Friday, June 8th 2018 | 7:00pm
Seventy-five years ago this July 10th, 25,000 Canadian soldiers took part in one of the largest combined operations of the Second World War. All but forgotten today, the invasion of Sicily marked a turning point in the war and ushered the Canadian army into its longest land campaign of the Second World War. Vividly portrayed by the war artists who accompanied the fighting units, and described firsthand by participants like Farley Mowat, the battle for Sicily witnessed some of the most remarkable feats of arms ever achieved by Canadian soldiers. Relying on this rich archive of image and word, the lecture will take the audience from the landing zones through the rugged, ancient Sicilian landscape to the places where young men from every part of the country won Canada’s first victories of the Second World War.
Dr. Eric McGeer taught Latin and history for many years before turning to writing full time. Originally a specialist in Byzantine history, he was so moved by a visit to the battlefields of the First and Second World Wars that he shifted his focus to Canada’s military past. His publications include a set of three guidebooks to the Canadian battlefields in Italy, Canada’s Dream Shall Be of Them, a study of Canadian epitaphs from the First World War, and Words of Valediction and Remembrance: Canadian Epitaphs of the Second World War. His history of the University of Toronto Contingent of the Canadian Officers Training Corps is due to appear in the fall of 2018. He lives with his wife and two children in Toronto.