Army has fought alongside our allies in wars and peacekeeping actions
throughout the world. During WWI the army proved itself in many
battles on the western front including spectacular victories such
as the taking of Vimy Ridge and the 100 days campaign that drove
into Belgium. By the end of the war a distinct Canadian military
identity had been earned by our troops.
WWII the army saw action in allied campaigns around the globe. In
Italy Canadian troops fought in many difficult battles against a
determined enemy from Sicily to the Gothic Line. In Northwest Europe
the Canadian Army landed in Normandy on one of the five assigned
invasion beaches alongside the American and British forces. They
advanced farther than any other allied force on D-Day and continued
to fight against the toughest German units in the desperate battles
that followed. They advanced along the coast of northern France
and liberated Holland to the undying gratitude of the people there.
At the end of WWII the Canadian Army had established itself as a
military force of the first order both in size and quality.
Canadian troops with Dutch civilians
the post-war world the army maintained a major presence in western
Europe during the Cold War as part of the NATO deterrent. It fought
in Korea and participated in many UN peacekeeping missions. With
the advent of new security demands in the 1990s it participated
in NATO peacekeeping and peacemaking missions that continue to this
human cost of these achievements has been very high and Canadian
soldiers have fallen in action on fields of conflict that encompass
the world. During WWI a Canadian surgeon penned a poem that has
become an icon of remembrance - In Flanders Fields:
John McCrae and Flanders Field
by Lieut-Col. John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.