A Brave and Modest Nation
Mon, 29 Apr 2002 18:35:10 -0300
> Normandy was a highly political as well as military exercise. Everyone
> including the nations-in-exile, the Dutch, the Poles, the French, the
> Canadians, etc. got a part.
The Dutch, the Poles, etc. The invasion plan was for five divisions landing
on five beaches with
various auxilary forces. One of those divisions was Canadian, and an armored
brigade supported the
landing. I'm still trying to find out what exact Polish, French and Dutch
forces landed in
Normandy (its a difficult search).
> The Allies ran *5* major naval invasions in the Mediterranean alone in
> WW II, and the Americans ran many more in the Pacific. We were going to
> invade Japan ourselves. Remember the 1/2 million casualty estimates for
> that invasion force? Let's have a bit of proportion to all this invasion
> participation stats talk.
Your preeminance is great. The word "alone" is a bit shaky though. Five
North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Anzio and Southern France, I guess? Geeze, even
dinky little Canada was
involved in 2 of them (Sicily and Italy, and the "1st American-Canadian
Special Services Force" was at
Anzio - not to mention 2 divisions in what became its relief force).
The Japan example is great though - using trumped up fears of casualties in
order to justify brutal action against
civilians. Seems like its still going on.
We also had a division sized raid of the French coast at Dieppe in 1942
(admittedly unsuccessful, but,
hey, we were cannon fodder back then too). This one actually predated all of
the invasions in question, and
(in Canadian mythmaking, anyway) is described as a "test run" for all the
other invasions that were to follow.
> I think the US thanks the Canadians all the time. What does the RCAF fly
> for air defense today? I bet they weren't bought at the then-current
> exchange rate.
Of course you wouldn't remember when McDonnell Douglas lobbyists were
crawling all over Canada, nor that
the bid we accepted was $600,000,000 (at the time our dollar was close
enough to parity that I didn't include the
nationality of the $) higher than the next highest bid.. A similar lobbying
effort appeared when the maintenance contract
came up to be renewed and, lo and behold, the highest bid (US consortium,
backed with sufficient arm-twisting from the US, and
appropriate retirement sinecures for the politicians involved) won over an
Then there's the Avro Arrow (background sound of 50 year old Canadians
tearing their hair and gnashing their teeth).