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Japanese Balloon Enterprise Against North America

Type: Document

This report is an account of the Japanese balloon attacks against the United States and Canada in the final year of the Second World War, and the measures adopted, especially in Canada, to meet this new type of warfare. It also includes information on the effectiveness of the attacks and the types of weapons dropped by the balloons.

Site: National Defence

Defence of the Pacific Coast and the Invasion of Kiska

Type: Document

During the early phase of the war, the Pacific coast was defended by three divisions, later reduced to the 6th Division in order to provide conscripts for Europe. Elements of the division participated in the liberation of the Aleutian islands of Kiska and Attu in 1943.

Site: National Defence

Employment of Infantry in the Pacific Coast Defences, August 1939 to December 1943

Type: Document

This document describes Canada's effort to mobilize and effectively deploy infantry troops for west coast defence during the Second World War.

Site: National Defence

Threat in the Pacific

Type: Document

Canada's Defence Plan No. 2 envisaged a war in the Pacific between Japan and the United States, and laid plans to protect Canada in such a conflict. In 1941, Canada sent two battalions to Hong Kong to support the British. The Pacific coast was ill-prepared until the invasion of the Aleutian islands and the shelling of Estevan Point in British Columbia by the Japanese Navy. Fear of a Japanese invasion created a panic and 22,000 Japanese-Canadians were interned.

Site: National Defence

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

Home Defence - The War in the Air - Canada and the Second World War, 1939-1945

Type: Document

The Eastern and Western Air Commandos of the RCAF were established to defend Canada from the air and to protect vital supply convoys to Europe, Alaska, and Russia.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Air and Naval Contributions in the Pacific

Type: Document

The RCAF also contributed squadrons for the Pacific effort, notably in the defence of Ceylon. The Canadian cruiser HMCS Uganda gained notice when her crew failed to volunteer for service in the continuing war with Japan. Planning for a contribution to the invasion of Japan involved the Army’s 6th Infantry Division and the RCAF Tiger Force, both of which were disbanded following the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Site: National Defence

Private, Le Régiment de Hull, Alaska, August 1943

Type: Image

This reconstruction by Ron Volstad shows a member of Le Régiment de Hull, a Francophone militia unit that took part in the American-led reconquest of Alaska's Aleutian Islands. The regiment landed on Kiska Island in August 1943, but saw no combat because the Japanese had already left in secret. The Outaouais troops remained on in this extremely cold location until January 1944. For this joint operation with the American forces, the Canadians used U.S. helmets and equipment in combination with their Canadian uniforms and weapons. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Fixed Coast Artillery Defences on the Pacific Coast

Type: Document

This document is a short history of fixed artillery defences on Canada's west coast between 1918 and 1945. Topics of discussion include the state of these defences at the end of the First World War, the effort to upgrade them in the following decades, and a brief conclusion on their effectiveness during the Second World War.

Site: National Defence