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Interwar Years
The 1930s: Rebuilding the Royal Canadian Navy

Despite the severe financial climate of the Great Depression and political infighting, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) survived mainly as a coastal defence force. This period also saw the delivery of the first major warships designed and built for the RCN.

Torpedo Test Firing
Torpedo Test Firing

Torpedoes like the one being launched in this photograph allowed relatively small warships like destroyers to damage or destroy much larger vessels.

In the interwar period, Canadian destroyer crews trained and prepared to carry out their assigned task of countering enemy surface raiders threatening shipping in Canadian waters. They tested torpedoes and other weapons systems in exercises conducted yearly in the Caribbean with British naval units. This photograph, aboard an unknown and probably non-Canadian ship, may have been taken during tests or trials, since the man standing at right is wearing civilian clothing.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19710203-002_4

Launching HMCS Saguenay, July 1930
HMCS Saguenay, 1931
Model, HMCS Skeena
Engineer Captain Thomas C. Phillips
Destroyer Steam Turbine Engine
HMCS Skeena Plans
HMCS Saguenay Entering Willemstad Harbour, Netherlands Antilles, 1934
Torpedo Test Firing
Full-dress Uniform, Commander Frank Llewellyn Houghton
Sun Helmet, Horatio Nelson Lay
Commissioning of HMCS Fraser, February 1937
HMCS Restigouche
Royal Naval College of Canada Third Term Reunion, 1932
Sword of Honour, Robert Montague Powell
Model, HMCS Venture
Calgary Half Company, RCNVR, 1938
"Crossing the Line" Certificate, 1938