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Second World War — Deuxième Guerre mondiale

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Multiple Perspectives - perspectives multiple

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Anti-conscription demonstration staged by Université de Montréal students, Champ de Mars, 23 March 1939, LAC PA-107910

Royal Tour. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth talking with Rt. Hon. W.L. Mackenzie King on the terrace of the Banff Springs Hotel, 1939. Le roi George VI et la reine Elizabeth parlant au très honorable W.L. Mackenzie King sur la terrace de l'hôtel de Banff. LAC, PA-802278

Toronto Public Library

Unveiling ceremony of the Canadian War Memorial by Vernon March on Parliament Hill, 21 May 1939, City of Vancouver,  AM54-S4-2--CVA 371-1975

The Winnipeg Tribune, 3 September 1939

"I would ask, did the last war settle anything? I venture to say that it settled nothing; and the next war into which we are asked to enter, however big and bloody it may be, is not going to settle anything either."
                                                              J. S. Woodsworth, 8 September 1939

"The present government believes that conscription of men for overseas service will not be a necessary or effective step. No such measure will be introduced by the present administration."
                          Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Debates, 8 September 1939

Toronto Public Library, Baldwin collection, CSM COOTHE1940 001

Public Archives of New Brunswick, Fredericton, 1940

1940, LAC Amicus 22016863



"In Canada, there are 2.6 persons per square mile; in other countries perhaps 16, 18, 20 or 26 persons. Well, no matter how stupidly one managed one's affairs in such a country, a decent living would still be possible."
                                                                                    Adolf Hitler, speech, 1940

"Canadians who were unwilling to volunteer for overseas service could be conscripted under the National Resources Mobilization Act (NRMA) for home defence. Those who were mobilized under NRMA were called 'zombies,' and although only 20 per cent of NRMA solders were French-speaking, popular opinion in English Canada tended to associate the 'zombie' term with French Canadians."
Peter H. Russell, Canada's Odyssey, p.268, [The NRMA was passed by parliament on 21 June 1940]





Pilots of No.87 Squadron, R.A.F. running to their Hawker 'Hurricane' aircraft. LAC Canada. Dept. of National Defence PA-037482, ca.1940

"He [Churchill] recognized that Ogdensburg represented Canada's ultimate transfer from one empire to another."
                                                                Desmond Morton, 18 August 1940

“Britain’s economic, political and military weakness forced Canada into the arms of the United States...[it] marked the shift from Canada as a British Dominion to Canada as an American protectorate."
R. D. Cuff and J. L. Granatstein, Ties That Bind: Canadian-American Relations in Wartime from the Great War to the Cold War, 1977.


Public Library New Westminister, 1 October 1940

The Federationist, Vancouver, 30 January 1941

Interned Japanese Fishing Fleet, 8 Dec. 1941, Vancouver Public Library 26951

A Royal Canadian Volunteer Reserve talking to a Japanese Canadian family during
the intermit of fishing boats, BC, 10 December 1941, Canadian Dept. of Defence,
LAC, PA-134096

1942-45 You Never Know Who's Listening Careless Talk Helps the Enemy. LAC, Acc. No. R1300-305, Kerr 1942-1945 copyright Gold Seal Salmon

Dionne Quintuplets, Toronto Reference Library tspa_0044006f, 1942

Japanese Canadian relocation - Seized vehicles at Hastings Park. 1942, Vancouver Public Library 1369

The Leader-Post, Regina March 1942

Japanese intermit, photo Tak Toyota/LAC/C-046350

Relocation of Japanese-Canadians to camps in the interior of British Columbia. LAC C-046355, 1942

1942 04 01 Convoy in Bedford Basin. LAC, Canada. Dept. of National Defence / PA-112993

"It is the government's plan to get these people out of B.C. as fast as possible. Every single man, woman and child will be removed from the defence area of the province and it is my personal intention, as long as I remain in public life, to see they never come back here."
                           Ian Mackenzie, Min. of National Defence, The Province, 4 April 1942

1942-45 David Suzuki and his two sisters in an internment camp. David Suzuki et ses deux soeurs dans un camp d'internement. LAC, 1976-087, PA-187835

Resultats de Plebiscite de 1942 sur la Conscription, par province; qui/non

"I was committed to the war completely and utterly, right from the start. I don't think young people today could ever feel the commitment that we had. Maybe it was just jingoism, chauvinism, and stupidity, but we felt that the Germans were going to wreck this world of ours and that we would have to stop them. The troops were committed to it and I think the correspondents were––I certainly was. But it won't ever happen again. The war we were involved in was very clear cut. It really was a crusade."
                                                               Ross Munro, Canadian Press news agency

Bonds of Freedom or Shackles of Slavery? Come on Canada! Buy the New Victory Bonds. 1942, LAC e010695746-v8

Nation's Business, Washington, D.C., May 1942

Nation's Business, Washington, D.C., May 1942

No Strong Desire Found in People for Separate Canadian Air Force
Poll finds sharp difference in Quebec Opinion

"Do you think Canadian airmen should fight as a separate Canadian airforce, or should they continue to fight as part of the R.A.F. as at present?"

