Life on the line

The Second World War put 750,000 Canadians into khaki uniforms. Men from all parts of the country suddenly found themselves living in barracks and learning how to be soldiers. The transition was not easy and everyone had to learn to march, shoot and fight. The tens of thousands who saw action had to adjust...
  • The Long Shock Of War

    November 4, 2013 by Dan Black
    The reverberations of war continue long after the last shell or bullet is fired. They roll outward—like waves from a blast— through one generation to the next. This is not what he would want me to do. My grandfather would not want me lying on this damp...
  • On the afternoon of Aug. 18, 1944, the 4th Canadian Armoured Division redeployed its forces in response to a directive from the corps commander to prevent the enemy from escaping the Falaise Pocket. The division was to establish blocking positions along the River Dives between the...
  • American General Omar Bradley’s decision to stop Gen. George S. Patton’s 3rd Army at Argentan, France, on Aug. 12, 1944, gave the German armies in the Falaise Pocket a chance to escape encirclement. Montgomery accepted Bradley’s decision and ordered the Canadians to capture Falaise before turning...
  • The Havoc Continues: Closing In On Falaise

    May 31, 2013 by Terry Copp
    While the Canadians fought towards Falaise, the Americans—to the west—were advancing more quickly. By the evening of Aug. 8 it was clear the Germans had failed in their attempt to cut off General George S. Patton’s 3rd U.S. Army with an attack through Mortain to...
  • The second phase of Operation Totalize, which began on the afternoon of Aug. 8, 1944, was intended to bring 4th Canadian and 1st Polish Armoured divisions to the high ground overlooking the town of Falaise in Normandy. The divisions were to advance together on either...
  • Pounding Towards Falaise: Army, Part 104

    January 21, 2013 by Terry Copp
    Operation Totalize was the first major action carried out by First Canadian Army in the Second World War and a great deal of attention was paid to documenting every aspect of the Aug. 8-10, 1944,...