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Canada's War Effort in WWII - Worth A Read, Staggering!

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    Canada's War Effort in WWII - Worth A Read, Staggering!

    I have always know that Canada was one of the most important nations in WWII, but the stats in this article from the WAIKATO INDEPENDENT, dated 9 JULY 1945, really back that up. The figures are staggering. Well Done Canada!

    CANADAS DAY

    BROADCAST ADDRESS


    HER WAR-TIME EFFORT

    In the course of a broadcast address recently, Dr. W. A. Riddell, High Commissioner for Canada, said in speaking of Canadas Dominion Day:
    The outbreak of war in 1939, if it found Canada actually unprepared, found her potentially well prepared for war. She had the capacity not only to feed her own people and armed forces, but to go at once to the assistance of her Allies with supplies of cereals, meats, fish and dairy products.

    Before the end of 1944, although about half a million men and women had left the farms for the armed forces and war plants, she had increased her total food production by 40 per cent and her supplies to Great Britain by more than 215 per cent., including approximately:
    - 335,000 tons of bacon and other pork products;
    - 60,000 tons of beef, lamb and mutton;
    - 80,000,000 bushels of wheat;
    - over 5 million barrels of flour;
    - 58,000 tons of cheese;
    - and 8000 tons of dried egg powder.

    Approximately the same quantities will be supplied this year.

    Canada is one of the few countries that has a surplus of wheat and still holds for shipment about 250 million bushels from last years crop. Already millions of bushels of wheat have been supplied to Greece, Russia, and other countries and, as is well known, Canada is now sending considerable quantities of wheat to New Zealand. Our only difficulty in supplying your wheat requirements under Mutual Aid was not that we did not have the wheat or the ships to carry it to your ports, but that we did not have the sacks in which to put it. Canada, with her hundreds of million of bushels of grain, had to find a more economical way of handling it and so, for more than 40 years we have handled grain in bulk, using the force of gravity to make it flow from one container to another. It flows from the threshing machine, or combine, to the lorry, from the lorry to the grain elevator or silo, from the silo to the railway truck, from the railway truck to the terminal elevator, and from the terminal elevator to the ship. If there should be a sack shortage in New Zealand in the next few months, it may be attributed to the fact that you have sent hundreds of thousands of empty sacks to Canada.

    Canada was also fortunate in having more than two-thirds of the key war minerals, which has enabled her to help supply Britain and other of the United Nations, including New Zealand and Australia, with essential metals. She is the worlds foremost producer of nickel, asbestos, platinium and radium, second in aluminium, and third in copper, lead and zinc.

    Since the war began she has increased her output of steel and pig iron by 98 per cent, coal by 13 per cent, and aluminium by over 500 per cent.

    When Scandinavian supplies of timber were cut off Canada was able to meet the needs of Britain for timber and pit props. Owing to the scarcity of shipping, much of this was sent overland by rail, a distance of 3000 miles, to be taken in convoys across the North Atlantic. The success of the famous Mosquito aeroplane is due partly to the fact that its fuselage is built of light, strong, Canadian Sidka spruce.

    During the war Canada has enlisted about a million men and women in her armed forces, and has suffered over 100,000 casualties. The present strength of the Army is about 370,000 officers and men. Canadas naval personnel has increased from fewer than 2000 officers and other ranks at the outbreak of war, to more than 96,000; her fighting ships from 15 in 1939 to 380 in 1945, together with hundreds of auxiliary craft.

    The rapid development of the Navy has been such that in 1944 it was able to take over the escorting of all trade convoys between North America and the United Kingdom. In addition, on D-Day, the Canadian Navy had 109 ships and 10,000 personnel in the invasion, and 60 ships on loan to the Royal Navy.

    The R.C.A.F. numbers more than 200,000. Part of this number has been employed to provide 25 per cent of the personnel of the Royal Air Force, as well as 42 independent squadrons. One cannot speak of air-warfare without mentioning the tremendous impetus given to the defeat of Germany in the air by the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan which trained over 130,000 air crew, in which the Canadians made up 55 per cent, and in which New Zealanders were such a popular and vital part.

    Canadas highly developed manufacturing industries have enabled her to make probably her greatest contribution to the war. In no case has this been greater than through the rapid expansion of her chemical and explosive industries, which have supplied not only our own needs but a considerable part of the requirements of Britain and the United States. With a process worked out by two Canadian chemists, R.D.X., the worlds most powerful explosive, has been supplied in ever increasing quantities. From Canadian war factories among hundreds of other ordnance, have come in ever increasing numbers; guns, machine guns, and rifles, radar and range-finding equipment; more than three-quarters of a million mechanical transport and armoured fighting vehicles; and from Canadian shipyards have come more than 1000 naval, cargo, and specialised ships.

    Canadian aeroplane plants have contributed more than 15,600 planes to the air forces of the United Nations, some of which are being used by your own air force in the Pacific.

    Canadians, like others, have had to bear heavy taxation to meet war expenditure. Fortunately, all war costs have been or are being met inside Canada, over 60 per cent, by taxation. We have not accepted any lend-lease or similar help. Instead, Canada has been able to extend much needed help to other nations through her Mutual Aid, which, with earlier war-time contributions and financial assistance, has amounted to 1,200,000,000, or almost one-quarter of the total cost of the war to Canada. This commendable military and industrial result could not have been attained without the close and co-ordinated effort of all our people which confederation has helped us to achieve.
    Wings Over Cambridge - Cambridge's and New Zealand's Contribution to the Wartime Air Forces

    Wings Over New Zealand Forum

    #2
    Thank you for those statistics. A monumentally unselfish act by the Canadian Govt. and people. I think that it could be argued that the contribution made by the Canadian Navy to the Battle of the Atlantic was instrumental in winning that most essential campaign.

    Interesting to note that RDX was a Canadian invention. During my service time, we were taught the uses of Amatol, Baratol and RDX as the three principal military explosives.

    I know that Canada and the Canadian people are held in high regard by the British.

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      #3
      Well, they certainly are by this Brit and lots of other Brits too..... Would be happy to live among Canadians !!!

      Comment


        #4
        Interesting.
        It's easy to get wrapped up in the glamour of flying aeroplanes, but the supplies used to make and operate them is often overlooked. Few seem to give thought of the petroleum and oil needed for operations, the rubber needed for tyres, or indeed the food needed for The crews and maintainers.

        The use of aircraft-grade wood is mentioned but not the use of regular wood used for the unglamorous but essential task of shipping supplies.

        I recently read a book on the famous Dodge 3/4 ton military trucks used by the U.S. and allies supplied under lend lease.
        In the days before roll on - roll off ships, the trucks were disassembled and crated for shipping to better utilize space in ships. That one truck plant alone needed 175,000 board feet or lumber a day. That's I'm addition to the wood needed for truck production.

        I'm certain that the extensive Canadian forests provided much of that materir.
        Last edited by J Boyle; 20th August 2018, 17:01.
        There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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