Chronology of Canadian Military History Canadian Military History, Colonial Period, New France, First Peoples, Seven Years War, French Indian War Canadian Military History, British North America, American Invasion, War of 1812, Dominion of Canada, Riel Rebellion, South African War Canadian Military History, World War 1 History, 1914-1918, Canadian Armed Forces, conscription Canadian Military History, World War 2, 1939-1945, Battle of the Atlantic, conscription, invasion, Dday, Normandy, Germany, axis, allies, Hong Kong, Dieppe 1946-today
Canada and the 
Second World War
The World Crisis
Canada goes to War
Canada at Britain's side
The Battle of the Atlantic
Canada's War at sea
The War comes to Canada
The Battle for Hong Kong
Disaster at Dieppe
The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
Bomber Command
The Royal Canadian Air Force
The Home Front
The Italian Campaign
Canada at D-Day
The Normandy Campaign
Liberating Northwest Europe
The War against Japan
Forced Relocation: the Japanese-Canadian Story
Going Home
Counting the Cost
A Nation Transformed



Canada declared war on Germany in September 1939.

Britain’s declaration of war did not automatically commit Canada, as had been the case in 1914. But there was never serious doubt about Canada’s response: the government and people were united in support of Britain and France. After Parliament debated the matter, Canada declared war on Germany on 10 September. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King promised that only volunteers would serve overseas.

Canada was unprepared for war. The regular army of 4500 men, augmented by 51,000 partly-trained reservists, possessed virtually no modern equipment. The air force had fewer than 20 modern combat aircraft while the navy’s combat potential consisted of only six destroyers, the smallest class of ocean-going warships. It was a modest beginning.

courtesy FW Johnson

Second World War
Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0M8