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A War of Their Own: The Canadians in Sicily and Italy

Duration: 2 Hours (Each Part: 57 minutes, 30 seconds)
($14.00) (cc) Available on DVD   Order DVD
First Released: 2000   Read Script (PDF)


Canada's role in the D-Day landings in Normandy is the stuff of legends. A War of Their Own: The Canadians in Sicily and Italy tells the story of another D-Day almost a year earlier on July 10, 1943 when Canadian troops landed on the southern shores of Sicily. From there, the Canadians, as part of the famous British 8th Army, earned respect as a distinct force as they made their way over the mountainous island, across the Messina Strait and up the Italian mainland.

A War of Their Own: The Canadians in Sicily and Italy shows how the Canadians in Sicily and Italy faced tremendous odds never before experienced by the Canadian Army and developed innovative techniques to fight in an inhospitable terrain against an experienced enemy force during almost two years of steady fighting.

At first, the Canadian battles in this theatre were front page news. Once the world turned its attention to the long-awaited storming of France, however, Italy became the forgotten front. Yet, almost 93,000 Canadians fought their way towards Rome and beyond; almost 6,000 are buried in cemeteries from Sicily to Northern Italy.

A War of Their Own: The Canadians in Sicily and Italy pays tribute to the 1st and 5th Canadian Divisions and the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade, which formed the spearhead into the heart of Europe and held down some 20 German divisions that otherwise would have been able to defend Normandy.

The Canadians in Italy, in a questionable jest, were called the D-Day Dodgers. The implication: they were avoiding the "real" war in France. A War of Their Own: The Canadians in Sicily and Italy puts their achievements into perspective.

PART I: Sicily to Ortona covers the campaign from the Sicily invasion to the battle for Ortona.

PART II: The D-Day Dodgers follows the Canadians as they take part in the battles in Northern Italy such as the Gothic Line, Coriano Ridge and the Savio River.


  • Gold Award - 2001 Worldfest-Houston (Texas)

  • Silver Award - 2001 Questar (New York)

  • Bronze Award (Graphics) - 2001 Astrid (New York)

  • Bronze Award - 2001 Astrid (New York)


"It was a superb production! Your video (A War of Their Own: The Canadians in Italy and Sicily) is so realistic I could almost taste the dust!" 


"I had honestly felt, that once again, our considerable efforts in Sicily and Italy had been forgotten. This tape, which is extremely well made from a Canadian view point, has helped to dispel that feeling. My family will now be able to fully realize what really happened to us over there." 


"You have done a great service to those who fought in those campaigns and have in a most graphic way, told the story for the post-war generations." 


"As a D-Day Dodger, I find nothing to criticize about 'A War of Their Own', and my comments are quickly and sincerely expressed in one word - EXCELLENT!" 


"'A War of Their Own' is a great documentary. Thanks for giving me a glimpse into what my Dad could never tell me about."