That was the topic in our history class this week. We were privileged to have a guest speaker, a friend of mine who really knows his stuff. When I asked him if he would teach for us on this topic we both realised what a huge topic it was. He chose what he would cover, concentrating on three very different operations. We began in Hong Kong, learning military terms as we went. Ortona, Italy was the next “theatre” we visited and finally we looked at the clearing of the Scheldt. All three operations were very different, so as we listened to our guest speaker, viewed the pictures he had gathered and asked questions we got a taste of the involvement Canadian forces had in WW2.
All that we learnt was interesting but we enjoyed it most when our speaker strayed from his notes to explain in detail how a regiment would move into position, and how various battles proceeded depending on the terrain, the numbers of troops and the type of artillery being used. We learnt about the “house to house” and “hand to hand’ combat in Ortona, the feats of engineering necessary for success in the canal filled Scheldt pocket and the last ditch efforts of the infantry in Hong Kong.
We could have spent several weeks on WW2 and will certainly keep reading about it over the next few weeks. Both L14 and B8 have chosed WW2 topics for their History Fair projects this year so they are narrowing in on different aspects of Canada’s involvement.
I did not realise at the time of our class but last week was a very significant week for our guest, LCol Bernard Ciarroni OMM, CD. He taught us on Wednesday rather than our regular Friday afternoon history time slot because on Friday he was at Rideau Hall being presented with the Order of Military Merit by the Governor General!