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Old 24-05-04, 03:59
Vets Dottir
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Default "D-DAY Vets Remember" Article from today

60 years on, Canada's D-Day veterans
remember taste of revenge

2 hours, 27 minutes ago


MONTREAL (AFP) - As D-Day dawned over his crammed landing craft,
Romeo Boulanger looked out in awe at wave upon wave of boats and
warplanes lining up to be flung at Nazi-occupied France.

Sixty years on, Boulanger, a retired major in
Canada's storied Chaudiere Regiment, is
among many Canadian veterans,
remembering the death, confusion, and
heroism of the day when they punctured a
deep hole in German defenses.

For many Canadian soldiers, D-Day was a
shot at revenge, for a blood soaked-day in 1942, when British and
Canadian troops launched an ill-fated bid to seize the French coastal
port of Dieppe.

In that debacle, conceived as a morale boost for weary allied populations
after a string of stinging Nazi defeats, 900 Canadians died, 2,000 were
wounded and 1,900 were taken prisoner.

But when Boulanger, saw the formidable array of military hardware
massing for the invasion on June 6, 1944, he knew D-Day would be
different.

"When we took up position off Bernieres-sur-Mer, I knew right then that
we couldn't fail," Boulanger, who on D-Day commanded a unit of flame
throwers, which were used to torch the enemy out its trenches, told
AFP.

"It wasn't like Dieppe, where I lost some of my friends. When day broke,
there were so many boats around us you could hardly see the sea, and
the sky was covered in planes," Boulanger, now 86 told AFP.

The regiment's 800 men, attached to the Third Canadian division, were in
the the first wave of landings on Juno beach, behind the Queen's Own
Rifles, from Toronto, which were to establish a beachhead with their
tanks.

The Queen's Own, however, had a hard time of it, coming up against
German defenses barely touched in artillery barrages laid down across
Normandy prior to the invasion.

At around 8:30 am, the Chaudiere Regiment slipped off their landing craft
into the water, to begin their assault on Juno beach.

"Despite taking some casualties, we were able to link up with the
Queen's Own Rifles at Bernieres-sur-Mer", Boulanger remembered.

Another veteran from the same regiment, retired Lieutenant William Foy,
83, marvelled that many of his charges emerged from the landing
unscathed.

"We were lucky, we hit a mine, but I didn't lose a single man in the
explosion," he said.

"I just lost one man, a bit later, who drowned -- one man out of 34," he
said.

Another member of the regiment, nicknamed the "Chauds" Cyril Bariau,
81, said his band of brothers had a narrow escape.

"The Germans fired a mortar at us but the rounds were falling off to the
side. But when we had all got out, a round hit our barge, which was flung
into the air and the two sailors on board were killed."

Foy remembers marvelling at the vast array of men, weaponry and kit,
piled up and clogging the Canadian beachhead.

"It was discouraging, we couldn't move, we were piled on top of one
another because the reinforcements were moving in quicker than we
could advance."

But later, on the streets of Bernieres, the French Canadians of the
"Chauds" got a special welcome, greeted with open arms by their
French cousins liberated from Nazi occupation.

As the day went on, the regiment swallowed up the ground, so much so
that by the time they stood down for the day, at 2:00 am on June 7, near
the town of Colomby-sur-Thaon, the "Chauds" had annihilated the first
German line.

For the loss of 105 men, they had advanced a good 10 kilometres (six
miles) -- "the most of any allied unit" according to a Canadian military
veterans website.

Of all the Canadian forces thrown into battle on D-Day, 340 Canadians
were killed, 574 were wounded and 47 were captured at Juno Beach.

For the Chaudiere Regiment, D-Day was only the the beginning.

Over the next 55 days, until the end of July, the regiment was in the
thick os the most bloody fighting of the Battle of Normandy, before
advancing on to Belgium, the Netherlands and finally to Germany.
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  #2  
Old 04-06-04, 01:16
Vets Dottir
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Default D-Day Proclamation

Found this in another site;

: THE D-DAY PROCLAMATION
On D-Day, the 6th of June 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower issued
the following proclamation to the assembled Overlord armada as it departed
for the invasion of the beaches of Normandy, France. France was at the time
occupied by Nazi forces and the collaborationist French Vichy government.
"Soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Forces! You
are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have striven
these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you, the hopes and
prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with
our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts you will bring about
the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny
over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free
world.
"Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well
equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely. But this is the year
1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United
Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man
to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air
and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us
an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at
our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned!
The free men of the world are marching together to victory!
"I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, skill in
battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!
"Good luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon
this great and noble undertaking."
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