armed forces grew rapidly. In September
1939 alone, over 58,000 Canadians enlisted.
By December, the first Canadian troops
were on their way to Britain. Three years
later, the First Canadian Army formed
the heart of Canada’s 250,000-strong
overseas commitment. Ottawa also placed
its navy at Britain’s disposal
and sent two fighter squadrons to Britain
before the end of 1940. Many others would
first, it seemed almost a lost cause.
By June 1940, Germany had defeated France
and occupied most of western Europe.
Italy also entered the war on Germany’s
side, forming the ‘Axis’
alliance. Its allies in Europe defeated,
Britain was suddenly threatened with
invasion. For a full year, until Germany
attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941,
Canada was Britain’s principal
remaining ally in the struggle against
See also :
Newspapers and the Second World War : The Invasion Threat to Britain and
the Battle of Britain, 1940