Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for September 10th!
On September 9, 1939, eight days after Germany’s invasion of Poland, Canada’s Parliament voted to declare war on Germany. The next day, it was official. September 10th, 1939, Canada was officially a part of World War 2. This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of Canada, looks at Canada and World War 2.
Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power in Germany in 1933 and quickly established a merciless dictatorship. Germany seized Austria in 1938, and occupied Czechoslovakia in 1938-39. Italy, another dictatorship, attacked Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935 and occupied Albania in 1939. After invading Manchuria in 1931, Japan attacked China in 1937. Britain and France attempted to calm these brutal regimes in an effort to avoid another world war – a policy supported by most Canadians.
The fighting began with the German attack on Poland early on Sept. 1, 1939. Britain and France declared war on Germany shortly after and, while Canada was not drawn in automatically, a week later, Canada’s parlaiment voted to declare war on Germany.
Canada’s military was ill-equipped at the war’s outbreak, with a small army and outdated weapons, but defences were quickly bolstered, and thousands of volunteers signed up for the overseas campaign.
The first Canadian troops departed for Europe at the end of 1939.
This was Canada’s first self-governing declaration of war and the beginning of Canada’s participation in the largest combined national effort in its history.
Over 1 million citizens would serve in military uniform, and Canada would have the fourth-largest air force and third-largest naval surface fleet in the world.
Canada’s military was active in every area of the war, though most battles occurred in Italy, Northwestern Europe, and the North Atlantic.
More than 45,000 Canadians lost their lives and another 54,000 were wounded. By the end of the War, Canada had the world’s fourth largest air force, and third largest navy. As well, the Canadian Merchant Navy completed over 25,000 voyages across the Atlantic. Many Allied pilots trained in Canada during the war. Canadians also served in the militaries of various Allied countries.
By D-Day, 6 June 1944, the landings at Normandy were accomplished by two beachheads made by the American forces at Omaha and Utah, two by British forces, Sword and Gold, and a final one at Juno made by the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.
Keep following Canadian History for Kids for many unique stories of tremendous accomplishment and heroism during Canada’s war efforts!
And that’s this week Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada.