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Discovering The Canadian Navy Remembrance Day Program HMCS Calgary.

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1 Discovering The Canadian Navy Remembrance Day Program HMCS Calgary

2 Discovering The Canadian Navy Remembrance Day is a time to remember those who have served Canada during times of war and peace. Remembrance Day was originally called Armistice Day. It was created to commemorate the end of World War I on November 11th, We mark Remembrance Day with many ceremonies and memorials as a way to pay tribute to those who have died for peace for all Canadians. As you will see, the Canadian Navy has played a tremendous role in this fight for peace throughout its history. Why Remembrance Day?

3 Discovering The Canadian Navy Germany and Britain were competing for Naval Power the first all-big gun ship called the HMS Dreadnought is invented. Who could build the most Dreadnoughts? The Hague Peace Conference of 1907 tried to cool the race. Neither Germany nor Britain wanted to relinquish any political power. Canada relied on Britain’s sea power. With the building of Dreadnoughts, Hon. George Foster proposed that Canada have its own navy in By the time the proposal came to the attention of the government, Germany was building more Dreadnoughts than Britain. This was a threat to the entire British Empire. Sir Wilfred Laurier turned the proposal into the beginning of the Canadian Navy. The Naval Act became law on May 4th, Why Canada Created a Navy HMS Dreadnought Sir Wilfred Laurier (c. 1907)

4 Discovering The Canadian Navy Britain declared war on Germany on August 4th, This meant Canada was at war too. Canada’s Navy only had two cruisers: HMCS Niobe and Rainbow. The Canadian Navy and World War One HMCS NiobeHMCS Rainbow

5 Discovering The Canadian Navy In 1906, U-1 was launched and completed a 600-mile cruise. It was the first in the iron line of deadly Unterseebooten (or U-boats). By 1913 they had a 3000-mile range and carried efficient periscopes and powerful wireless transmitters. The Invention of U-Boats People thought that submarines would not be used against shipping because of the Hague Conventions. The conventions called for the safe passage of all the crew, and of course submarines could not carry that many people. People were going to be very wrong. SM U-86

6 Discovering The Canadian Navy 1913, the Royal Naval Air Service had non-rigid airships and 52 short seaplanes. They could fly for 3 hours and travel 75 miles. Their job was reconnaissance and gunfire spotting. The potential for fighting against submarines was seen, but no one had any type of anti-submarine weapon. The Early Naval Air Force The Sopwith Pup

7 Discovering The Canadian Navy The German U-Boats were very effective. The U-Boats began sinking merchant ships in October. Then, in February 1915 Kaiser Wilhelm “declared the approaches to Britain a warzone”. Now, Allied ships could be sunk with no warning and the safety of the crews was left to chance. Neutral ships were respected but would have to take their chances. U-Boat Warfare: WWI Sinkings increased dramatically. In May, the Cunard luxury liner Lusitania sailed from New York and was sunk by a single torpedo. By the summer of 1915, nearly 100 ships were sunk per month. The Lusitania

8 Discovering The Canadian Navy Germany was afraid that the United States would declare war. To prevent this, Kaiser Wilhelm declared unrestricted submarine warfare in February No ships would be spared. In 3 months, 800 ships and 8,000 seamen were sunk. 1 out of 4 merchant ships that sailed from British ports were sunk. To combat the sinkings, ships began sailing in convoys. Losses dropped immediately and convoys were quickly organized for all inbound ships. Halifax and Sydney became the assembly ports for many convoys. The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) escorted them eastbound. The Royal Navy and U.S. Navy Cruisers served as ocean escorts, and destroyers and aircraft met them in the United Kingdom. These convoys successfully held off the U-boats. Submarine Warfare gets Worse

9 Discovering The Canadian Navy 6 December, 1917 marked a catastrophe for Canada. The SS Mont Blanc of France “steamed into Halifax harbour to anchor and await her convoy”. She collided with the Norwegian ship SS Imo going through the Narrows of Bedford Basin. The SS Mont Blanc had an explosive cargo. In her hold were 2,700 tons of guncotton, picric acid, and TNT. The crew of the Mont Blanc abandoned ship and she drifted, blazing, out of control, down the harbour. HMCS Niobe raised the alarm. 20 minutes after the collision, the SS Mont Blanc exploded. It was the biggest man-made explosion until Hiroshima. This catastrophe not only hurt the people of Halifax, but it crippled the naval, shipping and transport operations at a crucial time. The Halifax Explosion

10 Discovering The Canadian Navy The Halifax Explosion The Halifax Herald front page, Friday, December 7, Due to their proximity to the harbor Narrows, areas like this at Barrington and Young streets in Halifax's north end were completely leveled by the explosion.

