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Second World War
Battle of the Atlantic  - The Battle of the St. Lawrence

The struggle on the Atlantic between Allied navies and German U-Boats (submarines) brought the naval war into Canada, turning the river and Gulf of St. Lawrence into a battleground. From 1942, German U-Boats sank 23 merchant and naval ships; improvements in anti-submarine defences ultimately stemmed these losses.

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Crew Members, HMCS Bras D'Or
Crew Members, HMCS Bras D'Or

This photograph shows some of HMCS Bras D'Or's crew of 30. The sailor in the back row marked with an arrow remains unidentified.

Many aboard the small auxiliary minesweeper were members of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve, with merchant navy experience. One sailor (front row, centre) wears ribbons for First World War medals. Bras D'Or vanished off Anticosti Island in the early morning of 19 October 1940 while escorting a Romanian merchant ship. No survivors or traces of the ship were ever found, and the exact cause of Bras D'Or's loss remains a mystery.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19720197-001

St. Lawrence Convoy
HMCS Chaleur at Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Quebec, 1939
Jig-Saw Puzzle, "Canadian Warship Captures First Italian Prize"
Crew Members, HMCS Bras D'Or
U-Boat U-190 Commissioning
HMCS Fort Ramsay
"Minor war vessels at Gaspé, 1942"
Bridge of Motor Launch
HMCS Raccoon
Funeral of Able Seaman Donald Bowser, HMCS Charlottetown
Burial at Sea
"Remember the Caribou and Her Gallant Crew"
Damaged Fairmile Motor Launch, 1944
The Torpedoing of HMCS Magog
Damage to HMCS Magog
Iced Up
HMCS Shawinigan
German U-Boat Navigation Handbook
German Map of the St. Lawrence