Canada and World War Two

1. The Injustice of the
Treaty of Versailles
 Signed in the hope of
preventing further wars. The
Germans were to be taught a
lesson- $32 billion in
reparation payments.
 France had suffered terribly during the war and they
wanted Germany forced to give up her colonies and
overseas investments. The loss of Rhineland, creation
of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Poland had
displaced 6,500,000 Germans into these countries
(and natural resources of iron, coal, lead and zinc).
Germany and Austria were not to form a union again
or have anything more than a limited navy and army
(they are not to rearm in anyway). The German people
were humiliated- they felt they couldn’t live with these
conditions so they looked for a solution to their
 2. The Rise of Fascism (Italy, Japan and
 a)Italy unhappy with Treaty of Versailles because
they had fought with allies but had received little
territory – they had high unemployment after
WW1. In 1922 Benito Mussolini comes to power,
he is a Fascist dictator (no freedom of the press –
anti communist, very patriotic). He promises a
return to the glory “Days of the Roman Empire”
 Jobs, security, law and order
improve but when the
Depression hits Europe very
hard. “Il Duce” (Mussolini)
looks for a distraction from
poverty and in 1935 he sends
troop into Abyssinia (now
Ethiopia) to fight.
 b) Japan is a growing
industrial power looking for
more space and natural
resources (oil, coal and
iron). Japan has a powerful
navy and military and a
desire to be the strongest
power in Asia – 1931 they
invade Manchuria
 c) The German economy is destroyed due to Treaty of
Versailles. The war payments can’t be met,
unemployment is high, money is worthless, people’s
saving are gone and then the Depression hits. The
German people have no loyalty to government that
signed the Treaty. People felt that democracy didn’t
work and Adolf Hitler offered people a better life
through the Nazi Party. In his book “Mein Kampf”
Hitler lays out his plan to glorify Germany.
 1933-Hitler seizes power in
Germany – he is the “Fuhrer” and
begins a campaign against “Non
Aryans” – he blames Marxist,
gypsies and Jews for Germany’s
problems –“they controlled
economy” he says (visible target or
scapegoat). Hitler hated
communist, he promised jobs, he
appealed to German pride and
created a sense of nationalism in
the German people
 1935- Hitler begins to re-arm Germany and regains
control of the Saar Valley.
In 1936- reoccupies the Rhineland.
In 1938- Germans invade and annex Austria and then
the Sudetenland
The Germans had jobs factories, new highways and
the Volkswagen. Germans had regained pride and
reunited German peoples
1939- Germany takes over the rest of Czechoslovakia
and sign Non-Aggression Pact with Soviets
 3. The Appeasement of the
League of Nations
 1938-Munich AgreementChamberlain announces
“Peace in our Time”- a hope
that diplomacy would
prevent another Great War
 -Feeling that the Treaty had
been unjust and now the
German people should be
Neville Chamberlain believed
the Germans would be
satisfied. He was convinced
Hitler was an honest man.
Mackenzie King said “he was
a man of deep sincerity” and
“A Germany with her self
respect restored would be
the means of dispelling the
war clouds hanging over
Europe ”.
 The public didn’t want to go to war again there are too
many bad memories of too many killed in WWI. There
had been too much money spent on the last war and
economic problems of depression had to be dealt with.
Both the U.S. and Canada focus on an “isolationist”
approach to Europe’s problems.
 On September 1, 1939 Germany invades Poland. Poland
falls within a month due to the very effective German
-a massive assault involving a coordinated attack by:
-dive bombers from Luftwaffe attacking in massive
-Panzer tanks smashing through weak defences
-Motorized troops moving quickly in behind defences
-Paratrooper and elite forces cut communications and
transport lines of enemy
Poland’s army of 700,000 is defeated by German and Soviet
forces due to the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939
 A seven-month period follows where both sides sit and
wait –This becomes known as the “Phoney War” or
 April 1940 Germany invades Denmark and Norway to
secure supply lines for iron ore to build weapon and
 In May of 1940 the Germans sweep into France
(around the Maginot Line) and within six weeks
France has fallen forcing British troops to retreat to
Dunkirk where they are evacuated by an emergency
flotilla across the English Channel. The “Miracle of
Dunkirk” was Hitler’s first mistake of the war.
 Hitler had withdrawn
his army (Wehrmacht)
to let the Luftwaffe deal
the final blow to the
stranded troops – a fog
set in and the troops
escaped (340,000). The
Allies must now
regroup in Britain.
Meanwhile the Italians
invade southern
Mediterranean and
 1940 -Battle of Britain
 In the summer of 1940 a
combination of U-boats attacks
attempting to cut off the Allies
supply lines by destroying British
navy (Battle of the Atlantic 194043) and aerial bombardment
campaign that lasts 113 days (BR
introduce radar). The goal was to
break the Allies spirit and finish
off the RAF before the invasion
of Britain (Operation Sea Lion)
 The campaign saw the RAF successfully defend Britain
(with huge costs). Nightly England was attacked by the
German Luftwaffe trying to take out RR, seaports and
all major cities.
 1941- Invasion of Soviet
Union (Operation
Barbarossa) Hitler breaks
Non-Aggression Pact and
invades (largest invasion in
history). Hitler hates
communists and plans a
quick victory (he’s wrong).
German offensive stalls at
Stalingrad and winter sets
 1941- War in the Pacific- Japan
enters the war with surprise
attack on Pearl Harbour on
Dec.7/1941 “A day that will live
in infamy”. This attack cripples
the US navy at port. The U.S.
enters the war. Japanese
quickly take the Eastern
Pacific from Aleutian Islands
to the Philippines. Hong Kong
falls with 5000 poorly trained
Canadian troops trying to help
defend it.
 1941- War in the Pacific- Japan
enters the war with surprise
attack on Pearl Harbour on
Dec.7/1941 “A day that will live in
infamy”. This attack cripples the
US navy at port. The U.S. enters
the war. Japanese quickly take the
Eastern Pacific from Aleutian
Islands to the Philippines. Hong
Kong falls with 5000 poorly
trained Canadian troops trying to
help defend it.
 1941-After the attack on
Pearl Harbour the
Japanese storm through
Asia where two battalions
of poorly trained troops
are sent to help defend
Hong Kong – they are
defeated quickly(six
days) and spend the rest
of the war in inhumane
Japanese POW camps.
 1930’s Canada had supported the appeasement policy
 1935-King was elected to deal with Depression. When
the war starts Canada does not want to become heavily
 With the fall of France, Canada knew it had to be a
total war effort. In 1939 there are 10,000 troops in
Canada – one month later 60,000 (23,000 in Britain)
 Canada recalls Parliament
and declares war one week
later on Sept. 10th 1939.
(Lester Pearson is sent to
Britain to find out how to
declare war). Politically
King knew conscription
would be a problem. He
hopes to supply food and
weapons but not soldiers to
the war effort.
Canada develops a seven part plan
1. the defence and security of Canada
2. support food supply to Britain
3. create a massive industrial program for munitions
4. train allied pilots
5. develop the Royal Canadian Air Force for home defence
and overseas duty
 6. develop the Royal Canadian Navy for home defence and
convoy escort duty
 7. develop a sizable army for home defence and overseas
 Canadian factories begin to open again to produce war
 1940 -King calls an election to show he has support of
people and deals with the conscription issues – he says
he won’t introduce conscription. In 1940, the National
Resources Mobilization Act in passed (conscription for
home defence only)
 By 1942 King was forced to hold a plebiscite over
conscription due to demand for manpower but by
using this slogan he gets support:” Conscription if
necessary, but not necessarily conscription”. A
masterpiece of calculated ambiguity
 Results:
 Quebec 73%-NO
 The rest of Canada 80% - YES
 By 1944 conscription begins –
riots in Montreal but most felt
King had tried to keep his
promise. King decides to use the
NRMA men –“Zombies” and
13000 sent overseas- 2500 see
battle and only 69 die in action.
