|The Canadians under a deluge of shells |
On 6 June 1944, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division commanded by General Keller landed in Normandy on Juno Beach. At 8:05 am, the Queen's Own Rifles Regiment set foot on this Norman beach in bad conditions : the amphibious tanks were late, and the preliminary artillery bombing left intact the German defences. The machine-guns and the weapons of the battery de La Cassine killed tens of Canadian soldiers before being neutralized in hand to hand fighting. A battleship of The Royal Navy approached the coast to support the attack, the blockhouses were fired at point blank range, and the Canadians overcame the German positions. Finally, at 8:30 am, infantry reinforcement, among them the French Canadians of Le Régiment de La Chaudière, and tanks of The Fort Garry Horse slammed ashore, Bernières-sur-Mer was liberated.