Canada/Newfoundland and its role in WWII

When I think of Canada during WWII I always think of Juno Beach during the Normandy Landings…are there any other important battles or roles that Canada & Newfoundland played in during the war??


They were prominent in the Italian campaign and Salerno was a very infamous fight being called little Stalingrad

They distinguished themselves in Hong Kong and 5 years in captivity

Dieppe…enough said

They liberated most of Holland for which the Dutch are still grateful for even today

There were many other battles that the Canucks distinguished themselves in and were the third largest military force on the western front next to the Americans and British


Canada participated in the battle of Hong Kong, Pacific War, Market-Garden, Holland, push into Germany, and Italy. Newfoundland also participated in North Africa. There’s probably more campaigns for each, I haven’t specifically looked into many battles for each, but I could if you’d like.


Thank you @IndianaJones and thank you to @dearth as well yeah I took Canadian history back in high school so some of the battles you both mentioned are starting to come back to me now especially the Dieppe Raid & Newfoundland’s involvement in North Africa (I’m from Newfoundland so I was a little more curious about them during WWII all I really know was the US having an army base in the province during that time) it’s amazing how Juno Beach (and Normandy itself) is such an iconic battle campaign that kinda overshadows a lot of the other campaigns that eventually got to that point I feel like when WWII is talked about it’s mostly Stalingrad and Normandy at least that’s what I think sorry If it sounds like a narrow view lol


Very good points, that is very true, even the rest of the Normandy Campaign is often overlooked. Then again the sites on the coast or the epic tale of Stalingrad and basically the whole city having been turned into a museum make it understandable. There is a growing interest in other battles as well.

For example the Scheldt estuary which also was a battlefield in the Napoleonic wars.

The Forgotten Battle Ending Scene (The Forgotten Battle/De slag om de Schelde , 2020) - Bing video

And many others.

The upcoming D-Day episode will NOT forget the Canadians and I happen to know that one episode is dedicated to the First Nations fighting for Canada (altough they didn’t have to).



I think you’ve got a pretty good list of land battles the Canadians and Newfoundlanders took part in, but don’t forget the Royal Canadian Navy’s part in the Battle of the Atlantic. This was the only theatre of the war that eventually had a Canadian officer as the C-in-C for the Northwest Atlantic region (Admiral Murray).

The Royal Canadian Air Force took part in pretty much every major campaign as squadrons and wings under Royal Air Force operational control, including the Burma-India-China theatre (which I didn’t know until the other day).

There was also Canada’s significant share of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which ended up training nearly half the wartime aircrew for the RAF, RCAF, RAAF, RNZAF, and the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm.

The Dutch remember that campaign far better than the Canadians themselves.

Most people don’t know that Newfoundland wasn’t part of Canada at that point, so Newfoundland’s war efforts are even less well-known than Canada’s.

Not only didn’t they have to … they had to get special dispensation to be allowed to enlist. First Nations people in Canada at that time (and for a long time afterwards) were not considered “citizens” and their rights were severely curtailed by officials of the federal government. There’s a very good chapter of Tim Cook’s The Fight For History: 75 years of forgetting, remembering, and remaking Canada’s Second World War that provides unsettling details of the government’s treatment of First Nations people during that era.


Here’s some more stuff I found, again some broad info but also there were German landings in Canada/Newfoundland as well as U-boat damage with spies captured.