Section 1: Causes of the War

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1 Grade 9 Social Studies Study Notes Chapter 6 Section 1: Causes of the War Many people believed that World War I was the war to end all wars. However sadly, people were mistaken. After World War I, Germany was forced to sign a Treaty of Versailles. This Treaty placed difficult demands upon the German citizenry and left many people poor and starving. Britain, France, and United States were responsible for composing the terms of this treaty and felt that Germany should be accountable for its actions during WWI. The TWO Main Causes of WWII 1. The Treaty of Versailles: This Treaty was a peace settlement that ended World War I. 2.) Appeasement: The treaty inflicted consequences upon Germany for starting the war. Germany lost some of its land and was forced to pay sums of money, called reparations to the victors (the country/countries that won a war) Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party (known as the Nazis) were elected to power in They were able to gain popularity by appealing to people s frustrations stemming from the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler promised to tear up the Treaty. Shortly after the election, all other parties in Government were outlawed (except for the Nazis) and Hitler became the Dictator (only ruler). Hitler began to break the terms of the Treaty. At the same time Hitler began to build an army, and began to annex (reoccupy) the land that was taken away from Germany after the First World War. The Britain, France and the United States did not stand against Hitler and his army because they wanted to avoid another war. Appeasement was a policy that Britain, France and United States agreed upon. This policy relaxed the terms of the Treaty of Versailles in hopes to satisfy the Germans and allow peace to prevail. However, giving Germany just want they wanted did not work.

2 Hitler continued to demand more and more of the land. When Germany forced their way into Poland on September 1, 1939, Britain and France declared war against Germany two days later. Canada Enters WWII: Back in the early 1900 s, Canada was a part of the British Empire. Consequently, when Britain declared War on Germany Canada automatically went to war. It was the Statue of Westminster in 1931 that made Canada an independent colony of Britain during the Second World War. This is why Canada had a choice to join the war. The government had caused a crisis during the First World War when it wanted to Conscript (require), Canadians to join the Armed Forces. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King developed a compromise send war materials, and only a small volunteer army. Canada formally declared War on Germany on September 10, 1939, after two days of debate in Parliament.

3 Section 2: Phases of the War It was the Statue of Westminster in 1931 that made Canada independent of Britain during World War II. In fact, this gave Canada a choice as to whether or not it wanted to enter the war. Canada s contribution to World War II: Phase 1: September 1939, to June 1940: A small volunteer army that Prime Minister King had promised was raised, organized and sent to Britain in December Canada only had 38 ocean-going merchant ships in These ships known as the Merchant Marine, were needed to transport military personal and war goods. The first ships that began to sail across the ocean were sunk by German submarines, or u-boats. In December of 1939, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) was put into place resulting in Canada s Air Force training Allied pilots. This was hard at times because Canada had no training airfields or training aircrafts. However, this plan was a great success. Canada s Air Force trained over aircrew and built dozens of new airfields across the country. Some of these airfields still remain in use today. By 1940, the Germans won victories over Holland, Belgium, and France, which left Britain alone to face Hitler. This changed Canada s position of providing a small voluntary army, to a full scale commitment to the war under the National Resources Mobilization Act (NRMA). Phase 2: June 1940 to July 1943: Canada faced both successes and failures. At sea, the Navy and Merchant Marine fought the Battle of the Atlantic. Convoys of merchant ships carrying war materials to Britain and the Soviet Union were very essential to the Allies. German submarines tried to sink these convoys. However, by mid-1943, more effective anti-submarine tactics and weapons became available and it decreased the number of ships sunk. Canadian troops were fighting alongside the Britain troops. The Canadian army feared two defeats. o The first defeat was in Hong Kong. Canadian forces were sent there to support the British. On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Hong Kong. By Christmas day, the Japanese defeated the British and Canadians. 1975

4 Canadian soldiers were sent to Hong Kong, where 290 were killed, 1685 became prisoners of the war (POW) and another 260 died in captivity. o The second defeat was at Dieppe, a port in France. This was a very tragic disaster; more than 6000 Allied soldiers took part, including 4963 Canadian soldiers. Over 900 Canadian soldiers were killed and more than 1900 became POWs. Many believed that Canadian soldiers were not properly equipped to fight these battles during the war. Phase 3: July 1943 to June 1944: Canada s air forces expanded greatly in size. By 1943 there was an all-canadian bomber group. The bombing of the industrials sections of German cities was carried out around the clock. The Canadian fighting force had expanded from a single division to a full army. The Canadian force and members of the EI Alamein (Allies) invaded the island of Sicily. Sicily eventually fell to the Allies, who then invaded mainland Italy (Germany s ally). After a period of time, a new government was formed and order was restored. Phase 4: June 1943 to September 1945: In June 1944, Canadian, British, and U. S. forces landed at a series of beaches on the coast of Normandy. The Canadian beach was Juno. Canadian troops moved toward Germany in hopes to push the German soldiers back to Germany. Canadian troops had to invade the coastlines, including Dieppe, the place in which many Canadians had already died. Canadian and British forces eventually capture a city known as Caen. This was a road and rail centre. The operation took most of the summer, because, it was held by some of Germany s best soldiers. While Canada and Britain held down much of Germany s forces, the U.S broke through German lines. Once Caen had been secured, Canadian troops helped the U.S army capture another city, Falaise. After the capture of Falaise, German forces retreated to Belgium, and the German border. Paris was liberated and most of France was free. However, supplies were very low. The first Canadian Army was assigned the task of clearing the coastal areas and opening the ports. The key port was in Belgium.

5 This fight was took a lot of Casualties. Germans opened up the dikes and flooded roads and fields. Canadians were nicknamed water rats. After Canada had finally captured the port, they were next assigned to help liberate the Netherlands. To this day, many people of the Netherlands remember and honor the Canadian soldiers who freed them. When the war in Europe ended on May 8, 1945, Canadian soldiers remained on duty in northern Germany to participate in the return to peace. The air forces, helped control the skies over Germany, where as the Canadian Navy patrolled the North Atlantic.

6 Important Dates: The following dates/events have been discussed at various points in time through our discussion of the ideas in chapter 6 of your textbook. You should be familiar with each of the following. Date Event 1931 Canada becomes independent from Great Britain (Statue of Westminster) 1933 Nazi party (Hitler) take control of Germany September 1 st, 1939 Septermber 3, 1939 September 10 th, 1939 December 7 th, 1941 August 19 th, 1942 June 6 th, 1944 May 8, 1945 August 6 th, 1945 August 9 th, 1945 September 2, 1945 Germany invaded Poland Britain and France declared war on Germany Canada declared war on Germany Battle of Hong Kong Battle of Dieppe D-Day, (Operation Overlord Normandy) End of the war in Europe The US bombed Hiroshima The US bombed Nagasaki The Japanese surrender to the Allies (End of WWII) 1946 Nuremberg Trials The Battle of the Atlantic This was the longest military campaign of World War II spanning The battle resulted in one of Canada s greatest contributions to the war effort through the Merchant Marines.

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