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Transcript of Timeline
Germany Invades Poland
September 3, 1939
Britain and France declare war on Germany September 1939 - May 1945
Battle of the Atlantic This was the longest military campaign in World War II, running almost the entire course of the war from 1939 to 1945. It was the struggle between the Allies and the Axis powers to maintain the Allies’ shipping route across the Atlantic Ocean. The Allies were attempting to stop groups of German U-boats attacking British convoys and attempting to cut off vital shipping routes. At the beginning it seemed that Germany was winning the battle, however the situation gradually started to turn around. With the contribution of the Royal Canadian Navy and the United States, the Allies were able to destroy more and more U-boats and protect their shipping routes. The U-boats were eventually defeated in 1943. It was a victory for the Allies, but the cost was high - around 3500 merchant ships and 175 warships were sunk with 783 U-boats defeated. December 1939
Canada agrees to host the
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan It was an air training program that took place in Canada during World War II that trained aircrew from all over the Commonwealth. The program trained more than 130 000 pilots, navigators, flight engineers, and ground crew May 26, 1940 - June 4, 1940
Evacuation at Dunkirk It was a massive evacuation of Allied troops from the French port of Dunkirk. Nearly 340 000 Allied forces were brought to safety in Britain and saved from losing to Germany. August 1940 - September 1940
Battle of Britain An air campaign launched in 1940 by the Royal Air Force to stop the Germans from taking over the war in air and achieving air superiority. British and German cities were bombed day after day. In the end, Britain prevented Germany from invading them. Civilians, the ones who were entirely innocent in this war, were the ones who suffered the most from the bombing and had the highest number of casualties. December 7, 1941 - December 25, 1941
Battle of Hong Kong The Japanese army invaded Hong Kong, a then British colony, hours after their attack on Pearl Harbor. The Canadian reinforcements were no match to the Japanese soldiers and Hong Kong fell to Japan shortly after on the day that was known as “Black Christmas”. Every Canadian soldier in this battle was either killed or captured. April 27, 1942
Plebiscite on Conscription The speed with which the Germans were conquering Europe stunned Canadians and of course the government. Canadians were asked by the government whether they would release it from its promise not to enact conscription. This nation-wide vote resulted in a "yes" from all provinces except Quebec. August 19, 1942
Dieppe Raid July 1943 - February 1945
Italian Campaign July 9, 1943 - August 17, 1943
Battle of Sicily The Allies launched a full scale invasion of Europe on this day. It started with the invasion at Normandy, which was a region in northern France. British, Canadian, and American forces invaded 5 different beaches (code named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword) on the day. Canadian troops were given the task of attacking Juno Beach. They were successful, but casualties were high. This day was the start to a series of invasions that liberated all German-controlled European countries. June 6, 1944
D-Day (Normandy Invasion) A trial raid in 1942 by Canadian troops on the French port of Dieppe, which was at that time occupied by the Germans. The raid was a terrible failure and the losses were heavy. Some say this was a valuable learning experience for the Allies for future battles, but some others say that it allowed the Germans to learn more than the Allies September 1944 - November 1944
Battle of the Scheldt Canadian troops were given the task of clearing enemy troops from the Scheldt River in Belgium. After a month of bitter fighting with the Germans, Canadians were able to drive out the Germans and gain control of the river as well as access to the sea to bring in supplies for their final advance on Germany. February 8, 1945 - March 10, 1945
Battle of the Rhineland The Allies attacked the Germans to drive them back over the Rhine River and out of the Netherlands. In the end, the Germans withdrew to the east bank of the Rhine River. Nearly 23 000 Allied soldiers were killed in this battle. September 8, 1939
Parliament Votes for War September 10, 1939
Canada declares War on Germany The raid was originally scheduled to be before dawn, but the ships were delayed and the troops landed in daylight. The troops became easy targets for the Germans. To make matters worse, communication was poor and commanders on the ships did not know what was happening on land until it was too late. Many soldiers were trapped on the beach, unable to advance or retreat and becoming easy targets for the Germans. Read More December 20, 1943 - December 28, 1943
Battle of Ortona May 5, 1945
Liberation of the Netherlands
The German retreat to the east bank of the Rhine River allowed Canadians to advance north to liberate the Netherlands. Canadians, assisted by British and Polish forces as well as airborne forces from U.S. and France, fought against the Germans and successfully drove them out the the Netherlands after a month of fighting. On May 5, 1945, the Canadian general and the German commander-in-chief reached an agreement on capitulating the German forces. Canadian troops were recognized as heroes in liberating the country. September 8, 1939 September 10, 1939 September 1939 - May 1945 December 1939 May 26, 1940 - June 4, 1940 August 1940 - September 1940 December 7, 1941 - December 25, 1941 January 1942 - April 1949 April 27, 1942 August 19, 1942 July 1943 - April 1945 June 6, 1944 September 1944 - November 1944 February 8, 1945 - May 5, 1945 May 7, 1945
Germany Surrenders August 14, 1945
Japan Surrenders January 1942 - April 1949
Internment and Restrictions on Japanese Canadians Anti-Japanese sentiment has been going on long before World War II started. It grew when Japan was fighting against the Allies, and more when it invaded Hong Kong and killed or captured all Canadian soldiers fighting in the battle, and reached its boiling point after Pearl Harbor was attacked. The Canadian government caved into public pressure in 1942 and invoked the War Measures Act for the second time in history. All Canadians of Japanese decent were labeled as "enemy aliens" and forced to move away from the coast to internment camps. Families were separated, the camp conditions were horrible, and they lost everything through their internment. It wasn't until 1947 the the government canceled the policy and 1949 until the majority of them are allowed to return to B.C. Allied troops invaded the Italian island of Sicily and fought Italian and German forces for over a month, losing 562 soldiers during the battle. The Allied victory led to Mussolini’s downfall and surrendering by the new Italian government. It was a battle fought by Canadian troops against the Germans to capture the Italian town of Ortona, which was occupied by the Germans before the battle. The Canadian troops were successful, but almost 1400 lives were lost.