History

Wars & Campaigns

Boer War
First World War

►►Western Front

►►►Trench Warfare: 1914-1916

►►Allied Offensive: 1916

►►►Allied Offensives: 1917

►►►German Offensive: 1918

►►►Advance to Victory: 1918

►►Siberia
Second World War
►►War Against Japan

►►Italian Campaign

►►►Sicily

►►►Southern Italy

►►►The Sangro and Moro

►►►Battles of the FSSF

►►►Cassino

►►►Liri Valley

►►►Advance to Florence

►►►Gothic Line

►►►Winter Lines
►►North-West Europe

►►►Normandy
►►►Southern France
►►►Channel Ports

►►►Scheldt
►►►Nijmegen Salient

►►►Rhineland

►►►Final Phase
Korean War
Cold War
Gulf War

Operations 

GAUNTLET Aug 1941

(Spitsbergen)

HUSKY Jul 1943

 (Sicily)

COTTAGE Aug 1943

 (Kiska)

TIMBERWOLF Oct 1943

(Italy)

OVERLORD Jun 1944

(Normandy)

MARKET-GARDEN Sep 44

(Arnhem)

BERLIN Nov 1944

(Nijmegen)

VERITABLE Feb 1945

(Rhineland)

Battle Honours

Boer War

►Paardeberg

18 Feb 00

First World War
Western Front
Trench Warfare: 1914-1916

Ypres, 1915

22 Apr-25 May 15

Gravenstafel

22-23 Apr 15

St. Julien

24 Apr-4 May 15

Frezenberg

8-13 May 15

Bellewaarde

24-25 May 15

Festubert, 1915

15-25 May 15

Mount Sorrel

2-13 Jun 16

Allied Offensive: 1916

►Somme, 1916

1 Jul-18 Nov 16

►Albert

.1-13 Jul 16

►Bazentin

.14-17 Jul 16

►Pozieres

.23 Jul-3 Sep 16

►Guillemont

.3-6 Sep 16

►Ginchy

.9 Sep 16

Flers-Courcelette

15-22 Sep 16

Thiepval

26-29 Sep 16

►Le Transloy

. 1-18 Oct 16

Ancre Heights

1 Oct-11 Nov 16

Ancre, 1916

13-18 Nov 16

Allied Offensives: 1917

►Arras 1917

8 Apr-4 May 17

Vimy, 1917

.9-14 Apr 17

Arleux

28-29 Apr 17

►Scarpe, 1917

.3-4 May17

►Hill 70

.15-25 Aug 17

►Messines, 1917

.7-14 Jun 17

►Ypres, 1917

..31 Jul-10 Nov 17

►Pilckem

31 Jul-2 Aug 17

►Langemarck, 1917

.16-18 Aug 17

►Menin Road

.20-25 Sep 17

►Polygon Wood

26 Sep-3 Oct 17

►Broodseinde

.4 Oct 17

►Poelcapelle

.9 Oct 17

►Passchendaele

.12 Oct 17

►Cambrai, 1917

20 Nov-3 Dec 17

German Offensive: 1918

►Somme, 1918

.21 Mar-5 Apr 18

►St. Quentin

.21-23 Mar 18

►Bapaume, 1918

.24-25 Mar 18

►Rosieres

.26-27 Mar 18

►Avre

.4 Apr 18

►Lys

.9-29 Apr 18

►Estaires

.9-11 Apr 18

►Messines, 1918

.10-11 Apr 18

►Bailleul

.13-15 Apr 18

►Kemmel

.17-19 Apr 18

Advance to Victory: 1918

Amiens

8-11 Aug 18

►Arras, 1918

.26 Aug-3 Sep 18

►Scarpe, 1918

26-30 Aug 18.

