Canada in the Second World War

Arms & Weapons

Over a million men and women joined the Canadian Armed Forces during the Second World War. To reach the front, fight with success and come back home, Canadian troops relied on a tight organization and on a wide range of services that provided food, shelter, medical care, intelligence, communications and more. They also relied on ships, aircrafts, tanks and weapons needed to face the enemy. Arms and Weapons describes the organization of Canadian ground, naval and air forces, as well as medical services between 1939 and 1945.

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On Land

It took almost three years, from September 1939 to August 1942 before ground troops could take part in major operations against the enemy. Three years of waiting, three years of training and preparations during which the Canadian Army created modern combat units and increased its strength up to over 400,000 men and women.

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At Sea

At Sea

From the very first days of WWII, Germany and the Allies fought at sea. The control of the ocean routes that carried all kinds of supplies to Great Britain soon became one of the war's key issues: for six years, a desperate battle is fought in the Atlantic.

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In the Air

The eyes of our people have turned, with particular interest and pride, to the Royal Canadian Air Force" stated Canadian PM W.L. Mackenzie King in 1939. No one could imagine the part Canada and the Royal Canadian Air Force were about to play, or the challenges they would face in the following years.

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Medical Services

For doctors and other medical personnel during the Second World War, fulfilling their moral and professional responsibilities as healers was only one side of the coin; limited manpower resources made it equally important that they do so sufficiently well to return soldiers, sailors, and airmen to duty.

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