Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Each year, from November 5 to 11, Canadians join together to celebrate Veterans’ Week. During this week, hundreds of commemorative ceremonies and events will take place across the country to
recognize the achievements of our Veterans and honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

More than 93,000 Canadian men and women served in the Italian Campaign during the Second World War. They took part in Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily on July 10, 1943, and helped take the strategically important Mediterranean island. The offensive resulted in Italy overthrowing dictator Benito Mussolini and formally surrendering. Germany, however, refused to see the country fall to the Allies. It moved its soldiers in to fight and the campaign continued. Next up were landings in mainland Italy on September 3, 1943, and the Canadians would join the long, tough advance up the peninsula. The many mountains, deep valleys and rivers gave the determined German defenders a great advantage. Despite it all, the Canadians helped push the enemy back in a series of battles through places like Ortona, the Liri Valley and Rimini.

As it turned out, our soldiers would not be part of the final Allied victory in Italy. They were transferred in February 1945 to join the First Canadian Army fighting in Northwest Europe. More than 26,000 Canadians became casualties during the Italian Campaign, including nearly 6,000 who gave their lives.