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The Fall of Poland was complete by October 6th and Germany turned its eyes upon the Western allies. Hitler's intention was to launch an attack on France before Christmas but he was convinced that a winter campaign would e premature. The attack was rescheduled for May with other operations in Denmark and Norway before then. This interlude period was known as the phony war because no real military action took place on the western front. The lure of the attack had been tarnished by the bloodshed of the First World War and neither France or England were in a hurry to sacrifice it's youth. The Germans however used this period to review the results of their Blitzkrieg on Poland and to redefine their tactics further. Heinz Guderian fought for a plan which would direct the main force of the German attack through Sedan with an amour spearhead after drawing the allies into the lowlands by initially invading Holland and Belgium. On May 10th the attack began and as expected the Allies initiated there  planned response with the British Forces moving into Belgium to make contact with the Belgium and Dutch forces to form a united line of defence. Once they were well into the lowlands, the Germans launched their attack on Sedan and quickly broke through driving behind the French left flank and towards the channel coast. The British and French forces were effectively cut off and trapped in a large pocket which only left ne route of escape - by sea. The trapped allied forces retreated to Dunkirk to regroup or evacuate. 

The allies were quickly trying to improvise a strategy to stop the Germans and the 1st Canadian Division became a part of the calculation. They had been training at Aldershot in England and their insertion into the battlefield in France was considered as an option. On May 24th the 1st Canadian Brigade was order to Dover for embarkation for France. This commitment to the desperately trapped forces in France and Belgium was reconsidered and they did not sail but with the fall of Dunkirk the allies planned to send a second expeditionary force to France where it world join with the remaining French forces to help resist the next phase of the German attack.

The 1st Brigade once again departed Aldershot for embarkation but this time the destination was Brest in France. On June 12-13 they arrived in France and began to travel inland to help plug the holes in the line against the Germans. The British Commander of the force, Sir Alan Brooke, quickly realized that the allied cause in France was lost and on  June 14th reversed the Canadian's orders and directed them to get back to Breast for evacuation.

The Canadians escaped with their big guns and Bren Gun carriers but little else of their large equipment. At this point the Battle of France was over and the Battle of Britain was about to begin. The only two fully equipped divisions in Britain included the Canadian First Division and they were positioned south of the Thames as the mobile reserve in case of German invasion.

For the next year Canada was to serve as Britain's ranking ally and the main supplier of equipment, food and new military formations. The battle of Britain was to determine whether the German invasion was to be launched or not. Canada stood by England ready to fight.




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