Wednesday, April 27, 2022

April 2022: Finishing on a High Note

  The LCM and RA are Evident But Not a Hindrance

The Month of May Will Tell the September Story

Winter tried to have the last laugh in April. I think it succeeded!


The walking habit has been strong in the month of April; 140-plus miles so far - with another full week (on track for 40-plus more miles) to add to that in just a few days. The running habit could not catch hold in early April because an LCM (lower calf muscle) was still revealing it needed more rest. 

On April 3rd and 5th I tried walk/runs but arrived home with a bad feeling, recorded in my notes. "Watch out!! LCM may be trouble in the future," I said. And I was right. Two days later I cut my running in half and still said, "Oh oh! LCM! Google 'calf injuries.' NOT GOOD." And the red star means something serious as well... I'd better be careful.

And I was careful for another two weeks, walked a bit slower, dusted off my exercise bike on one occasion, cut a couple of long walks into 2 shorter distances. On April 22 I completed a 5.5-mile walk/run on a positive note. 

"LCM, no pain. R.A. (right ankle) @ 90%." (Stiffness was evident but not a hindrance).

And the next two walk/runs received good comments and high scores : )

Some minor stiffness was evident but definitely not a hindrance.

This morning's walk (April 28th) was into a cold headwind but the LCM was not sore, not even a bit. So I am looking forward to another 'good and steady' WR on Thursday, possibly Friday. If all goes well then I look forward to a good month of May, walk/running every other day in the 6 - 8 mile range, with hopes of making the transition to running at a slow and steady pace for the whole nine yards, or the entire distance at least once per week. 

More details to follow, including thoughts about a September and/or October half-marathon race.

Photos From Along the Way:

Please click here for more information about The GREAT Canadian Comeback.

Photos GH

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Photographs: Canadians in "Combined Operations," (Part 8)

The Normandy Invasion (Including Operation Neptune),

The Largest of All Combined Operations, June 1944

Map found in Combined Operations, by C. Marks (page 106)


The book that was self-published/printed by Mr. Marks contains a healthy section devoted to the largest of 'combined operations' of World War II, from pages 106 - 158. The photographs included with his account of D-Day Normandy beginning June 6, 1944, are in many instances iconic, and taken by well-known photographers of the day. When known, I attach proper attribution.

Clayton Marks' written account has for the most part been shared in earlier posts and I will provide links to those entries.

As well, in the final post (i.e., Part 9, upcoming) I will add a story/report or two that have not been shared on this site previously. (If you have not heard of Operation Dragoon, then stay tuned : )

In the lower right-hand-corner of the map above one will see 'Operation Neptune' listed and I am sure many readers know it to be the Allied Navy's contribution to Operation Overlord - the invasion of France.

Photographs and links to written accounts (and more photos) follow. Questions and comments can be addressed to me at

Caption: LCI(L)305 and LCI(L)295 of the 264th Canadian Flotilla, beaching
the French coast. The 264th was made up of 7 Canadian and 3 American LCIs,
 i.e., Landing Craft, Infantry (Large). Photo: Combined Operations, pg. 107

Alternate caption for same photo has been found: Men of the 2nd Essex wade ashore at Jig Red Beach, Normandy from HMC LCI(L)-305 and HMC LCI(L)-295, in the background, 6 June 1944. HMC LCI(L)-295 carried D Company, 2nd Essex. Photo Credit - Robert Hurst. 
Link -

Another copy of the same photo is provided below, but no caption was provided:

A photo of a similar scene is provided below:

Caption - Personnel of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade landing from LCI(L)
125 of the 3rd Canadian (264th RN) Flotilla on 'Nan White' Beach on D-Day.

Below is a brief excerpt from Combined Operations by Clayton Marks of London, Ontario. The book was printed in 1993 (approx.) and is extremely difficult to find. Mr. Mark's 23-page-long account begins as follows:

June 6, 1944

In May of 1945 a Russian war correspondent, entering Berlin and surveying the ruins about him, wrote with something like awe: "It is as if giants with colossal hammers had beaten Hitler's city into the earth". Giants indeed they were; whose strength in the east flowed to them from all of Asia and in the west from almost every harbour of the world and over almost every sea. There was appalling majesty in the effort called forth to expunge the dream of an Austrian corporal, "that monstrous product of former wrongs and shame".

