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Development of the German Defence in the Dieppe Sector, 1940-42 - Information from German War Diaries

Type: Document

This report has been prepared for the purpose of supplying background information on German defences in the Dieppe sector. After the summer of 1941, the defence of the Continental coasts became a matter of ever-increasing urgency and importance to the Germans.

Site: National Defence

Surrender of the German army at Wageningen, the Netherlands, 5 May 1945

Type: Image

Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes (1903-1969), commander of the 1st Canadian Corps, accepts the surrender of the German army occupation forces in the Netherlands from Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz (1883-1948), at Wageningen, the Netherlands, on 5 May 1945. (Library and Archives Canada, PA-116811)

Site: National Defence

A German Legacy

Type: Document

As the American Revolution continued, further German troops arrived in Canada. When the war ended in 1783, most of them returned to Europe, but many chose to settle in Canada. Many German family names in Quebec (and the custom of the Christmas tree in the colony) were a result of this settlement.

Site: National Defence

The Campaign in North-West Europe - Information from German Sources - Part III - German Defence Operations in the Sphere of First Canadian Army, 23 Aug - 8 Nov 44

Type: Document

This report deals with the German efforts to delay the progress of First Canadian Army on the extreme left of the Allied forces in the Western theatre after the invasion and battle of Normandy. The bulk of the supporting evidence for this report consists of original contemporary German military documents.

Site: National Defence

German Soldiers!

Type: Document

In the 18th century, small European states would often hire out part of their army when at peace. Britain hired thousands of these men from several German states to bolster hard-pressed British troops in America. The plan was to strike south towards New York from Quebec.

Site: National Defence

Life At Louisbourg

Type: Document

The troops of the Louisbourg garrison had a boring life. Isolated, with little else to do but stand guard and build fortifications, the men had poor morale. The Swiss troops, German-speaking Protestants, were an isolated group as well, within the larger French garrison.

Site: National Defence

Guidon bearer, Brunswick Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Ludwig, 1776-1777

Type: Image

Among the German mercenary troops arriving at Quebec in 1776 was a unit of cavalry from Brunswick. Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Ludwig (or 'Prince Ludwig's Dragoon Regiment') was supposed to be given horses in North America, and wore high leather riding boots. Still waiting for horses, they marched south with General Burgoyne's army in 1777 and were captured after the British defeat at Saratoga. Recruits sent from Brunswick allowed the regiment to be reformed at Quebec in 1781. This man's uniform is in the traditional cornflower blue of the Brunswick dragoons. He holds a swallow-tailed cavalry flag called a guidon. Its pole is made in the form of a joisting lance, a fashion of the time. In the centre of the guidon is white horse of Niedersachsen, the crest of the Dukes of Brunswick. Confusingly, a very similar white horse of Hanover was used on British flags at this time. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Soldier of the régiment des Volontaires-Étrangers, 1758

Type: Image

The régiment des Volontaires-Étrangers was a unit of German mercenaries serving France. First raised in 1756, the unit's 2nd battalion was sent in 1758 to be part of the Louisbourg garrison. It arrived not long before the beginning of the siege which saw the fortress fall to the British. This unit's grey-white coat with green collar, cuffs and waistcoat were unusual for German regiments in French service - most of them wore blue coats at this time. Reconstruction by Eugène Lelièpvre. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Campaign in North-West Europe - Information from German Sources - Part I - German Defence Preparations in the West

Type: Document

This report is an analysis of the events that led up to the successful Normandy Invasion. Much of the information in the report comes from original German sources.

Site: National Defence

Drummer, Brunswick Infanterie-Regiment von Specht, 1776-1777

Type: Image

Infanterie-Regiment von Specht was one of the regiments of German mercenaries hired from the duchy of Brunswick that arrived at Quebec in 1777. It accompanied General Burgoyne's expedition south in 1777. Amongst the various German states of this period, it was still common for infantry drummers to wear a uniform in the colour of their colonel's livery. This drummer wears the yellow and red livery of the von Specht family, whose patent of nobility from the Holy Roman Empire dated from 1662. The use of this uniform in Canada is proved by surviving tailors' bills submitted by the regiment to the British authorities. Reconstruction by Derek Fitzjames. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence