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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 war) • 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 surrender. 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 powerful. • 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 war. • 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 forces. • 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. Guns • The introduction of automatic guns in WWII led to a change in warfare. • Past problems with reloading were solved by larger clips of bullets. • The use of the bazooka allowed soldier to attack tanks and buildings without setting up demolitions (prevented more causalities) Tanks • 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 tanks. Planes • World War II was the first war that was won in the air. • 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 ground. • P-51 Mustang P-51 Mustang Redefines Combat Fighting • http://www.history.com/shows/dogfights/video s#p-51-mustang-redefines-combat-fighting • ME-109 vs. P-51 Mustang • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lt8G3vxLm KE • 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 civilians. 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 Communication • The biggest inventions in communication technology were radar and sonar. • This technology was used on planes and ships, as well as on the ground. • There were also technologies invented to jam enemy radar. Summary • 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.