Operation Overlord was the stately title of the plan which encompassed the share of the western world in the final and total defeat of the Reich. Operation Neptune was the seamen's phase of the plan. It embraced, first, the task of landing the armies of liberation on French soil; secondly, the maintenance of their waterborne lines of communication and supply. The direct Canadian contribution of 110 ships and 10,000 men represented approximately four percent of the total Naval strength involved.

The eastward movement and assembly of the fighting vessels began in January of 1944. The flood of cargo moving to the United Kingdom rose also in a long, rhythmic swell through the winter and spring. It rose still higher in June and July, growing with the voracious demands of the armies battling in France; and it did not sensibly decrease until the end of the war.

The cargo moved upon an Atlantic where the Allied battle was now truly a defensive one; where the objective had been gained, the bridge established. There remained only the necessity of defending the conquest against an enemy who refused to admit defeat. It was a lesser task than that of earlier years; but it was still not a small one. The sailing of larger convoys at longer intervals had begun late in 1943. Early in 1944 the intervals were opened out again. The number of ships in each convoy continued to increase, until the larger bodies consisted of something like 150 ships which might carry altogether as much as a million tons of supplies.

The vast movement of traffic around the coasts could not be entirely concealed from the enemy. It had been underway to some extent since early in the winter, partially concealed amid the routine movement of coastal convoys. Nevertheless, its increased volume was becoming more apparent all the time; and now the policy was to mislead the Germans. The strength assembling in the southeast would be displayed, pointing a threat directly across the Straits of Dover. Preparations in the south and west, which might have indicated the actual invasion area farther down the French coast, were carefully concealed. Best hidden of all were the assemblage of block-ships, barges and breakwaters which were to be used for building the great pre-fabricated harbours. Had these been noted, the Germans might conceivably have guessed at the most novel and daring feature of the Allied plan.

Prince Henry and Prince David, now converted from armed merchant cruisers to landing ships, had arrived in the Clyde in February to complete their fitting out. After completion they had gone to Cowes on the Isle of Wight with others of the assembling landing ships. Prince Henry was to be Senior Officer of Landing Ships in Force J, one of the five assault forces destined for the five sectors of the Normandy beach front. She was responsible from now on for the discipline, navigation, station-keeping and general efficiency of twenty-two converted merchant vessels which she would lead down the swept channels into position off the beaches of Juno sector. Prince David was to be Senior Ship of one of the subdivisions of the same force.

At Cowes on April 21st the two Canadian landing ships were joined by their Flotillas of assault landing craft. Prince Henry was to carry the eight assault craft of the 528th Canadian Flotilla. Prince David would carry the six craft of the 529th Canadian Flotilla. In addition, there arrived within the next few days three Canadian Flotillas of the larger Infantry landing craft which would make the cross-channel voyage under their own power. They consisted in all of thirty craft, divided into the 260th, 262nd and 264th Flotillas; and their arrival at Cowes had been preceded, as in the case of the assault craft, by an intensive training period. Exercises, in which the Canadian ships and craft combined with many more of the Royal Navy and the United States Navy, now began on a very large scale.

Troops waiting out departure aboard 262nd Flotilla, LCI(L)s,
for D-Day Normandy. Tied up alongside in Southampton
during a day of bad weather. Canadian Press Photo as
found in St. Nazaire to Singapore, Vol. 2, pg 231

During Fabius, the largest of the exercises, a huge assault force sailed out from the Solent in broad daylight and continued on for twenty-five miles south of the Isle of Wight under a bright moon. It was a dress rehearsal, very probably observed by the enemy; and had he chosen to add realism by attacking the convoys, it would have been a welcome gesture. No hostile movement was observed, either from the air, from the seas about, or from the coast of France. The great force, nearly in mid channel, turned back before dawn and poured its troops ashore under the thunder of supporting guns on the beaches of Bracklesham Bay, some ten miles east of Portsmouth.

