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Last Man Standing: The Life of Smokey Smith, VC, 1914-2005
by:Thomas Glen Lockhart
A Canadian platoon embarked under the cover of darkness in late October 1944 near Cesna Italy assigned with a tank hunting mission. Their goal was to help Allied forces establish a bridgehead to build a critical crossing across the Savio River. Ongoing heavy fire from German tanks required an elite group of Canadian soldiers with tank killing experience...
A Canadian platoon embarked under the cover of darkness in late October 1944 near Cesna Italy assigned with a tank hunting mission. Their goal was to help Allied forces establish a bridgehead to build a critical crossing across the Savio River. Ongoing heavy fire from German tanks required an elite group of Canadian soldiers with tank killing experience to break the German advance and in less than one hour, one man changed Canadian history forever. This is a story which outlines the heroic military victory in the Battle of Italy, 1943-45 and the extraordinary valour of Private Ernest "Smokey" Smith who single-handedly destroyed multiple German Panzer tanks with projectile infantry anti-tank guns and protected a wounded comrade with sub-machine gun from opposition forces. Born in New Westminster, BC Ernest Smith grew up during Canada's depression of the 1930s. Like many young men at the time, Smith "rode the rails" is search of employment where he eventually volunteered and enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force to fight in the new war of 1939. Smokey was an exemplary soldier whose bravery ultimately resulted in him becoming Canada's last surviving recipient of the Victoria Cross.
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