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Canadians in Normandy, 1944

Location:  Northern France, North-West Europe

Whirlwind In Normandy
Royal Canadian Air Force’s 439 Typhoon Squadron is powerfully portrayed in Paul Seguna’s painting "Whirlwind In Normandy"
  United States
German casualties include 240,000 killed, wounded and missing, plus 200,000 captured.
In Normandy the Canadians took a leading role in the Allied Victory. The German losses were horrific, more that 400,000 men captured, wounded or killed. In addition, most of the enemy’s equipment was destroyed, including more than 2,000 tanks. The backbone of the Nazi army in the west was broken in Normandy, and the Canadians played a key role.

Allied casualties in the battle were also heavy, including 18,444 Canadians of which 5,021 were killed. Of all the divisions which formed part of Montgomorey’s 21 Army Group, non suffered more casualties than the 3rd and 2nd Canadian divisions.

Private from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles during the Normandy landings.
From “The Armed Forces of World War II”, by Andrew Mollo, Crown Publishers Inc., 1981

Click above for photos of Canadian soldiers in colour.

The high casualty rate reflected the specific tasks of the Canadian army during the campaign while continually facing the best troops the enemy had to offer. It was a bloody process, but once they learned the harsh lessons of battle, Canada’s amateur soldiers proved to be a match for the professional forces they faced. Often in the lead of the Allied advanced against a determined opposition, the Canadian took on tasks out of all proportion to their real power. They accomplished them sometines admist hesitiation and confusion, and always courageously.

For information on specific battles and campaigns, please click one of the links under "Sub-Categories" or "See also" above.

War Graves
Cemetery: Number of Canadian Graves (or memorial for registered mia)
Banneville-la-Campagne: 11, Bayeux: 270 (Memorial of registered missing soldiers), Bazenville: 21, Brouay: 2, Cintheaux: 2872, Douvres-la-Délivrande: 11, Fontenay-le-Pesnel: 4, Hermanville-sur-Mer: 13, Hottot-les-Bagues: 34, Lisieux (Saint-Désir): 16, Ranville: 76, Reviers 2044, Saint-Charles-de-Percy: 3, Saint-Manvieu-Norrey: 3, Tilly-sur-seulles 1
- Normandy Landings, June 6
- Authie, June 7
- Putot en Bessin, June 8
- Bretteville-L’Orgueilleuse, June 8-9
- Le Mesnil Patry, June 11
- Carpiquet, July 4-5
- The Orne (Buron), July 8-9
- Caen, July 4-18
- Bourguébus Ridge, July 18-23
- Crête de Bourguébus, July 18-23
- Faubourg de Vaucelles, July 18-19
- St André-sur-Orne, July 19-23
- Saint André-sur-Orne, July 19-23
- Maltot, July 22-23
- Ifs, July 23
- Verrières Ridge-Tilly-la-Campagne, July 25
- Bourguebus Ridge, July 27-31
- Falaise, August 7-22
- Falaise Road, August 7-9
- Hill 195, August 9
- Hill 140, August 10
- Quesnay Wood, August 10-11
- Clair Tizon, August 11,13
- The Laison, August 14-17
- Chambois, August 18-22
- Dives Crossing,August 17-22
- St Lambert sur Dives, August 19-22
- Seine 1944, August 25-28
- Le Thuit-Simer, August 26
- Forêt de la Londe, August 27-29
- Liberation of Dieppe, Sept. 1
- Boulogne, September 6-22
- Moerbrugge, September 8-10
- Dunkirk, September 8-15
- Liberation of Loon-Plage, September 9
- Liberation of Coppenaxfort, September 9
- Le Havre, September 10-12
- Bergues, September 16
- Liberation of Mardick, September 17
- Calais, September 25-October 1

