The date 10 July is commemorated annually by The Royal Canadian Regiment (The RCR). This day marks the anniversary of the Regiment's amphibious landing in Sicily, on the Pachino Peninsula, on 10 July 1943. Significantly, this was the very first occasion during the Second World War that the Regiment had been committed to battle. By 10 July 1943, Canada, as part of the Grand Alliance against Nazi Germany, had officially been at war for nearly four years. The RCR, as well as most of the Canadian Overseas Army, had spent the previous three years in increasingly realistic and rigorous training in the United Kingdom. It was now time to send these Canadians into action against the enemy.
Germany and Italy, the Axis powers, had just been comprehensively defeated in North Africa. The destruction of the last Axis bridgehead in Africa, in northern Tunisia in May 1943, saw the capture of 250,000 German and Italian troops. The Italian navy (Regia Marina) and air force (Regia Aeronautica), as well as the German Luftwaffe in the Mediterranean, had been severely crippled. By mid-1943, not only had 14 Italian army divisions been lost in North Africa, but a further 10 divisions of the Italian Eighth Army had been destroyed on the Russian Front. The Allied assault on Hitler's Fortress Europe (Festung Europa) was now imminent. The island of Sicily, just miles from the toe of Italy, would be the immediate objective of British, American, and Canadian forces operating in the Mediterranean. Their ultimate objective would be the liberation of all occupied Europe.
http://theroyalcanadianregiment.ca/indi ... icily.html