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Canadian POWs

Type: Document

During the First World War nearly 3,000 Canadians became prisoners of war.

Site: National Defence

Corporal, Royal 22e Régiment, Italy, 1943

Type: Image

During the summers in southern Italy, the Canadians wore tropical uniforms like the rest of the British 8th Army. This reconstruction by Ron Volstad shows a corporal of the Royal 22e Régiment, the only Francophone regular infantry regiment in the Canadian army during the war. The unit saw its first action of the war during the landings in Sicily in 1943. Note the famous red patch of the 1st Canadian Division on the upper shoulder. This formation badge dates from the First World War. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Assertion of Canadian Identity

Type: Document

The development of a Canadian army overseas promoted the growth of a Canadian identity that was separate from the British model. Canada's military independence on the battlefield would be succeeded, over the decades, by gradual political independence.

Site: National Defence

John Weir Foote

Type: Document

At the end of the war, Padre Foote received the Victoria Cross for his conduct at Dieppe, the first ever awarded to a Canadian chaplain.

Site: National Defence

Fred Fisher

Type: Document

For his part in this first major engagement of the war in which Canadian troops were involved, Lance-Corporal Fisher was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously, and became the first Canadian from a Canadian unit to win the decoration in that conflict.

Site: National Defence

Concluding Phase of Operations by the 1st Cdn Army - Part I - The Operations of First Cdn Army, 2-11 Apr 45

Type: Document

This official report deals with the operations of the First Canadian Army in North-West Europe during the last phase of the campaign from April 2, 1945, when General H.D.G. Crerar's headquarters assumed control of Canadian operations east of the Rhine, to the signing of the instrument of surrender by plenipotentiaries of the German High Command at Field Marshal Montgomery's Tactical Headquarters on May 4, resulting in the cease fire order.

Site: National Defence

Fighting in the Rivera

Type: Document

In fighting along the Cote d’Azur at the end of WW2, the Canadian officer Ralph Wilson Becket won the American Silver Star, along with Sergeant Thomas Price, the most decorated Canadian aboriginal soldier.

Site: National Defence

Other Canadian Participants

Type: Document

Outside the Canadian Corps, Canadians served with British forces in a number of roles - in the Cavalry Division, as Railway troops, in the Forestry Corps, as sappers, and in medical units. After the war a Canadian brigade was sent to Archangel and Vladivostok, during the Russia Civil War, to protect allied supplies.

Site: National Defence

Chapter 4 - Between the Wars 1919-1939

Type: Document

During the inter-war years of 1919-1939 the Canadian military experienced large-scale reorganization which included major diversification and expansion of communications capabilities. In many cases these capabilities would grow to serve civilian as well as military needs and would put the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in the unique position of being the only branch of the Armed Forces that continued to expand during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Site: National Defence

Supermarine Spitfire L.F. Mk. IX fighter in the markings of 421 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force

Type: Image

The Spitfire Mk. IX was the third-generation of Supermarine's famous fighter, and the final one equipped with a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. The L.F. Mk. IX was an aircraft optimised for combat at lower altitudes - note the clipped wings shown in this photograph of a surviving example in the collection of the Canadian Aviation Museum. The aircraft bears the 'AU' code letters of 421 'Red Indian' Squadron, Royal Canadian Airforce. 421 Squadron was one of several Canadian fighter squadrons stationed in Europe. (Canadian Department of National Defence, PCN-5234)

Site: National Defence