King makes it through the war
without tearing apart the nation
over the conscription issues. In
1945 he wins the election with
Que. Support
 1941- Fear of a Japanese invasion takes hold and huge
pressure on government to clear the West coast of
Japanese, despite RCMP report of “no threat to
security”. After Pearl Harbour in early 1942 –all male
Japanese age 14-45 are relocated – followed a month
later by all Japanese-Canadians being expelled to
interior work camps, old mining towns, in Alberta, or
in Eastern Canada.
 In 1943, under the War
Measures Act the government
confiscates farms, houses,
fishing boats and personal
goods (which are auctioned
off). There are no trials,
charges or due process. 22,000
forced to move inland (75%
Canadian born), 1300 fishing
boats lost, 443million in
confiscated property, families
split up for years.
 After the war Japanese Canadians can be stripped of
their citizenship at “loyalty commissions” to see if they
were faithful to Canada
 The result is 4000 opted to return to Japan – half were
Canadian born and more than a third were under 16
who didn’t speak Japanese and had never been there.
 1988- Mulroney Government apologizes for treatment
and attempts to compensates victims ($21,000).
 1939- Canadian factories dormant for a decade and will
now move to full scale production – after the shock of
 1940 - C.D. Howe heads up the Dept. of Munitions and
 If it was needed for the war effort – they got it. Howe
brings home huge contract from Britain to supply war
effort and he creates Crown Corporations (28) where
needed. Canada will produce guns, trucks, radios,
radar, aircraft, naval vessels
 1942- National Selective Service Act was passed where
workers were directed to essential jobs. This act
limited industrial disputes, strikes and lock-outs.
Under the War Time Prices and Trade Board inflation
and profiteering were curtailed (non-essential
consumer goods were curtailed) rationing programs
for butter, rubber, gas, coffee, meat, sugar, silk etc.
“Loyal citizen do not hoard” was a slogan.
 Resources of mine, forest, and farm were appropriated
for war industries for maximum production and the
government drew on “experts” in every field to
coordinate the effort and production of war goods and
food supplies. Sixty percent of all national production
was for the war with one million employed by DMS
(1 in 12 directly or indirectly). And Canada produces
4,500 naval craft (corvettes mainly), 16,000 aircraft
800,000 motor vehicles(Rommel wanted Can. Jeepsdidn’t get stuck), 40,000 artillery guns and 1,767,392
small arms
 J.L. Ilsley – Minister of Finance decides Canada will
pay for war with war bonds, saving stamps, higher
income tax ($10 billion for war effort), he negotiates
the Hyde-Park Agreement between Canada and the
US-reciprocal trade of war time goods
 The war effort creates a competition for manpower
(men are only permitted to work to support the war
effort) and women are put back to work in the
 After the Miracle of Dunkirk- Canadian forces are
garrisoned in Britain under the command of General
Andy McNaughton
 Minister of Defence, J.L. Ralston (at the start of the
 1939 – 10,000 men to 60,000 men in one month
 Canada will eventually have one million serve in
 Of which 45,000 gave their lives and 55,000 were
 Canada supported the war effort through British
Commonwealth Air Training Plan
 -131,500 trained in Canada
 -50,000 pilots
 Of the 90,000 Canadian graduates most join RAF
(40% serve in RCAF)
 “The Battle of the Atlantic” was waged from 1940 on
German U-boats in Wolf Pack attempted to cut Allies
supply lines. Halifax becomes an international port for
supplies. Convoy duty and air support was Canada’s
main contribution (12,000 Canadians die).
 The Corvette had limited success in the beginning of
the war with inexperienced crews and captains.
