Speeches and Broadcasts

Do You Want to Return Home Safe?

This leaflet advises Allied soldiers in Normandy to surrender, because they can expect pleasant treatment while imprisoned in Germany.

Life or Death?

Allied soldiers who surrendered to German troops in Normandy could send a radio message home to their families - or so this leaflet promised.

When You Left Your Wife

"These Germans are damned good soldiers" - so this propaganda leaflet advised Allied soldiers to write home right away, for they might not live to have another chance.

It's a Nigth-Mare!

Mary has been waiting for her husband Charlie to come home from the war, but in reality he has been torn to shreds by a shell - a cautionary tale in a German propaganda leaflet distributed to the Allied invasion forces in Normandy, one that was obviously not intended to teach spelling.

Run the Blockade of Death

This leaflet informed Allied soldiers of the casualties in the war against Germany, to encourage them to change sides.

To the voters of New Brunswick

The New Brunswick provincial election of 20 November 1939 saw Alison Dysart's Liberals returned to power, after the premier pledged in a letter to voters to stay the course as the country went to war.

A send-off for lodge members

When men of the King William Lodge joined the 105th Regiment, their fellow lodge members gave them each a pocket bible and their best wishes for a safe return at war's end.

Mackenzie King's manpower policy

The federal government of prime minister Mackenzie King used St Jean Baptiste Day, an important holiday in French Canada, as the occasion to clarify its manpower policy for the benefit of French Canadians.

Politics in wartime

In this radio broadcast, Union Nationale provincial cabinet minister Anatole Carignan criticized federal cabinet minister Ernest Lapointe for ignoring the wishes of Quebec. Carignan was defeated in the 1939 Quebec provincial election.

At war with Japan

After the surprise Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Canada lost no time in declaring war on Japan.

Widening the war

On 7 December 1941, the federal government announced that a state of war existed between Canada and Romania, Hungary, and Finland.

The advance through Italy

The messages from Generals Alexander and Leese were sent to the troops at the end of a period of bitter fighting in Italy. In the weeks that followed, Allied troops (with the Canadians in reserve) would continue the advance, eventually capturing Rome in June 1944.

1 Canadian Corps leaves Italy

Early in 1945, Canadian units were withdrawn from the campaign in Italy so they could join the Canadian divisions fighting in north-west Europe. On their departure, the army commander thanked them for their work since the invasion of Sicily in July 1943.

Change of command in Italy

Richard McCreery took over the Eighth Army in Italy (including I Canadian Corps) from Oliver Leese, and remained in command through the rest of the campaign.

The end in Italy

Canadian units had played a major role in the Italian campaign, but most of them had been transferred to north-west Europe when this message was conveyed from the Supreme Commander (and future governor-general of Canada), Harold Alexander.

The offensive moves through north-west Europe

These messages were conveyed to Canadian units before and after the breakout from the Normandy beach head and the move east into Belgium, before the crossing of the Rhine River, and at the defeat of Germany.

Henri Bourassa and the war

His opponents twice prevented newspaper editor Henri Bourassa from giving this speech, in which he argued that the duty of Canadians was to stay clear of involvement in the First World War, so he elected to publish it as a booklet instead.

View PDF: Duty of Canada.pdf

The war according to Borden

This pamphlet collected some of Prime Minister Borden's statements on conscription, the Union Government, and what Canada must do to win the war.

Can Germany win the war?

Foster, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, addressed two critical questions in this talk: did Britain do everything possible to keep out of the war?; and, can Germany win the war?

View PDF: Some Phases.pdf

Freedom or despotism?

In this wide-ranging speech, Sifton, the chairman of Canada's Commission of Conservation, placed the First World War in the context of the long struggle for freedom that went back to Demosthenes, the Everlasting League, Magna Carta, and England's Glorious Revolution.

View PDF: Sifton address.pdf

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