11 Discovering The Canadian Navy World War I would continue for nearly another year. It ended November 11th, The Royal Canadian Navy had some 9,600 all ranks, over 100 ships, and a fledgling Naval Air Service. A National flag Merchant Marine was emerging. Modern shipbuilding had begun. The End of World War One Jack White

12 Discovering The Canadian Navy The Impact of World War Two Canadian sailors fought in every theatre of the war at sea – in battleships, cruisers, fleet destroyers, motor torpedo boats, landing craft, carriers and naval aircraft, minesweepers, and submarines Many sailors were “on loan” to the Royal Navy. The majority served in Canadian ships. 75% served in escorts of the Battle of the Atlantic.

13 Discovering The Canadian Navy World War II would see major developments in Canada’s Navy. The Royal Canadian Navy was the first into action and was one of Canada’s greatest contributions to the war effort. We began the war with only 3000 men including reservists and approximately 13 vessels. By the end of WWII, Canada had the third largest navy in the world. The Impact of World War Two A Corvette A Consolidated VLR Liberator providing air- cover for a transatlantic convoy.

14 Discovering The Canadian Navy Canada declared war on Sunday, September 10th, Newfoundland was already at war. The first “act of hostility” in North America: a German merchant ship seized and thirty German prisoners taken happened in Newfoundland. The YMCA in St. John’s was converted into a prison. The Early Days of World War Two

15 Discovering The Canadian Navy The Early Days of World War Two When the Athenia was sunk on September 3rd, Convoys were again ordered. Halifax became an important port during the war. U-boats were more efficient than during World War I. In the first six months shipping losses reached 700,000 tons – over 20 ships per month (an “average” ship was 5,000 tons). Both independent ships and convoys suffered heavy losses. SS Athenia

16 Discovering The Canadian Navy The Battle of the Atlantic began in Before 1941, convoys had been steaming with few anti-submarine escorts from the time they left the Halifax escort until they were just west of Ireland. This WWII battle ran until the end of the war. The only answer to the U-boat danger was a “complete transatlantic escort”. The new escort force would mainly be RCN ships, based on St. John’s Newfoundland, and under Canadian Command. The Battle of the Atlantic At the beginning, aircraft lacked the range to cover the central part of the Atlantic Ocean. This was called the “Black Pit”. U-boats caused heavy losses here.

17 Discovering The Canadian Navy North America was a target for U-Boats to attacks along the coast. From January to July 1942, nearly 400 ships were sunk for the loss of only seven U-boats. The Gulf of St. Lawrence was at risk. May 11-12th, a 5,000-ton freighter was torpedoed 8 miles off the Gaspé Peninsula that night. Within hours a second one was hit. The RCN organized convoys and eventually closed the gulf to overseas shipping. By early October, 7 U-boats had sunk 2 naval escorts and 19 merchant vessels in the gulf and river. On October 14th, the old ferry Caribou was sunk just forty miles short of her Newfoundland destination. Torpedoes off Canadian Shores S.S. Caribou (1925)

18 Discovering The Canadian Navy By Autumn, 1942 Germany had nearly 300 submarines available. They were concentrating their efforts on the Battle of the Atlantic. Canada’s navy also grew. By 1942 the RCN had 16,000 members serving in 188 warships. Women were recruited into the “Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service” or ‘Wrens”. An Increase of Strength U-100 Wrens on Drill

19 Discovering The Canadian Navy The WRCNS branch was created to release men for service at sea. They were trained for over 40 specialist ratings (jobs). Wrens went to the main naval schools. Though they originally wanted only 20 women, the navy eventually recruited 6500 women. By war’s end 244 servicewomen had won decorations Wrens were posted abroad in places such as the United Kingdom and the United States. Women in the Navy Wrens during an inspection Wren of the King’s Navy

20 Discovering The Canadian Navy Many ships were lost, including the HMCS Athabaskan. She was one of Canada’s Tribal- class warships. She sank on the night of April 29th, Of the 261 crew members, 128 and the Captain were lost. 86 survived the Prisoner of War camps. 47 were returned to England. HMCS Athabaskan was the only Canadian ship sunk in a surface battle. HMCS Athabaskan

21 Discovering The Canadian Navy Ship designs improved. There was better air support by the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force). The “Black Pit” was slowly closed. During the last months before the Normandy invasion the RCN assumed responsibility for all North Atlantic escort. 25,343 merchant ship voyages were made from North America to British ports under the escort of the Canadian forces. These ships delivered approximately 164,783,921 tonnes of cargo to the United Kingdom and make possible the liberation of Europe. The Canadian Achievement Normandy Invasion: Canadian Troops Landing at Juno Beach

22 Discovering The Canadian Navy The last Canadian killed during World War II was Lieutenant Robert Hampton “Hammy” Gray. He belonged to the RCNVR (Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve). The Last Canadian Naval Sacrifice He flew as a fighter pilot from HMS Formidable. He won a VC as he led a strike against the heavily defended base at Onagawa Bay. He destroyed the Ocean Escort Amakusu before crashing into the sea with his plane on fire.

