Lance Corporal Roy Boyd Saved from Rubble, Ortona, Italy, 30 December 1943.
National Archives of Canada (PA-115154, photo by T. F. Rowe).

Lance Corporal Roy Boyd Saved from Rubble, Ortona, Italy, 30 December 1943.

Soldiers of The Loyal Edmonton Regiment are shown after rescuing Roy Boyd from beneath a pile of debris. The Germans had mined the building in which Boyd and his platoon were taking shelter. Boyd survived the blast; his comrades were not so fortunate.

In the Second World War, Canadian land forces experienced a very different kind of war from that which soldiers had known in the First World War. Troops now fought in vast battle theatres that spanned much of the globe. They were also far more mobile than armies of the First World War. Tanks and other armoured vehicles transformed combat operations into highly mobile warfare. Armies rarely fought the attritional or trench-style battles that had characterized the First World War. Mobility, however, did not make the fighting any less lethal. If anything, the intensity of the fighting had substantially increased for infantrymen and other branches of the land forces. The potential for injury and loss of life was greater still, owing to the increased effectiveness of weaponry. While the First World War had the Somme and Ypres, the Second World War had the horrors of Stalingrad, and especially significant for Canadian troops, Dieppe, Hong Kong, and Ortona.

The Loyal Edmonton Regiment Cemetery, Ortona, Italy.
The Fortyniner, No. 39, July 1944.

The Loyal Edmonton Regiment Cemetery, Ortona, Italy.

The cemetery at Ortona, Italy is a lasting testament to the efforts and sacrifices of The Loyal Edmonton Regiment. At Ortona and other theatres of war, soldiers by the score made the ultimate sacrifice to win the war and to liberate occupied territories from oppression.

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