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D-Day Dodgers revisit Italy, country they liberated 60 years

#1 User is offline   Jim H 

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 01:12 PM

ROME (CP) - Dozens of Canadian veterans of the Second World War were greeted by Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson and Italian officials as they returned to Italy for the first time in 60 years on Monday.

The former soldiers are part of a Veterans Affairs tour of the country they liberated from fascism and Nazi domination between 1943 and 1945.

Most came to the Italian capital aboard a Canadian Forces Airbus along with Clarkson, Veterans Affairs Minister Albina Guarnieri and other Canadian dignitaries.

Veterans Affairs is paying for part of the cost of the trip.

The veterans will be attending commemorative ceremonies at war cemeteries in Cassino, Ortona and Rimini and other battle sites.

Canadian and other allied troops fought for more than 20 months beginning in Sicily and on up to Rome itself. They were met by highly trained and determined German troops ensconced in mountain positions throughout the country.

About 93,000 Canadians fought in Italy during the campaign. There were nearly 20,000 wounded and almost 6,000 killed.

They were known as the D-Day Dodgers because they missed out on the invasion at Normandy on June 6, 1944. Most of the Canadians in Italy were transferred to northwest Europe before the fighting ended.

Canada's last living winner of the Victoria Cross, Ernest (Smoky) Smith, 90, will be honoured later this week with a plaque near the site at Cesena, where he singlehandedly fought off more than 60 Germans in October 1944.

#2 User is offline   jaghevli 

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 11:41 PM

Webmaster said:

ROME (CP) - Dozens of Canadian veterans of the Second World War were greeted by Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson and Italian officials as they returned to Italy for the first time in 60 years on Monday.

The former soldiers are part of a Veterans Affairs tour of the country they liberated from fascism and Nazi domination between 1943 and 1945.



hmmmmm.....

I have always wondered weather or not "liberated" has always been a good word to describe the allied invasion of Italy which began in 1943. Couldn't someone just as easily argue that Italy was "defeated" in World War 2? Or how about Reconquered away from the Nazis? You can make a good case for both points of view.
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#3 User is offline   Be Like Water 

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 06:23 AM

Great to hear... 8)
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#4 User is offline   Lupo Solitario 

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 10:13 AM

I don't know if we speaking about the same persons...

From today's newspapers:

15 Canadian veterans, members of a delegation visiting WWII battlefield, had been recovered in hospital for a probable food intoxication.
Veterans (between 75 and 90 years old) had been feeling ill at Rimini but it's unclear if the intoxication had happened there or in their precedent stop at Ortona.
Local administration has anyway declared that the same meal had been eaten by 600 persons without other cases of illness.
However the veteran tour will proceed as scheduled.

Kesselring's Curse? :wink:
melius esse quam videri

#5 User is offline   Jim H 

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 12:10 PM

I wonder if it's a veteran Italian chef still holding a grudge? :)

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