Fabius was the final rehearsal. On May 24th the King inspected all the assault ships and craft, now assembled in Southampton Water and the Solent. The Commanding Officers of the Prince Henry and Prince David, as well as Officers of the landing Flotillas, were presented; after which the small ships sailed past while His Majesty took the salute. There remained after that only anxious, last-minute preparations and days of waiting.

Officers and Ratings awaiting the 'Royal Sail Past' alongside in
Southampton. Photo by Sub. Lt. David J. Lewis, RCNVR
Found in St. Nazaire to Singapore, Vol. 2, page 230

On land the assault divisions of the armies were moving into the sealed camps. Among the thousands of ships gathered along the west, south and east coasts from Bristol Channel to the Thames, some already held the bound masses of mimeographed papers which were their invasion orders. Others would receive them by special courier at set hours within the next few days. As soon as the orders came on board, the ships, too, were sealed. No man, except on an urgent official mission and with a signed order from his Captain, could set foot ashore.

By the first day of June many ships of Canada were a part of this host separated by barbed wire, bayonets or salt water from all other concerns of men. Others would join within the next day or so; to engage in feverish, last minute preparations or share the tense weary hours of waiting which still lay ahead. And there were yet other Canadian ships whose work, integrally associated with Operation Neptune, had begun weeks and months before and had still long to continue. On the right flank, where the Channel opened out into the North Sea above the Straits of Dover, and on the left flank, westward through the Channel to the shoulder of Ushant and southward into Biscay waters, much work had been done and much was still to do.

The forces of Overload were to strike the French coast in the region of the Seine estuary, directly across the Channel from Portsmouth, the Solent and Southampton Water. Here, enclosed by a shallow, bowl-shaped indentation known as Baie de la Seine, was the longest stretch of open shore lying within effective range of fighter aircraft based in England. It ran for some sixty miles from the mouth of the River Orne, westward along the southern face and northward up part of the western shoulder of the basin. The waters along this frontage and for a depth of twenty miles seaward to the mouth of the bay would provide anchorage for Neptune shipping. To the east the remaining fifth of the basin would be masked off from the assault area, first by a sector of heavily patrolled water, and then by a large minefield closing in Le Havre and the mouth of the Seine. At the approaches to the bay the great German mine belt, which formed an outer barrier along the coast from Cap de la Hague to Boulogne, would be slitted with lanes through which the assaulting ships could pass.

Three divisions of parachute troops were to be dropped well inland; one on the eastern flank and two on the western. The sea-borne landings were to be made on a five-divisional front; and five Naval forces, of which three were British and two American, were to deliver the troops to the beaches. The three British forces were grouped as the Eastern Task Force; the two American, as the Western Task Force. The divisional fronts along the shore - Sword, Juno and Gold in the eastern sector, Omaha and Utah in the western sector - were subdivided into brigade fronts or beaches. These, in turn, were divided into smaller beaches; on each of which Naval craft would have to set down the assigned troops and equipment at some exactly appointed day, hour and minute. This appointed time, to which every movement of the operation was related, had been tentatively set for June 5th. It remained, however, variable within narrow limits. Known only as H-Hour of D-Day, it could fall between June 5th and June 7th; or it could be postponed with immense difficulty to the period between June 19th and June 21st.

June of 1944 was the month prescribed by considerations to grand strategy. The necessary Allied forces would be assembled. Several months of good fighting weather would lie ahead. The time would coincide generally with the reopening of the Russian offensive in the east and with the breaking of the long stalemates in Italy. The entire strength of the United Nations, fully mobilized at last, would strike the enemy simultaneously on every front.

The selected periods in June were dictated by the tactics of the landing. No pre-dawn or moonlight attack against half-subdued defenses was to be risked. After a night-long smashing by aircraft, the German strong-points on shore were to be drenched by thirty minutes of Naval bombardment in daylight. Then landing craft would run in on a rising half-tide over the mines and beach obstacles which constituted the first line of German defense. Between the 5th and the 7th, or between the 19th and 21st of June, the tide along the beaches of Baie de la Seine would reach the necessary half-flood at the required time after daybreak.

The rocky, gently shelving shoreline of the assault beaches had been charted and studied inch by inch. Thousands of aerial photographs, thousands of intelligence reports, and the lives of many brave men had gone into the compilation of maps which showed every feature of the area, and every battery or minefield or cluster of beach obstacles which could be discovered up to the day of embarkation. Depths and gradients along each foot of the shore were known and planned for.

Landing craft were assigned in minute detail to exact beaching positions. By the time of the assault their crews had been so familiarized with the beaches that in some cases the fore-and-aft loading of the craft was arranged to make the slope of their bottoms correspond to the gradient over which they would ride up on the sand.

Pages 112 - 115

An outline of the full 23-page account can be found here. Story: Overlord - Operation Neptune, D-Day, Parts 1 - 6

The following photo was found in Combined Operations, page 108:

Landing Craft, Flak - near France on D - Day Normandy, June 6, 1944

Photo found in Combined Operations, pg. 109. Caption - D-Day Convoy
Photo Credit - not available

The following photograph is found in Combined Operations, pg. 110, and is labelled "D - DAY. World famous picture." 

The photograph was likely taken by the official RCN photographer Gilbert A. Milne. A very similar picture appears in his book entitled H.M.C.S. - One Photographer's Impressions of the Royal Canadian Navy in World War II

Milne's own caption reads "But nothing stopped the shoreward movement. While men fell, and while the morning air shook with the cacophony of exploding shells, the landing craft methodically went about the job of disgorging men on to the sands of Normandy.”

Another similar scene is depicted below from another source but I would give photo credit to Gilbert A. Milne once again:

Caption - Canadian soldiers from 9th Brigade land with their bicycles at
Juno Beach in Bernieres-sur-Mer during D-Day, while Allied forces were
storming the Normandy beaches. Photo found at The Atlantic Photo

Another photo similar to above - with the following caption - can be found at the link provided: "Normandy Landing, View looking east along 'Nan White' Beach, showing personnel of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade landing from LCI(L) 299 of the 2nd Canadian (262nd RN) Flotilla on D-Day." (Photo by G. Milne, courtesy Library and Archives Canada, PA-137013).

D - Day Landing with Life Line. Photo Credit - not available, but
I'm guessing readers are guessing it was taken by Gilbert Milne. 
As found in Combined Operations, page 111

Two other D-Day Normandy photos follow from different sources: 

Troops of the Canadian 3rd Division, leaving their ship with their bicycles, at
Juno beach along the coast of Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

A grand collection of WWII photos taken by Gilbert A. Milne are very well presented at a website entitled MAPLE LEAF UP (re the First Canadian Army). 

Historical photographs show the true scale of the D-Day landings, during which
some 156,000 Allied troops landed on five beaches along the Normandy coast
in a decisive blow against the Nazis in Europe. Photo - Imperial War Museum

The final post related to photographs and rare stories related to the Canadians mentioned in Combined Operations by Londoner C. Marks will follow.

For more information, including photographs, re Canadians in "Combined Operations", a book by Londoner Clayton Marks, please click here - Photographs: Canadians in "Combined Operations" (Part 7)

Unattributed Photos GH

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Photographs: Canadians in "Combined Operations (Part 7)

 Canadian Sailors Serve in Sicily Until August 5, 1943

They Recuperate in Malta Before Returning to Italy 

Operation Baytown, the invasion of Italy, at Reggio, Sept. 3, 1943
Photo Credit - At Reggio di Calabria


This entry, though long on written details re the Canadians in Combined Ops as they served in Sicily (July) and Italy (September), is short on photographs from Combined Operations by Londoner Clayton Marks. His next collection relates to the invasion of Normandy beginning June, 1944.

That being said, photographs do appear below that touch on the activities of Canadians referred to in Mr. Marks' book. A third and lengthy excerpt from Combined Operations follows (re Sicily and Italy), along with maps, a rare news report that mentions a few sailors by name that have been referred to in earlier posts, and links to other pertinent material.

