Illustrated with Paintings by Canadian Army War Artists
Maps drawn by
Lieutenant C.C.J. Bond
Published by Authority of the Minister of National Defense
In the writing of this volume the author has been given full access to relevant official documents in possession of the Department of National Defence; but the inferences drawn and the opinions expressed are those of the author himself, and the Department is in no way responsible for his reading or presentation of the facts as stated.
Landing in Sicily. By Major W.A. Ogilvie, M.B.E.
God send me to see suche a company
together agayne when need is.
LORD HOWARD D'EFFINGHAM.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter Page Preface vii Abbreviations xiii I. The First Canadians Overseas, 1939-1940 1 Canada Goes to War 1 The Beginning of the Canadian Army Overseas 4 Alarums and Excursions: Norway 8 Alarums and Excursions: Dunkirk 9 To France After Dunkirk 13 II. On Guard in Britain, 1940-1941 18 After the Fall of France 18 The 7th Corps and the Invasion Summer 19 The Air Battle of Britain 21 "All the Rifles of Canada" 24 The Canadian Corps 26 The Expansion of the Army During 1940 27 Development of the Army Overseas, 1941 29 Training and Equipping the Canadian Corps 31 III. New Tasks and Problems, 1941-1942 34 To the Roof of the World: The Expedition to Spitsbergen 34 Tunnellers at the Rock 37 Fighting the Luftwaffe 38 The Corps Moves into Sussex 39 The First Canadian Army 41 Defensive Measures in Canada 42 The Question of the Employment of the Overseas Army 44 The Completion of the Field Force 48 Changing Policies on Manpower 48 The Canadian Women's Army Corps 50 IV. At the War's Turning-Point, 1942 52 The Climactic Year 52 Canadian Raiding Operations: Aspirations and Disappointments 54 The Origins of the Dieppe Operation 55 Training and Planning for Dieppe 60 V. The Raid on Dieppe, 19 August 1942 65 The Plan and the Crossing 65 The Enemy at Dieppe 66 The Fortunes of the Commandoes 70 The Canadian Flank Attacks: Puys 71 The Canadian Flank Attacks: Pourville 73 The Frontal Attack on Dieppe 75 Churchills on the Beach 76 The Landing of the Reserves 77 The Withdrawal from the Main Beaches 79 As the Germans Saw It 81 The Significance of Dieppe 83 VI. Canadian Troops Go to the Mediterranean 90 Canadians in North Africa 90 The Training Goes On 91 The Division of the Army and the Change in Command 95 The End of the Long Wait 96 Off to Sicily 98 VII. The Italian Campaign: Sicily and Southern Italy, July-November 1943 100 Allied Strategy in the Mediterranean 100 The Assault on Sicily 100 Across the Sicilian Mountains 103 The Fighting for Agira 106 The Sicilian Balance-Sheet 108 First on the Continent 109 Campobasso and Termoli 113 VIII. The Italian Campaign: The Battles of the Winter Line, December 1943-April 1944 119 The Battle of the Sangro 119 The Crossing of the Moro 121 The Fight for the Gully 124 Christmas in Ortona 125 Winter in the Salient 129 IX. The Italian Campaign: The Liri Valley Offensive, May-June 1944 133 "To Destroy the Enemy South of Rome" 133 The Great Deception 135 "The Honour to Strike the First Blow" 139 Breaching the Hitler Line 142 The Passage of the Melfa 147 The End of the Battle for Rome 150 X. The Italian Campaign: Through the Gothic Line to the Lombard Plain, July 1944-February 1945 154 Back to the Adriatic: The Attack on the Gothic Line 154 The Coriano Ridge and the Fortunato Feature 158 Mud to the Help of the Enemy 161 The Savio Crossing 162 Tanks in the Mountains 164 The Advance across the Rivers 166 Clearing the Senio Line 169 Holding the Winter Line 171 The Canadians Leave Italy 172 Twenty Months in Italy 173 XI. The Campaign in North-West Europe: The Plan and the Invasion of Normandy, June 1944 176 The OVERLORD Plan 176 The Canadian Role in the Invasion 178 The Final Stage of Preparation 180 Battle on the Beaches 185 The Advance to the Final Objectives and the First German Counter-Attacks 189 XII. The Campaign in North-West Europe: The Battle of Normandy, June-August 1944 