 Audio & Video Files
 Photo Gallery
An unidentified infantryman of the Regina Rifles Regiment manning a Bren gun position, Vaucelles, France, 23 July 1944. July 23, 1944, Vaucelles, France.
Rifleman G.F. Andrews of the Queens Own Rifles beside his lookout post in the front lines. 20 June 1944, Normandy, France.
Canadian soldiers displaying photos of Dorothy Lamour which they found in a German trench. (L-R): Private Norman Milton, Corporal Frank Maxwell. 19 July 1944, Vaucelles, France.
Pte. C.R. Rizzo, Highlanders Light Infantry, cleaning rifle while seated on tank trap during visit of landing beaches, Normandy Beachhead. 7-8 July 1944.
Canadian Dispatch Rider takes cover from snipers. 7 July 1944 , Normandy, France.
North Nova Scotia Regiment firing on German building, wrecked German motorcycle in foreground. 22 June 1944, Normandy, France.
Canadians meet Americans: Pte. W.R.Burns and Sgt. K.C. Lingen of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry talk with Cpl. J.E. Junus, Capt. A.A. Smith, Lt. Clair Jones, 1st Sgt. L.R. Huntingdon, members of 2nd U.S. Armored Division. August 27, 1944, Elbeuf, France.
Sergeant C. Orton of the Highland Light Infantry of Canada with jug of captured cider. 20 June 1944, France.
Pte. L.B. Roy, Cornwall, Ont. and Pte. R.L. Parker, Ottawa with Nazi flag captured in stone quarry. 10 Aug 1944, Hautmesnil (South), France.
Canadian troops searching railway coaches. 18 July 1944, Vaucelles, France.
Pte. Potter of Kitchener (Ont.) fixing up his bike. 20 June 1944, France.
Canadian Infantry men passing wrecked German wagons lined up in city street to cross the river. Elbeuf, France, 27 Aug. 1944.
Infantry on the move at dawn. 25 July 1944, South of Vaucelles.
Sergeant B. Shaw of Québec City on hill overlooking Rouen.
Pte. H.H. deVries and Pte. M.A. Sallows, both of Toronto, examine 122 mm. German gun after it had been spiked on hill over caves used by German artillery unit. 2 July 1944, Fontaine-Henry, France.
H/Captain Callum Thompson, a Canadian chaplain, conducting a funeral service in the Normandy bridgehead. July 16, 1944, Normandy, France.
L-Cpl. R.W. Schultz on Bren and Pte. G.J. Sagan on Sten in slit trench. 20 June 1944, Normandy, France.
Sgt. R.A. Garbutt of the 19th R.C.A. Field Regiment showing shrapnel holes made in the radiator of his vehicle by a German 88mm gun. 16 June 1944, Normandy Beachhead, France.
Lt. J.A.R. Gregoire of Québec leading a platoon past shot-up Nazi German half trucks. 10 June 1944, France.
Infantrymen of the Highland Light Infantry of Canada advancing towards Vaucelles, France. July 18, 1944, Vaucelles, France (vicinity).
Privates L.B. Roy and R.L. Parker, Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, with a German flag captured in a quarry south of Hautmesnil. August 10, 1944, Hautmesnil, France.
An unidentified Canadian soldier sitting on a Sherman tank, Bayeux, France, 14 June 1944.
Canadian soldier guarding captured German Officer, Vaucelles, France, 18 July 1944.
Duke of York Hussars from Montreal around heavy armoured cars, Vaucelles, France, July 1944.
Infantrymen of Le Régiment de la Chaudière riding on an M-10 A1 tank destroyer vehicle of the 3rd Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (R.C.A.) during the attack on Elbeuf. Elbeuf, France, August 26, 1944.
Canadian Infantry passing a tank gun as they move up. 25 July 1944, South of Vaucelles, France.
Personnel of the 17th Duke of York’s Royal Canadian Hussars in their Humber Mk. IV armoured car in Normandy. July 18-20, 1944.
Tankmen plotting enemy according to received wireless information. 6 June 1944, Normandy, France.
Canadians troops are crossing the River Orne. 18 July 1944 , Place of publication: Normandy, France.
Unidentified soldier, probably of the Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Highlanders. 20 June 1944, Vieux Caron (Normandy), France.
Personnel of the South Saskatchewan Regiment in captured Germany. ’Schwimmwagen’amphibious car of the Wehrmacht. August 11, 1944, Rocquancourt, France.
Spr. A.K. Jensen, Noranda, Que. and L/Cpl. D. Johnston, Winnipeg, Man, look over road sign, "219Km to Paris." 18-20 July 1944, Vaucelles, France.
Canadian soldiers resting in a damaged streetcar. 18 July 1944, Vaucelles, France.
Rifleman D.H. Holmes (Mooseman, Sask.) and Rifleman W.J. Wilkinson (Vancouver, B.C.) at loopholes in building. 23 July 1944, Vaucelles, France.
Sgt. F.C. Edminston of Guelph (Ont.) and Pte. L.J.L. Côté of Montreal (Quebec) being issued patrol instructions by platoon Commander Lieut. J.H. Chrystler of Toronto (Ont.) centre. 20 June 1944, France.
Lance-Corporal W.H. Harris Of the Canadian Provost Corps (C.P.C.) on guard near bodies of German soldiers.
Corporal W. Lennox, Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, at a front-line machine gun post, Bretteville-Orgueilleuse, France, 20 June 1944.
Sources: CBC Archives, Veterans Affairs Canada, Canadian War Museum, Library and Archives Canada

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