                                                Quebec             Rest of Canada

Separate air force . . . . . . . . .         60%                    21%

Part of R. A. F . . . . . . . . . . . . .      20%                    62%

No Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       20%                    17%

The Gallop Poll of Canada, 27 June 1942

"The Canadian Army overseas is a dagger pointed at the heart of Berlin."
                                    Gen. A. G. L. McNaughton, speech  in England, 1942


"It will be a tragic humiliation if American troops get into action on this side of the Atlantic, before Canadians, who have been waiting in England for three years."
                                                                                           General Henry Crerar

La Presse, Montréal, 3 July 1942

Newsweek, 17 August 1942

LAC, C-014160

You slept well that night, didn't you? But George was at Dieppe!  Work _ Save and Lend For Victory! LAC Acc. No. 1983-30-966, Toronto Star Weekly,  10 October 1942

Bibliothèque National du Québec

"A bad plan [that] had no chance of success . . . only a foolhardy commander launches a frontal attack with untried troops, unsupported, in daylight against veterans . . . dug in and prepared behind concrete, wired and mined approaches – an enemy with every psychological advantage."
                                                                                                        Lord Lovat

"The Battle of Normandy was won on the beaches of Dieppe."
                                                                 Lord Mountbatten

14th November 1942

David Low, I've Settle the Fate of Jews – and Germans, 14 December 1942

Sgt's Christmas Dinner. LAC e011196127, 25 December 1942

People at a parade standing in front of a Victory Bonds billboard, 1942-45, City of Vancouver Archives, AM1590--CVA 298-025

We'll Meet Again – Vera Lynn

Men of Valor - They Fight for You :  war propaganda campaign - World War II. Hubert Reginald Rogers, LAC Acc. No. 1983-30-222, 1943

He "Picked Up" More Than a Girl :  sensitive campaign against venereal disease. Hersey active 1939-1945, LAC Acc. No. 1985-35-8

Women loggers smoking cigarettes on a break 1943 Richard Wright NFB of Canada e000761561

BC Archives, PDP03547

View of an outdoor billboard for the Canadian Women's Army Corps: "The Spirit of Canada's Women". LAC, e002282954

United :  the United Nations fight for freedom. Acc. No. 1981-32-23 Source: Harry Mayerovitch, Montréal, Québec., Leslie Ragan, 1943

UNIVERSITY STUDENT: Girlfriends are so busy you have more time for studying.
Jacques Garnier, Le Quartier Latin, Montréal, 12 February 1943

Orville Fisher, D-Day Assault, 102.1 – 122.6 CID CWM

         200,000 Burned Alive in Hamburg Bombing,
The Militant, New York, 30 June 1946

This Japanese wartime internment camp was located at Tashme, 22 km east of Hope, BC. It was constructed in 1942 and dismantled in 1946. 1943, Vancouver Public Library 6035

Phelps, The Manitoban, Winnipeg, 16 December 1943

1944 00 00 LAC Acc. no. R1300-38

Royal City Chilliwack

Maintenance Jobs in the Hanger, Paraskeva Clark

Rube Goldberg, The Calgary Herald, 3 January 1944

Graves of personnel of the Edmonton Regiment, Ortona, Italy Alexander M. Stirton D of ND, LACPA-115151, 1944 01 08

The Windsor Daily Star, 1944

9th Canadian Infantry Brigade landing on D Day, Gilbert Alexander Milne/Canada. Dept. of National Defence/LAC, PA-137013

Wounded awaiting evacuation, 6 June 1944, Lieut. Frank L. Duberville/Canadian Dept. of National Defence/LAC/PA-133971

1944 Des infirmières militaires de l'Hôpital général canadien no 10, Corps de santé royal canadien. Nursing sisters of No. 10 Canadian General Hospital, R.C.A.M.C. LAC, PA-108174,  23 July 1944

His Majesty King George VI inspecting the 2nd Medium Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (R.C.A.), Italy, July 1944. Sa Majesté le roi George VI inspectant le 2e Régiment d'artillerie moyenne, ARC. LAC, Capt. Alexander M. Stirton / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / PA-128090

General Charles de Gaulle addressing the crowd on Parliament Hill. Ottawa, 11 July 1944. LAC C-026941

H/Major John W. Forth, Chaplain of The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (M.G.), helping the unit's Regimental Aid Party to treat a wounded soldier near Caen, France, 15 July 1944. Aumôniers aidant à évacuer des soldats blessés. LAC Harold G. Aikman,  PA-133244

"We are not fighting today merely to defeat Germany and Japan; we are fighting in defence of definite principles. We are fighting for a peace based on justice, and justice must be granted to minorities as well as majorities."
Victor Quelch, Hansard, 17 July 1944

"I had as comrades in my section, men whose names were: Cameron, Kimora, English, Gleidenstein, de Chapin, O'Shaughnessy. We didn't fall out as Irish Canadians, French Canadians, Dutch Canadians, Japanese Canadians. We wore the same uniform, with the same maple leaf badge."
26 October 1944

"I really felt as though the men who had planned that raid [Dieppe] ought to have been cashiered . . . It was sending men to certain death without a ghost of a chance . . . It just made me indignant beyond words." [King visiting Dieppe in 1944]
                                                                                          W. L. Mackenzie King

The Battle of Europe :  The world in Action presents a National Film Board Production. LAC Acc. No. 1981-32-7 Source: Harry Mayerovitch, Montréal, Québec, Harry Mayerovitch, 1944-45

Alaska Highway, Toronto Reference Library 1939-45. Our strength. Item 5. L. 1945

Nova Scotia Archives O/S  V/F vol.6 no.2, 1945

Target for '45 : propaganda war poster. LAC Acc. No. 1981-32-9R Source: Harry Mayerovitch, Montréal, Québec, Harry Mayerobitch, 1945

Charles R. Knight, The Windsor Daily Star, 5 January 1945

Internment camp for Japanese – Canadians, June 1945, NFB, LAC PA-142853

Rifleman R.M. Douglas of The Royal Winnipeg Rifles with a group of Dutch women who are celebrating the liberation of Deventer, Netherlands, 10 April 1945. Lieut. Donald I. Grant / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / LAC / PA-140683

Aba Bayfsky, Bergen-Belsen Concentration Pit, 10 May 1945

Prisoners at the time of liberation of the Ebensee camp, a subcamp of the Mauthausen concentration camp. This photograph was taken by Signal Corps photographer Arnold E. Samuelson. Austria, May 7, 1945.
— National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.

Laura Grey, The Militant, New York, 12 May 1945

Infantrymen of "D" Company, The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, with their Universal Carrier, which is inscribed "Germany Kaput - Italia Tutto Finito - Here We Come Canada", De Glindhorst, Netherlands, 5 May 1945. Canada. Dept. of National Defence, LAC PA-137741, Michael M. Dean

Dutch Civilians and Canadian Army Troops celebrating the liberation in Holland,
7 May 1945, LAC PA-134377

LAC, PA-114617

For more wartime magazines visit:

V-J Day parade float on Powell Street, City of Vancouver Archives, 14 August 1945, AM1523-S5-1-F021--2008-010-010.1812

Five Chinese-Canadian soldiers who served with the South East Asia Command (SEAC) as guerilla fighters an are awaiting repatriation to Canada, No.1 Repatriation Depot (Canadian Army Miscellaneous Units), Tweedsmuir Camp, Thursley, England, 22 November 1945. Cinq soldats canadien-chinois qui ont servi sous le Commandement d'Asie sud-est (SEAC) comme combattants guérillero et qui attendent leur rapatriement au Canada au dépot de rapatriation no.1 (Unités diverses de l'Armée canadienne), camp Tweedsmuir, Thursley, Angleterre, 22 novembre 1945. LAC PA-211879, Department of National Defence, Karen M. Hermiston, 22 November 1945

Liberated Canadian prisoners-of-war arriving in Manila, Philippines, 13 September 1945. Dept. of National Defence, LAC PA-137745, Manila, Philippines, 13 September 1945

Rehabilitation case Lieutenant Lorne Groom in the Christie St. hospital, Toronto, talking with Captain Catto. Le lieutenant Lorne Groom en réadaptation à l'hôpital Christie Street, à Toronto, parlant avec le capitaine Catto. Ronny Jaques, LAC 1971-271 NPC, April 1945

Metropolitan Toronto Public Library

"One day back in Canada my buddies took me down to a hotel. I had been a soldier for one year and I had on my uniform. I went into the hotel with them and sat down and they would not serve me because I was an Indian. The law at that time was that they were not supposed to serve an Indian. Just think, I was a soldier."
                                                                                       Andrew George, 1946

The Manitoban, Winnipeg, 12 November 1953