Explore History

Second World War (1939-1945)
The Navy in European Waters  - D-Day and the Normandy Landings

Over 100 Canadian warships and some 10,000 Canadian sailors supported D-Day, the 6 June 1944 landings in Normandy. Canadian ships and sailors helped protect the invasion fleet, cleared German minefields, and ferried Allied troops across the Channel.

HMCS Caraquet Model

HMCS Caraquet was one of 16 Canadian minesweepers that helped clear safe paths through enemy underwater mines guarding the Normandy beaches.

Caraquet and nine other ships of the Canadian 31st Minesweeping Flotilla cleared mines near Omaha Beach, one of two American landing areas. The six other Canadian minesweepers were divided amongst British flotillas. Clearing paths to allow landing craft to reach the invasion beaches, and to allow warships to bombard enemy defences, the minesweepers had to operate in close co-operation with each other, under constant threat from German shore guns.

Model Ship, Minesweeper
CWM 19700037-001