Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy
What was Canada's main contribution to World War 2?
In: Canada in WW2 (external - login to view)
:editQ();" target="_blank">[Edit] (external - login to view)
Well, just for one small thing, you were kept free from the boot of fascism by the (late)entry of the USA into WWII.
I don't know much. I do know that Canada gave out many handy supplies. Canada had a strong air force and good pilots. Also, they were the only ones to achieve all their objectives on D-Day and it was the Canadians who liberated Holland. Canadians also helped medically with the Red Cross.
I am sitting in an internet cafe in Sunny Edinburgh and not at home with my books so this answer will lack detail. Canada,along with the rest of the British Empire and Commonwealth made a huge contribution to world war 11. World war 22 started on 1st September 1939 for the poles whwn Germany invaded from the west. Britain and France declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939. Although they did not have to do so Canada,Australia and New Zeland declared war on Germany at about the same time. I have a war time propaganda booklet about Canada's contribution to the war effort Even allowing for the context of the information it makes amazing reading. Canada sent troops and sailors and airmen to Britain. It produced ships and guns and tanks and planes nd in the process created an industrial economy that had not existed before the war. Canada also leant Britain millions of dollars in financial aid and in 1945 said its ok you don't have to pay it back. (The Americans did not do this they still wanted to be paid) So Canada made a huge contribution to the war and in turn was changed by it. Canada's relations with America already close became even closer in the wartime period and after the war British influence in Canada was reduced. Many British people met Canadian troops during the war and were impressed by the people and many Brits went to Canada after the war.
IN 1939, the population of Canada was about 12 million people. If you divide that in half, it gives about 6 million males. Subtract those who were too young or too old to serve, and you have about 3 million males of military service age.
By the end of the second world war, Canada had ONE MILLION, ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND MEN IN UNIFORM. That is one out of every three adult males.
BY far, Canada's greatest contribution to the winning of WW2 was the Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which trained 135,000 pilots and aircrew, from 22 different countries, in Canada.
Canada built over 300 airfields and 65 training schools in less than one year, and provided the instructors and ground crews to keep thousands of planes in the air. We also fed and clothed and housed and entertained those thousands of men, and did it at our expense. We also built thousands of aircraft for the CATP and produced the fuel and oil needed, as well as the training manuals and course books and air charts, and even the asphalt and concrete for the runways.
After Canada had manufactured enough small arms to equip it's own army, we started sending rifles, pistols and machine guns to Britain. At the end of WW2, 60 percent of the British Army was armed with Canadian made weapons. We also provided over a million Lee Enfield rifles to the Nationalist Chinese Army and 300,000 Browning 9mm semi-auto pistols to the Australians and the New Zealanders.
The largest class of naval vessel ever made was the Canadian Corvette escort ship, with 237 in total being made during WW2. From the beginning of the war, the Royal Canadian Navy was the chief escort force in the western Atlantic Ocean. By the end of the war, the RCN was the acknowledged leader in anti-submarine warfare, with the most U-baots sunk.
Remember this fact.........Every American and Canadian soldier who fought in Europe got there by ship convoy, nobody flew over the Atlantic, except bomber crews going to the war. The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest and most crucial of WW2. Without control of the ocean, D Day would not have been possible, at all.
Canada was able to fight in two major campaigns at the same time. Where ?
From July 1943, with the invasion of Sicily, Canada's First Infantry Division along with it's auxiliary units of armor, artillery and support, were involved in the Italian fighting. Fourteen months later, after the liberation of Rome, the D-day Dodgers of the 1CanInfDiv were told that, for all their sins, they would now be going to Northern France, to join 2ndCanInfDiv, and 5th Can Armoured in the fight to capture the Belgian port city of Antwerp.
Of course, 2nd Div and 5th Armoured had landed at Normandy, on Juno beach, on June 6th, and now the entire Canadian Corps, over 200 thousand men was going to be concentrated on a massive front. The Falsie gap, the battle for the airport at Tirquet, the Breskins Pocket, Walchern Island, the Netherlands, the Hochwald Forest, the final 40 days, are all ahead of them.
The RCAF began the war with 5 squadrons of outdated planes, and about 3,000 men. By the end of the war, it is the third largest of the Allied air forces,with over 133,000 men, and fully 60 percent of RAF bomber command is made up of Canadians. Number six group, Bomber Command are all Canadian crews, and in Fighter Command, more than half of the Squadron Leaders are Canadians. There are 44 RCAF fighter squadrons, as well as 15 in Maritime Command flying the Canadian built Canso amphibian.
Inventive, combative, irreverant, funny and tough, that was the Canadians in WW2. From Motor Torpedo Boats in the channel at night, to the jungles of Borneo, or the mountains of Yugoslavia, fighting with Tito's army, they were everywhere, and we left our dead in cemmetaries in 74 nations, in small places that will forever be considered a part of Canada.
As a member of the allies, Canada declared war on Germany within days of the invasion of Poland. Unlike World War I, however, Canadian units remained more independent of British command, and they played an important role in Allied campaigns in Western Europe. Canadian forces contributed heavily in the air raids against Germany, the Battle of Britain the Italian campaign and the Battle of Normandy, as well as the campaigns in North West Europe. From 1941, Canadian forces also participated in the defense of British territories against Japanese forces, especially Hong Kong. About one million Canadians served during WWII.
The Canadian Home front also played a vital role in producing weapons, armor and many other vital war machines in pushing back the Germans.
Canada�s first major action was the raid on the French beach of Dieppe the task force included 5000 Canadian troops which stormed the beach head.
Although the mission was a failure the allies got a first view of German defenses on the French coast, and this information would later be used for operation OVERLORD the June 1944 invasion of France.
Before operation OVERLORD could take place, the allies needed to �soften� up German defensive positions and key targets such as war factories. RCAF bomber units flew nightly raids on German cities and factories to reduce the German ability to produce war materials and weapons