It’s not just Americans who didn’t know about Canadian contributions … even in Canada, the wartime service was relatively quickly forgotten so that by the 1960s, many Canadians would have been surprised to find that Canada had even fought in the war. I’m not exaggerating by much to say that you could have spun a tale about Canadians only being there as blue-helmet peacekeepers rather than as extremely active combatants on the Allied side.
I don’t understand why the history was effectively lost, but I have my own suspicions … but that heads off into the political weeds and doesn’t belong here.
I definitely agree with you there it would seem after every war we’ve been part of our military excels in its capabilities and outstrips it’s relatively small size then after the war is over people tend to quickly forget the battles that were fought. This can be seen in every action Canada has been part of from the Boer War right up to Afghanistan.
It’s one of those things that I have a burr up my ass about
Same here in the Netherlands, we all know about the massive efforts of the Canadians here in the Netherlands and Vimy Ridge but most like me tbh didn’t know too much about the massive Canadian efforts on D-Day. Mostly it is Utah/Omaha/Point du Hoc and Quistreham/Pegasus that get the most attention due to the big movies.
For me the massive Canadian effort became apparent to me when I spend my november weekend in Normandy and found a hotel on the seawall of Juno Beach. The next mornig I met Nelson Bird a Canadian TV presenter (at the time Indigenous Circle). His father landed right there and guess what I dedicated a D-Day episode to him through a virtual memorial.
Also I specifically chose Canada and First Nations private because this part needs to be remembered as well!
Thank you! Dedicated episodes are far, far beyond my means but I’ll look forward to this one especially when it comes around.
Thanks, i am very greatful to anyone who contribute some coin, stories or even follows the show. It is a lot of money for me but after meeting his son on Juno just before armistice day 2005 , this meeting has come full circle and I think I must support this legacy. Nelson Bird still works for CTV. I dedicate one of the D-Day episodes to Charlie Bird Regina rifles. Any First Nation info is very welcome. Calling Home An Indigenous Circle Special - YouTube
Canada is not the US and part of the culture difference isn’t entirely political. In most churches standing during the war, ones that have Memorial Rolls, the one for the First World War is longer than the one for the Second. The Second World War came to be seen as “The Necessary War”, the one that nobody wanted. When the war was over, they came home to an intact country. It was a popular sentiment to “get over it”, particularly as reintegration of soldiers after the first war had been seen as a failure. The Royal Canadian Legion at that time had the air of being men who just “hadn’t gotten over it”
It didn’t help that the conscription crisis in 1944 poisoned national unity and the political class desperately wanted to heal that wound. It reappeared three decades later too.