Hosted by the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, and in partnership with the Canadian Battlefields Foundation, the Juno Beach Centre Association is pleased to announce the Maple Leaf Route Webinar Series. Every two weeks from May to September, we will be following Canadian and British Commonwealth soldiers as they landed on D-Day in June 1944 and fought their way inland at the Battle of Normandy.
Registration is FREE and required for all webinars. Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing a link to the webinar. All webinars begin at 7:00pm Eastern Time (ET) and are approximately 90 minutes in length. The webinar series will only be available in English. We apologize for any disappointment.
If you have any questions about the Maple Leaf Route Webinar Series, please e-mail Eric at eric.story@
We look forward to seeing you at one of our webinars!
Spring & Summer 2021 Speakers
Juno Beach, 1944–2014: An Overview
Terry Copp, Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies
May 19th at 7:00 pm ET — Register HERE
Terry Copp first visited the Normandy beaches in 1981 when researching Maple Leaf Route: Caen. Armed with the original 1:25,000 maps and air photos, reproduced in MLR: Caen, he studied the terrain, a key primary source for tactical and operational history. Copp has returned to Normandy many times since then usually leading study tours for The Canadian Battle of Normandy Foundation (today the Canadian Battlefields Foundation), the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies and True Patriot Love. The landscape has changed dramatically over the past 42 years as a result of new construction and efforts at memorialization. Copp will talk briefly about the nature of the “Atlantic Wall” in 1944 and the problem of breaking through it, then describe the changes to the terrain especially in the ways D-Day has come to be commemorated in the Juno sector.
TERRY COPP is one of Canada’s foremost military historians. The author and co-author of over twenty published books and of numerous scholarly articles on the operations and experience of the Canadian military during the World Wars, Copp is a leading scholar of Canada’s military role in World War II and an influential advocate for military history in both military and civilian education. Copp’s influential writings on the Canadian battles in Northwest Europe has created a lasting legacy through the creation of battlefield memorials, the upsurge of student and teacher battlefield tours and the publication of battlefields guides, designed to help visitors to properly navigate important sites of Canadian history.
Securing the Normandy Bridgehead
Marc Milner, University of New Brunswick
June 2nd at 7:00 pm ET — Register HERE
Marc Milner will explore the successful campaign to secure the Normandy bridgehead by the Allied armies in June 1944.
MARC MILNER is a professor of military history (Ph.D., University of New Brunswick) and former director of the Milton F. Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society at the University of New Brunswick. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including Battle of the Atlantic (2003), which won the C.P. Stacey Prize for the best book in military history in Canada, and D-Day to Carpiquet: the North Shore Regiment and the Liberation of Europe (2006).
A Woman’s Touch: Supporting Canadian Servicemen’s Resilience in Europe, 1943–47
Sarah Glassford, Leddy Library, University of Windsor
June 16th at 7:00 pm ET — Register HERE
In this talk, Sarah Glassford will explore the emotional dimensions of the Canadian presence in Europe during the later years of the Second World War. As Canadian servicemen amassed in Britain, then advanced through Italy, Normandy, and the Low Countries, 641 women of the Canadian Red Cross Corps Overseas Detachment followed close behind. Through food parcels, hospital visits, occupational therapy, ambulance-driving, canteen service, and the provision of comforts ranging from hometown newspapers and cigarettes to conversation and a listening ear, their job was to care for Canadian servicemen, shoring up the troops’ psychological resilience with a proverbial “woman’s touch.” Corps members’ letters, diaries, and oral histories provide a fascinating glimpse of how friendship, kinship, and romance helped both servicemen and Red Cross women cope with the physical and emotional traumas of wartime.
DR. SARAH GLASSFORD is a social historian of Canada who researches the intertwined histories of women, children, wartime, health, and humanitarian aid. She is the author of Mobilizing Mercy: A History of the Canadian Red Cross (MQUP, 2017) and co-editor with Amy Shaw of Making the Best of It: Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the Second World War (UBC, 2020). She works as the Archivist at the University of Windsor’s Leddy Library.
The Air Support Rollercoaster: Canadian Soldiers’ Morale in Normandy
Alexander Fitzgerald-Black, Juno Beach Centre Association
July 14th at 7:00 pm ET — Register HERE
Soldiers’ morale on the frontline relies on many factors. Casualty rates, time spent in heavy combat, news from home, weather and terrain, food, and general health are all relevant. The role of air forces should also get our consideration. In this talk, Alex Fitzgerald-Black will tackle two questions. First, what did the Canadian soldier think about the air support he received in Normandy? Second, what were the consequences of this support for morale? Canadian war diaries and memoirs of the fighting on the ground – including George G. Blackburn’s classic The Guns of Normandy – contain myriad compliments and criticisms about what the Allied air force was doing during the Battle of Normandy. The compliments (peaks) and criticisms (valleys) present an undulating curve of Canadian soldiers’ morale in Normandy. Fitzgerald-Black’s presentation will examine this “rollercoaster” in a sweeping tour of Canadian army operations from Juno Beach to the Falaise Gap.
ALEXANDER FITZGERALD-BLACK is the Operations and Outreach Manager at the Juno Beach Centre Association, the charity that owns and operates Canada’s Second World War Museum on the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy, France. He holds a Master of Arts in military history (University of New Brunswick) and a Master of Arts in public history (Western University).
In partnership with: