Published on November 13, 2007
Canada and World War II: Canada and World War II “Canadians live in a fireproof house, far from inflammable materials. A vast ocean separates us from Europe.” Senator Dandurand: “Canadians live in a fireproof house, far from inflammable materials. A vast ocean separates us from Europe.” Senator Dandurand Under King Canada became more isolationist Fascism swept Europe with a blend of militarism, nationalism and totalitarianism Benito Mussolini in Italy, Adolf Hitler in Germany and Francisco Franco in Spain Against these dictators the western democracies took a policy of appeasement League of Nations is Toothless: League of Nations is Toothless Mussolini invaded Abyssinia in 1935 the League of Nations tried to stop the attack Walter Riddell Canadian wanted an oil embargo on Italy King found out stopped the policy in the League Mussolini captured Ethiopia to start the new Roman Empire King and Canada had helped destroy the League of Nations The Spanish Civil War 1936 to 1939: The Spanish Civil War 1936 to 1939 “The Mac-Paps”: “The Mac-Paps” General Franco took power in Spain and set up a fascist state Germany and Italy helped Franco The western allies did nothing to stop the civil war The Canadian Communist Party the socialist CCF and trade unions supported the formation of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion Of the 1600 that went to Spain less than ½ returned “Mac-Paps”: “Mac-Paps” Poland Invaded: Poland Invaded September 1, 1939 Hitler rolled his tanks into Poland and World War II started This sudden attack was called “blitzkrieg” or lighting war With the Nazis-Soviet Pact the Russians invaded Poland from the east On September 3, 1939 Britain and France declared war on Germany September 9, 1939 Canada declared war on Germany Battle for Poland: Battle for Poland The war would last from September 9, 1939 to May 8, 1945 Hitler would turn on his former ally Russia in June of 1941 The United States would enter the war on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour The Allies: Great Britain( Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) France, Canada, Russia, and the United States The Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, and Japan Poland: Poland Phony War: Phony War After the fall of Poland the war entered a stage of “sitzkrieg” or sitting war or “phony war” The western allies France , Britain and Canada were at war with Germany but no one wanted to start shooting France was content to sit behind the Maginot Line Britain was happy to raise troops for the fight in France And King was trying to figure out how Canada could be at war and not have the casualties as in WWI Pacific Troubles: Pacific Troubles The world was being moved towards war in the Pacific as well In 1932 Japan moved into Manchuria an independent kingdom in China In 1936 Japan and Germany signed the Axis Agreement The Japanese invaded China and captured the city of Nanking putting over 200,000 Chinese to the sword Japan wanted western countries out of the Pacific Maginot Line and Nanking: Maginot Line and Nanking Norway and Denmark: Norway and Denmark The phony war was broken in April 1940 when Germany conqueror Norway and Denmark The First Canadian Division new to England was ordered to Scotland for a landing in Norway The attack was called off at the last minute Norway and Denmark fell to Germany in May 1940 The Fall of France: The Fall of France The German Wehrmacht did not stop there they moved there “blitzkrieg” thought Belgium, the Netherlands and into France By May 21 German “panzers” had reached the English Channel British forces retreated to the French town of Dunkirk The French Army considered the best in Europe surrendered to Germany on June 14, 1940 Blitzkrieg: Blitzkrieg Battle for Dunkirk: Battle for Dunkirk In may 1940 a call went out for all boats to help British troops escape from Dunkirk The makeshift fleet sailed across the English Channel in the fog Over 340000 British soldier were rescued from the German Wehrmacht All there heavy equipment was lost to the Germans The First Canadian Division was the only well equipped army to defend Britain Dunkirk and Total War: Dunkirk and Total War After the fall of France it was believed Britain would only last 3 weeks Besides the Canadian Army Britain was only defended by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy If Britain fell only Canada would stand against Germany King had no choice now Canada must mobilize for “total war” “the Miracle of Dunkirk”: “the Miracle of Dunkirk” Canada Becomes an Industrial Nation: Canada Becomes an Industrial Nation C.D. Howe Canada Minister of munitions and Supply launched Canada into a massive industrial mobilization A Wartime Prices and Trade Board was set up to control inflation and profiteering Even with the rationing of products Canada’s economy boomed Canada was run by food stamps and ration books British Commonwealth Air Training Plan: British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Canada’s first military practice was the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Men from all over the empire would be taken to Canada’s west and taught to fly planes King believed this could be Canada’s role without sending troops into battle As many as 131,500 airmen were trained in Canada for the war in Europe Battle of Britain: Battle of Britain Before the Germany army could invade Britain across the English Channel “Operation Sea Lion” the Royal Air Force would have to be destroyed On July 10, 1940 the Battle of Britain began The Royal Air Force was only ½ the size of the German Luftwaffe At first the air war went in the Germans favor knocking out airfields and supply factories Terror Bombing: Terror Bombing The turning point of the battle was the night bombing of London by 2 German planes The British bombed Berlin in return Hitler now ordered all British cities bombed German attacks peaked on September 15, 1940 more than a 1000 German bombers filled the sky RAF Hurricanes and Spitfires fought the Germans to a stand still With German loses increasing the Battle of Britain was stopped in May of 1941 Battle of Britain: Battle of Britain Canadians in the Air War: Canadians in the Air War Canadians were often in the thick of the air war Not only in the Battle of Britain but in Africa and the Pacific Canadians served in the RAF and the RCAF as pilots, air crews By the end of the war 17101 Canadians died in the air war Equal to the deaths suffered by the Canadian Army during the war Battle of the Atlantic: Battle of the Atlantic Canada’s effort in the Battle of the Atlantic was even more dramatic Again Canada's chance to shine without the great lose of life from the First World War The Battle of the Atlantic began when the German army over ran France and occupied the channel ports in 1940 After the fall of France Canada’s destroyers joined the Royal Navy to protect Britain Battle of the Atlantic: Battle of the Atlantic At the start of the war Canada had 13 ships and 3,000 men By the end of the war Canada had 373 ships and over 90,000 men and women With Britain needing ships the US transferred 50 old destroyers to Britain Canada received 6 of these Halifax became the center of convoy service to Britain Canada needed small escort ships the “corvettes” RCN: RCN By the spring of 1941 shipping loses to U-Boat attacks were out doing production Canada was given control of escort duty from Halifax to St. John’s to the mid-Atlantic Commodore Murray set up his flag in Newfie John” The RCAF started submarine patrol from Gander in 1939 In 1941 Canadian forces placed under control of the US navy Battle of the Atlantic: Battle of the Atlantic By March of 1943 Canada had resumed control of the western convoys By March of 1945 the Germans had 463 U-Boats in the Atlantic as compared to the 27 in 1939 Yet the life of a U-Boat crew could be measured in days the tables had turned By 1944 most of the Canadian Navy was getting ready for service with D_Day Battle of the Atlantic“The real heroes of the Atlantic war were the civilian seamen. An estimated quarter of them did not survive the war.” Desmond Morton: Battle of the Atlantic “The real heroes of the Atlantic war were the civilian seamen. An estimated quarter of them did not survive the war.” Desmond Morton In an attempt to starve Britain out of the war German U-Boats (Unterseebooten) traveled in deadly “wolf packs” attacked ships trying to cross the Atlantic German U-Boats entered the St. Lawrence River and sank 23 ships Canada provided air and sea escorts to the supply convoys Royal Canadian Navy: Royal Canadian Navy The Little Ships: The Little Ships Battle of the AtlanticAlmost 1200 Canadians died in the Battle of the Atlantic: Battle of the Atlantic Almost 1200 Canadians died in the Battle of the Atlantic “Operation Barbarossa”June 22, 1941 Hitler broke the Soviet-Axis Pact and attacked the Soviet Union: “Operation Barbarossa”June 22, 1941 Hitler broke the Soviet-Axis Pact and attacked the Soviet Union Operation Barbarossa: Operation Barbarossa Pearl Harbor: Pearl Harbor “Like Lambs to the Slaughter”: “Like Lambs to the Slaughter” After the surprise attack on the US fleet at Pearl Harbor the Japanese army moved towards Hong Kong the British colony The British knew that Hong Kong could not be defended However a symbolical defence was necessary So more than 1900 Canadian troops were sent to the colony Many had not fired a rifle in practice let alone in combat Hong Kong: Hong Kong The attack began on December 18, 1941 Sergeant-Major John Osborn of the Winnipeg Grenadiers saved his men by jumping on a live grenade Brigadier John Lawson of Royal Rifles of Canada left his surrounded pill box with pistols blazing On Christmas Day the garrison surrendered Being a prisoner of the Japanese was worse than death 290 Canadians died in the defence of Hong Kong, 550 died as prisoners of war “The Lambs”: “The Lambs” “Operation Jubilee”: “Operation Jubilee” 1942 was a bad year for the Allies 3 million German troops had attacked deep into Russia The Eastern Front needed relief An attack in force along the French coast was needed The test assault would be the French coastal town of Dieppe On August 19, 1942 Operation Jubilee was launched 6000 allied troops stormed the beaches 5000 were Canadians Dieppe: Dieppe The attack went wrong from the start The attack force was spotted before it landed The barrage lasted only 10 minutes Tanks were landed on a rocky beach Dawn was breaking as the landing started Germans perched on the coastal cliffs could rain shells on the Canadians below “Nine Hours of Death”: “Nine Hours of Death” To much was expected of to few troops The Royal Regiment of Canada was expected to breech the coastal defenses get over a 12 foot seawall rows of barbed wire, scale a 200 foot cliff, take out the anti-aircraft guns , machine gun nests and set up a beachhead before the main assault in 30 minutes Most of the landing did not arrive in the correct locations the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division was in effect sent into a shooting gallery “Cannon Fodder”: “Cannon Fodder” The first amphibious assault of World War II was a disaster 5000 Canadians stormed the beaches of Dieppe, 3300 were casualties , 900 killed and 1900 would spent the rest of the war as German POW’s Dieppe was the forerunner of D-Day At least it showed the Allies of how not to mount an amphibious operation DIEPPE: DIEPPE Canadians in Sicily: Canadians in Sicily In the spring the Canadian left Britain to attack Sicily under the command of Major-General G.G. Simonds The Canadians were part of the British 8th Army and attacked on the left flank of the British Army The Canadians had proven themselves in there first campaign They had fought through 150 miles of mountainous country Farther than any other formation in the army “The Sicilian Star”: “The Sicilian Star” During the final two weeks of the attack the Canadians fought in most of the battles in the front Canadian casualties 562 killed, 664 wounded and 84 prisoners of war Sicily had fallen fast and many Italian troops were captured The Allied trap had closed to slowly and 10 of thousands of German troops had escaped With the Battle for Sicily over the Battle for the “Boot” would begin Canadians in Italy: Canadians in Italy On September 3, 1943 Italy surrendered German forces took control of Italy Although Italian dictator Mussolini was captured by Italians he was soon rescued by German forces and set up the “Italian Social Republic” in Northern Italy The Canadian 1st Division and the 1st Canadian tank Brigaded lead the British 8th across the Straits of Messina to Italy September 3th 1943 From Messina to Naples: From Messina to Naples The Italian campaign was a long and bitter fight The Germans took advantage of the mountainous terrain and swift rivers to mount defensive lines By the end of September the Allies with Canadians at the point had taken southern Italy but the central and northern areas were still in German hands “Mouseholing”: “Mouseholing” After more advances in the month of October the Canadian advance was stopped at the Moro River After the hand-to-hand combat for the Moro River the Canadians advanced into the medieval town of Ortano With its narrow streets tanks could not be used The Canadians had to advance building by building With Germans in every building the streets could not be used “Mouseholing” was the only means of advance ORTANO: ORTANO By Christmas 1943 an attack was launched against the coast road the Germans were in trouble of being cut off With little hope of holding the town the Germans withdrew from ORTANO on December 28th 1943 By early 1944 1st Canadian Corps in Italy had reached 76,000 men Total casualties were 9934 all ranks of which 2119 were killed ORTANO: ORTANO From the Liri Valley to Rome: From the Liri Valley to Rome In the spring of 1944 the Germans held a defensive line north of Ortano through Monte Cassino which blocked the Liri Valley and the route to Rome In May the Canadian corps received orders to take the Adolf Hitler Line and take the Liri Valley By the end of May the Canadians had taken the Liri and were on the road to Rome June 4th Rome fell to the Americans, but this was overshadowed by the D_Day landings on June 6th 1944 Rimini: Rimini By the winter of 1944 the Canadians had moved to the other side of Italy They had to break the Gothic Line to enter the Po River Valley In August the Canadian Corps went against the Gothic Line By September 2 the Canadians were the first to break the Gothic Line At Rimini the Canadians came in contact with there old rivals the 1st German Parachute Division After hard fighting the Canadians took Rimini Canadians out of Italy: Canadians out of Italy The Canadians Corps finished their tour of duty in Italy in February of 1945 after the Po River Valley was taken All Canadian Forces in Europe were moved to the Holland German Front With minimum troops on both sides the Italian Front stopped at the Senio River As the Canadians were leaving Mussolini’s rule in Italy was coming to a close Caught in a civil war Mussolini and his girlfriend were captured by partisans and executed MUSSOLINI DEAD: MUSSOLINI DEAD AIR WAR in EUROPE During the Battle of Britain Canadians had flew as members as the RAF, by Dieppe 8 of the 74 Allied squadrons were Canadian. By D_Day the RCAF had 3 Spitfire Wings, 1 wing of Typhoons and a reconnaissance wing of Mustangs.: AIR WAR in EUROPE During the Battle of Britain Canadians had flew as members as the RAF, by Dieppe 8 of the 74 Allied squadrons were Canadian. By D_Day the RCAF had 3 Spitfire Wings, 1 wing of Typhoons and a reconnaissance wing of Mustangs. Bombers; although the fighter wings were very important most Canadians in the RCAF flew for Bomber Command. The aim was a night time bombing of German cities, to destroy military, industrial targets and to force the German people to surrender. Tens of thousands of German civilians were killed in the raids. 9,980 Canadians were killed in Bomber Command.: Bombers; although the fighter wings were very important most Canadians in the RCAF flew for Bomber Command. The aim was a night time bombing of German cities, to destroy military, industrial targets and to force the German people to surrender. Tens of thousands of German civilians were killed in the raids. 9,980 Canadians were killed in Bomber Command. RCAF crews served in other areas of the world. Coastal Command used bombers for anti-submarine duty over the Atlantic in the Battle of the Atlantic. Canadian squadrons served in the Mediterranean, North Africa, during the Italian campaign and in southeast Asia as transport and reconnaissance squadrons. 249,624 served in the RCAF 17100 were killed in action.: RCAF crews served in other areas of the world. Coastal Command used bombers for anti-submarine duty over the Atlantic in the Battle of the Atlantic. Canadian squadrons served in the Mediterranean, North Africa, during the Italian campaign and in southeast Asia as transport and reconnaissance squadrons. 249,624 served in the RCAF 17100 were killed in action. Operation Overland: Operation Overland On June 6th 1944 the assault on “Fortress Europe” started The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion part of the British 6th Airborne Division dropped behind enemy lines The Royal Canadian Navy cleared mines and shelled enemy positions RCAF bombed enemy targets inland and fighters attacked targets as they appeared JUNO BEACH: JUNO BEACH The Canadians landed at Juno Beach between Courseulles and St.-Aubin-sur-Mer. By the end of the day the Canadians were farther inland than any other Allied army About 14000 Canadians landed at Normandy The Canadians suffered 1074 casualties with 359 killed in action The Atlantic Wall had been breached JUNO BEACH: JUNO BEACH Juno Beach: Juno Beach Caen and the 12th SS: Caen and the 12th SS The fighting in Normandy continued into July 1944 The American forces to capture Cherbourg and the Canadians and British to attack Caen At Caen the Canadians meet the German 12th SS Panzer Division Some of the hardest fighting of the war was between the Canadians and the 12th SS With some of the best German divisions on the Anglo-Canadian front the Americans were able to break out at St. Lo The Falaise Gap: The Falaise Gap With the American breakout at St Lo the Germans Armies could have been surrounded near Falaise The job was given to the Canadians to close the Falaise Pocket