D-Day, as this day would become known, was the largest amphibious invasion of all time, led to the liberation of France, and marked the beginning of the end of the Second World War. This Heritage Minute tells the story of 47-year-old Major Archie MacNaughton, a First World War veteran and leader of the North Shore New Brunswick Regiment’s A Company. Our story is a tribute to the Canadian soldiers who fought on D-Day – ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge, during the First World War, is Canada's most celebrated military victory — an often mythologized symbol of the birth of Canadian national pride and awareness. The four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time, attacked the ridge from 9 to 12 April, 1917 and captured it from the German army. It was the largest territorial advance of any Allied force to that point in the war – but it would mean little to the outcome of the conflict. More than 10,500 Canadians were killed and wounded in the assault. Today an iconic white memorial atop the ridge honours the 11,285 Canadians killed in France throughout the war who have no known graves.