World War II was a dark period in the history of humanity. Countries torn apart, forced to fight on behalf of their country, many people died at the foot of greed. Greed for land, to be recognized, a greater economy, and most of all, power. Adolf Hitler forced the ideology of Germany’s greatness down the throats of many. Not just the ideology of German power, but the idea that all Jewish people were evil, that only Aryans should be accepted as pure.
All people that were not faithful to Christianity or were not the preferred skin colour were taken care of. Canada was a big part in halting the runaway train of Germany and the rest of the Axis powers. How did they prove themselves worthy of such a task? Canadians were often saw as weak and uncivilized.
However as the war progressed they proved themselves to be great fighters, and a key piece in the battle for freedom in Europe.The Dieppe raid was the storming of the Dieppe port in France in August 19,1942. It was thought that attacking the Axis powers through the bottom of Europe would be the most effective. Dieppe was a German occupied port at the south end of France, the Allies chose to raid the port as a test. They were not ready to launch a full invasion of Europe.
Liberation would have to wait, and the 2nd Canadian Division was chosen to lead the main attack. They chose to have four smaller attacks on the surrounding beaches, followed by the main attack on Dieppe.The attack was an overall disaster, it was tactically setup so that it would be a surprise. However, an altercation with a German sub at midnight alerted the Germans of the attack.
The raid was also quite late, the Canadians were supposed to land during the very early morning hours. However, they were delayed and they landed in daylight, this made it much easier for the Germans to see them and to pick them off. Tanks also proved themselves useless as they could not gain enough traction to make a decent assault on the beach. On top of all that, the communication to ships at sea from land was poor, so the canadians believed that the initial assault was a success. Obviously they were incorrect to assume this, and reinforcements were sent in and easily cut down by the Germans machine guns.
Some people do argue about whether or not The Dieppe Raid was a disaster or success. On one hand all of the Canadians were either killed or became POWs, on the other hand this was not supposed to be a big raid anyways. It was more tactical and it gave the allies an idea of how to plan out their attacks in the future and to be more careful.
The Italian campaign was very gruesome and hardfought. The Canadians played a pivotal role in this stage of the war. The Allies believed that going through Italy would be easier than attempting a full-scale assault from Northern France. Sicily was won without much of a hassle, 38 days of fighting saw the Canadians prove themselves as skilled fighters.
They defeated the Axis powers with low casualties and pushed them back into the rest of Italy.Ortona however was not easily taken at all. Canadians were supposed to advance towards Ortona while defeating many smaller towns along the way.
The battles that were fought were quite slow and rough. Men often described it as house to house combat, every corner was a new battle, a new adventure. The Canadians once again proved themselves strong and captured the town on December 28, 1943. The casualties however, were quite high at a staggering 1372 soldiers lost their lives. After Ortona the Canadians pushed their way through the rest of Italy until the country was in Allied hands.
Once again casualties were high overall, a loss of 6000 good men.D-Day was arguably the biggest victory for the Allies throughout the war. Looking back on Dieppe, the Allies were incredibly careful in the planning of this attack.
There were five beaches that they chose to land on across and 80 kilometer stretch over the northern side of France. They soldiers had to get across the beach to land and disable communications so that paratroopers were able to be used. The Canadians were used for the assault of Juno Beach. There were around 14000 canadian soldiers that landed on that beach. They had to run through the pillars, barbed wire, barriers, and land mines.
Not to mention the german pillboxes that were filled with LMG’s and snipers. Fighting was incredibly rough and brutal. The Canadians pushed through all nine kilometers of the beach and secured it. 359 Canadians died and 715 were left wounded.
These three different battles were fought with the great assistance of the Canadians. Without them these battles may not have been won and the war may have been lost. When people look back on the war often they think Canadians did nothing and that Britain, the USSR, and the USA. However these events all took place, and like it or not Canadians were a huge part in the victory of the war and the ability to have peace in Europe, as well as the rest of the world.