Better repetitive “over the top” raids on

Better or Worse? Comparing aspects ofCanada’s War Effort from WW. I to WW. IIPerhaps the two most influential wars in inhuman history, WW. I and WW. II impacted people from many countries of theworld, spreading destruction and death never seen before on the battlefield.

Both wars brought a new kind of warfare, highly mechanized and resourcedemanding, and its affects are still being felt in today’s geopoliticalspectrum. Canada was of vital importance to the allies in both wars, providingsoldiers and armaments to the battlefront and raw materials and supplies to ourallies. Although Canada performed exceptionally well during WW.

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I, the Canadianmilitary and overall war effort improved drastically during WW. II in terms ofbattle performance, wartime manufacturing and Homefront propaganda. Canadamobilized as a nation twice within thirty years, and helped fight for freedomacross the world. July1st, 1916 marked the first day of the Battle of the Somme, and itmarked the beginning of the most disastrous battle the Canadian army had everexperienced. Canadian battle performance in WW. I was poorer performing to thatof WW. II because of its mediocre planning and the restricted self-autonomy ofCanadian troops. Although fighting very heroically, Canadian troops under thecommand of British General Haig, were sent in senseless repetitive “over thetop” raids on German positions.

Canadian troops were “gifted” a particularlyheavy fortified section of the Beaumont Hamel that a previous Britishbombardment had failed to destroy, sending many Canadians into a hail ofmortars and machine guns. The Battle of the Somme lasted a total of 141 days(Spotlight Canada, 4th Edition, Pg. 90) and despite heavy lossesHaig insisted the battle continue. After some staggering 5 months of battleboth sides were exhausted, and Canadian casualties numbered 24,000 (SpotlightCanada, 4th Edition, Pg.90) with the allies gaining only 11km ofland.

Poor planning and lack of Canadian strategic autonomy resulted in thesenseless slaughter of Canadian troops, leaving a very war-weary Canadianpublic.During WW. II Canadian battle performanceimproved dramatically because of better planning and coordination with theallies and Canadian leadership of Canadian troops. A particularly strongexample of Canadian efficiency during battle is the D-Day invasions of Normandyon June 6th, 1944.

Under the Command of Major-General Rod Keller theCanadians participated in a massive air, sea and land invasion against theGermans that resulted in the breaking through of Hitlers “Atlantic Wall. 14,000Canadians landed at Juno beach and some 374 Canadians lost their lives for thecause of victory.  (Source:

htm).SomeCanadians divisions had been training for the D-Day landings for almost a yearand the preparation is what contributed to minimal casualties and errors.Although not strategically perfect, Canadians advanced further inland (16km) bynightfall of June 6, than any other allied force on that day.

Strategicplanning and cooperation with allies’ lead to the stunning Canadian victory at D-Day. From the beginning of WW. I Sir Sam Hugheswas put in charge of coordinating and organizing the Canadian war production.Hughes performance as Minister of Defense was a major blunder and anembarrassment to Canada, his frequent profiteering and irresponsible awardingof government military contracts to unequipped industries was a major detrimentto the Canadian war effort.  Despitethese failures, Sir Robert Bordens Imperial Munitions Board did achieve successin supplying Britain with necessary materials. Most of the equipment Hughessupported, was a major failure, the Ross Rifle, a Canadian sport rifle, jammedwhen fired frequently or filled with debris.

It was a hunting rifle, not meantfor war, despite this Hughes continued to support the use of this rifle andattacked his critics. Another Hughes controversy was the shield shovel, a tooldesigned to stop gunfire and work as a spade. However, the shovel could notstop even a small caliber bullet and the hole in the spade made diggingimpossible. Hughes was eventually dismissed by Robert Borden as under claims ofcorruption and his inferior performance.

Canada was slow at first to organizefor war and Hughes greed contributed to a bloated and inefficient warproduction system. The Canadian wartime production completelychanged during WW. II and was more efficient and better organized to that ofWW.I.

Although some would argue that his methods were very draconian, C.D Howe,the Ministers of Munitions quickly organized Canada’s war economy. He created28 crown Corporations that produced everything from synthetic rubber, aircraft,explosives and uranium.  “Howes Boys”were industrialists and businesspeople who Howe convinced to work for hisministries on a dollar a year. The output of his corporations was astounding producinga total of 800,000 motor vehicles, 16,000 aircraft and 900,000 rifles(Spotlight Canada, 4th Edition, Pg.273) In WW. I Canada was mostly asupplier of raw materials, come WW.

II Canadas war economy became heavilyindustrialized and produced more complex and mechanized good. In 1942 thegovernment turned over all automobile manufacturing into the production of warvehicles showing Canadas unconditional dedication to the war. Canadas warproduction of WW. II was better planned, implemented and organized that lead toa greater output of high value materials, profiteering and cronyism waseradicated leading to a booming and efficient production of goods.         In 1914, Canada was still a dominion of theBritish Empire and a sizable portion of Canadian Homefront propaganda promotedloyalty to the Empire. Canadian propaganda during WW. I was not as effective tothat of WW.

II because of its heavily word based, hard to decode messages andlack of decisive unity and promotion of a better world. The War Poster Servicedidn’t include French language propaganda until 1916, failing to obtain asubstantial portion of support from French Canada (Spotlight Canada, 4thEdition Pg. 83) With a population of 9 million in 1914 and 500,000 citizensbeing immigrants born in another country, propaganda promoting loyalty to theempire would not have been encouraging to all Canadians (Spotlight Canada, 4thEdition. 47) WW.I propaganda was focused fighting and winning the war, fewposters promoted the prosperity that victory would bring, thereby discouraginginputs in hope of a better future. Although somewhat effective to a portion ofCanada, WW.

I propaganda was largely lacking because of its lack of inclusivityand the emphasis on a “colonial” view of Canada.Come 1939 Canada hadjust begun to recover from the grips of a ten-year depression which hadstrained its religious, social and political institutions and bred widespreadcynicism and anger. The Bureau of Public Information knew that a vastunification campaign was needed to gather support for the war. In addition,Canada had also received further autonomy from Britain since the end of WW.

I.The Canadian war propaganda of WW. II was more effective to that of WW.

I, itsaggressive, in-your-face, and design-heavy messages shook fear in citizens andencouraged immediate mobilization. The federal government felt the strain ofwartime demands and felt that it was necessary to make propaganda more dramaticin the hopes of not only building unity, but to cement the fear and hatred offascism in citizens. In WW. II a more nationalistic tone of Canada emergedincluding and encouraging people of all national background.

Finally, a view ofgood vs. evil developed and hopes were placed of a better world after the war.Canadian victory bonds raised a staggering $8,000,000,000 in support of the warand Canadian propaganda had more effective tones and messages compared to WW.

I(Source: I and WW.

IIbrought immense changes to Canada both technologically and socially.  Canada improved during WW. II in battle withthe monuments and stunning victory in Normandy, it massive industrialcontributions to the allies that trumped the meager mostly raw materialcontributions of WW. I and its effective use of wartime propaganda during WW.II that helped defeat the Nazis.

WW. I was a trial run for Canada seeing howfast it could mobilize and unify, learning from the mistakes of the Great War Canadawas able to vastly improve during WW. II.

Maturing as a nation Canada became amiddle power, being top 5 in largest Air Force and Navy at the end of 1945. Thousandof Canadian lives were put on hold, as the world battled twice in the span of 21years for deliverance, equality and freedom from tyranny.                                                                                                                                                                                  


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