Canada and World War II

Canada and World War II
•May 1939
•British King and
Queen visit Canada
hoping to get support
•Mackenzie King,
Prime Minister of
Canada, did not want
to join another war:
•Lost too many
Canadian in WWI
•Conscription divided
the country
•Just recovering from
The Munich Agreement
CBC archives—Canadian
Greetings to Queen and King-hyperlink
September 1, 1939
•Germany invades Poland
•Britain and France declared
war on Germany
•In WWI, this would mean
that Canada also declared
war on Germany.
•But by 1939, Canada was an
independent country, so it
could decide whether or not
it wanted to join the war.
•They take a vote in
•September 8, 1939
•Government meeting
•King wanted to support the
•Ernest Lapoint (minister of
Justice) from Quebec also
supported war
•Helped convince people
from Quebec to vote Canada’s
involvement of war as
•King promised no
Mobilizing Canada’s Resources
•Not prepared for war
•Small army, air force, and navy troops
•Old equipment
•Canadians were cheering on the streets
when Canada decided to join WWI
•Still there were many volunteers
•Aboriginal people volunteered more
than other groups join Canada
•Thomas Prince
•No African Canadians (racist)-more
acceptance later
•Canadians wanted to join the war
•$1.30/day & $60/month for depended
spouse and $30/month for each child
•Sediment towards Britain
•Newfound national pride
A political cartoon of the time shows Canada as a huge goal net
and three small figures (all equal size) labelled “Army”, “Air
force” and “Navy” trying to guard it. It is called the “National
Nightmare” 1939 (start of war!). What do you think this
represents? See image to the right
a. Canada’s air force was much smaller than its other branches
b. Canada’s armed forces were too small to defend Canada
c. Canada’s coasts were defended by only one branch of the
d. Canada’s army was prepared for war and could defend its
The War in Europe
•Britain, France, Commonwealth
countries like Canada, Australia and
New Zealand
•Germany, Italy, and Japan
•Allied troops along France’s borders
and waited for Germany’s next move
•Nothing happened for seven
•Called a “phoney war” (attrition?)
April 1940
Blitzkrieg (see animation)
•“Lightning War”
•Powerful and successful war tactic
•Surprise and fast attacks
•German tanks, warplanes, and
soldiers in enemy territory and
destroying communication and
transportation links.
•Countries attacked became
confused and trapped
•Attacked Denmark and Norway
Key battle: Evacuation at Dunkirk
May 10, 1940
Invasion of Netherlands
German forces went into Belgium and into
Germans almost reached Dunkirk, near
the English Channel
Allied forces were surrounded and had to
They could only escape by the sea
May 26, 1940
Britain decide to organize all its boats,
from ferries to fishing boats to go to the
beaches of Dunkirk, so they can save the
Allied forces
Luftwaffe, German air force, bombed
Escape from Dunkirk was hard, but Allies
were able to escape
June 22, 1940
Because of Germany’s strong army,
Germany soon captured France.
France surrendered.
Only Britain and the Commonwealth
countries fought against Germany
Battle of Britain
July 10, 1940-Battle of Britain
“Operation Sea Lion”
•Germany’s plan to attack Britain
•Destroy Britain’s air power
•Massive bombing of harbours and shipping
facilities in Southern England
•Bombing raids of airfields and aircraft
•Bombing of civilian targets for almost 55
nights Scared and killed many people
•Destroyed buildings and streets
•Called the “Blitz”
•Germany had more planes than Britain, but
Germany could not win war against British
•Radar System
•Britain could know when German raids will
•Spitfires and Hurricanes
•Good fighter planes
•Joined by many pilots from Commonwealth
•Britain was successful in shooting German
•May 1941
•Hitler decided to stop trying to invade
The War Spreads
•Germany lost the Battle of Britain
•“Operation Barbarossa”
•Invasion of Russia
•Germany and the Soviet agreed before in 1939 that they would not invade each other, but
Hitler did not keep his promise!
•Hitler needed to control Russia because he wanted a greater Germany, a big German
•Russians were surprised and unprepared fro this attack.