194 The Consolidation of the Bridgehead 194 The Capture of Caen and the Attack Across the Orne 197 The Canadian Holding Attack on 25 July 200 The Struggle on the Falaise Road 204 An Order of the Führer 210 The Gap and the Cauldron 214 XIII. The Campaign in North-West Europe: The Channel Ports, September 1944 222 The Pursuit Through France and Belgium 222 Clearing the Channel Coast: Le Havre and the Flying-Bomb Sites 225 The Capture of Boulogne and Calais 226 The Thrust to Arnhem 229 XIV. The Campaign in North-West Europe: The Battle of the Scheldt and the Winter on the Maas, September 1944-February 1945 232 The Plan for Opening the Scheldt 232 Closing the South Beveland Isthmus 233 Clearing the Breskens Pocket 236 The Taking of South Beveland and Walcheren 238 The Watch on the Maas 243 The Crisis in Infantry Reinforcements 246 XV. The Campaign in North-West Europe: The Battle of the Rhineland, February-March 1945 251 Planning the Rhineland Offensive 251 Operation VERITABLE Begins 255 Breaching the Siegfried Line 258 Moyland Wood and the Goch-Calcar Road 260 Operation BLOCKBUSTER: On to the Rhine 263 The Victory in the Rhineland 270 XVI. The Campaign in North-West Europe: The Advance to Victory, March-May 1945 272 "Over the Rhine, then, Let Us Go" 272 First Canadian Army Returns to the Battle 276 Operations in the Western Netherlands 280 "We Were Out in Front Pushing On" 284 XVII. The Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1945 289 The Dispatch of Canadian Troops to Hong Kong 289 Hong Kong and its Defences 294 The Attack on Hong Kong 296 The Landings on Hong Kong Island 298 The Defence of the Western Part of the Island 300 The Fall of Hong Kong 303 War in the Aleutians 304 The Enterprise Against Kiska 305 Plans for the Pacific Force 307 XVIII. Canadian Soldiers in Many Roles, 1939-1945 310 Canadian Officers in the British Army 310 The Canadian-American Special Service Force 312 Canadians in the Underground War 315 Civil Affairs Officers 318 The Canadian Forestry Corps 319 Conclusion 322 Repatriation and Demobilization 322 The National Effort in Two Great Wars 324 An Army of Citizen Soldiers 325 APPENDICES "A" Persons Holding Principal Appointments, Canadian Army, 1939-1945 331 "B" Composition of the First Canadian Army (5 May 1945) (Armored Corps, Artillery and Infantry) 335 "C" Organization of Infantry and Armoured Divisions, by Units (May 1945) 340 Index 343 ILLUSTRATIONS Landing in Sicily. By Major W.A. Ogilvie, M.B.E. Frontispiece Guarding the Sussex Coast. By Major C.F. Comfort 40 Dieppe Raid. 78 Campobasso. By Major C.F. Comfort 115 Canadian Field Guns near Ortona. By Major C.F. Comfort 127 The Hitler Line. By Major C.F. Comfort 146 The Gothic Line. By Capt. G.C. Tinning 151 Engineers Clearing Roads through Caen. By Capt. O.N. Fisher 196 Escape Route, Normandy. By Major W.A. Ogilvie, M.B.E. 218 The Nijmegen Bridge. By Capt. D.A. Colville 235 Artillery in Action on the Maas. By Capt. B.J. Bobak 248 Le Règiment de Maisonneuve Clearing Den Heuvel. By Capt. G.D. Pepper 262 MAPS In Colour 1. North-West Europe, 1939-1945 (Front) 2. The Dieppe Operation, 19 August 1942 80 3. Sicily, 10 July-17 August 1943 106 4. Operations in Southern Italy, September 1943-January 1944 126 5. Liri Valley Offensive, May 1944 144 6. The Adriatic Sector, 25 August 1944-25 February 1945 164 7. Eastern Flank of the Normandy Bridgehead, June-July 1944 194 8. Expansion of the Normandy Bridgehead 200 9. The Falaise Road and the Pocket, August 1944 208 10. The Pursuit and the Channel Ports, August-September 1944 218 11. Battle of the Scheldt, October-November 1944 230 12. Battle of the Rhineland, First Canadian Army Front, February-March 1945 254 13. The Final Phase: The Netherlands and Germany, March-May 1945 272 14. Hong Kong, 7-25 December 1941 288 15. The Central Mediterranean, 1943-1945 (End) MAPS In Black and White 1. The Ortona Area, December 1943-April 1944 123 2. The Coriano-San Fortunato Area, September 1944 157 3. The North Pacific Ocean, 1941-1945 293