Canada in the Second World War

Events

The Canadians in Order of Battle

In 1939, well aware that the coming conflict would be long and demanding, Canadians went to war at Britain’s side. The Canadian government took immediate measures to increase its military strength, to revitalize industry and to mobilize all the resources of the country in preparation for a sustained war effort.

Early in the war, the Atlantic Ocean came under threat from the German submarine fleet, as the Royal Canadian Navy battled an invisible foe, the U-boats. Anxious, many Canadians men and women enlisted in the Army, Navy or Air Force to take part in the great war that loomed ahead. Canadian industry revved up to produce war material and agriculture fed the troops.

At first, although many Canadian households wished to remain optimistic, uncertainty prevailed. The media announced defeat upon defeat: France has fallen, German submarines spotted in Canadian waters, Hong-Kong taken by the Japanese, Catastrophe at Dieppe…

Summoning all its strength, Canada entered in the order of battle for the decisive assault.

 

It Promises to be a Long and Exhausting Struggle…

As early as September 1939, volunteers flooded recruiting offices. They came from all parts of Canada, English-speaking or French-speaking, workers, students, or unemployed. Some dreamed of getting warm clothes and regular meals, others were looking for excitement, others wanted to...

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Submarines Attack in the St. Lawrence

During the night of 11th to 12th May, 1942, the inhabitants of Cloridorme, a fishing community in the Gaspé Peninsula, were awakened by an explosion that shook up their houses as an earthquake may have done. Some lights could be...

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The Battle of the Atlantic

Fall 1940: prowling like wolves through the North Atlantic, German U-boats are hunting for Allied merchant navy convoys. As soon as a U-boat locates a target, she sends its coordinates to her HQ and start stalking her prey. Other U-boats...

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The Dieppe Raid

At 0500 on August 19th, 1942, the men from the Royal Regiment of Canada were approaching the beach of Puys, a small seaside village two kilometres east of Dieppe. They were already behind schedule and, as the sun rose, their...

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