•German troops were successful in surrounding Russian troops
•BUT Germany troops were not prepared for the long and bitterly cold Soviet winter
•Germany launched another attack to gain control of Russia’s oil fields in the south
•German troops were able to reach one of Russia’s main cities, Stalingrad, but the winter
made them suffer
•Germany surrendered in 1943
•Soviet army was able to take the territory Germany gained from their invasions.
The War in the Pacific
•Japan was an Axis power but not
involved in war in Europe
•December 7, 1941
•Pearl Harbour
•Japanese planes bombed naval base in
Pearl harbour, Hawaii, USA
•Destroyed half of US navy
•US declared war on Japan
Watch Attack Scene!
•Germany and Italy declared war on the
US since they were allies with Japan
•Also bombed Philippines
•Also invaded Hong Kong, British colony
•Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas
Day, 1941
•Canada had sent troops to Hong Kong
•1975 Canadians were either killed or
taken prisoner by the Japanese
•Canadians were scared to learn of the fate
of the Canadians and angry that troops had
been sent to Hong Kong
•Japan continued to invade most of
Southeast Asia and Burma and the
Netherlands East Indies and headed
towards Australia
Canada’s Role in Europe
Soviet Union
One of the Allied powers
Lost many soldiers against German invasions
Wanted Allies to invade Europe from the West
Would weaken German army because it would fight two fronts
The Dieppe Raid, August 19, 1942
•Second Canadian Division was
chosen to be the ones to attack the
French port of Dieppe, under
German occupation
•Canadians had been training in
Britain, and had been excited to join
the war effort in Europe.
•Four attacks along the coast
•One main attack on Dieppe
•Allied troops were to be protected
by air force bombers and tanks
were to be landed on town
•Plan failed
•Germans met Canadians at sea
•Noise alerted German troops on
•Late start
•Poor communication
•Many died
•Dieppe was a valuable lesson
•Allies will be able to launch a
successful invasion next time
Canadians at Sea
Royal Canadian Navy rushed into a
massive building and training program
1940-1944: The Battle of the Atlantic
Canada’s help was needed
Food and military supplies
Allied ships to England were being
sunk by German submarines
Convoy system
Warships escort and protect ships that
carry important supplies
German still destroyed these ships
Escort convoys
Quick, small, and easily controlled
Built by Canadians
Seemed like Allies were losing Battle of
the Atlantic, but they start to win.
Britain found out Germany’s naval
Allies could know German
submarine movements
Building more ships
Better training of Royal Canadian
Better equipment
Liberator bombers that can protect
convoy’s route
Germany suffered losses
Canada’s navy grew significantly as
Canadians in the Air
Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
increased in numbers and became
more important
Participated in bombing raids in
Britain, North Africa, Northwest
Europe, and Southeast Asia
Participated in night bombing in
Germany (US participated in day
Example: Hamburg, Germany
Created firestorm (City was in
Many died
Three photographers getting ready to take off; from left to right:
Flight Sergeant A.D. Lang, Aircraftswomen M. Dudlyke, M.
Clayborne and Jeanne Farris.
Operations monitoring at the Eastern Air Command HQ, Halifax,
January 9th, 1943.
RCAF formed Women’s Division to support the war effort
Women were trained as clerks, cooks, hospital assistants, drivers, telephone operators, welders,
instrument mechanics, and engine mechanics.
Women were not allowed to fly in combat, but in delivering planes to Britain.
American Troops coming ashore Omaha 1944
The Tide Turns
Allies gained strength when the US entered the conflict in Dec. 1941
Allies began to win the Battle of the Atlantic
Allies made important advances in Asia
Allies cleared North Africa of Axis forces and could turn their attention to the invasion of Europe
The Invasion of Italy
British PM, Winston Churchill, said that the best way
to get to Europe from Germany was through the
“soft Underbelly” of Europe—Italy and Sicily
Invasion of Italy and Sicily
Thought it would be easy
Lasted almost tow years and cost many lives
Therefore, not so easy
July 10, 1943
Canadians participated in Allies’ invasion of Sicily
Allies were successful
September 1943
Moved to mainland Italy
Rugged terrain, muddy conditions, and cold rainy
weather (similar to WWI)
Slow battles
Battle over one town, Ortona
Canadians fought for a long time
Germany withdrew eventually
Allies advance through Italy was hard
June 4, 1944
Reached Rome and gained control of it
Continued in Italy until the spring of 1945—
Bug Ms. D about this!!! It is really cool!
Canadian troops moving
anti-tank gun into
position during street
fighting in Ortona, 21
December 1943.
D-day and Liberation
June 6, 1944
“Operation Overlord”
•A full-scale invasion of Europe
•Five landing points along the beaches
in Normandy in northern France
•Beaches called “Sword,” “Juno”,
“Gold”, “Omada”, and “Utah”
•Attacks on the beaches were preceded
by massive air attacks and paratroopers
were parachuted in behind the German
•Allied troops had two advantages
•Massive air and naval support with
the ability to land more than a million
troops within two or three weeks
•Details of the attack were secret
•German defense was poorly planned
•Allied began an eleven-month
advance through France and Belgium,
towards Germany
•Campaign was tiring and dangerous
•Allies were liberators of Europe
•Canadians marched triumphantly
through the streets of Dieppe
A LCA just
launched off
Prince Henry
towards the
March 1945
Allied forces attacked Germany
Task of Canadians: Free Netherlands
This was done before, but unsuccessful
Slow fighting
Lots of casualties
April 17, 1945
Canadians able to defeat German army
and free Netherlands
Also, air drops of food and convoys of
trucks carrying food and fuel
Canadians seen as heroes in Netherlands
May 7, 1945
Germany surrendered
Allies attacked Germany in the West,
while the Soviet Union attacked in the
Hitler killed himselfdidn’t want to
Two German officers in a group of prisoners who
surrendered to Canadian troops in Courseulles, June
6th, 1944.
The Holocaust Discovered
Allies pressed closer to Germany and discovered
the actions of the Nazis—The Holocaust
Millions of people murdered and many dead
people and hungry people in concentration camps
Anti-Semitic and racist views of Hitler and Nazi
were known in the 1930s.
“Final Solution”
Germany’s plan to rid their society of all people
they considered undesirable
Death camps were built in a number of places
German scientists experimented with the best
way of killing lots of people at one time
Jews from all over Europe were shipped to death
Stripped of their clothes and valuables
Heads were shaved
Families were separated
Weak, old, and young sent to “showers”
No water, just gas
Strong and healthy were put to work
Killed when too weak
Germans had murdered 6 million Jews, Roma
(Gypsies), Slavs and other people they thought
was inferior
Holocaust (massive killing of people)
Japan surrenders
Japanese air force and
navy destroyed
Army was still strong
US government wanted
to end war, so used an
atomic bomb
Manhattan Project
US and British scientists
working on a secret
plan to make a nuclear
August 6, 1945
US dropped an atomic
bomb on Hiroshima”Little Boy”(Enola
70,000 killed
130,000 people were
August 9, 1945
US dropped an atomic
bomb (“Fat Man”) on
40,000 people killed
WWII is over.
The rest of these slides focus on
the Home Front-Political/Social
and Economic Changes!
Japanese Canadians
• Animation/Letter Assignment
• After the bombing of bombing of Pearl
Harbour on ? there was a fear that
Japanese would invade Canada.
• 22, 000 Japanese-Canadians (out of 23, 000
in Canada) are placed in Internment
Camps in the interior of British Columbia
• All their possessions were taken and sold
houses, cars, shops, fishing boats, and
other property (for practically nothing!)
• In 1945 the Canadian government decided
to deport Japanese Canadians back to
• In 1988, the Canadian government agreed
that it was wrong -- > paid 1400 people
who were affected $21,000/each -- > gave
citizenship back to those deported
• Was it enough?
The British Commonwealth Air
Training Plan
•War effort was at home, so no
•British instructors would train pilots
and other flight personnel from all over
the Commonwealth in Canada
•Open skies
•Distance from enemies
•Major Canadian contribution to the
war effort
Total War
•Government planned and controlled
•Department of Munitions and Supplies
C.D. Howe as its minister
•Controlled production
•Crown corporations
•Vancouver building ships for navy.
•Montreal was building new planes and bombers.
•Canada’s car industries were building military vehicles and tanks.
