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Canadian Wwii Battles Revised 2015 Essay

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World War II:
Canada’s Role

Recap: The War Begins…
• When did WWII
break out?

• What was Hitler’s

last action before
Britain and France
declared war?

• What tactic did

Hitler use? Why
was it effective?

Enter Canada…
• How did Canada’s entry
to WWII differ than its
entry to WWI?

• What new law allowed

Canada to make her own
decisions?

• Prime Minister Mackenzie

King was prepared to
send roughly 40 000
troops and anticipated a
role as the main supplier
of food and war materials
for Britain

The House of Commons on
September 7, 1939, the
first day of the special
session in which Canada's
Parliament decided to
declare war on Germany.
Canada declared war on
Sept. 10, 1939

Phoney War…. Then War!
• Sept. 1939 – May 1940called “phoney war”:
due to lack of any
military operation or
attack by either side….
• THEN in 1940, Hitler’s
modern army overran
Denmark, Norway,
Belgium, Luxembourg
and the Netherlands.
Soon, Hitler turned his
attention to France.

The Miracle of Dunkirk

• Thousands of British troops raced across the English Channel to defend

France. A contingent of Canadian soldiers remained in Britain to defend against the expected German invasion.
• Despite Britain’s effort, the Germans advanced rapidly into France leaving both British and French troops trapped.
• In May, 1940, British troops had to be evacuated from the seaport town of Dunkirk on the French coast.
• 300 000 soldiers were rescued by boats of all sizes- in addition to the British destroyers, a makeshift fleet of sightseeing boats, river ferries, fishing boats and privately owned crafts sailed across the British Channel to return the stranded troops safely back to Britain.

• Despite the “miracle” it was a terrible defeat, much of the heavy British war equipment had to be abandoned and
France fell in six weeks.

The Move to Centre
Stage…
• QUESTION: How would Hitler’s
successes in Europe change
Canada’s role in war?

• Canada’s role in WWII evolved
to the centre stage:

-convoys became a vital lifeline
to the survival of Britain
-more Canadian troops sent to
Britain
-Canadian increased wartime
industries such as food, guns,
munitions, supplies and armed
forces

Battle of Britain
• Hitler planned to invade Britain by Sept 1940, code named “Operation Sea •



Lion” but Britain had a major line of defense = surrounded by water, thus he need to defeat the superb British Navy and Royal Air Force (RAF) July 10, 1940 – Germans attack British ships in the English Channel starting the Battle of Britain

By mid-Aug, nearly 2000 German Luftwaffe swarmed the skies (RAF was half the size of the Luftwaffe)
Britain was under relentless attacks, and Germans were successful in destroying airfields and supply factories
Aug 24, 1094- two night-flying Luftwaffe pilots got lost on a mission over the Thames River and released their bombs to lighten their aircraft and then turned for home = they accidentally bombed central London! Churchill ordered bombing raids on Berlin in reprisal

This massive air campaign is known as “the Blitz” (Blitzkrieg means “lightening war” in German) which was meant to disable and demoralize British
BUT Britain did not break, they survived largely due to new radar technology, thus with no signs of weakening, Hitler turned elsewhere….Russia

The Russian Front
• On August 23rd, 1939,

Stalin and Hitler signed
a “Non-Aggression Pact”
which vowed not to
interfere in each other’s
business

• On June 22nd, 1941,

Germany invaded the
Soviet Union

The Eastern Front
• Operation “...

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Keywords

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