THE WORLD AT WAR
The 1929 stock market crash devastated the world economy and left devalued currencies, unemployed hordes, and ruined industries in its wake. Many countries resorted to seizing territories and resources as a way to save their economies. Fascism, which many nations embraced in the 1920s, was an ideology that saw war as a source of strength and pride. This was evident well before the Second World War with the rise in world conflicts in the early 1930s.
In 1931, Japan gradually started invading China and several other territories on the Asian continent. Many countries with colonies in Asia, such as Britain and the United States, therefore saw Japan as a threat. Italy also tried to expand its empire in Africa by attacking Ethiopia in 1935.
Nazi Germany was not to be outdone. In 1938, Hitler forced the annexation of Austria before occupying Sudetenland, Bohemia and Moravia in 1939. The invasion of Poland that same year was the last straw for France and Great Britain, which declared war against Germany. Loyal to Britain, Canada declared war as well and entered the hostilities.
CANADA GOES TO WAR
In 1939, Canada quickly entered the fray of this new conflict out of loyalty to Great Britain. Canadian troops were sent to all fronts in Europe, Africa and Asia. However, Canadian soldiers had their first combat experience at the start of the war in Hong Kong.
WORLD WAR II AND CANADA
Over the past few years, Je me souviens has developed a number of virtual exhibits on Canada’s participation in the Second World War. To learn more about the major fronts of the Canadian army during this major conflict, we invite you to take a look at our existing exhibits!