Welcome to the European Center of Military History (Messages Board)

For almost 35 years, I am into US Army History and I have learned that in US Army History there is always someone shooting while the Yanks did never stop fighting between 1200 and 1300 for meal time. It’s been fun to type, for the first time, some hundred pages of archive about Canadian and British Troops. I just have to say that these stories are really boring, because typing War history about troops who were located in places where there was almost no war … sucks big time. Beside this, I have the feeling that peoples (at least my readers) are not really interested about archives from this side of Omaha Beach… I would really hear something about you guys to know I yes or not I should keep going with Canadian archives.

Update & Apologies
I have got an email and have to answer it. To be really clear about my statement above as well as to make sure that everyone understand perfectly what I want to say, I was only making a comparison between US Archives and Canadian and-or British Archives, about the way Battle reports were made in US and UK Historical Branch. I didn’t, of course, try to make comparison about Fields, Opponents, Enemy, nor Quantity of the Enemy. I have way far to much respect for all these men and what they did to fall into such a trap. In fact I am not used at Canadian Archives, I am not used at the way Historical Officer build these Archives and I need some time to adapt myself to these Archives.




1st Canadian Parachute Battalion (Jun 6 1944 – Sept 6 1944)

Canadian Second World War veteran Sandy Sanderson, 88, of Niagara Falls, Ont., who served as a sniper in a scout platoon laughs as he tells stories prior to the start of a commemorative ceremony at Holten Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, Netherlands on Monday, May 4, 2015, on the eve of the70th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canadian Second World War veteran Sandy Sanderson, 88, of Niagara Falls, Ontario, who served as a sniper in a scout platoon laughs as he tells stories prior to the start of a commemorative ceremony at Holten Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, Netherlands on Monday, May 4, 2015, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands.(Source, The Canadian Press, Photo, Sean Kilpatrick)

Amendment to Report #139
Historical Section – Canadian Military Headquarters

(1) The following amendment, dealing with the casualties suffered by the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion on June 6 1944 should be read in conjunction with the paragraph #40 of this report.
(2) This breakdown of casualty figures has been compiled by the Officer in charge of War Diaries, Historical Section, Canadian Military Headquarters (CMHQ), from information contained on the ‘battle casualty statistic cards’ maintained by the Casualty Section, Overseas Canadian Records Office.
(3) Casualties for June 6 1944 were as follow : Presumed Killed 2; Killed 18; Missing 91; Wounded 6. This figure ‘Missing’ 91, includes 10 listed as ‘now safe’ and 81 listed as ‘Prisoner of War’ repatriated now.

The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion in France
6 June – 6 September 1944

– General Plan of the Invasion
– Formation and Unit Objectives
– The Assault, 6 June 1944
– Progress during D Day
– Le Mesnil Crossroads (7/17 June 1944)
– In and Out of the Line (20 June – 20 July 1944)
– Bois de Bavent – Bois de Bures (21 July – 17 August 1944)
– The Eastward Advance (17/26 August 1944)
– Casualties and Decorations
– The 1st Centaur Battery Royal Canadian Army

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Birth of the Elite, 1940, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion (USA)

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Appendix A Historical Section
Canadian Military Headquarter Report #138
Further Material Relating to the Organization and Training of the
1st Canadian Parachute Battalion

(40) This appendix supplement the information contained in those sections of Report N°138 which deal with the background, the formation and the early training of the 1-CPB. The chief sources of information have been the relevant files at A.H.G. Other material consulted included the War Diary of General A.G.L. McNaughton, various directorate diaries at A.H.Q, and the unit War Diary. For convenience in reference, the paragraphs are numbered consecutively with those of Report N°138.

Background to Formation of the Unit
(41) Although the memorandum prepared by Colonel Burns in November 1940 was the first to be brought to attention of the Overseas authorities (para #3/1-CPB/UK to Combat), that officer had put forward similar proposals 3 months earlier, Aug 13. This earlier memorandum was examined by Colonel (later Lt Gen) J.C. Murchie, D.M.O. & I., N.D.H.Q., who expressed the opinion that although the value of the parachute troops in certain situations was very great, the provision of such troops by Canada would be a project of doubtful value to the combined Empire war effort in view of the expenditure of time, money, and equipment which would be involved. Further, having regard to the probable operational roles of the Airborne Forces, it would be likely that any Canadian parachute units would form part of a United Kingdom Parachute Corps, would be difficult to administer and would be largely out of Canadian control during operations. For these reasons Col Murchie did not recommend the formation of a Parachute Battalion, but considered, rather, the the Canadian war effort should be directed towards the maintenance of such commitments as had already been accepted. ‘If any additional commitments are accepted these should be limited to the formation of units to which Canadians are particularly adapted by reason of nature of this country’. (H.Q.S. 8846: Memorandum by D.M.O & I. for D/C.G.S.,August 16 1940).

