Sunday, November 24, 2019

Seaborne Invasion

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.


  1. Important history, but sad over all.

  2. Strange ad with the girl and the (black) cat.
    I once saw the movie about D-Day. Oh, my. What a waste of humans. Of young men.
    Why don´t the "leaders" go against each other themselves, two people, one wins, one looses. Too simple.

  3. Hello,

    War is a waste of human lives and money. It is good to have these exhibits to remember the history.
    Enjoy your day, have a happy new week ahead.

  4. Interesting but emotionally difficult to see. I didn't know about Hong Kong. D-day was so necessary, and hard.

  5. Some great paintings about D-Day.
    The battle in the east is less known.

  6. I enjoy seeing the paintings from the comfort of my chair.

  7. ...I piece of history that I didn't know about.

  8. It was a frightening time with fighting breaking out in many different locations.

  9. Has there ever been a time when there wasn't a war going on somewhere in the world?

  10. I can't even begin to imagine the horror of D Day William. The paintings are excellent ✨

  11. @Linda: that's true.

    @Iris: if only.

    @Eileen: it is.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Barbara: it was.

    @Jan: that's true.

    @Anvilcloud: I like seeing them up close.

    @Tom: they're quite familiar to me.

    @Marleen: they are indeed.

    @Red: it was, yes.

    @Sharon: not much time, anyway.

    @Grace: thank you!

  12. Lots of history! Thanks for sharing, William.

  13. I don't know what to comment on war stories. Nobody has learned anything from the past, so it's hopeless there will be always wars.

  14. @Jennifer: sad pretty much defines it.

    @Cloudia: thank you.

    @Bill: you're welcome.

    @Gattina: that's true.

    @MB: I find this museum quite interesting.

  15. Interesting read about the Canadian war efforts and important reminders of how terrible wars are.

  16. Your blog is a valuable learning experience.

  17. Very difficult to accept how little we (as “earthlings”, from any and every country) have learned over the centuries. The very fact that there needs to be such a thing as a War Museum seems unbearably sad to me.... and yet I honor the brave people who risked their lives for my freedom ... and I know it is vital that we not forget history.

  18. War is horrific, why can we not survive without it? Landing on that beach must have been absolutely terrifying.

  19. Sad that so many had to lay down their lives.

  20. i am trying to recall if i have been in a similar war museum that we have in the US? nothing in a long long while. maybe even since i was in childhood school days, i know war is not positive subject ...but i guess i would say i try to find the positive of the museum. if that make any sense what so ever? i appreciate that some many folks took the time to recall those memories, pics, the artifacts, uniforms, etc,.

  21. Thank you for this history. I did not know about Hong Kong.

  22. Powerful - Couldn't Imagine The Atmosphere - Was Anyone Even Talking

  23. The war artists did an important and dangerous job:)

  24. I can't imagine being an artist at D-Day and being able to paint about it. Striking.

  25. So sad, that so many lost their lives … we must always remember them, but I wish we could learn more from History and live more peacefully.

    All the best Jan

  26. @Revrunner: indeed.

    @Alexandria: we were heavily involved.

    @Maywyn: that's always the idea.

    @Sallie: I think a place like this serves an important educational role.

    @Gemel: so many landed on those beaches, and not all of them survived that day.

    @Magiceye: some things have to be done, because to do nothing is worse.

    @Beth: I know there are some there.

    @Joanne: Hong Kong is a dark chapter.

    @Padre: thank you.

    @Rosie: especially Fisher. He must have had a pistol, though. But the other guys were there to do the fighting.

    @Jeanie: he had a hell of a job to do.

    @Jan: we should learn from history and not make the same mistakes.