Juno Beach Centre | Canada in WWII
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The Canadians in Order of Battle
 It promises to be a long and exhausting struggle
 The Battle of the Atlantic
 Submarines attack in the St. Lawrence
The Dieppe Raid

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…

The Canadian Army, Navy and Air Force had to set up a territorial defence system and prepare for the battle that Britain was about to wage against the Third Reich. Experts believed this would be a war of attrition, a long, exhausting conflict that could last at least three years. . Learn More
The Battle of the Atlantic

Submarines attack in the St. Lawrence

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 starts stalking her prey. Other U-boats in the area, notified by radio, zero in on the target... . Learn More

During the night of 11th to 12th May, 1942, the inhabitants a fishing community in Gaspé were awakened by an explosion. A threat that no one had dared mention until then, had just materialized: German U-boats in the Gulf of St. Lawrence; Nazi Germany threatening Canada from within…Learn More

The Dieppe Raid

At 0500 on August 19th, 1942, Canadian soldiers dashed forward on the beaches of Dieppe, in the noise of machine-gun and mortar fire. They fell, mowed down by bullets, hit by mortar shells. Some tried to reach the seawall bordering the beach, hoping to find shelter; they were to be made prisoner after a few hours of useless resistance... Learn More