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Canada in Ww2

  • Date Submitted: 10/31/2013 11:07 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 42.3 
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Though Canada was the oldest Dominion in the British Commonwealth, it was, for the most part, reluctant to enter the war. Canada, with a population somewhere between 11 to 12 million, eventually raised very substantial armed forces. Around 10% of the entire population of Canada joined the army, a very small amount of which was conscripted. After the long struggle of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the challenges of the Second World War accelerated Canada's ongoing transformation into a modern urban and industrialized nation.

Canada informally followed the British Ten Year Rule that reduced defence spending even after Britain abandoned it in 1932. Having suffered from nearly 20 years of neglect, Canada's armed forces were small, poorly equipped, and, for the most part, unprepared for war in 1939. King's government began increasing spending in 1936, but the increase was unpopular. The government had to describe it as primarily for defending Canada, with an overseas war "a secondary responsibility of this country, though possibly one requiring much greater ultimate effort." The Munich Crisis of 1938 caused annual spending to almost double. Nonetheless, in March 1939 the Permanent Active Militia (or Permanent Force (PF), Canada's full-time army) had only 4,169 officers and men while the Non-Permanent Active Militia (Canada's reserve force) numbered 51,418 at the end of 1938, mostly armed with weapons from 1918. In March 1939 the Royal Canadian Navy had 309 officers and 2967 naval ratings, and the Royal Canadian Air Force had 360 officers and 2797 airmen.[13]:2–5

Under Secretary of State for External Affairs Oscar D. Skelton stated the government's war policy. Among its highlights:
Consult with Britain and France, and "equally important, discreet consultation with Washington".
Prioritize Canadian defence, especially the Pacific coast.
Possibly aid Newfoundland and the West Indies.
The RCAF should be the first to serve overseas.
Canada can "most...

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