Operation Baytown, the invasion of Italy at the toe of the boot beginning September 3rd, 1943, involved members of the 80th Flotilla of Canadian Landing Crafts, and was described as much easier than the invasion of Sicily about two months earlier. Many sailors were involved in transporting troops from various Sicilian ports (e.g., Messina) to Reggio (a 7 mile round trip), then, once troops were ashore, they delivered all of the materials of war (for about 30 days). 

Landings of troops and all available supplies were made to other Italian beaches as well, as indicated by the blue arrows below. E.g., to Taranto, at the heel of the boot, beginning very shortly after an Allied beachhead was established at Reggio; to Salerno, south-east of Naples, a very difficult undertaking (Operation Avalanche) beginning September 8th.

Details about those days - continuing with Canadian sailors' war efforts in Sicily - are provided below from Combined Operations, pages 84 - 87. The excerpt is divided into two parts to make room for a rare news report by Canadian War Correspondent Dick Sanburn re Operation Baytown:

The Canadian Flotillas formed, of course, only a small part of all the Flotillas engaged, but wherever they operated the warmly admiring comments of British Officers seemed to indicate that they were pace-setters. The mechanical aptitude and the loving care which their maintenance parties lavished on the craft gave particular cause to marvel. During eighteen days of continuous work not one craft of the Flotilla was out of operation.

The demands of the armies proved higher and the demolitions in Sicilian harbours more inconvenient than had been expected, and landing craft had therefore to be kept longer on the ferry service. This meant a great deal of discomfort for the Canadians, as for all the landing craft Flotillas. The beaches of semi-tropical Sicily in late July and early August were far from being health resorts. Almost every man suffered at one time or another from a variety of disorders which included dysentery, septic scratches, jaundice, sandfly and malarial fever.

The small, amphibious craft were not equipped for life on the beaches. Moreover, their men were now everybody's children and no one's. Their parent landing ships had long since departed. They ferried cargo ashore from every ship that came, but their home was the hot beach, and there their companies had to make what living arrangements they could.

Some found accommodation of a sort in an old, disused Army camp and many more had to take shelter in a very dirty and uncomfortable cattle cave. Their food consisted of rations acquired from the Army, occasional largesse scrounged from the better-hearted merchant ships, and what they could acquire from an impoverished countryside. The cave-dwelling members of the Flotilla had improvised a stove of petrol tins in order to apply some heat to their unsavoury victuals; and one evening the stove blew up. Flames licked back into the cave, igniting another can of petrol and consuming most of the kit bags, hammocks and clothing of the men. About half the personnel of the 80th Flotilla had to get along for the next three months on borrowed gear.

[Doug Harrison, RCNVR, Combined Operations, and member of the 80th Flotilla writes about his time in a cave in Sicily at that time. Duffel bags and clothes were eventually replaced and I am in possession of his last duffel bag. Questions or comments can be addressed to me at]

Photo Credit - K. Harrison, London ONT

On August 5th operations ceased on the Sicilian beaches, and the two Flotillas returned to Malta. After a month of hard work under exceedingly difficult conditions the men were looking forward to a fourteen-day leave which had been promised them, always subject to "exigencies of the service". The news which greeted them on arrival in Malta was, first, that civilian dockworkers were on strike, and secondly, that their craft must be put in condition at once for a landing on the Italian mainland. Twenty-four cranky LCMs, which had been overworked consistently for a month to land 40,959 men, 8,937 vehicles and 40,181 tons of stores, must at once be retuned to concert pitch by the equally over-worked men who had operated them. Complaints were loud, eloquent, sustained and unavailing, but once this routine gesture was over with the Canadians manifested, as always, a peculiar zest for anything mechanical. At the end of two weeks, during which all the fit men of both Flotillas worked day and night, they announced to amazed dockyard authorities at Malta that their craft were ready to sail again.