(merchant sailors-only ones who could navigate). The
Corvette rolled in rough seas and it had no submarine
detection and was outgunned by U-boats. The
Canadian government didn’t want to make
modification to ships but costs at sea were too high
especially in the Black Hole of the Atlantic (no air
 1942-Dieppe (Operation
Jubilee)-Under pressure
from Soviet leader Stalin,
Canadian troops are sent to
attempt to open up a second
front in France against the
Germans. Canadian troops
are sent to attack Dieppe (a
small seaport).
 Intelligence reports are wrong on the resistance and
the strategy is poorly planned (far too complex with
little air support). The location is wrong for landing
craft; they get stuck on rock and pebbles.
 The Germans are well prepared
for the daylight raid (German
fortress) The 2nd Canadian
division ends up being caught in
a “shooting gallery”. 5000
troops storm beaches- 3300 end
up casualties – 900 killed, 1900
Canadian taken as POW’s. The
information that was gained
from this attempt will be
instrumental in the planning of
the D-Day invasion.
 1943- The Italian Campaign saw the Canadian 1st
Division sent to attack “soft underbelly” of Europe
alongside the British and Americans. Canadians win
hard fought battles in the invasion of Sicily (38 days).
Ortona – 1372 Canadians die capturing town
 1943-44 winter campaign sees Canadian troops battle
up through Italy against Hitler’s best armies (Italians
are out of war- Mussolini killed)
 1944- D-Day (Operation Overlord) June 6th - Final
Allied Invasion of Normandy. Germans are under
extreme pressure due to fighting on three fronts.
 Years of preparation are put to work in massive
invasion plan-107,000 men -involving aerial
bombardment-11,000 planes and 5000 ships- and
paratroops being dropped behind German coastal
defences. Six days later 30,000 troops ashore in France
 There are 14,000 Canadians
involved in the invasion and
110 Canadian warships. The
Canadians land at Juno
beach and are given the task
of liberating the seaports
along the coast to allow for
shipment of supplies,
munitions and
 Germans put up a fierce fight
to hang on to their captured
No Allied division lost more
men than the Canadian 3rd
 Canadians are still honored today in these coastal
cities. The Canadian divisions are reunited for final
phase of war
 In the spring of 1945
Allies defeat
Germany - Hitler
kills himself and
Germany surrenders.
 In the Pacific theatre the American
have won many battles to get
within bombing range of Japan
(island hopping). Four months
later Harry Truman drops the
atomic bomb “Little Boy” on
Hiroshima August 6th from the
Enola Gay (70,000 killed and
61,000 injured) and then “Fat Man”
is dropped on Nagasaki August 14
(40,000 killed). Emperor Hirohito
tells military to surrender.
 The Manhattan Project
involved Canadian
scientist and Canadian
uranium and was
temporally located in a
Montreal laboratory.
Truman dropped the
bomb to bring a quick
end to the war and save
American troops.
 As the Allies closed in and divided up Germany the
truth of the Holocaust became apparent. Nazi
concentration camps were filled with corpses and
mass graves. Anti- Semitism had led to the genocide
of six million Jews and the persecution of
communists, Gypsies, homosexuals and POW’s.
 The persecution of Jews began in the 1930’s with Hitler
blaming them for the terrible situation the Germans
were in economically. As the war had continued the
Nazi forced the Jews into ghettoes and slums while
they were forced the wear the “Star of David” on their
clothes. Thousands died of starvation and disease
 In 1941, the SS (special
forces) were to deal with
the “Jewish Problem”
with the Final Solution
being a plan for the
extermination of
11 million Jews.
 The creation of Death
Camps with huge gas
chambers followed with
Jews being divided into
those that can be slave
laborers and those that
would be sent to the
showers and killed
(women, children and the
elderly). Camps at
Auschwitz, Treblinka and
Bergen-Belsen were set up
for mass-genocide.
 After the war it was estimated that almost two-thirds
of the Jews of Europe were killed
 Essay Question:
 Explain the growth of the new political parties in
Canada in the 1920’s and 1930’s

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