The Extent of Canada's War Effort

Highlighting the fractured public opinion towards conscription and the "total war" effort that characterized the Canadian home front by 1942, this speech by the Minister of National Defence to the House of Commons attempted to identify the main issues of contention and examine Canada's role as it might evolve in the remaining years of the war.

The war so far

Intended for wide distribution within the armed forces, this booklet provided an incredibly concise account of the first five years of the Second World War.

Farewell to a Montreal conscript

The message to Paul St Louis, who was conscripted into the CEF in June 1918, reads, "Des salut a toute tes amis, tous les joueurs de base-ball et tous les autres [sic]."

Some Notes on the Minor Tactics of Trench Warfare

A Brigade Major of the Corps of Royal Engineers presents a thorough overview of trench warfare tactics, emphasizing the cooperation between infantry and engineers.

War Emergency Training Classes Certificate: Machine Fitting

The Youth Training Act of 1939 enacted the War Emergency Training Program (1940-46) to provide technical training for individuals in the armed services and war industries.

2nd Tactical Air Force

This brief summary of the tactical use of air power was published just months before the Normandy invasion, when Allied mastery of the skies would be a critical factor in victory.

View PDF: PDF icon Man Overhead.pdf

Canadian soldiers in Italy

This booklet provided two first-hand accounts of Canada's participation in the campaign in Italy, beginning with the Sicily landings in July 1943

View PDF: PDF icon Cdn Recce Regt.pdf

Training in barbed wire

Given the importance of barbed wire during the First World War, it came as no surprise that in the Second World War there would be considerable emphasis on instructing soldiers in its use.

Notes for new military instructors

With the rapid expansion of the military early in the Second World War, there was a need for a manual such as this, with basic guidelines for officers and NCOs who had never before been involved in instructional duties.

Canadian Defence and the Navy Question

Beginning in 1890s, Canadians had weighed in on the naval question, an increasingly contentious issue with no clear national consensus that contributed to the fall of the Wilfrid Laurier government in 1911. This pamphlet notes the re-emergence of the naval issue as a central topic of debate early in the First World War as Canadians confronted the immediate problem of defence.

Canada At War: A Summary of Canada's Part in the War, October 1st, 1941

The "Canada at War" series was intended to serve as up-to-date source material for speakers and for citizens desiring information about Canada's participation in the war. It was revised and issued monthly, containing the most recent available facts and figures.

Military Pass, 1917

Fleetwood Berry of Meaford, Ontario, was issued this pass to absent from his barracks in Toronto in 1917. Similar passes were issued to soldiers going on leave.

His Country's Call

A typical patriotic image from the First World War, by British artist Cyril Cuneo.

Join the 150th Battalion!

"There's lots happening here - join us in the 150th Battalion" - a recruiting postcard drawn by artist Louis Keene and sent from Amherst, Nova Scotia, where the Montreal unit was training.

Orders for machine gun units

An infantry officer from Winnipeg, Manitoba, used this British military manual during the Second World War.

News of the Fighting French

This magazine, printed in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, provided news of the war work of the Free French movement, led by Charles de Gaulle.

Permission to marry, 1939

Private Harold Drake, like all soldiers, was required to seek the permission of his Commanding Officer to marry, and had to provide supporting documents as well.

Messages to the troops before the Normandy invasion

These messages were conveyed to all Canadian units on the eve of the D-Day landings in 1944.

King George and Queen Mary’s Club

This leaflet was distributed as an introduction a London rest club for the Empire’s soldiers during the First World War.

Exemption from conscription

Carl Atkins was exempted under the Military Service Act on the grounds that he was physically unfit for military service.

View PDF: PDF icon msaexemption.pdf