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Subject > Strategy and Tactics > Fortifications

Date > 1900 > 1940-1949

Fortress Europe - German Coastal Defences and the Canadian Role in Liberating the Channel Ports

Type: Document

By 1942, fearing an Allied invasion in the west while embroiled in war with the Soviet Union in the east, Hitler endeavoured to create the "Atlantic Wall", or "Fortress Europe", by encrusting the Atlantic seacoast with concrete and steel defences. This article describes these German fortifications and how the First Canadian Army participated in capturing these defensive positions. Includes reading list.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Development of the German Defence in the Dieppe Sector, 1940-42 - Information from German War Diaries

Type: Document

This report has been prepared for the purpose of supplying background information on German defences in the Dieppe sector. After the summer of 1941, the defence of the Continental coasts became a matter of ever-increasing urgency and importance to the Germans.

Site: National Defence

War Intensifies - 1941 - Battle of the Atlantic

Type: Document

As the spring of 1941 approached, Germany stepped up the scale of attack. To counteract this mounting menace from German submarines, new types of vessels were constructed and scientists worked desperately to design new methods of locating and destroying the submarine. Canada's fleet was augmented by several new types of vessels of which the corvette was the most famous. These small ships were invaluable in the anti-U-boat war.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada: History

Type: Document

With its obvious strategic location, Signal Hill became the site of harbour defences from the 18th century through the Second World War. The last battle of the Seven Years' War in North America was fought here in 1762.

Site: Parks Canada

Movement of Second Canadian Division to South Coast - England - World War II

Type: Document

In June of 1941 the 2nd Canadian Division exchanged roles with 55 Division of the British Army. This meant that these Canadian soldiers would move from their previous position of Aldershot to beach defences on the greater part of the coast of East Sussex. Major Stacey relates the more practical aspects of this movement.

Site: National Defence

Canadian-American Co-operation in the Defence of Sault Ste. Marie, 1941-1944

Type: Document

This report discusses the defence plans and measures undertaken by Canada and the United States for the protection of the canals and waterway at Sault Ste. Marie during the Second World War. Sault Ste. Marie headed the list of vulnerable points "to be afforded military protection from the beginning of the precautionary stage or on the outbreak of war".

Site: National Defence

Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada: Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada Receives World Heritage Site Designation!: Lesson Plan

Type: Document

Students are provided with information on the Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada, to understand why it has recently received designation as a world heritage site

Site: Parks Canada

Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada

Type: Document

This historic site celebrates the rich communications and military history of Signal Hill and sits amidst a spectacular view of St. John's and the sea.

Site: Parks Canada

German Defences in the Courseulles-St. Aubin Area of the Normandy Coast

Type: Document

This report discusses the German defence plans toward the end of the Second World War. With the German Navy and Air Force virtually eliminated and the German economic and manpower resources dwindling ever more, Hitler's plan of making thousands of coastal miles invasion-proof was bound to fail. German defence preparations had been centred in the strategically most tempting coastal areas, while others had been neglected. Allied planners used this opportunity to launch an assault against one of the less well built-up sectors.

Site: National Defence