World War II, War comes to Canada • 3 major powers were upset over the outcome of WWI: • Germany – mad about the treaty of Versailles • Italy and Japan– Mad about land claim • The start of the war: • Sept. 1 – Germany attacks Poland • Sept. 3 – Brit/France declare war on Germany • Sept. 10 – Canada declares war on Germany
German Aggression • Warfare: Blitzkrieg – lightning war, try to knock the enemy off balance and never let them regain their balance • 3 elements of blitzkrieg 1) Speed 2) Surprise 3)Coordinated Air/Tank/ Infantry Attack • U-Boats had penetrated the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence River where they sank over 20 merchant vessels and warships, including one less than 300 kilometres from Québec City • By May 1942, German U-boats operated in the approaches to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia • In 1944 and 1945, German submarines returned and sank Canadian warships just off Halifax harbour.
The Germans Advance • Germany goes into Poland and conquers it by Sept. 27 • Soviet Union goes into Poland Sept. 17, 1939 • From Oct-April not much is happening on the western front British newspapers call it the phony war • April – Germany goes through Denmark onto Norway (1940) • The Germans decide to avoid the maignot line and go the through the ardennes forest – surprising the allies • Battle of France is underway (May 20, 1940) Germans are pushing the allies back into retreat • Canada sends strong military forces to Britain as soonas possible • For a full year, until Germany attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941, Canada was Britain’s principal remaining ally in the struggle against tyranny.
The Battle of France • Germans go through the Ardennes Forest to avoid the maignot line May 20, 1940 • Surprise the allies and push them back to Dunkirk • http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwtwo/launch_ani_fall_france_campaign.shtmla • The Fall of France – France surrenders on June 17, 1940 and a Free France was set up atVichy (Veechy)
Dunkirk • Allies forced to retreat in the Battle of France • Desperate for an evacuation at Dunkirk • The last days of May saw the allies have time to catch their breath dig in and get rescued • Of the 500,000 pushed there, 350, 000 were rescued, 150,000 taken as P.O.W or casualties • Hitler's first mistake
The Battle of the Atlantic • Germans were using U-Boats to cut off British overseas lifelines and starve them out • It was a race of technology • German wolfpacks • Canadians – important role as escorts and defence against the U-Boats • Code breaking was a crucial element in the allies conquest of the axis powers • http://www.mariner.org/atlantic/gg.htm • If Germany's U-boats had closed the Atlantic to Allied shipping, the Allies could have lost the entire war (Duration of the war) considered won by allies in 1943
The Battle of Britain • Germans had to cross the English Channel to get to Britian • Germans tried to win air superiority (Operation Sealion) • London Blitz begins with accidental bombing • British start to bomb Germany • Hitler decides to take out London (and its citizens) • Hitler's second mistake • Hitler “postpones” the battle when Britain gets the upperhand
The Battle of Britain and the Blitz • The Luftwaffe lost a total of 1,733 aircraft from July to October, the RAF 915. The Germans were actually winning the battle of attrition but, frustrated by the unexpected numbers of Allied planes opposing them, switched in early September to night bombing of cities. This was a fatal mistake. • The Blitz, as it was known, continued after the Battle of Britain had finished. During the Blitz, between September 1940 and May 1941, the Germans dropped more than 35,000 tons of bombs for the loss of 650 aircraft. London was attacked 19 times with 18,800 tons of bombs. • Switching to attacks on London took the German fighters to the limit of their range and brought them within range of 12 Group, defending the Midlands. The switch to city bombing also allowed Fighter Command to recover.
Soviet Union Invasion • After Hitler wins France, he turns his attention to the Soviets and plans to attack • Hitler attacks on June 22, 1941, it was to be over in a matter of months but went on for 4 years • Grew into the largest and most costly conflict in all history. • Stalin remained convinced that Hitler would not risk an eastern war as long as the British Empire remained undefeated – he was wrong • Struggle between the 2 dictatorships, cost to Soviets – 27 million dead • Cost to Germany – WWII victory? • Hitler's third mistake
Canada goes to defend the impossible: Hong Kong • November 1941, Canada sent 1975 troops to British colony of Hong Kong • Plan to deter Japanese agression, the Canadians were not fully equipped and still undergoing training • On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan entered the war with a series of successful offensives in Asia and across the Pacific. The Japanese invade Hong Kong on Dec. 8 and overrun the meagre defences in 17 days • In their first land combat of the war, Canadian troops fought valiantly in a vicious, unequal struggle • Losses were heavy: 290 killed and hundreds wounded. The survivors were all taken prisoner. Nearly 300 die in captivity.
Pearl Harbour, Dec. 7, 1941 • Japanese were afraid of an attack by Americans in the Pacific • Surprise attack – to eliminate their aircraft carriers, Amerc. Have them moved, 2400 die • This gives the Americans the justification they need to enter the war • Before this the US policy was 1) Cash and carry – but Britain had to come and get it and 2) Lend Lease – give it back when done borrowing it
Dieppe, August 19, 1942 • In the summer of 1942, the Soviet Union, reeling under a ferocious German assault, asked for help. The Canadian Army eagerly accepted a British plan to strike at Dieppe and distract the Germans. • At dawn on 19 August 1942, nearly 5000 Canadian troops supported by 1500 British assaulted the French coastal town of Dieppe which turned out to be a catastrophe.. The raid was a disaster: the German defences were fully alerted and stronger than expected and the Canadians lacked adequate naval and air support. • In Canada’s worst single-day loss of the war,900 were killed and 2000 were captured. Some historians insist that the lessons learned at Dieppe contributed to the success of later Allied landings; others argue the raid was just a poorly-planned blunder. • Text adapted from: http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/chrono/1931disaster_e.htmli
D-Day June 6, 1944 • The Royal Canadian Navy provided 109 vessels, and 10,000 sailors as its contribution to the massive armada of 7,000 Allied vessels which put to sea on D-Day • While it was still dark in the early hours of June 6, Allied paratroopers, including 450 Canadians, jumped from aircraft or landed in gliders behind the German coastal defences http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwtwo/launch_ani_d_day.shtmlAnimation of D-Day battle
The Atomic BombHiroshima Aug 6, 1945Nagasaki Aug 9, 1945 • "My God, what have we done?" - Robert Lewis, the co-pilot of the Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb. • "Little Boy" (despite weighing in at over four and a half tons) • In an instant, 66,000 people were killed and 69,000 injured by a 10-kiloton atomic explosion. • On August 9, 1945, Nagasaki fell to the same treatment. Missed it's target by over a mile and a half, it still leveled nearly half the city. In a split second, Nagasaki's population dropped from 422,000 to 383,000. Over 25,000 people were injured. • Over 500,000 people would die suffering the effects of radiation in the next 10 years • Japan offered to surrender on August 10, 1945. • http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa050300a.htm
Germany was fighting simultaneously against the world's three greatest powers, only a miracle could have staved off defeat, and none was forthcoming. From 1942 on, Germany could only hang on and try to exhaust its enemies, but their superior resources and increasingly skilled armies made the outcome first predictable and then inevitable. This was a situation that Hitler created. Where the Allies had a clear strategic concept, he had none. Ultimately he believed that war was his only tool, that his armies would win the war simply by winning battles, and that they would win battles in large part because of their racial and ideological superiority. In the end, the Soviets were closing in on Berlin, Hitler commits suicide and the Canadians begin to liberate Europe.Text taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwtwo/hitler_commander_05.shtml The End of the War