Canada`S Contribution to World War II

World War II began on September 1st, 1939 when Hitler and his German troops led an assault on Poland without a declaration of war. This action finally led Britain and France to declare war on Germany on September 3rd. On September 10th, Canada declared war on Germany on its own accord. Canada’s various roles in the war would contribute to their status on the world stage following the tragic war. Canada took part militarily and assisted the Allied war effort financially and socially throughout the conflict which contributed greatly to the Allied victory.

Canada’s financial contribution to the victory was very considerable, considering Canada spent $21786 077 519 12 through 1939-1940. Canada sent over many supplies to Allied countries even though there was the constant threat of German U-boats patrolling the Atlantic Ocean. Canada not only armed its own military with guns, planes, and battleships, but also built weapons for other Allied nations such as the Indian army who were entirely equipped with Canadian-made trucks or the British army, that, by 1945, was 70 percent equipped with Canadian-made rifles and machine guns.

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The nation also supplied the Chinese army that was fighting the Japanese in the Pacific theatre of war. Canada built cargo ships and naval guide vessels that were the main supplier of food to the United Kingdom. In addition, Canadian factories were producing an extraordinary amount of goods; workers had to put in long hours and most of them worked for seven days a week. Single women were in high demand as factory workers.

Canada helped contribute to the war socially by putting up propaganda posters and through the purchase of Victory Bonds. The propaganda posters helped to motivate sustenance for World War 2 among Canadians. Canadian war posters were also used to employ and encourage wartime efficiency and to raise money through Victory Bonds and other savings programs. Another signal of the significant role posters played comes from the publicizing men whose livelihood depended on their understanding of how to touch and encourage people.

These men were influenced of the central role posters played in this “war of the mind and spirit” and even toward the end of the war when paper was scarce and production became increasingly thin and dull, they persistently declined to stand even a medium-sized campaign without extensive poster support. Canada military contribution to World War 2 was exceptional; the Canadian Navy and Air Force played a major role in the war. The Royal Canadian Navy was very small in 1939, but its growth during the war was extraordinary; it recruited 99 688 men and about 6500 women, and it staffed 471 fighting vessels of numerous types.

Its main task was convoy, defending the troop and supply ships sailing across the Atlantic to Europe. It carried an increasing amount of this load, fighting grim battles sometimes for several days with U-boats. Its massive growth produced some growing pains. During the war it sank or shared in sinking 33 enemy submarines. The RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) started off in returning eight of its eleven permanent working squadrons, but by October 1939, Canada had 15 squadrons available; 12 for homeland defense and 3 for overseas service.

At this time, the Air Force had 20 different types of aircrafts with half of them being for training or for transport. The RCAF reached a peak strength of 215,000 in all ranks in January 1944. By the end of the war, Canada had the world’s fourth largest air force. The war finally ended with Germany surrendering in Italy on April 29 1945, and in Western Europe on May 7, 1945 On the Eastern Front, Germany surrendered to the Soviets on May 8, 1945.

Canada played a major part in the Allied war effort against the Axis Powers not only militarily with the Royal Canadian Navy dominating the seas and the Royal Canadian Air Force ruling the air; but financially as well with the enormous contribution of $2178 607 751 912; and lastly the social influence on the war with Victory Bonds helping to donate money to the war effort, and Canada`s propaganda posters influencing young men to get out there and help with the fight overseas. Overall, all of the help that Canada gave to the war effort was exceptional for a country of its size, and, in my option, the Allies could not have pulled off a victory without Canadian contribution.


“Canadian Air Force History – War Years. ” RCAF. com :: The History & Heritage of Canada Air Forces. Web. 25 May 2011. <http://www. rcaf. com/history/waryears. php>. C. P. STACEY. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Web. 25 May 2011. <http://www. thecanadianencyclopedia. om/index. cfm? PgNm=TCE>. Hillman, William. “Canadian WWII Propaganda Posters. ” British Commonwealth Air Training Plan: WWII CATP Air Museum. Web. 25 May 2011. <http://www. airmuseum. ca/postscan. html>. Munroe, Susan. “Canadian World War II Posters – Canadian War Poster From World War II. ” Canada Online – About Canadian Government – Services News Issues and History. Web. 25 May 2011. <http://canadaonline. about. com/od/canadaww2/ig/Canadian-Posters-World-War-II/>.

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