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Subject > Armed Forces > Naval Forces and Merchant Navy

Date > 1900 > 1930-1939

Battle of the Atlantic - Operations - Democracy at War

Type: Document

The Battle of the Atlantic was the struggle for control of the sea routes between the Americas and Europe and Africa. German forces attempted to break Britain’s vital supply link from the United States and Canada. During this six year conflict both sides suffered losses of personnel and materials.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Canadian Armed Forces: The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) - Canada and the War - Democracy at War

Type: DocumentImage

The Royal Canadian Navy grew rapidly during the Second World War. The roles it played in military actions ranged from acting as an escort force for merchant ships to fighting German submarines and landing on the coast of German-occupied France as part of major operations. Some of the experiences of the Canadian Navy were recorded in newspapers of the time.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Belmont Battery at Fort Rodd Hill, British Columbia

Type: Image

Built in 1898-1900 to protect the entrance to the Royal Navy (and later the Royal Canadian Navy) base on the Pacific, the battery has been restored to its appearance during the Second World War 1939-45. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Canada and the First World War - Canada in World Affairs. 1920-1939

Type: Document

In 1931, Great Britain passed the Statute of Westminster, giving Canada the legal status of an independent country. During the years between the two world wars, Canada avoided overseas military commitments, but began to modernize and re-equip its forces in the mid-1930s in case of another major war.

Site: Canadian War Museum

War Economy and Controls: Shipping and Shipbuilding - Canada and the War - Democracy at War

Type: DocumentImage

The growth of Canada's shipbuilding industry from three shipyards to 90 plants during the Second World War was documented in newspaper accounts of the day.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Canada and the Second World War - Canada's War at sea. 1939-1945

Type: Document

Despite early growing pains, the Royal Canadian Navy grew into a formidable anti-submarine force. The R.C.N. sank 28 enemy submarines and escorted Allied shipping across the Atlantic and along the northeastern seaboard of North America.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Cost of War - Battle of the Atlantic

Type: Document

The Battle of the Atlantic was a decisive struggle that was won, just in time, with massive help from Canada--from its navy, from its airmen, from its merchant marine and from its civilian population. This document presents the cost of this victory in terms of human lives lost and describes the sacrifice of RCAF Flight-Lieutenant David Hornell, who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Women of the Second World War: Caring for sailors in Halifax

Type: Sound

In this 1975 radio broadcast, women recall working in the YMCA canteen in Halifax during the Second World War, feeding the sailors and listening to their sometimes horrific stories.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Facts about the Battle of the Atlantic

Type: Document

Quick facts about the duration of the Battle of the Atlantic, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), the Merchant Marine, and U-boats (Unterseebooten).

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Prince Ships, 1940-1945

Type: Document

The HMC Prince David, Prince Henry and Prince Robert ships were built at Birkenhead in the United Kingdom by Cammell Laird for the Canadian National Steamships Company. By the 1930s they sat idly much of the time because of the decade's decline in trade. When war broke out in September of 1939, the Naval Service lost no time in making arrangements for the conversion of the Princes, adding anti-submarine weaponry for armed merchant cruiser operations.

Site: National Defence