Copp
    The Allied commanders planned the battle of Normandy as the first phase of a long deliberate campaign to liberate France. On D-Day plus 90–Sept. 6, 1944–they hoped to control an area bounded by the rivers Seine and Loire and then pause long enough to build...
  • Our Polish Comrades: Army, Part 29

    January 1, 2000 by Terry Copp
    Canadians have a particularly close relationship with the Polish Armoured Division that fought as part of the 1st Canadian Army throughout much of WW II. Many Polish veterans, unwilling to return to their country while it was under Soviet control, settled in Canada and this...
  • Reassessing Operation Totalize: Army, Part 27

    September 1, 1999 by Terry Copp
    On July 30, 1944, Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds summoned the senior officers of 2nd Canadian Corps to his main headquarters at the chateau in Cairon, northwest of Caen. There was complete silence as Simonds described the deeds that had won the Victoria Cross for Major J.K....
  • General Bernard Montgomery’s armoured blitzkrieg–Operation Goodwood–ended July 20, 1944, in a storm of rain and recriminations. Before the battle, Montgomery had talked confidently of a “real showdown on the eastern flank” with his armour reaching as far as Falaise. When the operation ended the industrial...
  • As Canada’s chief army historian between 1945-59, Colonel C.P. Stacey rarely employed emotional language in his writing about WW II, but when it came to describing the July 1944 battles for Verrières Ridge, he included the following: “Three miles or so south of Caen the...
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