Canada entered the 1939-1945 War on 10th September 1939. Within two months Canadian troops arrived in the United Kingdom to supplement the British Expeditionary Forces (BEF). Canada's role became one of defense of the British Islands.
Dieppe - On l9th August 1942 troops of the Canadian 2nd Division formed the bulk of the Dieppe Raid. Of the 5,000 Canadians who took part, only about 2,000 returned to England: nearly 1,000 had been killed and 2,000 taken prisoner. More 500 Canadians lost their lives when they landed in Sicily as part of the Eighth Army on 10th July 1943.
The Cost of Battle - On 3rd September a combined Canadian, British and American force made the first full-scale invasion of mainland Europe, attacking on the 'toe' of Italy and arriving Naples on 1st October. Canadian troops fought at Ortona and Monte Cassino and in May 1944 took part in the expensive, but successful, attack on the Hitler line: the first major operation by a Canadian corps in the 1939-1945 War. The battle northwards through Italy continued to the war's end and ultimately cost the lives of nearly 6,000 Canadians.
Normandy - On 6th June 1944 as part of the Allied invasion force, the Canadians played an important role in the battle to take Caen. They then advanced along the French seacoast to the Pas-de-Calais and took Dieppe on 1st September. Canadians fought with British soldiers for the freedom of the Scheldt Estuary and success here enabled the first Allied convoy to arrive in Antwerp in November 1944.
Contributions on Land - Some Canadian played a role in the liberation of the Netherlands while others…