Canadian-Soldiers

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1st Canadian Parachute Battalion – United Kingdom to France

67Report N°138
Historical Officier
Canadian Military Headquarters

1st Canadian Parachute Battalion
Organization and Training
July 1942 – June 1944

Canada’s first specially trained parachute unit was the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion; it did not have the status of a regiment though is considered a direct predecessor to The Canadian Airborne Regiment. The Battalion was formed during the Second World War and disbanded shortly after; it served concurrently with the 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion, the administrative name for the Canadian component of the First Special Service Force. Unlike its counterpart in the US Army, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was entirely Canadian, and though it had a Canadian commanding officer, was assigned to the 6th British Airborne Division throughout combat employment and thus was not under higher Canadian command.

(1) Background to the Formation of the Unit (November 1940 – July 1942)
(2) Formation and Early Training (July 1942 – July 1943)
(3) Incorporation in the British 6th Airborne Division
(4) Arrival in the United Kingdom (July 28 1943)
(5) Legal Relationship to British Formation
(6) Administrative Arrangements
(7) Training in the United Kingdom (August 1943 – February 1944)
(8) 1st Canadian Parachute Training Company
(9) Mobilization and Preparations for D Day (March 1944 – June 1944)

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EUCMH Travel Advices : Eindhoven in the Netherlands

Cheering Dutch civilians swarm onto a universal carrier and trailer as Eindhoven is liberated, 19 September 1944.

Cheering Dutch civilians swarm onto a universal carrier and trailer as Eindhoven is liberated, 19 September 1944.

Downtown Eindhoven in the Netherlands Eindhoven The Netherlands Eindhoven, a major and modern city in The Netherlands, is in fact the oldest city of The Netherlands. It began life as a small village and now is a major city of over 213,000 people. It…

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US 5th Army, Combat Propaganda Team

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Headquarters US 5th Army
Psychological Warfare Branch
APO 164 – US ARMY

April 5 1944
Subject : Combat Propaganda

(1) Combat Propaganda is a comparatively new weapon of war and, as such, it has had little precedent to follow. Moreover, propaganda is an intangible weapon. It cannot be weighed or measured; nor can its results be evaluated with any considerable degree of precision.
(2) But that it can be effective has now been established by actual field experience. The excerpts are taken from field reports in the Italian Campaign and are part of that experience. They display nothing spectacular and do not provide a basis for pretentious claims; hence they should create no false illusions.
(3) But they do show that properly used, propaganda does weaken the enemy’s morale; does make him give up more easily; does cause him to fire fewer bullets at our troops; and on occasions, does persuade him to cross the lines and quit the fight altogether. This report, in brief, seems to indicate that propaganda helps to shorten the war and to save Allied lives.
(4) That is why the Fifth Army will continue to use it.

MARK W. CLARK, Lieutenant General, U. S. A.

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Jubilee / Interview (AAR) – D-62050 Sgt P. Dubuc, Nov 1942

Canada_war-ad_WWIIMemorandum of Interview
D-62050, Sergeant P. Dubuc, M.M., PUS.M.R.
Canadian Military Headquarters
November 3 1942
Operation Jubilee
Landing at Dieppe, France
August 19 1942

1. Sgt Dubuc was attached to the Battalion Headquarters of Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal on the day of the action at Dieppe, France, and was evidently a member of the Protective Platoon, through he never actually received the detailed information concerning his job which he had been he would get from Maj Painchaud.

2. Sgt Dubuc landed from an LCP(L) near the West end of the Casino at, he thinks, about 0700. There was very heavy fire as the boats came in, but Sgt Dubuc did not actually see any craft carrying his unit sunk. One LCT was burning ashore.

3. On landing, Sgt Dubuc ran forward about 150 meters with a Bren gun and took cover in a depression in the beach. He stayed here ‘a long hour’. In front were pillboxes, and there was heavy fire ‘from everywhere’. During the time that Sgt Dubuc was on the beach, Pte N. Daudelin maintained a smoke screen by means of generators. After a time Sgt Dubuc and Pte Daudelin crawled up to the pillboxes shown on the Intelligence map on the esplanade wall west of the Casino at (222686) and (223687), and threw hand grenades into both of them.

Paint-Dieppe-Jubilee

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Lesson #1 – American Flags ! # Battle Flags !

