Another case of outstanding war art is found here. War artist Charles Comfort painted Canadian Armour Passing Through Ortona, taken from his memories of accompanying the military during the Italian campaign.
Sunday, December 11, 2022
Ernest "Smokey" Smith won the Victoria Cross for his bravery during the campaign- acts of an ordinary man doing extraordinary things. And yet this was typical- everyday citizens stepping up and doing things that were anything but ordinary.
A trophy of war: a Stug III, a German weapon.
Another legacy of the Italian campaign: the joint special forces unit made up of Canadian and American soldiers, the First Special Services Force, forever remembered by their nickname: the Devil's Brigade. This is a uniform with the distinctive dark red cap.
The Devil's Brigade was active from 1942 until its disbanding late in 1944 due to heavy losses. It fought in Italy and France and established a combat record that took on a life of its own.
In the lead up to D-Day, Allied intelligence (most notably the Special Operations Executive) worked with Resistance groups in Europe to prepare for what was to come.
Some SOE gear for infiltration agents is seen here.
D-Day, the greatest aquatic invasion in history, was long in planning, with a concerted effort from the sea and in the air to support the landing of soldiers at five beaches in Normandy. Models of two Canadian ships involved are seen here.
The man who had become Supreme Commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower, referred to D-Day as the Great Crusade. It wasn't just about freeing Europe, it was saving it.
We carry on from here tomorrow.