The War in Europe 5.2

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1 The War in Europe 5.2 On September 1, 1939, Hitler unleashed a massive air & land attack on Poland. Britain & France immediately declared war on Germany. Canada asserting its independence declares war independently a few days later on September 10, 1939.

2 The War in Europe When the passenger ship Athenia, carrying more than 500 Canadians was sunk by German u- boats on 3, September, 1939, anti- German feelings escalated. The announcement was supported by all but one member of Parliament as well as leaders in Quebec, who supported entry into the war on King s promise that conscription would never be enacted by the government.

3 The War in Europe As the horrors of the First World War lingered in the minds of Canadians, few displayed excitement & few expected a short war. Few however realized that the new conflict would be even longer & more costly than the First World War.

4 New War Technology New Technological advancements, such as fighter & bomber aircraft as well as improved tanks, artillery & guns changed the nature of the Second World War. Fast-moving forces required long-range communications, new radar and secret codes. This made things much more dangerous for civilian populations & made the Second World War even more devastating than the First.

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7 Canada at the Beginning of the War In September 1939, Canada was ill- prepared to fight a war. The army totaled only 4,000 regular troops & 60, 000 part- time soldiers in the militia. The navy had about 3,000 sailors & the Royal Canadian Air Force had 4,000 members.

8 Canada at the Beginning of the War In December 1939, the first Canadian troops reached Britain. It would be some time before Canada s soldiers would engage in battle in Europe. Most were stationed in Britain, undergoing training & preparing to fight off the expected German invasion.

9 Allied Defeats March 1939 Hitler invades the rest of Czechoslovakia September Hitler Invades Poland. Denmark and Norway fall in April 1940 Holland Belgium and Luxemburg fall too the Blitz in May 1940 British and French retreat to the beaches of Dunkirk Naval ships, and civilian boats rescue soldiers France is taken in June forcing French and English soldiers to evacuate at Dunkirk

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11 Blitzkrieg An attacking force spearheaded by a dense concentration of armoured and motorized infantry formations, and heavily backed up by close air support, forces a breakthrough into the enemy's line of defense through a series of short, fast, powerful attacks; and once in the enemy's territory, proceeds to dislocate them using speed and surprise, and then encircle them

12 Newfoundland s Contribution Newfoundlanders served on the land, sea and air Many worked as merchant mariners transporting goods Newfoundland sent recruits, without the use of conscription Newfoundlanders also served in various sections of the Canadian military. i.e the Royal Canadian Air Force

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14 Defense of Hong Kong Canadians fought their first engagement of the Second World War defending the British island colony of Hong Kong. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the British decided that a strong force in Hong Kong might deter Japan from attacking the island. Canada was asked to supply troops to support the British and Indian forces in Hong Kong.

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16 Defense of Hong Kong In October 1941, two barely trained Canadian battalions sailed from Vancouver. The Canadian force totaled 1975 troops. The outnumbered Allied troops held out against the Japanese from December 8 th to the 22 nd, when supplies & ammunition ran out. The Allies were forced to surrender. The cost of the defense of Hong Kong was high for the Canadian battalions, 290 were killed & another 500 wounded.

17 The War at Sea

18 British Commonwealth Air Training Program British Commonwealth Air Training December 1939 Canada signed an agreement with Britain to create the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Pilots were allowed to come from all around the Commonwealth to train in Canada, far away from the dangers of the war By the end of the war allied pilots were trained in Canada

19 Camp X A special spy school located just outside Oshawa, Ontario Trained spies and intelligence agents from Canadian, American, and British armed forces Canada s diverse population provided great opportunity to recruit spies for particular jobs

20 The War at Sea The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) went from 13 ships and 3000 sailors to 370 ships and personnel during WW2. RCN corvettes and destroyers escorted merchant supply ship convoys across the North Atlantic, keeping supply lines open. RCN activities ranged from submarine warfare in the North Atlantic to defense of the West Coast from a feared Japanese invasion.

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22 War in the Air The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) went from 4000 to personnel. Canadian pilots flew all over the world, mostly for Britain in the RAF and mostly in bombers. Canada s greatest contribution to the air war was perhaps the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which trained Allied flyers in 231 Canadian sites

23 War in the Air Germany had angered the Allies by bombing British cities during the Battle of Britain as well as during frequent bombing raids thereafter. The Allies responded, bombing German cities in relentless day & night attacks. Although the official position emphasized that military targets were the primary objective, the truth was that the bombing inflicted terrible civilian damage. More than 1 million German civilians were either killed or wounded.

24 Bombing of Dresden

25 Women at War Canadian women had played a valuable role as nurses & teachers in the South African War & a much broader role in the First World War. In the Second World War, their role expanded even further. At the beginning of the war many women volunteered for military service but authorities were slow to accept them.

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27 Women at War By women s branches of the army, air force & navy were created for the first time in Canadian history. Between 1941 & 1945, more than 46,000 women served overseas in a variety of traditional & non- traditional military roles, such as cooks, nurses, mechanics, welders & radio operators. Some women were assigned to coastal defense & some even flew planes across the Atlantic in Ferry Command.

28 Black and Aboriginal Canadians Black & Aboriginal soldiers served in all the major campaigns of the war. When the war broke out, there was some prejudice against black Canadians in recruiting practices.

29 Black and Aboriginal Canadians As the war progressed, however, black Canadians were accepted into all branches of the armed forces. They served both in the ranks & as officers. The atmosphere was positive enough that black Americans volunteered to fight in the Canadian rather than in the American Armed Forces. Aboriginals were not considered citizens of Canada and many volunteers needed permission from the Department of Indian Affairs to enlist.

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