During our visit to Northern France for the 70th D-Day Anniversary, Maggie and I visited the Juno Beach Centre.
One of the highlights from my trip to Normandy last year – apart from all the Camembert and bread I was scoffing down each morning, noon and night – was my visit to this Canadian Second World War museum. The Centre pays homage to the 45,000 Canadians who lost their lives during the War, of which 5,500 were killed during the Battle of Normandy and 359 on D-Day.
Canadian students are employed at the museum and are all of a similar age to the average soldier who would’ve landed on Juno Beach during D-Day. Juno Beach was assigned to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division of General Keller who was supported by 48 Commando Royal Marines.
Last year, I was informed on our tour that the fighting in Normandy lasted considerably longer than expected after D-Day. German soldiers resisted and were pushed to the limit until their final collapse at the end of the Battle of Normandy. Paris was liberated on the 25th of August by General Leclerc’s 2nd Armored Division and the American 4th Division.
The Battle of Normandy had been long and fierce and took the lives of some 37,000 allied soldiers and 55,000 Germans. In addition to this, the landscape had been devastated and there had been around 20,000 civilian casualties.
You can read more about Juno Beach here.
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