Fall of france and the canadian home front
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Fall of France and the Canadian Home front. Fall of France. Maginot Line – The most sophisticated trench in history. Decoy on Belgian front (May 10 th ) Panzer division passes through Ardennes (May 13 th ) French troops attempt to break GER supply lines (May 18 th )

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Fall of france
Fall of France

  • Maginot Line – The most sophisticated trench in history.

  • Decoy on Belgian front (May 10th)

  • Panzer division passes through Ardennes (May 13th)

  • French troops attempt to break GER supply lines (May 18th)

  • Race to the coast (May 20th)

  • Belgium surrenders (May 28th)

  • GER forces push south. Paris falls (June 14th)

  • France surrenders (June 22nd)

  • Vichy Regime negotiates peace (July)

Dunkirk may 28 th june 4 th
Dunkirk (May 28th - June 4th)

  • British and French troops fall back to Port of Dunkirk

  • GER pauses to consolidate troops and repair equipment

  • “Operation Dynamo” put into effect

  • Civilian vessels used to evacuate British troops

  • 300,000 men evacuated.

    • 68,000 killed or captured

  • The operation was viewed as a success in Britain but Churchill cautioned that “Wars are not won by evacuations”

  • 40:30 – 46:50

Conscription debate
Conscription Debate

  • Fearing a backlash from French Canadians, MacKenzie King promises that Canada will not introduce conscription for “overseas service”.

  • Germany’s early success creates public pressure for Canada to introduce conscription but the high number of volunteers made it unnecessary.

  • In 1940 King introduces the “National Mobilization of Resources Act” which allows conscription for domestic defence only.

  • “Zombies” were people who had been conscripted into the army under the NRMA and trained but then refused overseas service. Zombies were resented by most other Canadians.

  • As volunteer enlistment numbers fell, pressure once again mounted for overseas conscription. In response to this pressure in 1942 King holds a Plebiscite (referendum) on conscription.

  • “Not necessarily conscription, but conscription if necessary” (King)


  • 63% of Canadians supported consrciption.

  • 80% of English voted YES

  • 73% of French voted “NON”

  • 17,000 “Zombies” served overseas before the end of the war.

By the end of the war canada had produced
By the End of the War Canada had Produced:

  • 1 billion dollars of munitions

  • 1.7 million small arms

  • 43,000 heavy guns

  • 16,000 aircraft

  • 2 million tonnes of explosives

  • 815,000 military vehicles

  • 50,000 tanks and armoured gun carriers

  • 4,000 Naval vessels

  • 40,000 Naval guns

  • 150 Snowmobiles

  • Radar sets and Electronics

  • Synthetic rubber plants

  • Uranium for the ’Manhattan Project’


  • Over 200,000 women enter the industrial workforce

  • Canada supplies $4 Billion worth of equipment to Britain during the war.

    • Much of Britain’s equipment was lost at Dunkirk

  • Canada ends the war with the world’s 3rd largest navy and 4th largest air force.

Victory bonds
Victory Bonds

  • First bond drive raised over $200 million in 48hrs

  • Supported by intense adverstising campaigns.

  • By the end of the war over $12.5 Billion had been raised through war bonds.

  • Canada’s primary lender was the Canadian people.

Hey kid get to work
Hey Kid, Get to Work!

  • Fundraising campaigns even targeted children.

  • Sixteen stamps purchased at 25 cents each equalled a $4 certificate that could be redeemed seven-and-a-half years later for $5.

  • “Stamp out the U-Boat” campaign 360 stamps buys one depth charge

  • Victory gardens (over 200,000)

  • Ontario Farm Service Force OFSF (Children, Women, Seniors)

    • Involved over 55,000 Ontario students

    • School delayed three weeks to bring in harvest

Salvage and scrap
Salvage and Scrap

  • 1942 becomes illegal to horde steel amounting to over 500 lbs. Offenders faced $5000 fines and up to 5 years in prison.

  • Canadians were encouraged to donate everything from old tires to women’s under garments all in service of the war effort.

  • School programs encouraged students to collect and postal workers went door to door collecting materials.

Put on your thinking hats
Put on your thinking hats

  • Is conscription justifiable?

  • Under what circumstances?