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Subject > Strategy and Tactics > Anti-submarine

Introduction to the Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Type: Document

The Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which saw German U-boats penetrate the Cabot Strait and the Strait of Belle Isle to sink 23 ships between 1942 and 1944, marked the only time since the War of 1812 that enemy warships inflicted death within Canada's inland waters. The battle advanced to within 300 kilometres of Québec City. A war that pervaded people's lives but was still somehow remote, had become immediate, threatening, and very real. This site outlines the story of this battle.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Last Major Encounters - Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Type: Document

In 1944 German U-boats returned to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which had been re-opened to trans-Atlantic vessels, intent on repeating their successes of 1942. By this time the Royal Canadian Navy was more adept at anti-submarine warfare, and its convoy procedures were much improved. Maritime air patrols were more proficient too. The U-boats returned with a potentially deadly advantage, however: the newly invented schnorkel mast.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Heaviest Blow of All - Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Type: Document

During the Battle of the St. Lawrence, the last loss of the 1942 season was the largest, and perhaps the most tragic. It was the Sydney to Port aux Basques ferry Caribou, which was sunk by a German U-boat in Cabot Strait during the early morning hours of October 14, 1942. More than any other event, the loss of the Caribou revealed to all Canadians our vulnerability to seaward attack and brought home the fact that the war wasn't just a European show.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Closing the Gulf of St. Lawrence - Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Type: Document

Faced with a rising toll on lives and shipping, the Canadian government closed the St. Lawrence to all trans-Atlantic shipping on September 9, 1942, and limited coastal convoys to essential levels. This site gives an account of the battle of the St. Lawrence during the month of September 1942.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Submarine Offensive Moves to Canada's East Coast - Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Type: Document

An account of Germany's attack on Allied supply ships off the coast of Eastern Canada in May of 1942.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Introduction to the Battle of the Atlantic

Type: Document

From the very outset of hostilities in the Second World War the Atlantic supply route from North America to the United Kingdom was threatened. For six long years the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), the Canadian Merchant Navy (CMN) and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) were principal contenders in what was to be known as the Battle of the Atlantic. It was onerous and dangerous work and Canadians shared in the worst hardships experienced in the war at sea.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

War at Sea - Canada and the Second World War, 1939-1945

Type: Document

The Royal Canadian Navy participated in a wide range of missions and activities during the Second World War. To most Canadians, the RCN was identified with the bitter submarine war in the North Atlantic, but Canadian warships also served in other waters and other endeavours. They were engaged in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Pacific theatres of war; served with the British fleet off Norway; accompanied convoys to Russia; and participated in coastal operations off northwest Europe.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

U-boat Actions - Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Type: Document

During late August 1942, the commander of Germany's submarine forces, Admiral Karl Dönitz, deployed three U-boats off the Strait of Belle Isle where they could attack convoys that supported the construction of new United States Air Force facilities at Goose Bay, Labrador, or convoys that were bound from Sydney to Greenland. Thus began the tag-team blitz of Paul Hartwig's U-517 and Eberhard Hoffman's U-165, which would inflict the greatest shipping losses of the Gulf of St. Lawrence campaign.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Search for Deadly Submarines - Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Type: Document

An account of German submarines attacking Allied ships in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during World War II.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

A Decade of Service

Type: Document

In August 1951, Ronald Lowry was transferred to HMCS Nootka, and received sonar instruction. Six months later, he sailed on the Nootka for its second tour of duty in the Far East. Lowry wanted to help the South Koreans because he felt some empathy with them. His Mohawk ancestors had been displaced from their homeland in New York State as a result of the American Revolution.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada