The Battle of Normandy - Backgrounder

Following the success of D-Day, the Allied forces moved to secure and expand their beachhead in Normandy, France before continuing their push towards the French city of Caen, an important communication centre for the Germans.

The initial success of Canadian troops at Juno Beach was soon tempered in a series of costly battles against deadly German Panzer tank forces. Caen fell to the Allies in early July 1944, but the Normandy Campaign continued through the summer of 1944 as our soldiers fought their way through the hot and dusty countryside of Normandy.

The decisive final chapter of the Battle of Normandy came at the Falaise Pocket where the remnants of the retreating German forces in Northern France faced potential encirclement and capture by Allied troops. By August 21, 1944, the Falaise Gap had been completely closed and tens of thousands of German soldiers were taken prisoner – a major step in the eventual Allied victory in Europe. Major David Currie of the 29th Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (The South Alberta Regiment) would be awarded the Victoria Cross for his brave actions in leading his unit in capturing and holding a strategically located village during the fighting in the Falaise Gap.

The Normandy Campaign officially came to a close more than two-and-a-half months after D-Day, with the liberation of Paris on August 25, 1944. More than 5,000 Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice during the Battle of Normandy and now lie at rest in France.

Date modified: