Canadians Make their Mark in the Second World War
16 May 2018
The brilliant John C. Maxwell once said “The truth is that teamwork is at the heart of
great achievement.”1 This is exhibited considerably in today’s society as well as in the past. An
evident application is in all types of wars. Nations make alliances and help one another in order
to be successful. An example of this phenomenon that should not be forgotten is Canada’s
contribution in the Second World War. Many argue that without the great courage of over one
million Canadians, victory on the side of the Allies may not have been possible. It is evident that
their contribution to the Allied war effort was significant by the fact that they aided in the war on
land, at sea and in the air, and on the home front.
To begin, Canadians contributed to the Allied war effort greatly in the war on land. An
example of their support is the Normandy Campaign in the spring of 1944. When the Allies
decided to mount a major campaign, it required a great deal of effort, planning and supplies. It
demanded perfect discipline, timing and coordination. Despite the many obstacles the troops
faced such as choking dust and intense heat, the “Falaise Gap” closed. Furthermore, another
event in which the contribution of Canadians is significant is the Italian Campaign from 1943-45.
After Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader, reached out to the Allies for help, 93,000 Canadians
joined.2 They faced weather difficulties, resulting in 23,000 casualties.3 They faced vicious street
fighting and “mouse holding” in the Battle of Ortona and the breakage of the “Gothic Line”, but
the Germans finally surrendered in the spring. These Canadians accomplished so much and their
bravery should not be overlooked. As well, Thomas Prince was one of Canada’s most decorated
veterans in the Second World War. He was a courageous war hero and an Aboriginal advocate.
Despite the rejection from the military, racism and financial issues, Tommy managed to be a
sergeant for the Canadian Parachute Battalion and part of the “Devil’s Brigade”, the first Special
Service Force. While defending the front line in Anzio, Italy, he ran a communication line and
set up an observation post for three days, while disguised as a farmer. His reports on German
movements resulted in the destruction of four enemy camps . In France a few years later, he
stayed without food or water for 72 hours, resulting in the captivity of 1000 German soldiers.4
Tommy had a sense of civic duty and fierce pride to his people, and played a major role in the
war effort. Conspicuously, these soldiers accomplished remarkably much on land, and in many
other ways too.
Additionally, contribution was greatly made to the Allied war effort in the air and at sea.
For example, the Battle of Britain was a prominent battle for Canadians. Due to the fact that the
British troops left most of their equipment back in Dunkirk, the...