Canada in the Second World War

Arms & Weapons

In the Air

British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

How the BCATP Was Born Canada has wide-open spaces, well protected by their remoteness from possible hostile intrusions. Its population, among the largest in the British Commonwealth, can provide many recruits. Canada’s industrial infrastructure can produce airframes for training planes,...

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Ferrying Aircrafts Overseas

As early as 1938, American and Canadian aircraft manufacturers started working on meeting British war requirements, building fighters, bombers, reconnaissance planes and other types of aircraft. In the summer of 1940, North American companies already had orders for some 26,000...

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Home Defence

The Creation of the Home War Establishment (HWE) Long before WWII broke out, the Canadian government, concerned by the development of hostile naval and air forces in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, had considered organizing the defence of Canada’s territory....

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RCAF Anti-Submarine Squadrons Overseas

In Great Britain air force units protecting merchant convoys from enemy submarines were placed under the control of the Royal Air Force (RAF) Coastal Command. Its mission was essentially a defensive one: air patrols ensuring convoy safety by preventing U-boat...

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RCAF Bomber Squadrons Overseas

Bomber Command Military aircraft of the 1930s could easily cross the short distance between Nazi Germany and the British Isles. The Luftwaffe’s rearmament decided by Hitler was, therefore, a source of major concern for the British. It was to counter...

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RCAF Fighter Squadrons Overseas

Fighter squadrons dispatched or created overseas by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) had to respond to changing priorities and needs, as defined by Royal Air force (RAF) military planners. In the preparatory phase preceding the war, the British military...

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The Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division

During the war, women played a significant role with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Their contribution to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) was especially important: as women took on many different responsibilities, men were made available to...

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