The D-Day story

The Normandy landings on June 6, 1944 were undoubtedly the most complex military operation ever orchestrated.

On 6 June 1944, also known as D-Day, the Allied forces launched Operation Overlord, the code name for the Battle of Normandy.

More than 6 000 warships, transport vessels and landing craft carried the liberating land forces across the Channel, while thousands of aircraft supported this armada.

On June 6, 1944, 14 000 of the 135 000 Allies who landed or parachuted into Normandy were Canadians.

The Landing

After the United States and Great Britain, Canada contributed the largest number of troops to the D-Day assault.

brigade d infanterie canadienne bernieres gilbert alexander milne canada. ministere defense bibliotheque et archives canada pa122765 3

Credit : Canada Archives

The beach sector codenamed Juno was stormed by the 3rd Infantry Division and the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade,

These divisions contributed to the liberation of the coastal villages of Graye-sur-Mer, Courseulles-sur-Mer, Bernières-sur-Mer and Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer.

The Canadian soldiers’ mission was to destroy the German coastal defenses, then advance inland towards Carpiquet airport.

They also had to link up with troops landing in the British Gold and Sword sectors.

Courseulles was liberated by the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade, consisting of the Regina Rifles, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, and the Canadian Scottish regiments, supported by the First Hussars Tanks, the 12th and 13th Field Regiments and the Royal Canadian Engineers.

By the evening of D-Day, the Canadians were firmly established some 12 kilometres inland.

The 10-week campaign in Normandy resulted in over 18 000 Canadian casualties; of these, approximately 5500 were killed.

Most are buried in the two Canadian cemeteries at Bény-sur-Mer-Reviers and Cintheaux-Bretteville-sur-Laize.

45,000 Canadians would lose their lives, including 5,500 during the Battle of Normandy and 381 on D-Day.

Things to see in the Canadian Juno Sector

The Juno Beach Centre

Discover Canada’s only museum of the D-Day landing beaches.

The Juno Beach Centre is not just the only Canadian Second World War museum in Europe but it is also a place for education that has been left as a legacy by the veterans who participated in its creation.

The Ministry of Canadian Heritage has designated this site to be of national historic significance to Canada.

It is also a place where many Canadians pay tribute and reflect on their own history.

centre juno beach et le parc junocjb nik

Juno Park

Juno Park, which surrounds the museum, contains remnants of the defensive stronghold built during the German occupation, known as the Atlantic Wall.

Canadian guides from the Juno Beach Centre give 45-minute guided tours of this historic site during peak season.

This area is dedicated to the conservation of the natural environment and resources with an entertaining tour dealing with tree major themes : the D-Day landing on Juno Beach, the seaside resort and the plants and wildlife.

It is an exceptional site due to its location, the wealth of natural resources and its historic character,


Canada House

It was the first house to be liberated by the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944.

This is the first house in France to be liberated on 6th June 1944 during the Normandy Landings.

This early 20th century Anglo-Norman house was taken over by the army regiment

The Queen’s Own Riffles of Canada.

It stands facing Juno beach and can be seen on numerous photos taken on D-Day and in many commemorative films.

Guided tour on reservation.

canadian house credit brigitte haize christelle hudson

Canadian War Cemetery, Bény-sur-Mer/ Reviers

A landscaped cemetery to honour the memory of fallen soldiers.

It is in this Bény-sur-Mer Reviers Canadian War Cemetery that the 335 soldiers of the 3rd Canadian Division who landed on 6 June 1944 in the Juno Beach area and were engaged in the fighting are buried.

Most of these buried soldiers were killed in June and early July 1944 during the Battle of Caen and on D-Day in the terrible fighting on the beach.

The Canadian prisoners of war executed by the SS-Panzer Hitlerjugend at the Abbey of Ardenne are also buried in this cemetery.

Also buried in the 2 049 graves are 1 694 Canadian soldiers and 15 airmen who fell in the fighting on the advance into the interior, as well as one airman, three British soldiers and one French soldier.

cimetiere militaire canadien reviers beny credit clarisse patrix

This Canadian landing site still has many visible traces of the past.

A tourist map has been published which features all of these historic vestiges and memorial sites in Cœur de Nacre :

Remembrance sites and museums to visit in Normandy

This map shows a list of museums, cemeteries and sites related to D-Day and the Battle of Normandy :

To be seen in the section :

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