Canadian Army Newsreel No.103
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Canadian Army Newsreel No.103


[Canadian Army Newsreel
Musical intro.] Narrator: The … of
Victory Year is founded as the North Nova Scotia
Highlanders of Canada plant their regimental standard
on German soil – the first foothold in the Reich. The turn of the year in
Northern Italy sees the 1st Canadian Corps battling
the enemy and the weather. Crossing the Lamone River
crossing, they make a determined drive up to
the Senio. In the snow cloaked Apennines,
mule trains supply forward positions as the slow
advance to Ferrara continues. On the western front too,
old man winter bogs down operations with a deep
blanket of snow. Having driven several
bridgeheads over Maas River, the weather enforces
a static period. Regrouping is accomplished
for further advance. The lines of communication
are held intact by RCP to keep the river
constantly open. The enemy’s threat to
the great bridge is removed by continual
vigilance and by devices well known to men
through Canada’s north land. Combat troops spend time
in sea foot patrols. Attacks are made which
solidify the front and straighten the line
opposite the enemy. Camouflaged canoe commands
paddle the assault on … Pockets of resistance west
of the Maas are one by one eliminated. Anti-aircraft forces concentrate
on the minutes of flying bombs directed by the enemy against
the vital supplies of Antwerp. Science combined with
gunnery skills in defeating the attack. Determined Nazi attempts
to close the … fails. The great volume of flags
necessary to launching of Spring … continues
to pour in. Rations, petrol, ammunition
in abundance rolls along the supply routes in
preparation for the last great offensive. The jumping off point for
the Rhine drive becomes the mighty …
Nijmegen is loaded to capacity with the
wherewithal for war. Well-covered by a magic
carpet of smoke, the great Spring Offensive
gets underway early in February. A typical artillery barrage
designed for far away … roughens up the opposition
with a mighty hail of lead. The steamroller of
the 1st Canadian Army gains momentum as it
fights its way mile by mile, steadily toward the Reich. Going down in history
as Crerar’s Inland Navy, the attacking force in
Holland live their days abroad amphibious vehicles. A retiring enemy has blown
most of the dykes and flooded the countryside. Engineers blow up construction in an attempt to
drain of the waters. Through a drowned land, which
will take years to reclaim, the Canadians and buffaloes
and ducks sail forward to battle On German soil,
Field Marshal Montgomery holds his first investiture. Described by Gen. Crerar
as probably the toughest action for Canadian troops,
the cleanup of the Hochwald Forest gets underway. Breaking out from Nijmegen,
the 1st Canadian Army drives south toward the Rhine
taking in stride … it straightens out
the hard way, what was upheld
in our line. In the fighting in this area,
two Canadians were awarded the Victoria Cross,
Major Fred Tilston lived to receive it. Sergeant Cosens’ award
was posthumous. In Italy, March sees
one of the greatest surprise moves of the war. The 1st Canadian Corps
leaves Northern Italy and embarks for France. Here, they travel
overland to link up with their comrades of
the 1st Canadian Army. British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill visits forward Canadian positions
as the momentum of attack across the Rhine
commences. The … procedure, Montgomery throws in
his ground forces without an airborne spearhead. The enemy rushes its
deeply held reserves to meet the threat. Then hours after,
the airborne troops sweep in from the sky. The result is a supreme
tactical advantage which is rushed home
by the Wiring Command. Caught between two buyers,
the enemy meets defeat. Soon the ground and airborne
forces early establish themselves on the
Rhine’s east bank. In the action of medical orderly of the 1st Canadian
Parachute Battalion, Corporal Topham wins the V.C. The Engineers keep the
supply lines across the Rhine open by
constructing giant Bailey bridges, while under
constant fire from the enemy. With their supply bases
consolidated, the 1st Canadian Army
strikes out on a two-pronged offensive. The 1st Canadian Corps
hits with a left hook designed to clear
Northern Holland. Knocking aside enemy resistence, they move into a scene
which was called the heroic British airborne
attack of 1944 Arnhem. From Arnhem, the thrush
through Holland clears Deventer, Zutphen
and Apeldoorn. These wild rejoice and
join our forces as they liberate town after town
until finally use of … Many grim tasks were
taken over by the second prong of the attack. No. 2 Canadian Corps
liberates Stalag VI/C. Scenes of … will be
forever engraved on a world shocked
by their finding. In the norm, 21st Army Group links up with
the forces of Russia. The last day of German
power has gone. On the 5th of May,
under the pressure of our arms, the … collapses. The unconditional surrender
is accepted of all Nazi troops in northwest Europe. Germany’s power is
forever kaput. Churchill: Today is
Victory in Europe Day. Long live the cause
of freedom! God save the King.
