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First Essay - D-Day Canadian Contributions

Shardul 2 / 2  
May 27, 2008   #1
Ok my first post. This forum is great - helpful people doing good things. Ok I wrote this essay for my Grade 10 Canadian History class and I need someone to check it over (particularly the 2nd last paragraph). Remember it is Grade 10 : ) My teacher looked at the essay outline so content wise it is probably fine. I just need some help reworking some of the akward sentences, grammar, and making the quotes fit in properly. So thanks in advance for your help.

Edit : Also it is supposed to be a persuasive essay.

D-Day - Canada's Contributions

The Normandy Invasion, the "Day of Days" of World War II, played a huge part in the Allied exploits in occupied Europe. On June 6th the Canadian forces, alongside the British and American forces, were part of the greatest invasion in history. 130, 000 Allied soldiers and the largest naval fleet in history gathered to work towards a common goal, the defeat of German defences on the Normandy beaches. The soldiers prepared to storm the Normandy Beaches and gain a foothold in occupied Europe required to recapture France from German control and eventually try to win the war from the Western front. It seemed like suicide but Allied soldiers fought valiantly and brought down the German defences, entering Germany into a 3 front war and a likely loss. At the D-Day Landings, Canada was the first to achieve the objectives that it was assigned to after landing at its assigned beach, Juno Beach. Canada was the only one besides British and American forces to receive its own beach to invade, code-named Juno Beach, a huge responsibility in itself. Allied forces depended on the successful invasion of Juno Beach to carry on fighting in occupied Europe and establish a secure and safe beachhead for troops and supplies to land. Canada had played an essential and strong contribution to the D-Day Landings, as it was in charge of invading Juno Beach, and did it successfully.

Canada achieved its objectives for the D-Day Landings and had massive success compared to other Allied divisions with a force of 14, 000 soldiers taking in the fact of the huge amount of fortifications at Juno Beach, it was a huge accomplishment. After only 3 hours of the initial landings, the Atlantic Wall at Juno Beach had been shattered allowing forces to push past the beach and sea wall to launch attacks into occupied Europe. By the day's end the Canadian forces had achieved an enormous task, much more than what had been expected of them. The 3rd Canadian Division had pushed farther into France than any other Allied Division - 8 kilometres inland (Landry 48). The next day also held promise for the Canadian forces, which had managed to link up with British forces that had landed at Sword Beach. This was important to be able to secure a beachhead in Normandy allowing for further forces to land and push inward into occupied Europe (Roy 13). By July 9th, Caen had been captured by the Allied forces, with huge contributions from the Canadian forces that had fought against the Schutzstaffeln, one of Hitler's elite units. Caen, an important strategic location had been captured, "thanks in large part to the persistent efforts of the 3rd Canadian Division, Caen was at last in Allied hands (Veterans Affairs Canada). The capture of Caen dealt a crucial blow to the German defences in France, allowing the Allies to put firm foothold in occupied Europe from which they could launch attacks to take back France. Canada achieved its objectives at the D-Day Landings and the important objectives afterwards.

Canada had the monumental responsibility of invading a heavily fortified position, code-named Juno Beach, a huge responsibility that no other country besides the United States of America and Great Britain had. Canada was put to the responsibility of invading Juno Beach with 14, 00 soldiers, and 450 dropping behind enemy lines. 10, 000 sailors Royal Canadian Navy and its ships were among the invading naval forces, while Lancaster bombers and Spitfire fighters from the Royal Canadian Air Force joined the attack from the air (CBC). Taking Juno Beach was not an easy task but through hard work and dedication the Canadian invaders managed to overthrow the German defences and hand the German forces a stunning defeat. "Juno Beach was arguably the most heavily-fortified of the five invasion beaches" (Canada at War). The so called impenetrable Atlantic Wall had been penetrated and the Allies could now start landing additional troops and supplies. At night's end on June 6th the Canadian 3rd Division had fought the resistance from the determined German counter-attack and had achieved many of their objectives. Although the town of Caen was still not captured, this objective was overly optimistic (Roy 39) but the Allied forces with great contributions from the Canadian forces managed to capture this objective too. "Resistance was stiffening as they came closer to Caen but by nightfall the leading elements were over eight km inland" (Roy 26). Some of the soldiers had even reached Caen - Bayeux road - the 1st Hussars (Roy 26), a very close distance to the town of Caen. This meant that Canadian forces were the closest to the town of Caen, an important objective in the Normandy Landings. The Canadian forces had achieved the great task of invading from Juno Beach and had managed to push far inland.

The Canadian forces not only had to storm ashore from Juno Beach successfully but they also had to achieve many other objectives in occupied Europe. The Allies had made plans according to the successful Canadian assault and the successful fulfillment of the objectives afterwards. This meant that Canadian forces played a large role in the battle to come after D-Day and the Allied success also depended on the success of Canadian forces. After the invasion, Canada was given the task of liberating the Netherlands from German control (WarMuseum). After the initial attempt at break into the Netherlands had failed, the job was handed to Canadian forces, probably in respect to their successes at the D-Day Landings and afterwards. The Canadian forces met heavy resistance and determined German defenders but they managed to liberate the Netherlands. After the D-Day Landings, British and Canadian forces linked up to secure the beachhead and launch further offensives into France (Veterans Affairs Canada). Beach bombardment at the start of D-Day also included contributions from the Royal Canadian Air Force. Canadian bombers squadrons were composed of Lancaster bombers and Spitfire fighters and they weakened German industry and attacked strategic locations to decrease the resistance encountered by the invading soldiers (Reynoldson 38). The Allied forces depended on the success of all parts of the D-Day Landings and the Canadian forces did not fail to impress even if it came at a high cost.

Canada made massive contributions to the D-Day Landings and achieved many of their objectives, sooner than other Allied divisions. They instilled pride in the nation and had shown the power of Canada, as a great military power and as an ally. The 3rd Canadian Division had moved the farthest into France by nightfall and Canadian forces were the first to achieve their objectives after landing at their assigned beach. Canada was the only nation besides the United States of America and Great Britain that received its own beach to invade and had broken through the German defences at Juno Beach successfully. Allied forces also depended on the success of all parts of the invasion and Canadian forces did not let them down, achieving their objectives with great success. Canadian forces had created great pride for the nation with the tremendous success of the D-Day landings and had shown the world that Canada had the power to become a great military power in the future.

Works Cited

"The Battle of Caen." At War Canada.

"Carpiquet and Caen." Veterans Affairs Canada.

Landry, Pierre. Juno Beach - Canada in WWII. Canada: Penguin Group, 2003

"Operations : The Liberation of the Netherlands." War Museum.

Reynoldson, Fiona. Key Battles of World War II. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2001.

Rowland, Robin. "D-Day : Canada's Role." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Roy, Reg. D-Day : The Canadians and the Normandy Landings June 1944. Ottawa: CEF Books, 2001.

Thanks for reading. : )

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