Juno Beach Centre | Canada in WWII
Events
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Roads to Victory
 
 Victory in the Atlantic
 The Invasion of Sicily
 The Italian Campaign
 D-Day
 The Normandy Campaign
 The Battle of the Scheldt
 Liberation of the Netherlands and capitulation of Germany

The year 1943 was a turning point of WWII. Allied to serve the common cause of freedom and democracy, Canada, Great Britain, the United States, the countries of the British Commonwealth and free nations suffering under Nazi occupation counter-attacked.

In the Atlantic, Allied navies were finally able to counter the formidable threat of the German submarine fleet. The Royal Canadian Navy played a key role, taking command of the Northwest Atlantic theatre.

The Allied air forces, supported by Canada's British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), launched massive air strikes. In preparation for D-Day strategic bombing against Germany targeted its war industry and abated the morale of its population.

Meanwhile the land forces were getting involved in major campaigns that were to bring about the demise of the Third Reich. Together with their allies, Canadian soldiers marched on, on Sicilian mountain roads, up the Italian boot, in Normandy, along the Scheldt, through the Netherlands and into Germany. So many different roads to Victory, conquered through determination and courage and at the price of many human lives.


Victory in the Atlantic

Winter 1942-1943: in the North Atlantic, winter storms raged with gigantic waves and gusts of winds. But there were worst threats: the number of German submarines, the dreaded U-boats, was growing. These were the darkest hours of the Battle of the Atlantic; and then, the wind shifted direction...Learn More
The Invasion of Sicily

The Italian Campaign

The invasion of Sicily was the logical conclusion of the North African adventure, since capturing the island meant regaining control of most of the Mediterranean. The Allies had a second goal: to force Germany to pull land and air forces away from the eastern front in order to defend its southern side, thereby easing the pressure on the USSR. Learn More

The Allied landing started in Reggio the Calabria on the morning of September 3rd, 1943; on September 8th, the Italian government announced its surrender. This development had been foreseen by Berlin and the Fuehrer immediately ordered German troops to take control of the country. A major struggle was in the making. Learn More

D-Day

The Normandy Campaign


On June 6th, 1944, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 2nd Armoured Brigade were tasked with establishing a bridgehead on the beach codenamed "Juno". This was only one step of a global strategic plan for the complete defeat of Nazi Germany.
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During the days following the landings, Canadians could hardly move without meeting with stubborn resistance from German divisions. Fierce fighting ensued, and costly for both sides in human lives and in material. It will take 11 weeks of fierce combat to liberate Normandy. Learn More

The Battle of the Scheldt

In order to progress eastwards through Europe, the Allies had to ensure a safe supply route. This meant seizing as soon as possible the seaports along the Channel. It also meant the capture of the Scheldt. This was to be the mission of the First Canadian Army. Learn More
Liberation of the Netherlands and capitulation of Germany
In February 1945, the First Canadian Army had to take over the Rhineland, a narrow strip of land between the Maas and Rhine rivers. The Dutch-German border followed the Maas in that area: for the first time, fighting was to take place on German soil and a fierce opposition was expected. Learn More