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Canada and World War 2

Canadians in the Air
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After the bombing of Hamburg

In 1942, a systematic bombing of Germany by the Allies had begun. At first, the goal was to destroy all German industries, roads, railways, highways, bridges, and oil refineries. However, air chiefs decided that destroying German spirit by bombing the cities would be better. On the 30th of May, 1000 bombers pounded the city of Cologne. From the 24th to the 31st of July, Hamburg was bombed8 times. Sixty percent of the city was destroyed and 80 000 civilians were killed.

However, this bombing did not destroy the Germans will to continue fighting. As the Germans "blitz" on London in 1940 only made the British wish to win more, the continuous bombing on Germany had the same effect. The only result from this "total" war was the mass amount of civilians who had been killed.

Fighter planes in World War II

Like Canada's Navy, Canada's Air Force was small in 1939 but it became the fourth largest in the world by the end of the war. Canadians were to bomb enemy targets late at night. The loss was high and the results were sometimes questionable. Some missions resulted in losing 500 aircrew in just one mission. Pilots had to strive with fast enemy fighters, anti-aircraft fire, radar, poor weather, darkness, unreliable equipment, sleepiness, and being found by enemy search lights.

At night, bombs would often go astray. Instead of hitting the target of German industries, they would kill civilians, mainly women and children.

One of the most famous air raids was "Dambusters". On the 17th of May 1943, Canadian bombers were to raid hydroelectric installations in the Ruhr valley of Germany. Canadians wanted to shorten the war by doing so. Pilots had to fly dangerously low and then send "spinning bombs" along the water like skipping stones. The raid was somewhat successful. Two dams were blown. The cost, however, was high. Of the 30 personnel who were sent, 13 were killed, and one was taken as prisoner.

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Created by Sarah Lucas. Final History Assignment 2005-2006.