23 Discovering The Canadian Navy Germany surrendered on May 7th, May became officially known as V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day). However, Japan was still a threat. The HMCS Uganda headed to the Pacific to fight. They remained for less than a month before returning home. The End of World War Two HMCS Uganda

24 Discovering The Canadian Navy By the end of the Second World War, the RCN was the third largest Navy in the world. It had 373 fighting ships and over 100,000 members including 6,500 women in the WRCNS. We also had the wartime world’s fourth largest Merchant Navy. Canadian ships were almost all built in Canadian shipyards. 2,000+ RCN were killed by all causes in all theatres of war. Most were killed in the Battle of the Atlantic. 752 members of the RCAF died in maritime operations. The Book of Remembrance for the Merchant Navy lists by name nearly 1,600 Canadians and Newfoundlanders. The End of World War Two

25 Discovering The Canadian Navy The Canadian Navy continued to work towards peace after the end of World War II. June 25th 1950, North Korean tanks and troops burst across the border into South Korea. This became the first UN action. The Navy and the Korean Conflict The Canadian Navy was the first in action again. They helped provide supplies and men for the UN, as well as support land battles. HMCS Cayuga

26 Discovering The Canadian Navy Truce talks began on July 10th, 1951 at Kaesong and continued sporadically for another two years. Fighting ended with an armistice on July 27th, In January 1954 the Canadian army force was cut. The three naval destroyers worked steadily on. Sioux stayed until September, Eight of the RCN’s eleven destroyers completed 21 tours of duty – Cayuga, Athabaskan, Sioux and Crusader from the Pacific Command and Haida, Huron, Iroquois and Nootka from the Atlantic. Over 2500 officers and men served in Korea at least once, three Canadians were killed and two severely wounded. The End of The Korean Conflict Sioux in icefield off Korean coast, February 1952.

27 Discovering The Canadian Navy The Canadian navy participated in both NATO (North American Treaty Organization) and UN missions. Nuclear submarines produced by the Soviets were a new threat. New innovations, such as the St Laurent class of destroyer escorts, variable depth sonar, the hydrofoil, and the helicopter carrying destroyer (DDH) were to combat this submarine. The Navy helped NATO protect North America from possible Soviet attacks. They also helped with the creation of the DEW (Distant Early Warning) Line in the Arctic. The Naval Board ensured that all ships, equipment and communications were compatible with the USN. The Cold War would end with the fall of the Berlin Wall in The Navy, NATO and the Cold War

28 Discovering The Canadian Navy 1964, HMCS Bonaventure carried Canada’s contingent for the UN peacekeeping force to Cypress. The Navy also took part in Peace Support Operations (such as in Korea – , Vietnam 1954 and 1973, Central America – and Cambodia ). They helped with disaster relief and gave humanitarian assistance for example the Red River Floods in Manitoba and the Swissair crash recovery in The Navy participates in a variety of training exercises and sovereignty patrols (such as in the Arctic, fisheries patrols, and drug inceptions) Lastly, they aid in Civil Power unrests, like the Montréal Olympics in The Development of the Navy

29 Discovering The Canadian Navy The Canadian Navy also played a large role during the Gulf War. Iraq invaded Kuwait in August The Canadian task group commander was put in charge of joint naval operations. The Navy also helped during the Bosnian conflict of The Kosovo campaign of 1999 The US Drug Enforcement Agency in counter- narcotics operations in the Gulf of Mexico. At the outset of the 21st century, Canada had in its service arguably the best balanced and most capable navy in its history”. The Gulf War To Modern Day HMCS Toronto

30 Discovering The Canadian Navy IN HONOUR OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE NAVY, ARMY AND MERCHANT NAVY OF CANADA WHOSE NAMES ARE INSCRIBED HERE THEIR GRAVES ARE UNKNOWN BUT THEIR MEMORY SHALL ENDURE. Take a moment to remember them on Remembrance Day.


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