Question on Canada: What was the "Cinderella Army" and when did the term come in Vogue

I kind of worked out that it wasn’t about Pumpkin carriages hitting Juno Beach but it is an allusion to the Canadians doing the dirty work but not getting invited at the parties.

E.g. they were appearantly not invited in celebrating the Allied victory at the Scheldt. See documentary:

The forgotten battle; The story about the fight for the Scheldt - YouTube

Please only post one (1) question in a topic post - you can post multiple questions, just please keep them separate.

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Thanks for posting that link. I’m interested in all things to do with First Canadian Army, but I’ll have to watch that later.

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Basically while the Canadian army was the smallest army to serve under allied command in the European theatre their actions greatly outstripped their relatively small size being responsible for the outcome of many major actions in Europe but were downplayed due to mainly Americans wanting the glory.

Some actions where Canadian involvement was severely downplayed

Landing at Juno beach
Caen offensive
Battle of Bastogne (during battle of the bulge)
Battle of Scheldt
Liberation of the Netherlands

These were but a few of the Canadian actions that were downplayed and in many cases Both the Americans and British did their best to overstate their involvement in the actions and downplay the Canadian actions. A lot of which had to do with politics and egos.

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As far as I am aware the Canadians were also pretty important in the Italian Campaign, especially their armor. They served in the invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky), Calabria, the Battle of Ortona, the Gustav Line, the Hitler Line, the capture of Rome, and at the Gothic Line (no black eyeliner involved however). While this front became a side-show after D-Day, the Canadians risked a lot, and were able to punch far above their weight, often achieving remarkable successes. Frankly, the lack of attention the Canadian armed forces are paid in general is disappointing and a bit insulting. Speaking as an Australian, I think the Canadians were amazing in Italy and their ability to use armor in hilly and even mountainous terrain should be examined by every military planner, as it is pretty much unprecedented, and perhaps shouldn’t have been possible, but it happened.

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:rofl: :rofl:
My wife in 1996: :disappointed:

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If the First Canadian Army was the “Cinderella Army”, the 1st Canadian Corps in Italy was among the “D-Day Dodgers”:

> There is a song the Eighth Army used to sing,
> Marching through the desert, marching with a swing
> But now they’re on a different game
> Although the tune is still the same
> The words have all been altered,
> The words we’re singing still…
*> *
> We’re the D-Day Dodgers, here in Italy
> Drinking all the vino, always on a spree
> We didn’t land with Eisenhower
> And so they think we’re just a shower
> For we’re the D-Day Dodgers
> Out here in Italy
*> *
> We’re the D-Day dodgers, out here in Italy
> Always drinking vino, always on a spree
> Eighth Army scroungers and their tanks
> We go to war in ties, like swanks
> We are the D-Day Dodgers
> Way out in Italy

(many more verses at the link)

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It didn’t help that the 2nd Canadian Army was under Montgomery who tended to hog the limelight and perhaps didn’t talk a lot about the Scheldt campaign as his failure to capture it earlier in the campaign may have been raised.
The fact that the UK and US media tended to lump the Canadians in as part of the British Army also didn’t help.

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Don’t get me started on that weasel Montgomery I could rant about that media hog for hours on end. Along with Patton I could rant about those two for hours and hours as both did their best to steal the glory the Canadians brought them which mostly worked and not many Canucks have nice things to say about either commander due to their inflated egos and wanting to be in the spotlight.

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Not to defend those but in order to get to top you have to be good at politicking as well and most of them were working primarily on their future career as well as fighting the war. Stealing other people’s glory happens all over sadly. And guess what the best underlings are seen as a threat to their job if that makes sense.

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First Canadian Army under Crerar. Monty also had the 2nd British Army under Dempsey plus various American units attached as needed, including the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions during Market-Garden, and (briefly) the US 1st army (under ?Hodges?) during the Bulge and the US 9th army (under Simpson) from the Bulge to the Ruhr.

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There is so much truth in that statement although it sucks to hear it. There is so much I want to say at how the Americans and the British used their allies to look good but I would just end up ranting rather than being objective about it.

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I know it sucks to hear but sadly it is the truth. To use a more recent example Wozniak from Apple did all the work but always stayed in the relative limelight and he actually gave money to the people who helped in succeed. The successful leaders all depend on many loyal followers.

Even in the revered Band of Brothers TV Series (which I still think is good) there was a lot of politicking and also apparently antisemitism going around. My main source here is Ed Shames Lt. 101st who I had some discussions with IRL. Also in the US there was a lot of antisemitism in the 30s and 40s according to Ed Shames. Well the Klan was still really big back then. So politicking is everywhere, then again humans have short lives and more often then healthy for us very large ambitions. Also just writing about “the greatest generation” while ignoring the negatives sells more books.

Maybe also to press the point, we historians sometimes not realize this as writing books/papers or just this post is a fairly solitary activity and requires a lot of thinking over decisions. As opposed to military leaders who have to make decisions quickly with limited and continuously changing information. Also they must have, not sure how to put it best in writing, a certain casualness about losing people under their command.

This is a very different mindset than spending hours evaluating and not having to worry how many people died because of your decisions. Also they could die any minute themselves in WW2.

Everyone was under massive pressure and leaders within large organisations often are to very uncertain people on the inside who above all are scared to lose their job or secondly as a result also go down in history as another “loser”.

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Which kind of makes sense because England (or Brittania) at the time saw themselves as the big leader of the pack. Wait…having lived in London I am tempted to say something about present :innocent: :innocent: :innocent: :innocent: :innocent: :innocent: :innocent: :innocent: To divert let me just say that the Wookie :teddy_bear: was the real underrated Star of Star Wars. He never landed on taxyways!

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By big, you mean “shadow of its former self.” :laughing:

Wanna see big? See how the Klan was in the '20s.

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For context @Chewbacca :

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Great point, Ed Shames might have been too young in the twenties to really realize that as far as personal experiences go. Thanks for pointing that out :slight_smile: :smiley:

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Thank for the correction. Had just been studying the Scheldt operations and got the Corp and Army numbers confused.

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Neither Ike nor Bradley found it necessary to be Prima Donnas.
Or Slim on the British side.

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Instead of starting a new thread I’d thought I would add it here

Lately I’ve been watching mostly American YouTube Historians cover the Dday landings and the weeks after and one commonality I am finding with all their channels is how uninformed they have been about the Canadian contributions to the liberation of Europe and just how much of an effective fighting force the Canucks were compared to the Americans and British.

Of the dozen or so American YouTube historians almost all were surprised at how well the Canadians fought and how much the Germans respected and feared the Canadians.

Just something I found interesting

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Most people did not see Canada as truly independent at the time; the Americans only regarded the British and Soviets as true equals, everyone else was expected to toe the Allied party line. It’s a misunderstanding but it doesn’t make a difference.

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