The Canadians in Italy

Nice summarized version of the Canadian 1st division and their role in liberating Sicily and Italy from Government of Canada site


I can’t help but feel the resentment of the WW2 veterans in my old militia regiment that – because the regiment was assigned to provide HQ guard platoons – we only had campaign honours for WW2, rather than the individual battle honours other Canadian regiments were able to achieve. If nothing else, at least we show up in the footnotes…


Don’t forget the Canadian 2, 3 and 4th division labelled the 1st division the Dday dodgers as they had the belief the 1st had it easy being in a warm climate and taking it easy. That bugs me even as a Canuck


I’m sure those Calvados-soaked slackers in Normandy picked up the habit of disparaging the 1st Canadian Division and the 5th Canadian Armoured Division as “D-Day Dodgers”, but they didn’t originate the slur. It’s been variously attributed, often to Lady Astor, and was widely used in the British army for those British and Commonwealth units serving in Italy.

It was generally believed that it was Lady Astor who, during a World War II speech, first referred to the men of the 8th Army who were fighting in the Italian campaign as the “D-Day Dodgers”. Observers thought she was suggesting they were avoiding the “real war” in France and the future invasion. The Allied soldiers in Italy were so incensed that Major Hamish Henderson of the 51st Highland Division composed a bitingly sarcastic song to the tune of the popular German song “Lili Marleen”, called “The Ballad of the D-Day Dodgers”. This song has also been attributed to Lance-Sergeant Harry Pynn of the Tank Rescue Section, 19 Army Fire Brigade.[62]

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I grew up listening to my grandpa talk about the Dday dodgers.

My grandpa served with the military police (1943-1952)based out of CFB Edmonton and Winnipeg and one of the more common fights of the time we’re between Canadian soldiers singing the Dday dodgers song to those who served in Italy by other soldiers which he said was almost a daily occurrence of the time. He was so sick of that song that that when he left the military he moved out to BC just to get away from the daily singing of it.

However with that being said his favourite time was when a bunch of American airmen started singing the song and every Canuck within a couple kilometres showed up and beat the tar out of the stupid yanks for dissing the Canucks it is also the fight that took out 30 of his teeth when he got a black Jack and a chair leg tossed into his face and ironically ended his career with the military. Right up to the day he died he was proud of that medical check he got from the government of Canada every month.