– cheers from crowd. Narrator: VE day comes. In London, capital of empire, Canadian service people join
their British buddies in celebration of the great day. London lives in the
front lines. London rejoices
in the defeat of a foe who came too close to home. Hollanders too have
real cause for celebration; they have felt the
Iron Heel on their necks for many years. Belgium goes wild with delight
as the news of the grim struggle is over. Across the sea in Canada, victory is celebrated
from coast to coast. The first Canadian post-war
act is to rush supplies into northern Holland. Under German occupation,
much of the populace had reached the
starvation level. At the same time,
a wilted … is deported as quickly
as possible. First day of disarm. Never again will they play
the role of conquering hero. Members of the Canadian
Provost Corps make them discord the loot they
have collected through the years in the Netherlands. The master race have
met their masters. To police them,
the 3rd Division becomes the Canadian Army
Occupational Corps. Seyss-Inqart, the hated
Nazi govenor of Holland, is captured. General Blaskowitz is
arrested as is the first war criminal to be
tried by a Canadian Corps, Brigade General Kurt Meyer. Charged with being responsible
for the shooting of Canadian prisoners of war
under his charge, Meyer is later in the year
convicted and sentenced to be shot. In June, the dominion
federal election is held. Mobile polling booths give
every Canadian service person a chance to cast a vote. The Liberal Party
is returned to power. Canadian troops in London celebrate a peace time
Dominion Day. The Royal Family attends
a special service in Westminster Abbey in
honour of the occasion. Berlin, Germany sees
the glorious end of a great crusade as troops
of the United Nations hold a grand victory parade. Prime Minister Churchill
takes the salute from a representative group
of Canadian veterans. Volunteers for service
in the Far East concentrate in Nijmegen. They return to Canada
to be incorporated in 6th Canadian Division
for service against Japan. In Holland, after a
hard fought campaign, the emphasis is on
recreation. Battle weary troops
bask in the summer sunshine of many a smart club. As some await repat
and others are on leave from the C.A.O.F. In the Far East,
the atom bomb is used with devastating effects
against the mainland of an already defeated Japan. As VE Day is announced,
the same scenes of reverly which characterized D-Day, are once again enacted
in the city of London. In the far away
Pacific theatre, the Japanese warlords
surrender unconditionally while in Canada,
the 6th Division designed for service in
the East, are disbanded. After writing a glorious
page in the annals of Canadian military history, General Crerar returns
to Canada where he is welcomed and
feted by a grateful nation. Into Vancouver harbour
come other homecoming warriors. They are Canadian prisoners
of war taken in Hong Kong. They too are mighty glad
to see Canadian shores. In the United Kingdom,
Field Marshal Montgomery opens Khaki University
of Canada, designed for the education
of service men while in Britain. In Aldershot,
the freedom of the city is presented to Canadian
troops by the mayor as a gesture of goodwill
from the people of Britain. Field Marshal Sir Harold
Alexander, under whose command
Canadian troops modelled the Italian Campaign, is selected as the new
Govenor General of Canada. For many members
of the Canadian Army, victory year means
the end of soldiering and a return to Civvy streets. Many more will stay until
the job is finished or until transport
is available to carry them across the Atlantic. The repatriation schedule
is operating in high gear. Loading by day and by night,
by aircraft carrier, crew ship, destroyer, or stately liner, Canadian service people are
returning to their own shores. As they leave the
momentous here in 1945 behind them,
all know the trials they brought with their
confidence will leave a place for Canada in
the world of tomorrow.

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