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Subject > Strategy and Tactics

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

Clearing the Coast - Canada and the Second World War, 1939-1945

Type: Document

The Canadians pushed rapidly eastward through France towards Belgium while British and American troops advanced into Holland. After an unsuccessful Allied airborne attack it became apparent that the war would continue into 1945.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

The War of Attrition - On The Western Front - Canada and the First World War

Type: Document

As early as 1915 the war ground virtually to a stalemate. Despite repeated Allied offensives to break through enemy lines, it was now becoming a costly war of attrition.

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

War in the Air Elsewhere - Canada and the Second World War, 1939-1945

Type: Document

Canadian airmen took part in various missions far from their main theatres of operation. These missions included reconnaissance, air transport, sea patrol and others, sometimes flying from remote bases.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Canada and Normandy

Type: Document

A commentary on the vital role Canadians played in the battle of Normandy and ultimately the defeat of Hitlerism, including the price they payed in casualties.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Battle in the Liri Valley - Canada and the Second World War, 1939-1945

Type: Document

In 1944, Canadian and American forces successfully assaulted two major German lines of defence in their drive to capture Rome. The operation developed into a pursuit and Rome fell to the Americans in June.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Opening the Estuary - Belgium 1944

Type: Document

An outline of the four main operations in the Allied plan to open the Scheldt estuary in Belgium in the fall of 1944.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

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