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After the failure of the Ardennes offensive by Germany in December of 1944, the German forces fell back into Germany and took refuge behind the West Wall as their last line of defence. Everyone knew that, barring some breakthrough in military technology, the war in Europe was drawing to a close.

Canadian forces attacked through the Reichswald and Hochwald Forest which was flooded by the Germans and in conjunction with warm February weather severally hamper the Canadian advance. The American forces who were driving from the south then helped pressure the Germans to retreat as they were caught between them and the Canadian troops.  The Canadian Army then pushed through the rest of Holland and crossed the Rhine driving north to Bremen.

As the allies drove into Germany the terrible secret of the holocaust was unveiled o the world in all of its gruesome detail. Concentration camps were liberated and for most it was to late. The reason for fighting the war was thrown into sharp contrast as the murder of millions of Jewish, Slavic, German, Dutch, French and the list goes on and on, people was uncovered. If any doubt about the war had existed, it was complete extinguished in that spring of 1945.

Some heavy fighting was still required but the German forces were essentially beaten and by April 1945 the Soviet armies had encircled Berlin and were closing in on Hitler. Adolf Hitler committed suicide rather then face allied retribution and on May 7th, 1945 the war in Europe came to a close.

Canada had played an important and decisive role in the conflict with contributions in the Atlantic, in the air war, with the training of the Commonwealth forces, in Italy and on the western front. The sole remaining job before he rebuilding began was to turn the allies attention to Japan and bring final victory home. 

 

VE Day in Europe




Source:
Reference: www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/eras.html