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I am reposting this from the site of Col Allen West because at least half of the American citizens doesn’t know about their flags, meanwhile 100% of those which are in the USA but aren’t a part of the USA are being used – often against their wills – to spread the hate all over the country. The confusion caused by the similarity in the flags of the Union and the Confederacy was of great concern to Confederate Gen P.G.T. Beauregard after the first Battle of Manassas. He suggested that the Confederate national flag be changed to something completely different, in order to avoid confusion in battles in the future. However, this idea was rejected by the Confederate Government. Beauregard then suggested that there should be two flags. One, the National flag, and the second one being a battle flag, with the battle flag being completely different from the United States flag.

Important Facts You Did Not Know About This Flag

This flag below is, wasn’t and never will be the National Flag of the Confederacy but a battle flag. Three different national flags were created, tried and used, before the final design was settled on. In fact, the first model of the National Flag (Confederate) design looked too much like the Union Flag (US Army) and caused confusion in commanding armies in maneuvers.

Confederate Flag

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Operation Jubilee, Dieppe, 1942 (PA)

Lest-we-ForgetReport on the Operation Jubilee
August 19 1942
Capt G. A. Brown RCA
Personal Account

Landing at Blue Beach
As far as I know, Royal Regiment C. suffered no casualties while approaching the beach, although we were fired on, for about 10 minutes before touchdown, by light weapons whose calibers I was not able to ascertain from my seat in the stern of the LCA (Landing Craft Assault). Royals touched down at 0535, as I remember my first message to HMS Garth ‘Doug Touched Down 0535′. We were met by intense, accurate LMG fire (MG-34 & MG-42), sustaining heavy casualties. A and B Cos, who were landed immediately in the front of Blue Beach sea-wall, met intense and unexpectedly heavy MG fire from a number of posts on the wall, sustaining very heavy casualties as they left the LCAs. The survivors, who attained the comparative cover of the wall itself, were pinned to its face by enfilade fire from well concealed positions on the flanks. Some of the wall MG posts were put out of action however, at further heavy cost, and, in this regard, it may be permitted to mention the conduct of Lt Wedd of the Royal Regt C. Leaving the LCA at touchdown whit his platoon, he reached the sea-wall with little more than a section, and there found he was still being fired upon by one of the wall post, a pillbox. There being apparently no other way of attacking the weapon, he left his left corner oh relative shelter and sprinted the short distance directly toward the pillbox with a M-36 grenade. With complete disregard for his own safety, and displaying great skill, he flunk the grenade through the fire slit of the pillbox, killing all its occupants and putting the gun out of action. His body, riddled with bullets, was later picked up in the front of the pillbox. I could not myself witness this act from my position farther West on the beach, but it was verified later at Verneuil bu officers of the Regiment who had seen it and spoke of it.

Dieppe, France, Operation Jubilee, August 19 1942. Canadian casualties on Blue Beach.

Dieppe, France, Operation Jubilee, August 19 1942. Canadian casualties on Blue Beach.

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Canada : 1942, Operation Jubilee (Report)

Lest-we-Forget
Report N° 83
(Premilinary)
Historical Officer
Canadian Military Headquarters

September 12 1942
Preliminary Report on Operation Jubilee
(The Raid on Dieppe, France)
August 19 1942

1 – This Report presents an outline sketch of the important combined operation in the Dieppe Area, carried out on August 19 1942 by a force which included large elements of the 2nd Canadian Division and other Canadian troops. It will be a considerable time before a complete historical Report on this operation, which was by far the most extensive yet undertaken by the Canadian Army Overseas, can be prepared. In the mean time the document attached as Appendix ‘A’, a draft prepared originally with a view to publication by the Government of Canada, is presented as a preliminary account.

flags

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Holocaust : 10 Righteous Among the Nations

buchenwaldDuring World War Two, many individuals from many countries risked their lives to save various minorities, especially Jews, from the horrors of the Holocaust. This list commemorates 10 of them. All these individuals were made ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ by the Israeli government in honor of what they had done.
Definition : Righteous Among the Nations (Hebrew : חסידי אומות העולם‎, khassidey umot ha-olam “righteous (plural) of the world’s nations”) is an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis. The term originates with the concept of “righteous gentiles”, a term used in rabbinical Judaism to refer to non-Jews, as ger toshav and ger tzedek, who abide by the Seven Laws of Noah.