When the 81st Flotilla withdrew from Sicily in August, two LCM's were unable to make their way to Malta, so were left in Syracuse along with twelve ratings. They were joined by one other Canadian who was aboard a Royal Navy LCI.

The Canadians eventually had their landing craft welded and repaired by a Royal Navy LCM Flotilla under Canadian Command and were requested to accompany them on the landings at the Straits of Messina and the further invasion of Italy.

When these two landing craft were no longer usable, the Canadians left the British and joined up with the 80th Flotilla in Messina, and stayed with them on their trip back to North Africa and finally to the U.K. with some travelling on the "Queen Emma", which at that time was also under command of a Canadian Officer.

Just before the departure for northern Sicily in preparation for the jump across the Straits of Messina, it was decided that the 81st Flotilla would not be sent. Its craft were not of as recent a type as those of the 80th and would not be useful in the unfamiliar role of assault landing craft, which was to be the work allotted them. Moreover, a large number of men from the 81st were in hospital with sickness acquired in Sicily. The 80th Flotilla therefore sailed alone from the Great Harbour of Malta on August 27th.

On September 1st, at one of the assembly points near Messina, from which the expedition was to cross, the Officers of the Flotilla were briefed. Thirty-six hours later they began to embark the Canadians of the Royal 22nd Regiment, the West Nova Scotians, and the Carleton and Yorks. Canadian soldiers and Canadian sailors were operating together at last.

In the early morning darkness of September 3rd the loaded craft moved up the Strait, close inshore on the Sicilian side, making for their take-off point. Among many ships crowding the narrow waters, "Warspite" and "Valiant" swept by, looming hugely. The wash from the battleships' passing bounced the landing craft like water bugs and sent huge waves over the sides to soak the men. The big ships of the Royal Navy, at that tense, nerve-fraying moment, came in for a heartfelt cursing.

At dawn the armies for the invasion of Italy moved across the six mile Strait. "Warspite" and "Valiant" were forgiven their trespass by the men in the landing craft as the Navy added to a great barrage put up by artillery firing from Sicily across the Strait. Screaming through the half-light overhead, thousands of shells from the artillery of the Army and the big Naval guns passed above the Flotilla. Plumed explosions rose inland as the ramps of the craft went down and the conquerors of Sicily set foot on the Italian mainland. Great transit searchlights from the Sicilian side were cutting through the dim morning to assist navigation and directing smoke shells were providing some assistance mixed with a good deal of confusion.

The Editor interrupts Clayton's fine story to bring you this important announcement from The Ottawa Citizen, Sept. 5, 1943:

Photo as found in  Eclipse by A. Moorehead

Correction: L/S Norm Bowen, Ottawa

Please click here to learn more related to the observations of Lt. Koyl, mentioned in the article above - Memoirs re Combined Operations - Lt. Cdr. J. E. Koyl

More details and photographs concerning the invasion of Italy in September 1943 can be found here.

C. Marks' story concludes:

For a month after the lightly-opposed Italian landing the 80th Flotilla carried out its familiar routine of ferry work. The end came with the Italian armistice and a great celebration in which the population of the countryside joined, and after that the word "England" was on every man's lip. The men of the 55th and 61st assault Flotillas had long been in the United Kingdom. The 81st was also there. Last of the Combined Operations units to return to Britain, the men of the 80th Flotilla, arrived on October 27th.

A little more than two months remained of 1943. In England the men heard cheering news of conditions in the Atlantic and of the war around the world. Good tidings continued to arrive, right up to the destruction of Scharnhorst in the closing days of December. Already 1944 was being spoken of as the year of "the invasion", and perhaps the year of decision. The Allied world was girded at last and moving forward in the full tide of its strength and confidence.

Yet the bells of the new year ushered in a season of tense foreboding, for the men of Canada as for all men of the warring world. Before the armies now in Italy loomed icy hills fanged with the guns of a desperate and determined enemy. The divisions long trained and ready in England had yet to meet their great and costly test. Canadian Airmen knew that the fading Luftwaffe had not yet lost its power to sting. The men of the Atlantic escort forces looked forward to a continuance of a weary, four-year old task, from which the conquest of the U-boats - if it remained a conquest - meant the removal only of the greatest among many perils. For the powerful Tribal destroyers, and the still newer Fleet destroyers which were on the way, there was to be surface combat in the old tradition but with deadlier weapons. And before the men of the landing craft lay other hostile shores.