►Drocourt-Queant

.2-3 Sep 18

►Hindenburg Line

.12 Sep-9 Oct 18

►Canal du Nord

.27 Sep-2 Oct 18

►St. Quentin Canal .29 Sep-2 Oct 18
►Epehy

3-5 Oct 18

►Cambrai, 1918

.8-9 Oct 18

►Valenciennes

.1-2 Nov 18

►Sambre

.4 Nov 18

►Pursuit to Mons .28 Sep-11Nov

Second World War

War Against Japan

South-East Asia

Hong Kong

 8-25 Dec 41

Italian Campaign

Battle of Sicily

Landing in Sicily 

   9-12 Jul 43

Grammichele 

15 Jul 43

Piazza Armerina

16-17 Jul 43

Valguarnera

17-19 Jul 43

Assoro 

  20-22 Jul 43

Leonforte

 21-22 Jul 43

Agira

24-28 Jul 43

Adrano 

29 Jul-7 Aug 43

Catenanuova

29-30 Jul 43

Regalbuto

29 Jul-3 Aug 43

Centuripe

  31 Jul-3 Aug 43

Troina Valley

 2-6 Aug 43

Pursuit to Messina

 2-17 Aug 43

 Southern Italy

Landing at Reggio

 3 Sep 43

Potenza 19-20 Sep 43
Motta Montecorvino 1-3 Oct 43
Termoli 3-6 Oct 43
Monte San Marco 6-7 Oct 43
Gambatesa 7-8 Oct 43
Campobasso 11-14 Oct 43
Baranello 17-18 Oct 43
Colle d'Anchise 22-24 Oct 43
Torella 24-27 Oct 43

The Sangro and Moro

The Sangro

19 Nov-3 Dec 43

Castel di Sangro

.23-24 Nov 43

The Moro

5-7 Dec 43

San Leonardo

8-9 Dec 43

The Gully

..10-19 Dec 43

Casa Berardi

 ..14-15 Dec 43

Ortona

20-28 Dec 43

San Nicola-San

.31 Dec 43

Tommaso

.
Point 59/ 29 Dec 43-

Torre Mucchia

4 Jan 44

Battles of the FSSF
Monte Camino

.5 Nov-9 Dec 43

Monte la Difensa-

2-8 Dec 43

 Monte la Remetanea

.
Hill 720

25 Dec 43

Monte Majo

3-8 Jan 44.

Radicosa

4 Jan 44

Monte Vischiataro

8 Jan 44

Anzio

22 Jan-22 May 44

Rome

.22 May-4 Jun 44

Advance

.22 May-22 Jun 44

to the Tiber

.
►Monte Arrestino

25 May 44

►Rocca Massima

27 May 44

►Colle Ferro

2 Jun 44

Cassino
►Cassino II

11-18 May 44

►Gustav Line

11-18 May 44

►Sant' Angelo in

13 May 44

Teodice

.
►Pignataro

14-15 May 44

Liri Valley
Liri Valley

18-30 May 44

►Hitler Line

18-24 May 44

►Aquino

18-24 May 44

►Melfa Crossing

24-25 May 44

►Ceprano

26-27 May 44

►Torrice Crossroads

30 May 44

Advance to Florence
Advance

17 Jul-10 Aug 44

to Florence

.
Trasimene Line

20-30 Jun 44

Sanfatucchio

20-21 Jun 44

Arezzo

4-17 Jul 44

Cerrone

25 - 31 Aug 44

Gothic Line
►Gothic Line

25 Aug-22 Sep 44

►Monteciccardo

27-28 Aug 44

►Montecchio

30-31 Aug 44

►Point 204 (Pozzo Alto)

31 Aug 44

►Monte Luro

1 Sep 44

►Borgo Santa Maria

1 Sep 44

►Tomba di Pesaro

1-2 Sep 44

►Coriano

3-15 Sep 44

►Lamone Crossing

2-13 Sep 44

Winter Lines
►Rimini Line

14-21 Sep 44

►San Martino-

14-18 Sep 44

San Lorenzo

.
►San Fortunato

18-20 Sep 44

►Casale

23-25 Sep 44

►Sant' Angelo

11-15 Sep 44

 in Salute

.
►Bulgaria Village

13-14 Sep 44

►Cesena

15-20 Sep 44

►Pisciatello

16-19 Sep 44

►Savio Bridgehead

20-23 Sep 44

►Monte La Pieve

13-19 Oct 44

►Monte Spaduro

19-24 Oct 44

►Monte San Bartolo

11-14 Nov 44

►Capture of Ravenna

3-4 Dec 44

►Naviglio Canal

12-15 Dec 44

►Fosso Vecchio

16-18 Dec 44

►Fosso Munio

19-21 Dec 44

►Conventello-

2-6 Jan 45

Comacchio

.
►Granarolo

3-5 Jan 44

Northwest Europe
Dieppe

19 Aug 42

Battle of Normandy
Normandy Landing

6 Jun 44

Authie

7 Jun 44

Putot-en-Bessin

8 Jun 44

Bretteville

8-9 Jun 44

       -l'Orgueilleuse .
Le Mesnil-Patry

11 Jun 44

Carpiquet

4-5 Jul 44

Caen

4-18 Jul 44

The Orne (Buron)

8-9 Jul 44

Bourguébus Ridge

18-23 Jul 44

Faubourg-de-

18-19 Jul 44

       Vaucelles .
St. André-sur-Orne

19-23 Jul 44

Maltôt

22-23 Jul 44

Verrières Ridge-Tilly--

25 Jul 44

         la-Campagne .
Falaise

7-22 Aug 44

►Falaise Road

7-9 Aug 44

►Quesnay Road

10-11 Aug 44

Clair Tizon

11-13 Aug 44

►The Laison

14-17 Aug 44

►Chambois

18-22 Aug 44

►St. Lambert-sur-

19-22 Aug 44

       Dives

.

Dives Crossing

17-20 Aug 44

Forêt de la Londe

27-29 Aug 44

The Seine, 1944

25-28 Aug 44

Southern France
Southern France

15-28 Aug 44

Channel Ports
Dunkirk, 1944

8-15 Sep 44

Le Havre

1-12 Sep 44

Moerbrugge

8-10 Sep 44

Moerkerke

13-14 Sep 44

Boulogne, 1944

17-22 Sep 44

Calais, 1944

25 Sep-1 Oct 44

Wyneghem

21-22 Sep 44

Antwerp-Turnhout

   24-29 Sep 44

Canal

.

The Scheldt

The Scheldt

1 Oct-8 Nov 44

Leopold Canal

6-16 Oct-44

►Woensdrecht

1-27 Oct 44

Savojaards Platt

9-10 Oct 44

Breskens Pocket

11 Oct -3 Nov 44

►The Lower Maas

20 Oct -7 Nov 44

►South Beveland

 24-31 Oct 44

Walcheren

31 Oct -4 Nov 44

Causeway

.

Nijmegen Salient
Ardennes

Dec 44-Jan 45

Kapelsche Veer

31 Dec 44-

.

21Jan 45

The Roer

16-31 Jan 45

Rhineland
The Rhineland

8 Feb-10 Mar 45

►The Reichswald

8-13 Feb 45

►Waal Flats

8-15 Feb 45

►Moyland Wood

14-21 Feb 45

►Goch-Calcar Road

19-21 Feb 45

►The Hochwald

26 Feb-

.

4 Mar 45

►Veen

6-10 Mar 45

►Xanten

8-9 Mar 45

Final Phase
The Rhine

23 Mar-1 Apr 45

►Emmerich-Hoch

28 Mar-1 Apr 45

Elten

.
►Twente Canal

2-4 Apr 45

Zutphen

6-8 Apr 45

Deventer

8-11 Apr 45

Arnhem, 1945

12-14 Apr 45

Apeldoorn

11-17 Apr 45

Groningen

13-16 Apr 45

Friesoythe

14 Apr 45

►Ijselmeer

15-18 Apr 45

Küsten Canal

17-24 Apr 45

Wagenborgen

21-23 Apr 45

Delfzijl Pocket

23 Apr-2 May 45

Leer

28-29 Apr 45

Bad Zwischenahn

23 Apr-4 May 45

Oldenburg

27 Apr-5 May 45

Korean War
Kapyong

21-25 Apr 51

Domestic Missions

FLQ Crisis

International Missions

ICCS            Vietnam 1973

MFO                 Sinai 1986-

Peacekeeping

UNMOGIP

India 1948-1979

UNTSO

 Israel 1948-    ....

UNEF

Egypt 1956-1967

UNOGIL

Lebanon 1958    ....

ONUC

 Congo 1960-1964

UNYOM

Yemen 1963-1964

UNTEA

W. N. Guinea 1963-1964

UNIFCYP

 Cyprus 1964-    ....

DOMREP

D. Republic 1965-1966

UNIPOM

Kashmir 1965-1966

UNEFME

Egypt 1973-1979

UNDOF

Golan 1974-    ....

UNIFIL

 Lebanon 1978    ....

UNGOMAP

Afghanistan 1988-90

UNIIMOG

Iran-Iraq 1988-1991

UNTAG

Namibia 1989-1990

ONUCA

C. America 1989-1992

UNIKOM

Kuwait 1991    ....

MINURSO

W. Sahara 1991    ....

ONUSAL

El Salvador 1991    ....

UNAMIC

Cambodia 1991-1992

UNAVEM II

Angola 1991-1997

UNPROFOR

Yugosla. 1992-1995

UNTAC

Cambodia 1992-1993

UNOSOM

Somalia 1992-1993

ONUMOZ

Mozambiq. 1993-1994

UNOMUR

 Rwanda 1993    ....

UNAMIR

Rwanda 1993-1996

UNMIH

Haiti 1993-1996

UNMIBH

Bosnia/Herz.1993-1996

UNMOP

Prevlaka 1996-2001

UNSMIH

Haiti 1996-1997

MINUGUA

Guatemala 1994-1997

UNTMIH

Haiti 1997    ....

MIPONUH

 Haiti 1997    ....

MINURCA

C.Afr.Rep. 1998-1999

INTERFET

E. Timor 1999-2000

UNAMSIL

Sie. Leone 1999-2005

UNTAET

E. Timor 1999-2000

Exercises

 

Carpiquet

Carpiquet was a Battle Honour granted to units participating in battles fought near the town of Carpiquet and the adjacent airfield during the Battle of Normandy, the first phase of the North-West Europe campaign of the Second World War.

Background

The battle at Le Mesnil-Patry on 11 June had marked the end of the first major phase of Canadian operations in Normandy, but coincidentally all the Allied operations; the UTAH and OMAHA bridgeheads (the two American landing beaches) were finally linked up on 10 June and by the night of 11-12 June the first phase of Operation OVERLORD was complete - an Allied army had been established on the continent of Europe. On the American front, progress was being made to their initial objective - Cherbourg - while the main objective of the British - Caen - eluded them. A barrage of plans streamed forth on how to take Caen, including the bold idea of dropping a second British airborne division to assist in the task.1 The initial attacks went in on the ground on 10 June; tough fighting in the eastern portion of the bridgehead ensued but some progress had been made in the west by the British 7th Armoured Division, until famously stopped on 13 June at Villers-Bocage by German tank commander Michael Wittman and a small force of Tiger tanks.2

 

As the headquarters of both 2nd Canadian Corps and 1st Canadian Army began to establish themselves on French soil at the end of June - but with no room in the bridgehead yet to deploy forces for them to command - the 1st British Corps prepared to carry out General Montgomery's instruction to the British 2nd Army to "develop operations for the capture of Caen as opportunity offers-and the sooner the better." Plans had previously been prepared by the 1st British Corps during during Operation EPSOM, another attempt to encircle Caen that covered several days of fighting between 25 and 28 June. One plan, code named ABERLOUR had envisioned an attack by the British 3rd Division with the Canadian 9th Brigade attached, but events on the 8th Corps front cancelled this plan. Another plan code-named OTTAWA  envisioned an attack by the 3rd Canadian Division with the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade in support, striking at the town of Carpiquet from the north. This too was cancelled after detailed planning. A new operation was drawn up and scheduled for 30 June, now envisioning an attack on Carpiquet from the west.3

The Plan

The 8th Infantry Brigade with Royal Winnipeg Rifles attached was now tasked with taking both Carpiquet and the airfield. The 10th Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Fort Garry Horse) were to provide armoured support along with three squadrons of tanks from the British 79th Armoured Division (one each of Sherman flails, Churchill Crocodiles and AVsRE). The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa were to add their supporting fire from machine guns and 4.2" mortars to that of no less than 12 field, eight medium and one heavy artillery regiment, as well as offshore bombardment by ships of the Royal Navy. Finally, and additionally, air support both pre-arranged and on-call was arranged for the new plan, now dubbed Operation WINDSOR.4 All told, this accounted for 760 artillery pieces, not counting the 16-inch guns of HMS Rodney nor the 15-inch guns of HMS Roberts.5 

The plan of attack (as outlined in the 17-page operation order) was for the North Shore Regiment and Le Régiment de la Chaudière to attack the village of Carpiquet and the north hangars, each with a squadron of Fort Garry Horse in support, reinforced by the special armour of the 79th Division. Simultaneously, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles would advance on the south hangars of the airfield, supported by the Fort Garry Horse's third squadron. The Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment was to provide a diversion with its Shermans to the north of the battle area. The second phase of Operation WINDSOR would involve the Queen's Own Rifles passing through Carpiquet to take the control buildings of the airfield.6

Defenders

The 1st Battalion of the 26th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment had some 200 men defending the village of Carpiquet and the airfield itself on 4 July 1944. The defences at the airfield included strong concrete positions originally built by the Luftwaffe.7

The Battle

Taking over positions previously held by the British 43rd Division as an assembly area on D-1, the Canadians were spotted moving into position and shelled and mortared heavily. At H-Hour, 0500 on 4 July, the attack went off behind a barrage from 6 field and 2 medium regiments, to which the Germans immediately responded with a counter-barrage, catching the leading companies as they crossed the start line. HMS Rodney also fired 15 rounds from its 16-inch guns in the direction of Carpiquet, from a range of 26,200 yards.8 Nonetheless, the North Shore Regiment reached their objective by 0632 and the Chauds to the right also reached the village despite the shellfire. The village contained just 50 German soldiers as the two Canadian battalions set about clearing it.9

The Royal Winnipeg Rifles were also heavily mortared on their start line, and they encountered heavy machine gun fire from the south hangars. Their tank support remained in fire positions to their rear, and one troop had to be requested to move forward. The first two companies did not reach the hangars until 0900, yet resistance was so stubborn that not even tank fire and flame-throwing Crocodiles could evict the Germans from pillboxes sited there. Heavy fire swept the area from high ground in the vicinity of the airfield control buildings (where a battery of 8.8cm anti-aircraft guns of Flakabteilung 12 was emplaced) and the Winnipegs were forced to withdraw to a sparse copse of trees near their start line. A second attempt to advance at 1600 met equally fierce resistance, and five Panzerkampfwagen IV tanks (of No. 9 Company, 12th SS Panzer Regiment) were now approaching the airfield from the east. Artillery broke up the tank attack, but they quickly rallied and the Winnipegs, who had forced their companies once more to the first hangars, withdrew once again to the start line at 2100 while 44 rocket-firing aircraft were called in to attack 17 German tanks and self-propelled guns reported dug-in around the airfield.

The Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment successfully carried out its diversionary attack at Château de St. Louet and Gruchy without loss; however, the Queen's Own Rifles, expected to pass through Carpiquet to execute phase two of Operation WINDSOR, were held back. The 43rd Division had likewise had success that day, occupying Verson and Fontaine-Etoupefour, but had to be withdrawn because of the failure to occupy the Carpiquet airfield.


Queen's Own Rifles soldiers with a knocked out Fort Garry Horse, dug in by the northern hangars at Carpiquet Airfield.

Enemy counter-attacks came mainly in form of tank attacks supported by artillery; the 12th SS Panzer Division continued to suffer shortages of infantrymen, and a number of attacks by their Panther attacks were driven off on 5 July. Thereafter, heavy shell and mortar fire fell on the Canadians at Carpiquet, intensified by the addition of a regiment of the 7th Mortar Brigade (Werferbrigade) to the enemy's arsenal, who bombarded the village with 110-pound high explosive and oil bombs. The Canadians clung to the high ground at Carpiquet, now in an exposed salient, and the wrecked north hangars.