•Munitions factories in Quebec and Ontario
•Government controlled telephone companies, refined fuel,
stockpiled silk for parachutes, mined uranium, and controlled food
Policy of Total War
•Canadians willing to do whatever it took to defeat the enemy.
Important World War II Documents:
War Mearure’s Act (1940) detainment of Japanese Canadians and
take civil liberties away (suspend them)
National Selective Services Act able-bodied male and female had
to do essential war work
Lend-Lease Act – Supplying War goods to G.B. from CAN and
National Resources Mobilization Act: required adult males to
register for military service within Canada (conscription?) – I’ll talk
about this later
Ogdensburg Agreement-The Ogdensburg Agreement is an
agreement signed in 1940 between Canada and United States.
Closer Canadian-American military co-operation and established
the Permanent Joint Board of Defence.
The War at Home (cont’d)
•Workers working long hours and
many working seven days a week
•All women asked to work (esp. single
women! Why?)
•Moved from rural to urban
•Companies built dormitories
•Married women also found factory
•Provincial governments funded day
care facilities
Canada’s Wartime Economy
•Increased production and
•More money to spend
•Not many products to buy
•King also wished to prevent the
massive debt problem
•Minister of finance
•Victory Bonds
•Government will make sure that
Canadians are saving money
•Use money to help the cost of war
•Increase income taxes
•Rise in prices for goods and services
that increases cost of living and triggers
the demand for a rise in wages
•Wartime Prices and Trade Boards
•Freeze all wages and prices as a way to
prevent inflation
•King introduced food rationing
The Growing Demand for Social Change
•Limit unions
•Shortage of labour helps the unions
•Workers=higher wages and collective
•Acknowledge unions
•War changes role of government
•More involvement in economy
•The CCF (Cooperative Commonwealth
Federation) party and its belief of social
change was becoming popular
King knew that he had competition, so he
thought of:
(Is he borrowing ideas from somewhere?
The PM of the 1930s?
•Unemployment insurance program
•Expanded social assistance programs
•Family allowance program
•“Cradle to grave” social security
•Meaning that government will support
everyone from young to old.
Committee in House of Commons discussing the
Unemployment Insurance Act, 1940
The Conscription Crisis
National Resources Mobilization Act
•Gather all resources in the nation to
defeat the enemy.
•Conscription, but only for home
•pressured to adopt overseas
•King decided to hold a plebiscite
April 27, 1942
•Plebiscite results: All provinces except
Quebec voted “yes”
•Issue of conscription divided the
August 1942
•King allowed overseas conscription
•Quebec felt betrayed by King’s actions
•“Not necessarily conscription, but
conscription if necessary.”
Political cartoon concerning
conscription crisis,
•King did not want a divided Canada,the
November, 1944.
so he tried to avoid overseas
conscription until 1944.
Invasion of Europe
•lost almost 23,000 soldiers
•Minister of Defence, Ralston, visited
•More troops needed
•Replaced by General Andrew
McNaughton, commander of the
Canadian Army (1939-1943)
•King thought that a military man
would be able to convince the men
conscripted under the NRMA to
volunteer for duty overseas
•McNaughton failed to do so!
•King agrees to send conscripts
•12000 NRMA conscripts to Europe
(not all went peacefully)
•Quebec legislature passed a motion
that says it was against what the
government was doing
•Only 2463 Canadian conscripts
reached Europe
Anti-conscription rally in Quebec City during World War II.
What the war Meant to Canada
•Military and economic support to
the Allies
•Known as the “arsenal [military]
storehouse of democracy.”
•GDP increases from 1939-1945
•Financial aid to the Allies
•Employment increased
•Wartime boom brought another
important change in Canadian
•Agriculture decreased in
•Industry was more important.
•Investment in mining, production,
workers producing primers (A cap or tube containing a small amount of
transportation, and service Women
explosive used to detonate the main explosive charge of a firearm or mine. )
•Post-war immigration increased
V-E Day Celebrations
V-E (Victory in Europe) Day was celebrated
all across Canada, as in Ottawa shown here
on 8 May 1945
Building an Identity
Canada’s contribution to the war: soldiers, money, and products
Canadians now major players in the global conflict
3rd largest navy
4th largest air force
Many Canadians killed, wounded, or captured, but WWII helped show how Canada will be
in the years to come.
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