and trap the Germans By August 19th the Canadians First Army closed the GAP capturing many German units However, many escaped including the 12th SS Coastal Ports: Coastal Ports With the closing of the Falaise gap the German armies could no longer hold France On August 25th Paris was liberated by French and American troops The first Canadian Army was given the task of liberating the coastal ports for war supplies By September the Canadians had liberated most of the coastal ports The British had captured Antwerp but not the mouth of the river entrance A Bridge To Far: A Bridge To Far The Germans retreated to the Dutch German border In a bold move the Second British Army tried to captured the bridges at Grave, Nijmegen and Arnhem The attack was coded named Operation Marketgarden The bridge at Arnhem was held by German forces and the war would continue into 1945 With the failure of Operation Marketgarden the month of the Scheldt had to be taken Battle of the Scheldt: Battle of the Scheldt Antwerp already occupied by the allies could not be used as a port because it is 50 miles from the sea Both banks of the Scheldt River were occupied by German forces The Canadians were given the job of taking these positions This included Beveland isthmus and peninsula the Breskens “pocket” the Leopold Canal and Walcheren Island Battle of the Scheldt : Battle of the Scheldt The taking of the Scheldt River to Antwerp was a long and difficult battle for the Canadians The failure of Operation Marketgarden had given the Germans time to dip in and fortify their positions The land in this region is below sea level the Germans destroyed most of the dikes Most of the advancing was along narrow roads or through the water This made the Canadians easy targets Battle Ended: Battle Ended The attack on the German positions began on the first of October 1944 All resistance ended in the Scheldt on November 8th 1944 and the port of Antwerp was opened on November 28th 1944 After this battle the Canadians became known as the “water rats” After the Battle for the Scheldt the Canadians rested in the Maas Nijmegen salient and prepare for the February advance into Germany Netherlands: Netherlands In February 1945 the Allies launched the last offensive of the war The Canadians had to retake Holland break the Siegfried line and proceed to the Rhine River It took the Canadians from February 8th to March 10th to complete all tasks On March 23th the Allies crossed the Rhine The Canadians were given the job of Liberating Holland Canadians arranged a ceasefire with the Germans to feed the starving Dutch Victory in Europe Day: Victory in Europe Day At the time of this operation Canadian troops from Italy had joined the First Canadian Army On April 28th the Germans were pushed back to their last positions in Holland April 25th Russian and US troops met on the Elbe River A few days later Hitler committed suicide German troops surrendered to the Canadians on May 5th 1945 General German surrender was in Rheims France on May 7th 1945 V-E Day was and is May 8th “Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription.”: “Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription.” During World War II the question of conscription came up In World War I Canada divided on the grounds of conscription In World War II King believed that the country must appear united In 1940 King called an election Quebec was promised no conscription in 1942 King had a national plebiscite on the possibility of having conscription Quebec voted no by 73%, rest of Canada voted yes by 80% King’s answer force the NRMA Army overseas (National Resources Mobilization Act The so called “Zombies” would be forced to fight The NRMA ‘s were soldiers that volunteered or were conscripted to defend Canada By 1942 with a fear of invasion these men marched the country with nothing to do Conscription No Big Deal: Conscription No Big Deal Conscription began in November 1944, riots in Montreal but little notice was taken The real opposition came from the “Zombies” who did not sign up for a war overseas About 13000 NRMA men made it overseas Fewer than 2500 made it into battle 69 died in action 1million Canadian men and women served in World war II, of these 45000 were killed in action. For a nation of 12 million people we did a great deal.: 1million Canadian men and women served in World war II, of these 45000 were killed in action. For a nation of 12 million people we did a great deal. World War II EndedThe Cold War Begins: World War II Ended The Cold War Begins Japanese Canadians treated poorly The Start of the Just Society Can we continue the Dream?