On 4 July, the North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment suffered its heaviest single day losses of the entire campaign, and the Royal Winnipeg Rifles also had a heavy day of losses.10 The Fort Garry Horse lost a dozen tanks.11 One historian notes that "Tank casualties in comparison (to infantry) were relatively light, except for the squadron supporting the Winnipegs which lost 6 out of 15."12

Unit Total Casualties on 4 July Fatal Casualties
The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment 132 46
The Royal Winnipeg Rifles 132 40
Le Régiment de la Chaudière 57 16
The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada 26 4
10th Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Fort Garry Horse) 20 8
16th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers 10 3
Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa during the attack on Carpiquet. Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa during the attack on Carpiquet. The massive hangars at Carpiquet airfield.

Prisoners taken by the North Shores during the attack on Carpiquet.

Prisoner taken by the Chaudières during the attack on Carpiquet.

Canadians wounded during the attack on Carpiquet.

German anti-aircraft position at Carpiquet; these 2.0cm guns also made fine anti-personnel weapons.

Rifleman of The Royal Winnipeg Rifles, wounded in the attack at Carpiquet, being interviewed by war correspondents.

RCAF personnel inspect the hangars at Carpiquet after the battle.

Aftermath

On the night of 4-5 July, Carpiquet was counter-attacked by the 3rd Battalion of the 1st SS Panzergrenadier Regiment, a component of the 1st SS Panzer Division ("Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"). This attack was directed from the north, and the vicinity of Franqueville, being a diversion intended to permit the troops of the 12th SS to withdraw from the southern edge of the airstrip and into the perimeter on the eastern end of the field.13

The Canadians held in place under shell and mortar fire until Operation CHARNWOOD began a few days later, clearing the way into Caen. The remainder of the airfield was taken during Operation TROUSERS. By then, there was little opposition as CHARNWOOD blasted its way into Caen with the first tactical use of four-engine bombers on the British front.

Battle Honour

The following Canadian units were awarded the Battle Honour "Carpiquet" for participation in these actions:

Image:2tankbde.gif 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade

  • 10th Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Fort Garry Horse)

Image:3gif.gif 3rd Canadian Division

  • The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (MG)

Image:3gif7bde.gif 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade

  • The Royal Winnipeg Rifles

Image:3gif8bde.gif 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade

  • The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada

  • Le Régiment de la Chaudière

  • The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment

Notes

  1. Stacey, C.P. Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War: Volume III: The Victory Campaign: The Operations in North-west Europe 1944-45 (Queen's Printer, Ottawa, ON, 1960) pp.141-144

  2. Levine, Alan J. D-Day to Berlin: The Northwest Europe Campaign, 1944-45 (Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 2000) ISBN 0-8117-3386-6 pp.63-64

  3. Stacey, Ibid, pp.150-153

  4. Ibid, p.153

  5. English, John A. The Canadian Army and the Normandy Campaign (Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 2009) ISBN 978-0-8117-3576-6 pp.165-166

  6. Ibid, p.166

  7. Luther, Craig W.H. Blood and Honor: The History of the 12th SS Panzer Division "Hitler Youth", 1943-1945 (R. James Bender Publishing, San Jose, CA, 1987) ISBN 0-912138-38-6 p.221

  8. Ford, Ken Caen 1944: Montgomery's Breakout Attempt (Osprey Publishing Ltd., Botley, Oxford, UK, 2004) ISBN 1-84176-625-9 p.50

  9. Stacey, Ibid, p.154; Stacey identifies the 50 men as belonging to I./25 SS Pz Gr Rgt. John English identifies it as the 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment, with troops of 1st Battalion, 26th Pz. Gren. Rgt. defending the airfield itself.

  10. Stacey, Ibid, pp.154-155

  11. McKay, A. Donald Gaudeamus Igitur "Therefore Rejoice" (Bunker to Bunker Books, Calgary, AB, 2005) ISBN 1894255534 p.145

  12. English, Ibid, p.168

  13. Ford, Ibid, p.51


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