John Joseph Paul Barrett
Francis Illuzzi Garcia-Pages
Txikia Tomeo Hernandez-Morales
Jesus Lazarus Miguelez
Operation Overlord: Juno Beach
Juno Beach was the code name given to the Canadian forces landing in
Northern France on June 6, 1944 during Operation Overlord. Operation
Overlord was the name given to the largest sea-to-land invasion in history.
"At the outbreak of war in 1939 it was the militia battalions which
were called out and, as in 1914, each individual serviceman was invited
to decide whether or not he would serve overseas. (Keegan 119)"
"A Montreal militia battalion, the Regiment de Maisonneuve, was
the first in Canada to produce a full complement for overseas service
and, by January 1941, over 50,000 French Canadians were serving in the
armed forces. (Keegan 120)"
"They provided nearly a third of the strength of the Royal Canadian
Navy and fifteen of the seventy-five infantry battalions. (Keegan 120)"
"But all Canadians, even if they did not yet foresee how the
invasion might precipitate a second conscription crisis, had special
reason to hold their breath as what must be the invasion summer drew
on. (Keegan 120)"
These men knew they were being thrown to their deaths. The 3rd Canadian
Division had entered Dieppe and would not return. "Dieppe, in retrospect,
looks so recklessly hare-brained an enterprise that it is difficult
to reconstruct the official state of mind which gave it birth and drove
it forward. (Keegan 121)"
Churchill was not enthusiastic but was encouraged that "if it
was ever intended to invade France it was essential to launch a preliminary
offensive on a divisional scale. (Keegan 121)"
"The 2nd Canadian Division was to sally forth in high summer from
ports only seventy miles from the German-occupied coastline and disembark
on the esplanade of a French seaside port. (Keegan 121)"
"The justification for choosing an objective which the Germans
were known to occupy in strength was that the feasibility of capturing
a harbour by direct assault had to be tested. (Keegan 121)"
"The risks were discounted by the argument that Commandos would
disable the flanking batteries which bore on the beaches and harbour
exit and that the close-in defenders would be overcome by tanks landed
from the new Tank Landing Craft directly in the muzzles of their machine
guns. (Keegan 121)"
On the morning of August 19th, 1942, "the Commandos, attacking
up the high cliffs which march almost to the mouth of the little river
Arques on which Dieppe stands, achieved their customary surprise and
silenced the flanking batteries. (Keegan 121)"
"But the battalions of Canadian infantry and the tanks they had
brought with them were stopped almost as soon as they had left their
landing-craft, sometimes before. (Keegan 121)"
"The Royal Regiment of Canada, one of the three permanent battalions
the dominion maintained in peacetime, was detailed to land in the mouth
of a narrow gully which led into the cliffs at Puys, east of the harbour.
"They had watched the approach of the landing-craft and, as soon
as the ramps went down, directed the desperate fire of outnumbered men
at the open mouths of the vessels. (Keegan 122)"
The Canadians "reeled momentarily before the storm and then burst
through the curtain to find shelter under the sea wall. It was capped
with [barbed] wire. (Keegan 122)"
"They blew a gap with their bangalore torpedoes. The first few
scraped through to the cliffs beyond. The rest were barred by fire on
the gap and killed by machine-guns firing 'in enfilade'-that is, at
an angle to the Canadians' line of advance-from under the wall. (Keegan
Since they were constant fire, advancing was minute and required a
lot of time. "By 8:30 a.m. every man on the beach was dead or captive.
They had begun their landing only three hours before. (Keegan 122)"
One unit was able to pass the sea wall. However, "the party which
had crossed the sea wall was, by report of the German 302nd Division,
'annihilated by assault detachment of 23 (Heavy) Aircraft Reporting
Company.' (Keegan 122)"
"Out of 554 Royal Canadians who had disembarked, 94.5 percent
had become casualties; 227 had been killed. Almost all were from the
city of Toronto. (Keegan 122)"
"Operation Headquarters had decided to experiment with the direct
disembarkation of a new tank--the Churchill-from a new type of assault
vessel, the Landing Craft Tank. (Keegan 122)"
Each carried three smaller tanks. "There were ten LCTs, of which
the first three were to beach with the craft carrying the two assaulting
infantry battalions, the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry and the Essex
Scottish. (Keegan 122)"
"In the event they arrived late and only five of their tanks managed
to get off the beach on to the promenade...the following waves got ten
of their tanks on to the promenade. (Keegan 122)"
However, due to large concrete obstacles, "all the tanks were
confined within a zone on which heavy German fire played. (Keegan 123)"
"At first the fire was from guns too light to penetrate the thick
armour of the Churchills...gradually the enemy brought heavier calibres
to bear and, one by one, the Calgary Regiment's tanks fell silent. (Keegan
"When the badly shocked survivors of that terrible morning were
got home and heads counted, only 2,110 of the 4,963 Canadians who had
set sail the day before could be found. (Keegan 123)"
"It became known later that 1,874 were prisoners, but of these
568 were wounded and 72 were to die of their wounds, while 378 of the
returning were also wounded. (Keegan 123)"
By July 1st, sixty-five percent of all Canadians were casualties. All
the tanks that had landed had been lost. "The three Canadian battalions
which had stormed the central beach had been opposed by a single German
company. (Keegan 123)"
Over 7,400 shells of medium caliber had been fired. "[Germany]
clearly could not be overcome merely by increasing of those embarked
for the assault. That would be to repeat the mistakes of the First World
War, when the solution of greater numbers resulted arithmetically in
greater casualties for no territorial gain. (Keegan 124)"
"It would have to be offset by a change in technique. (Keegan
Keegan, John. Six Armies in Normandy. Viking Press: New York, 1982,