World War II

The Canadian Experience

The Rise of Hitler

After the end of World War II, Germany was a mess because the Treaty of Versailles stated that Germany was responsible for all the damages brought on by the war. Germany was very weak at that time and they needed someone to guide them through it. Then came Hitler, the man who promised to make Germany a respected nation again and the one who took over as the dictator of Germany. He killed anyone who stood in his way and used fear to keep himself in power.

Appeasement: The Start of World War II

Appeasement is the policy of avoiding war with Germany. At that time, they chose to not acknowledge Hitler as a threat  which caused him to grow more powerful and become more of a threat. Stopping Hitler early on would've helped prevent World War II which would have prevent the many complications which were a result of it.

The Canadian Troops' Contribution

Canada's enormous effort in The Battle of the Atlantic was crucial to the Allied victory. Canada was a major participant in this battle and contributed a lot with it's Merchant Navy. Canada provided Britain and the Allies with the supplies they needed to make success possible. Canada was also a major contestant in the Dieppe Raid offering 5000 soldiers. Almost 60% of the soldiers involved in the raid were either killed, captured or wounded so the raid was said to be a failure, but this effort was what gave them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and do it right the second time.

Canada's Contribution to D-Day

Everything Canada learned from their failure at Dieppe contributed to Canada's success on D-Day. Canada was responsible for the beach-front code named "Juno" and the attack was a success despite the German defences with artillery, machine guns, mines and booby-traps. Juno beach was one of the five beaches the Allies planned to invade to take control of France. Canadians also succeeded on the Battle of Ortona by making the German troops with-draw after eight days of fighting. Canadians had to use house to house combat because the Germans made armored and infantry movement difficult. The Canadian Troops developed a new tactic called "mouse-holing" because of this. The Canadians also drove the Germans out of the Netherlands liberating it. The Dutch cheered as Canadian troops liberated one town after another. The liberation of the Netherlands was a great accomplishment by Canadians.

                                                           (Canada at D-Day)

Canadians At Home During the War

In order to get the Canadians at the home front to contribute to the war, the government used propaganda. Propaganda was found all throughout Canada showing various ways Canadians could help out with the war. These propaganda poster try to get more Canadians to enlist in the war and for more women to help out at home. Propaganda posters also tried to sell more victory bonds to support the war. Canadians were also asked to ration their food to provide their soldiers with their essential foods. Rationing was introduced in January 1942 to ensure that everyone got their fair share of food. Although there were a lot of Canadian who enlisted in the war, there was still more needed. Conscription is forced military service to get more soldiers to support their country. Even though Canada had to use conscription, it didn't have a big impact on them because there was a lot of men enlisting freely.  

Japanese Internment

After the Japanese attack on Pearl harbor, the Japanese were detained in internment camps. The Japanese lost their homes and possessions which were sold to fund the internment camps. This was because the Canadian government suspect the Japanese Canadians of sending information about Canada to Japan. Some internees stated that they lived in un-sanitary conditions with no privacy and that they had nothing to help them from the harsh Canadian winters.

   (Picture of Japanese Canadians being loaded onto a truck going to internment camps)

The Atomic Bomb

On August 6th, 1945, a United Stated bomber plane dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. USA gave an estimate of about 70,000 people killed while the Japanese said that 240,000 people were killed. America said that the Japanese would never surrender and that the atomic bomb avoided hundreds of thousands of American death by using troops to invade Japan. The Americans also wanted to test out the bomb and they also wanted to show USA's military strength to the communist USSR. The atomic bomb exploded with the power of 20,000 tonnes of TNT and burned everything in a kilometer radius. A second bomb was also dropped in Japan on August 9th on the port of Nagasaki.  

                   (Atomic bomb clouds over Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right))

The Holocaust

The Holocaust refers to the mass genocide of approximately 6 million Jews. In the beginning, Ghettos were set up to keep Jewish people in before they were moved to internments camps. Ghettos were area that are blocked off from the rest of the city in which the Jews were forced and kept under Nazi control. Internment camps were they kept men who were able to work before they were sent to gas chambers when they see fit. The Jews were forced into shower rooms where they would be gasses and then later burned. The Holocaust remains as one of the largest if not the largest genocide in history.

The Holocaust happened slowly starting off with Hitler blaming the Jews for all their problems. This caused a hatred toward Jews which helped Hitler get the concentration camps started. Things got worse for the Jews little by little and the Germans went with it because they believed the Jews should die.

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