Larry D. Rose is the author of Mobilize! Why Canada Was Unprepared for the Second World War. His articles have appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and other publications. He was born in Trail, BC, and has an MA in public administration from the University of Victoria. He worked for 24 years at CTV News, including six years as producer of CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson . He lives in Toronto.
Ten crucial military and political calls that changed the course of the Second World War.
In the Second World War, Canada faced desperate times. Tough decisions had to be made that could have meant life or death on the front lines. In the struggle overseas and the battle at home, the very future of the nation hung in the balance. For leaders of troops and governments, the pressure to make the right calls was enormous, as disaster loomed on all fronts.
Even the decision to enter the war threatened to shatter the delicate balance that had been painstakingly struck between English and French Canada. From there, the problems only got messier. What ships and planes to build? What troops to field? The agonizing question of whether a costly battle was necessary, or if there could have been some other way.
Canadians, from the main streets to the barracks and all along the corridors of power, grappled with these life-and-death decisions throughout the Second World War. Here are ten of Canada’s most difficult decisions of the war, including brilliant successes, stunning surprises, and one disastrous failure whose effects resound to this day.