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The Military and Diplomatic Role of Canada in the Second Wor
Transcript of The Military and Diplomatic Role of Canada in the Second Wor
An analysis of Canada's diplomatic role
The Second World War
Canadian Military Accomplishments
Monday, February 17, 2014
The Military and Diplomatic Role of Canada in the Second World War
IB History 11
Prime Minister Mackenzie King was not worried by the threat of a war. It was believed that Canada’s support would be in the materials, not the troops. Only a small number of troops would be sent off. Although the small nation of 12 million people would soon have over 1 million citizens in uniform.
On September 9th, 1939 a nearly unanimous decision was made by Canada’s Parliament. This showed that commitment made by the nation. Canada had declared war on Germany just 8 days after the invasion of Poland. Canada would provide supply raw materials and contribute to the training of Commonwealth air crews. (Royal Air Force)
Role in the Air
Throughout World War II, over 1 million Canadians (and Newfoundlanders) served in the Army, Navy or Air Force. Of these, over 45,000 were killed, and another 55,000 wounded.
Canada played a vital part in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. In the six years of the war, over 131,553 personnel were trained in Canada, and roughly 55% were Canadians.
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
As the focus of a Commonwealth-wide effort to instruct aircrew, Canada made a major contribution to Allied air superiority during World War II. Schools and facilities were set up at 231 locations across Canada. Many of these facilities were airfields. In December 1939 the Canadian government identified 24 existing airfields that could be used leaving 80 new ones to be built. Classroom facilities with residences were commandeered from Universities, Colleges, and other provincial institutions. Basic training facilities were commandeered from private schools and municipal governments.
Called the "Aerodrome of Democracy" by US President Roosevelt, Canada had an abundance of air training space beyond the range of enemy aircraft, excellent climatic conditions for flying, immediate access to American industry, and relative proximity to the British Isles via the North Atlantic.
To Prime Minister King, the scheme had the advantages of keeping large numbers of Canadians at home and avoiding the raising of a large expeditionary force.
Canada's Military Commitment (On land, sea and air)
Canadian troops were first sent to the UK to help the British Expeditionary Forces (BEF)
The Royal Canadian Navy grew to nearly 100,000 troops and 400 vessels
Their main role was to act as military escorts in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean
Also helped in the effort against submarine attacks.
They were also vital in delivering supplies to the Allies in the Soviet Union
It is said that "For the first time in history Canada sends to the defense of democracy and freedom an army placed under Canadian command and flying the Canadian flag." (Juno Beach Centre)
Canada makes an outstanding contribution supporting the allies.
-King signs 3-year trade agreement with the US in 1936.
This is the foundation for their progressively close relationship.
-Canada provided significant economic aid to allied forces along with many resources
-Canada signed the United Nations Charter in 1945
one of the original 26 signatories
established the foundation and mandate of the newly formed UN
-King announced foreign policy doctrine "functionalism" in 1943
the involvement of countries in varying international activities should vary in accordance with their contribution in these activities
larger countries should not dominate. Smaller countries deserve an equal voice in affairs.
Why was Canada's role in World War II Important to the Allies?
How Important was Canada's Diplomatic role during the war?
Battle of Dieppe:
- Known as one of the greatest Canadian failures of the War.
- Of the 6000 troops, 5000 were Canadian and aprox. 3000 were either taken prisoner or died.
- Allied attack on German port of Dieppe.
- 2nd Canadian Infantry Division.
- August 19th 1942
- 21,000 Canadian Troops arrived on Normandy to help allied assault on Atlantic Wall, held by Germans
- June 6 1944 - Turning point in the war
- Canadians primarily landed on Juno Beach, a sector of the Normandy Beachhead
Battle of Hong Kong:
- Canada help fellow British Colony of Hong Kong defend itself from Japanese invasion.
- December 1941 - While the 2000 Canadian troops never surrendered, those that were not killed were then tortured by the Japanese.
- Showed Canadian courage on an International Stage.
Canada, U.S., & Britain
-Canada provided significant economic aid to Britain during the war
"Billion Dollar Gift" of 1942 was given with a $700 million loan given. Overall more than $3 billion loaned to Britain and allied war effort.
1943- Discussions over France, and Japan. FDR & Churchill signed the secretive Quebec Agreement (nuclear weaponry).
1944- With more allied military commanders.