THE WAR TO JUNE 6: Allied fortunes had rebounded by 1944 after the massive German conquests of 1940-41. British and American armies had driven the Germans from North
Africa and Sicily, forced Italy to surrender and were moving up the Italian boot while Allied bombers were pounding German cities and towns day and night. In the East, the Soviets were on the march to Berlin. And in the Pacific, the Americans were
making headway against the Japanese.
A short chronology of Canada's participation in the 1944 D-Day invasion of Normandy:
May 1943: Allies make final decision to invade. Initial invasion date May 1, 1944, then June 4, 1944.
Summer of 1943: Canadians
train for assault in Scotland and England.
June 1, 1944: Invasion ships begin loading along England's south coast.
June 3: Soldiers aboard the ships. Some ships sail.
Dawn, June 4: Weather forecast of continuing low cloud, coastal
fog and rain forces 24-hour delay in invasion. Vessels recalled.
Dawn, June 5: Decision to go ahead with invasion. Convoys sail for Normandy.
Evening, June 5: Invasion fleet approaches Normandy beaches.
11:30 p.m., June 5: Aerial
Midnight: Three airborne divisions drop on east and west flanks of invasion beaches. Includes 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.
June 6 about 5 a.m.: Naval bombardment of beach defences begins.
5:30 a.m.: First
Canadian assault vessels leave ships for shore.
6:30 a.m.: First Americans land at beaches.
7:25 a.m.: First British land.
About 7:45 a.m.: First Canadians land.
10:30 a.m.: First assault waves ashore.
Noon: Juno Beach secure.
12:45 p.m.: Maj. Rod Keller (Canadian commanding officer) goes ashore.
Advance continues until nightfall.
From The Canadian Press