A whole day devoted to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, from the landings on Juno Beach, to their first encounters with the 12.SS Panzer Division “Hitlerjugend“.
ST AUBIN SUR MER
Assault across an open beach against defenders dug in in bunkers and fortified houses, then clear the town of German resistance before pushing inland to capture a command post then a radar station. That was the task assigned to the North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment. Overly ambitious? We’ll go through what went right and what went wrong for a unit that at this stage in the war still had, like the majority of the infantry battalions in 3rd Division, a very strong local identity.
BERNIERES SUR MER
Toronto-based regiment the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada landed on “Nan White”, just to the west of the North Shore Regiment. We’ll explore their assault and later push inland towards their objective, the small village of Anisy.
The small harbour town of Courseulles had significant German defences, some of which are still readily accessible today. We’ll see where the Regina Rifle Regiment and, to the west, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, managed to seize their initial objectives, despite heavy losses.
BURON AND AUTHIE
The day after D-Day, the advance southwards continued where it had left off. We’ll follow in the footsteps of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade as they moved towards the airfield of Carpiquet, before meeting a determined counter-attack by elements of the “Hitlerjugend” division.
One of the most sobering places in Normandy, we’ll visit the abbey grounds and garden. The small, simple memorial and tributes add to the poignancy of this solemn place.
A village which sits astride the old Paris to Cherbourg highway, where a night attack by infantry and tanks was stopped in it’s tracks by Canadian resistance. We’ll discuss the events, and see the remaining evidence of the battle.
As with all our tours, should time permit, we’ll stop at one or two places, not always well known, where events of significance, be they large or small, occurred.