The Canadians In Normandy: Their Success And Failu

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The Canadians in Normandy: Their Success and Failure March 2, 2007 The Normandy Campaign of the Second World War would prove to be the deciding factor in the war against the German Third Reich. The ability of the Western Allies to gain and maintain a foothold in Northern France would bring the war to Germany’s western border, coupled with the Soviet Union’s advance in the east and on to Berlin. For the most part the Allied soldiers that stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6th 1944 were green, untested men who bravely charged ahead towards Hitler’s Fortress Europe and their destiny of liberating France, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and eventually Hitler’s own subjects in Germany. While the Canadian Army would play a large role during the invasion and subsequent Battle of Normandy, they could not escape the scope of the British Army and the leader of the 21 Army Group, General Bernard Montgomery. Montgomery was charged with leading ground forces during the Operation Overlord landings and the breakout from the beaches into the Norman countryside. The First Canadian Army was introduced in late July 1944 under the command of General Harry Crerar. The troops of the First Canadian Army would prove to be very valiant in battle, while smaller battles would rage within High Command. Montgomery would demonstrate his prowess as a commander through both the tactics of battle, and his handling of the rivalries and differences in opinion that would plague Canadian High Command. Furthermore, Crerar’s hard patriotic stance on the Canadian Army would eventually alienate him from Montgomery and the British commanders under his control. Aside from Crerar, Lt. General G. G. (Guy) Simonds garnered a leading role in the conduct of the First Canadian Army. As commander of II Canadian Corps he commanded a bulk of the Canadian divisions during the Battle of Normandy.

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