The Canadian military put much of its emphasis into the European and Atlantic theatres of operation during the Second World War. Yet the Pacific theatre was still part of the story. Canadian soldiers were garrisoned at Hong Kong when the Japanese unleashed their surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. It wasn't the only place they hit- Japan made coordinated strikes at various places across the Pacific, including Hong Kong.
The Battle of Hong Kong was the first land based battle for Canadians during the Second World War, and it ended in defeat. Many were killed or wounded among all of the defenders. All survivors became prisoners of war.
While Canadian soldiers bided their time in Britain with other land troops, the Canadian navy and air force were busy. That included across the Atlantic, where engagements with German subs were a common occurrence. One of those moments is caught in this painting, The Boarding Of The U-744.
Along with other Allied forces, Canadians took part in the Italian campaign, which is covered here in the Museum, but which I didn't photograph this time out. The next section of course deals with the inevitable: D-Day and the Normandy campaign. Five beaches were invaded by Allied soldiers on June 6th, 1944, the greatest seaborne invasion in history. Juno Beach was the Canadian objective.
I mentioned a few days ago that the Canadian war artist Orville Fisher was the only artist who landed on the beaches of Normandy that day. This painting, D-Day: The Assault is drawn from what he saw that day.
Another D-Day painting, but from the air: Invasion Pattern Normandy, by Eric Aldwinkle.
These quotes were nearby. I continue with D- Day tomorrow.