Juno Beach Near the Canadian Juno Beach Centre

The Canadians and Juno beach on D-day

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The Americans had Utah and Omaha beaches in the west, then came the British at Gold, then the Canadians at Juno Beach and finally the British at Sword on the east.

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The Americans had Utah and Omaha beaches in the west, then came the British at Gold, then the Canadians at Juno Beach and finally the British at Sword on the east.

D-Day: Canadians and Juno Beach


The US suffered the worst landing of all of the Overlord beaches at Omaha Beach, as depicted in these scenes. Less well know, is the fact that the Canadians at Juno Beach faced similarly brutal resistance . As author Mark Zuehlke has noted, it is “indisputable that the battle for Juno beach was won at a loss in men killed or wounded that was only exceeded by that of the Americans at Omaha.” (Zuehlke, Mark, Juno Beach: Canada’s D-Day Victory, Douglas and McIntyre, 2004, pg. 335) If Canada had the same well-funded and successful entertainment industry as our neighbours south of the border, I might have been able to post a video from a popular Canadian film about our D-Day contribution. Unfortunately there is no such film.

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The 9th Brigade consisting of the Highland Light Infantry, Stormont Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, and North Nova Scotia Highlanders regiments landed later in the morning and advanced through the lead brigades. The Sherbrooke Fusiliers tanks (27th Armoured Regiment) provided tank support.

Although a total of 14,000 Canadians stormed Juno Beach on D-Day, there were not more than three thousand young Canadians in the first wave - all ranks. The initial assault was the responsibility of four regiments with two additional companies supporting the flanks:
- North Shore Regiment on the left at St. Aubin (Nan Red beach)
- Queen's Own Rifles in the centre at Bernières (Nan White beach)
- Regina Rifles at Courseulles (Nan Green beach)
- Royal Winnipeg Rifles on the western edge of Courseulles (Mike Red and Mike Green beaches)
- a company of the Canadian Scottish secured the right flank
- a company of British, Royal Marine Commandos secured the left flank