Bestowing
When Yad Vashem, the Shoah Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, was established in 1953 by the Knesset, one of its tasks was to commemorate the < < Righteous among the Nations >>. The Righteous were defined as non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust (the term “Holocaust” may have come via Jewish-American journalist reporting on the Eichmann trial). Since 1963, a commission headed by a justice of the Supreme Court of Israel is charged with the duty of awarding the honorary title “Righteous among the Nations”. The commission is guided in its work by certain criteria and meticulously studies all documentation, including evidence by survivors and other eyewitnesses, evaluates the historical circumstances and the element of risk to the rescuer, and then decides if the case meets the criteria. Those criteria are :

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(Vet Infos) Visiting Luzon Island Philippines

Troops in action in the field during battle for the Philippines. Location: Luzon, Philippines Date taken: 1945. Photographer: Carl Mydans

Troops in action in the field during battle for the Philippines. Location: Luzon, Philippines Date taken: 1945. Photographer: Carl Mydans

Lake Taal and within the lake is the active Taal Volcano on Luzon island in the Philippines Luzon Island Philippines Luzon Island is the largest island and the  social and economic center of the Philippines. It is also a well know tourist island …

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Dog Tags (Identification Tags) World War Two

Dog-Tags-Photo-001

Key Dates : December 20 1906, official introduction of a single Dog Tag for soldier. On July 6 1916 followed the official introduction of a second Dog Tag, i.e a full pair is now available. During World War One, on February 12 1918, the Army having to much trouble for the identification of soldiers using their names (Smith Henry, Smith John, Smith Albert, Smith Alvin etc) decided to adopt the Army Serial Number as well as the Prefix for the ASN#. The first man to get it was M/Sgt Arthur Crean, a member of the Regular Army. He received his set of Dog Tag #R-1. (R for Regular Army and 1, being the first in the list).
(Source : www.hardscrabblefarm.com)
Throughout World War Two, the US Army utilized the M-1940 dog tag. This is the one with a notch on one side. Rumors have always speculated that the notch was used so the tag would remain in the dead soldiers teeth, but that was not the intended purpose, although it was probably used for that. Another common rumor is the notch was used to properly align the tag so it could be embossed. If you have ever seen or used a World War Two style embosser, you will find the notch offers no practical way of improving alignment. The best explanation I have seen comes from the armydogtags’ website. Their explanation is as follows : The Model 70 Addressograph was a pistol-type imprinting machine used by the Medical Department during WW-2. Its function was to transfer the wounded soldier’s identification information directly from his dog tags to his medical records. The notch in the dog tag would align and hold the tag securely in the Addressograph. First the dog tag was inserted into the imprinting machine. After the medical document was aligned in the Addressograph, the trigger on the imprinting machine was pulled and the information on the dog tag was transferred to the medical document through the ribbon of carbon paper located inside the Addressograph.

Fallens-Dog-Tags

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Humorious & Hilarus Photos & Quotes

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Murphy’s Laws of Combat
1. If the enemy is in range, so are you.
2. Incoming fire has the right of way.
3. Don’t look conspicuous, it draws fire.
4. There is always a way.
5. The easy way is always mined.
6. Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.
7. Professionals are predictable, it’s the amateurs that are dangerous.
8. The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions :
– a. When you’re ready for them.
– b. When you’re not ready for them.
9. Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at.
10. If you can’t remember, the claymore is pointed at you. (Vietnam)

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1940 : French Armored Equipment & Vehicles

Big_four

The Council of Four in Versailles, 1919 : David Lloyd George of Britain, Vittorio Emanuele Orlando of Italy, Georges Clemenceau of France and Woodrow Wilson of the United States of America

The looming threat of Nazi Germany was confronted at the Munich Conference of 1938. France abandoned its military ally Czechoslovakia, and with Great Britain, appeased the Germans by giving in to their demands. Intensive rearmament programs began in 1936 and were redoubled in 1938, but they would only bear fruit in 1939 and 1940.
Historians have debated two themes regarding the unexpected, sudden collapse of France in 1940. The first emphasizes the long run, highlighting failures, internal dissension, and a sense of malaise. The second theme blames the poor military planning by the French High Command. According to the British historian Julian Jackson, the Dyle Plan conceived by French General Maurice Gamelin was destined for failure since it drastically miscalculated the ensuing attack by German Army Group B into central Belgium. The Dyle Plan embodied the primary war plan of the French Army to stave off German Army Groups A, B, and C with their much revered Panzer divisions in Belgium. However, because of the over-stretched positions of the French 1st, 7th, and 9th armies in Belgium at the time of the invasion, the Germans simply outflanked the French by coming through the Ardennes. As a result of this poor military strategy, France was forced to come to terms with Nazi Germany in an armistice signed on 22 June 1940 in the same railway carriage where the Germans had signed the armistice ending the First World War on 11 November 1918. The Third Republic officially ended on 10 July 1940 when the parliament gave full powers to Philippe Pétain, who proclaimed in the following days the État Français (the “French State”), which replaced the Republic.

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Photos of the Month – June 2015

1. SS Panzer Division (LSSAH) Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler)