The Second World War was a defining event in Canadian history, transforming a quiet country on the fringes of global affairs into a critical player in the 20th century's most important struggle. Canada carried out a vital role in the Battle of the Atlantic and the air war over Germany, and contributed forces to the campaigns of western Europe beyond what might be expected of a small nation of then only 11 million people.4
During the Second World War, on 19 August 1942, the Allies launched a major raid on the small French coast port of Dieppe.
Will Ogilvie, painter (b at Stutterheim, S Africa 30 Mar 1901; d at Toronto 30 Aug 1989). The first official Canadian war artist (appointed January 1943), Will Ogilvie painted many of his war works under fire, for which he was awarded the OBE. In Johannesburg, Ogilvie studied with Erich Mayer.
Internment, detention or confinement of a person in time of war. In Canada, such persons were denied certain legal rights, notably habeas corpus, though in certain cases they had the right to appeal their custody.
In the final months of the Second World War, Canadian forces were given the important and deadly task of liberating the Netherlands from Nazi occupation.
Hong Kong was the first place Canadians fought a land battle in the Second World War. From 8 to 25 December 1941, almost 2,000 troops from Winnipeg and Québec City — sent to Hong Kong expecting little more than guard duty — fought bravely against the overwhelming power of an invading Japanese force. When the British colony surrendered on Christmas Day, 290 Canadians had been killed in the fighting. Another 264 would die over the next four years, amid the inhumane conditions of Japanese prisoner-of-war camps.
In December 1943, as part of the Allied advance through Italy during the Second World War, Canadian forces fought one of their toughest battles of the war in a bid to capture the town of Ortona. The month-long campaign — first at the Moro River outside Ortona, then with vicious street fighting in the town itself — cost more than 2,300 Canadian casualties, but eventually won Ortona for the Allies.
The Battle of the Rhineland 8 Feb-10 Mar 1945, was fought by the FIRST CANADIAN ARMY (with XXX British Corps under command) and Ninth US Army while forcing back the Germans to the Rhine R.
The Battle of the Atlantic, from 1939 to 1945, was the longest continuous battle of the Second World War.
The Canadian landings on the Juno Beach Sector of the Normandy coast were one of the most successful operations carried out on D-Day, 6 June 1944.
On 6 June 1944, Canadian forces took part in the greatest amphibious operation in military history. Over 10,000 Canadian seamen in 110 warships and 21,400 soldiers took part in D-Day.
Wherever the Canadian infantry tried to advance through the rubble and narrow streets of Ortona they were exposed to murderous crossfire from the well-hidden defenders. Captain Bill Longhurst of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment had an inspiration.
It was April 1945 and while it was clear that the German regime was in its death throes, the German Army was determined to fight it out to the end.
Victory in Europe, on 8 May 1945, was a great celebration — for those who had suffered through Nazi occupation, and those who had liberated them.
To a casual observer, the key battles of World War II were fought on land. Normandy, Stalingrad, El Alamein and others come to mind. Yet many historians believe that the key to the Allied victory was the war at sea, in particular the Battle of the Atlantic.
Juno Beach was the Allied code name for a 10-kilometre stretch of French coastline assaulted by Canadian soldiers on D-Day, 6 June 1944, during the Second World War.
One of the worst war crimes in Canadian history occurred in June 1944, during the Battle of Normandy, following the D-Day landings of the Second World War.
On the evening of 15 April 1945, the Canadian minesweeper HMCS Esquimalt set out from Halifax on an anti-submarine patrol around the harbour approaches.
Canada’s longest Second World War army campaign was in Italy.
Victory over Japan Day, or VJ-Day, on 15 August 1945, marked the end of the war in the Pacific and the end of the Second World War.
The Battle of the St. Lawrence was an extension of the larger Battle of the Atlantic — the German campaign during the Second World War to disrupt shipping from North America to the United Kingdom.
During the Second World War, Canadian women, for the first time, were mobilized for service in the Canadian Armed Forces. Of the roughly 50,000 women who enlisted, more than half served in the Canadian Army.
The Battle of Britain (10 July to 31 October 1940) stopped the German air force from dominating the skies over England early in the Second World War, preventing a planned invasion by Germany. Hundreds of Canadian air and ground crew participated in the battle.