What was the Canadian contribution to the Allied cause in World War II?
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The Canadians provided a large contingent of military units that fought on the Allied side.
For example, the following Canadian Army units fought in WWII:
- 1st Canadian Infantry Division
- 2nd Canadian Infantry Division
- 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
- 3rd Canadian Infantry Division (CAOF)
- 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division
- 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division
- 6th Canadian Infantry Division
- 6th Canadian Infantry Division (CAPF)
- 7th Canadian Infantry Division
- 8th Canadian Infantry Division
It is worth nothing that the Canadians played an important part in the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day as it is commonly known) and suffered significant casualties in their hard fought battles against the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjungend. Indeed, many Canadian POW's were murdered by members of the 12th SS, prompting this post-war comment by General Eisenhower:
"This is what I’d say: The SS trooper, up until it began to get desperate, or somewhere in September of 1944, I’d say anyone that was an SS trooper until that time would be a war criminal. After that…they would put any healthy man in it they could get hold of. He couldn’t help himself. …Except for the 12th SS. I think that the American Army as a unit will handle the 12th SS, every man they can get a hold of. They are the men who killed our people in cold blood…We hate everybody that ever wore a 12th SS uniform." - The Anattomy Of The Nuremberg Trials by Telford Taylor c1992, p110.
One side note: Serving as a Canadian Artillery officer during the D-Day landings was James Doohan, better known as 'Scotty' from the TV and feature film series Star Trek. He is personally credited with the killing of two German Snipers and with leading his unit with skill and courage until he was wounded and evacuated to England.
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