More information re the invasion of Italy can be found here.

More will follow related to the photographs and stories - related to the invasion of Normandy - as found in Combined Operations by Londoner Clayton Marks.

Please link to Photographs: Canadians in "Combined Operations" (Part 6)

Unattributed Photos GH

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Passages: "HERE IS YOUR WAR" (Parts 1 - 3)

One of the Finest WWII Writers Writes Fine Lines 

Drawing by Carol Johnson, from the book
"Here Is Your War", Page 184


Ernie Pyle, an iconic WWII U.S. war correspondent, is reputed to be 'America's eyewitness to World War II'. And I have occasionally written that the Canadians who volunteered to join Combined Operations (including my father) and eventually operated landing crafts during Operation Rutter/Jubilee (Dieppe raid), Operation Torch (invasion of N. Africa beginning November 8, 1942), and other significant operations up to the end of WWII (e.g., Operations Husky (invasion of Sicily), Baytown, Avalanche (invasions of Italy) and Neptune (invasion of France)), were another reliable version of 'eyewitnesses to WWII'.

A collection of quotable quotes and significant passages - related to men of all branches of the Allied armed forces - are presented in three posts:

'HERE IS YOUR WAR' (1) by Ernie Pyle

'HERE IS YOUR WAR' (2) by Ernie Pyle

'HERE IS YOUR WAR' (3) by Ernie Pyle

For more posts re 'poignant passages' related to WWII, please link to Passages: Writers on World War II

Unattributed Photos GH 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Books re Combined Operations: Canadians in Sicily and Italy 1943 - 1945 (Parts 1 - 3)



Deputy Director, Historical Section, General Staff

Personnel of No. 3232 Servicing Commando relax by their vehicles in Sicily,
while awaiting the order to proceed across the Straits of Messina for the invasion
of Southern Italy (Operation BAYTOWN). Photo Credit - WW2Today


In the 876 page, comprehensive history of the Canadian Army one will find mention of the Canadian landing craft flotillas that were on hand - for a month or more at a time - during the 1943 invasions of Sicily (beginning in early July) and Italy (September).

In Part 3 I have listed some pertinent passages from pages 202 - 204 that relate to Canadians in Combined Operations during Operation BAYTOWN - ferrying troops and materials of war from Messina Sicily to Reggio in Italy.

Many will find that the first 2 parts are interesting as well. And have fun reading all 876 pages!

Please link to the following three posts:

THE CANADIANS IN SICILY and ITALY 1943-1945 (Part 1)

Canadians in Combined Ops on their way to Sicily, July 1943

Photo Credit - St. Nazaire to Singapore by D. Lewis., C. Lewis, L. Birkenes

THE CANADIANS IN SICILY and ITALY 1943-1945 (Part 2)

THE CANADIANS IN SICILY and ITALY 1943-1945 (Part 3)

Questions and comments re the above passages can be addressed to G. Harrison at

For more information about other books in which the Canadians in Combined Operations are mentioned, please link to Books re Combined Operations: DIEPPE DIEPPE

Unattributed Photos GH 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

moderne arte: "Keep Your Eyes Wide Open" (6)

The Elements of Design are Everywhere, Surely

Walls, Sidewalks, Snow Tires, and More

"A lovely, colourful spot in Chicago"


"Moderne Arte" is everywhere, or at least it seems to me. Line designs, wild colours, artful arrangements of the many elements of design are on walls, sidewalks, hidden in the snow...

I share a few of my own designs along with other things I've seen elsewhere while "oot and aboot.'

Questions and comments can be added in the Comment Section below, or addressed to GH at

More to follow, unless my two buck "pack o' markers" is finally done!

Please link to more moderne arte: sound waves, aerial views, yellow submarines (5)

Photos GH