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Canada Enters World War II
The Second World War Begins!
• World War II began on
September 1, 1939 with
Germany and the Soviet
Unions synchronized
attack on Poland.
• Germany attacked from
the West side, while the
Soviet Union attacked
from the East.
• Poland surrenders
September 28-30, 1939
Blitzkrieg (Lightning War)
• Germany relied on a new military
tactic called the "Blitzkrieg" (lightning
• Required the concentration of
offensive weapons (tanks, planes, and
artillery) along a narrow front.
• Forces would breach small areas in
enemy defenses, permitting
armoured tanks to penetrate rapidly.
• Caused shock and disorganization
among the enemy defenses.
• German forces would then turn and
encircle opposing troops, forcing their
The Allies Respond
• On September 3, 1939, Britain
and France, having sworn to
protect Poland's borders,
declared war on Germany.
• Although Britain was hesitant to
aid Poland at first, both Britain
and France sought to stop
Germany before it became too
• On September 9th, having met in
a special parliamentary session
two days earlier, the Canadian
government approved the
support of Britain and France.
Canada Declares War!
• Canada declares war on September 10th, 1939.
The War at Home
• At the beginning of World War II, there were only
10,000 members of the Canadian armed forces.
At the time, Canada only had a population of 10
million people.
• Millions of other Canadians contributed to the
war effort by working in war factories, mines,
forests and farms.
• Canada’s allies were impressed by Canada’s
availability to provide huge amounts of war
equipment, supplies, and food to help win the
• The total cost of the war for Canada was about
$16 billion ($150 billion in today’s dollars)
• This was Incredible for a country with such a
small population!
Canada Ramps up Its Armed Forces
• By the end of September,
Canada had over 58,000
people enlisted in its armed
• Many of these recruits were
unemployed men.
• On September 16, the first
battalion of soldiers left for
England, with 23,000
(roughly 40%) of them
untrained Canadian troops.
World War II – A Different Kind of War
• Huge technological advances occurred during
the start of WWII.
• Many new weapons, vehicles and ways of
communication were developed.
• The introduction of
automatic guns in WWII led
to a change in warfare.
• Past problems with reloading
were solved by larger clips of
• The use of the bazooka
allowed soldier to attack
tanks and buildings without
setting up demolitions
(prevented more causalities)
• Tanks were used during World
War I but were not as advanced
as they were in the Second
World War.
• Tanks now had radio
communication, better
armoured protection.
• Equipped with artillery and
assault guns.
• Turrets guns increased
accuracy and damage to other
• World War II was the first war that was won in the
• Precision bombing and high-powered guns made
ground targets more vulnerable. (Ex. Bombing of
Dresden, Germany)
• Dog fighting became a major part of the war.
• With better engines and plane structures, pilots
were able to reach higher speeds and cover more
• P-51 Mustang
P-51 Mustang Redefines
Combat Fighting
• ME-109 vs. P-51 Mustang
• Source: History Channel
Stealth Bombing – A Powerful Force
• The Bombing of Dresden was a
military bombing by the British Royal
Air Force (RAF) and the United States
Army Air Force (USAAF) as part of
the Allied forces between February
13th and 15th, 1945.
• 3,600 planes, dropped:
▫ 650,000 incendiaries.
▫ 8000 lb. high-explosive bombs.
▫ Hundreds of 4,000 Ib. bombs.
• The resulting firestorm destroyed 39
square kilometres of the city centre,
resulting in the deaths of 25,000
Ships and Submarines
• The biggest advancement in naval warfare during
WWII was the development of the aircraft carrier.
• Planes could reach further distances and were able
to return back to their countries’ carriers instead of
landing in another country.
• Submarines were also a big part of naval battle
• German U-boats were used for stopping and
destroying boats that were carrying supplies across
the Atlantic and Pacific oceans
• The biggest inventions in
communication technology were
radar and sonar.
• This technology was used on
planes and ships, as well as on the
• There were also technologies
invented to jam enemy radar.
• World War II began on September 1, 1939 with
Germany and the Soviet Union’s synchronized
attack on Poland.
• Germany relied on a new military tactic called the
"Blitzkrieg" (lightning war)
• Canada declares war on September 10th, 1939.
• World War II had tremendous impact on developing
new technologies and changes in the way wars are
fought today.
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