Canada Military History #1

Discussion in 'Canada' started by U311reasearcher, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. At a special session of parliament on Sept 10, 1939, Prime Minister Mackenzie King's request that Canada join the war in Europe was approved. The decision came one week after war was declared on Germany by England and France. It marked the first time Canada made a declaration of war as a sovereign nation.
  2. To show their appreciation to the pilots who dropped food from the air many Dutch people painted "Thank You Canadians" on their rooftops.

    Since the war's end The Netherlands have donated 10,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa to honour their gift of liberation.
  3. Sixteen Canadian servicemen won the Victoria Cross during WW2. One was awarded in Hong Kong, 2 in Dieppe, 1 in North Africa, 1 in Burma, 1 in Britain, 3 in Italy and 1 in Japan.
  4. During WW2, 494,000 Canadian troops left for Europe from Pier 21 in Halifax. It was the same pier at which some 3,000 British children entered Canada to escape the war and was also the gateway for roughly 50,000 war brides and their 22,000 children who settled in Canada.
  5. During the Battle of the Atlantic, the first 6 months of 1943 witnessed enemy submarine activity at it's peak. Canada's Eastern Air Command sank 6 submarines and flew thousands of hours driving the enemy away from convoys. In January, 1943 the EAC had 201 aircraft of which 85 were suitable for anti-submarine warfare.
  6. During WW2 Canadian industry manufactured war materials and other supplies for Canada the U.S., Britain, and other allied countries totaling almost $10 billion- approximately $100 billion in today's dollars.

    Canada produced 800,000 military transport vehicles, 50,000 tanks and over 1.7 million small arms.
  7. A Japanese submarine shelled an isolated wireless station and lighthouse on June 20, 1942 at Estevan Point on Vancouver Island-the only time during WW2 that enemy shells fell on Canadian soil.
  8. "Operation Jubilee" on august 19, 1942 was a raid on the port of Dieppe, France to test German defenses and demonstrate that plans for a "second front" were progressing.

    Of the 4,963 Canadians who attacked, 907 were killed and 1,946 taken prisoner.

    Without Dieppe the planning for Normandy would not have been as successful.
  9. At the beginning of WW2, Canada had only 11 fighting ships and 3,000 men.

    By 1944 the Royal Canadian Navy was providing escorts for Allied convoys along the entire convoy route to britain.

    By the war's end, that number had increased to 400 fighting ships and over 100,000 men.
  10. The Battle of Britain from July 10 to October 31, 1940 marked the first commitment of the Royal Canadian Air Force to combat in the war.

    Some 80 Canadians flew in the Battle of Britain of which 26 were in the RCAF's No. 1 squadron, 16 with the RAF's Canadian squadron and the rest among a dozen other RAF squadrons.
  11. On May 5 ,1945 Colonel-General Johannes Blaskowitz formally surrendered the remaining 117,000 German troops in the Netherlands to Canadian Lt/General Charles Foulkes of the First Canadian corps. ending nearly eight months of fighting.
  12. Along the 1,126km Indo-Burmese border, the RCAF's Hurricanes of No. 224 group with 30 Canadian pilots and 60 Canadian officers and air crew of No. 221 group harassed and cut enemy supply lines running north from Rangoon.

    By 1945 the Canadian contingent numbered 191 officers and over 3,000 men.
  13. Most of the 26,000 strong Canadian contingent waded ashore on July 10, 1943 near Pachino close to the southern tip of Sicily.

    Days later troops from the 1st Infantry brigade and Three Rivers regiment took the villiage of Grammichele.

    Sicily fell in 38 days with Canada suffering 562 killed and 664 wounded.
  14. POW's captured at Dieppe were held at a Lamsdorf camp in present day southern Poland.

    After the Germans captured a Canadian order to shackle German POW's, Canadian prisoners were first manacled with rope and then with chains between 8am and 8pm over a period lasting 14 months.
  15. On June 8 1944 the 2nd Battalion of the 6th Panzer Division of the Hitlerjugend took 37 Canadian troops as prisoners.

    Ordered to sit down in a field with their wounded in the center they were fired upon.

    Of the group 35 were killed.

    After the war, investigations pointed to 31 different incidents involving 134 Canadians.
  16. The first Canadian infantryman to die in WW2 was Private John Gray who was captured and executed by the Japanese on December 13, 1941 in the Battle of Hong Kong which lasted from December 8-25.

    Troops from "C" Force of the Canadian Brigade were the first to see action and also the last POW's to be released.
  17. The D-Day landings took place on june 6, 1944.

    Canadian troops landed at Juno Beach.

    The Regina Rifles together with the Royal Winnipeg rifles landed on the west side of the beach just after 8am on D-day.

    The Reginas suffered 108 casualties, The Royal Winnipeg rifles 128 and the Queens Own Rifles 143.
    englandphil likes this.
  18. colinhotham

    colinhotham Senior Member

    Having just returned from Vancouver Island where I interviewed a small number of Canadian WW2 veterans, I was pleased to see your mention of the important part played by Canadians in Operation Husky, the Sicily campaign. I was lucky enough during my visit to the Comox Air Museum to meet Duke Warren the WW2 RCAF/RAF pilot who joined up with his twin brother. He was also on Sicily after the capture of the island by the allies when the RAF operated from Lentini West. I am at the moment reading Duke's book - Gemini Flight.
    For the past 7 years I have been researching Operation Husky and the part played by the Canadian 1st Div. I have visited Sicily a number of times and also Canada and have built up a good archive. My most memorable visit was to the Canadian WW2 Military Cemetery at Agira on Sicily where there are buried 490 Canadians.
  19. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    To show their appreciation to the pilots who dropped food from the air many Dutch people painted "Thank You Canadians" on their rooftops.

    Since the war's end The Netherlands have donated 10,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa to honour their gift of liberation.

    I would add my thanks as well. My Mother's family being amongst those who suffered. They dropped supplies at Ypenburg in Delft, which is less than a mile away from where they lived.
  20. Thanks for adding to this thread!

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