The End of the Second World War

In the August-September 2020 issue of Canada’s History, we commemorated the seventy-fifth anniversary marking the end of the Second World War. Below is our collection of online articles, audio, images and video about that era.

Posted November 2, 2020

The Final Days of the Second World War

A Grateful Nation

Seventy-five years after the Second World War, the Dutch are determined to keep alive the legacy of their Canadian liberators.

On All Fronts

From the home front to the front lines, Canadians everywhere did their bit to help the Allies win the Second World War.

After Victory: The Legacy of the Necessary War

The Second World War led to fundamental changes to Canada, ushering in a new country forged by a generation’s service and sacrifice.

D-Day at 75

By Every Means Possible

Despite receiving less recognition than the army, Canada's navy and air force were crucial to the success of the D-Day invasion.

D-Day Memories

First-hand accounts from those who were there.

Eyes in the sky

How aerial photography helped secure victory for the Allies.

Preserving the past

Juno Beach Centre commemorates D-Day legacy.

Home Front in Focus

Documentary series explores impacts within Canada of the world wars.

Explaining D-Day

Canadian War Museum historian John Maker answers questions about the invasion that liberated Europe during the Second World War.

D-Day Air Raid: Terror at 2,000 Feet

Pilot’s memoir offers riveting details of having to bail out over Normandy.

D-Day: Images of War

A selection of photographs from Library and Archives Canada that capture the moments before, during, and after the D-Day mission during the Second World War.

D-Day Aircraft comes to Ottawa Museum

In 2014, the last remaining Hawker Typhoon aircraft in the world came to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum for an extended stay.

D-Day at 75

This past summer Canadians commemorated the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Second World War’s invasion of Normandy. In case you missed it, we included a curated collection of our online articles, audio, images and video about the Second World War from the past ten years.

Juno Beach Centre celebrates 10th anniversary

The Juno Beach Centre, a Canadian museum on the coast of France, is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2013 with a series of special events.

Juno Beach Centre Launches Tribute Campaign

2014 marked the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Normandy Campaign during the Second World War. 

More about the Second World War

Home Front Hero   

A ninety-nine-year-old Inuk woman who contributed to Canada’s Second World War efforts in a unique and little-known way has been recognized by the government of Canada. 

All hands on decks

Playing cards helped Second World War flight crews to recognize airborne friends from foes. 

Nazis Take Winnipeg

A simulated invasion in Winnipeg during the Second World War gave Canadians an first-hand look at what things could be like if Nazis invaded Canada. 

Attack on Bell Island

Fiction Feature: The war strikes home. On Bell Island in the fall of 1942, the night explodes as German submarines attack.

Canada and the Second World War

From farms to factories to fighting, the Second World War touched Canadians in many ways.

The Many Wars of Doug Sam

A son reflects on his father, this country’s most decorated Chinese Canadian.

Canada's A-Bomb Secret

How a clandestine industrial plant in British Columbia aided the Manhattan Project.

The Bren Gun Girl

Her natural beauty made her the perfect model for a national propaganda poster campaign. 

Molly Bobak's War

For a time it had seemed that the only Canadian woman to be officially appointed as a war artist during World War II might not make it overseas at all.

A New Look at the Dieppe Raid

David O’Keefe discusses his book One Day in August, which re-examines the tragic Dieppe Raid by Canadian forces during the Second World War.

Dieppe: A Colossal Blunder

Canadian troops were itching for a fight; they got their wish in the most ill-conceived assault of WWII.

Remembering Mona Parsons

Mona Parsons was member of the Dutch resistance, and one of only a few Canadian civilians to be interned in Nazi prison camps. Andria Hill recounts Mona Parson’s remarkable story.

Mona Parsons Commemoration Project

In this webinar, Andria Hill-Lehr discusses the Wolfville Historical Society’s Mona Parsons Commemoration Project.

Preserving the Allied lifeline

Canadians played crucial roles in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Freeing the Netherlands

Watch a video with Canadian veterans speaking about their experience of liberating Holland from Nazi occupation in 1945.

World War II: Victory in Europe celebration

Canadians rejoiced as Allies defeated Hitler and his Nazis, but for POWs, the end to the war was still a march away.

Attack on Bell Island

Listen to Bell Island, Newfoundland's, fascinating wartime history as a target of German U-boats.

Kick-starting Nelvana

Funding campaign helps comic book heroine rise from obscurity.

Hell in Hong Kong

Watch now: the Battle of Hong Kong (December 8–25, 1941) was the first place Canadians fought a land battle in the Second World War. 

Following in their Footsteps

Michael O'Hagan's PhD research on German prisoner of war camps in Canada helps connect Winnipegger to POW family history.

Bearing Witness to War

Winnipeg artist reimagines iconic Second World War images.

Books about the Second World War

Rush to Danger

Book Review: The voices of the medics shine through in the book Rush to Danger: Medics in the Line of Fire.

Recipes for Victory

Book Review: The book Recipes for Victory is a strong collection of historical essays illustrated with rare images.

"Dangerous Enemy Sympathizers"

Book Review: In 1940, hidden by the woods some thirty-five kilometres east of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Internment Camp B was established by the Canadian government.

Mackenzie King in the Age of the Dictators

Book Review: Roy MacLaren draws on the diaries of William Lyon MacKenzie King to paint a vivid picture of the period and the crisis in Europe. 

Four Days in Hitler’s Germany

Book Review: Robert Teigrob draws on the diaries of William Lyon MacKenzie King to paint a vivid picture of the period and the crisis in Europe. 

A Chance to Fight Hitler

David Goutor’s book A Chance to Fight Hitler explores the Spanish Civil War through the experience of Hans Ibing, a German-Canadian who immigrated to Canada in 1930 in search of a better life.

Dam Busters

Book Review: In the spring of 1943, an elite squadron of mostly experienced pilots and crews was created for a top-secret raid on Germany’s hydroelectric dams.

The Endless Battle

Book Review: The Fall of Hong Kong and Canadian POWs in Imperial Japan

Bearing Witness

Book Review: No one had ever seen anything like it. Nor would anyone again, until 1945, when an atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

Stopping the Panzers

Book Review: Stopping the Panzers is a highly informative, detailed, and descriptive account of the defence of Operation Overlord. It is in many ways a story of tank warfare and how the Canadian Armoured Corps was not “cowed” by the panzers but instead went toe-to-toe with the most fearsome tanks of the Second World War — and won.

M4 Sherman Tanks

Book Review: The development and production of this iconic tank is undoubtedly an American story, but once the Sherman was distributed among the Allies its story became much broader: It was no longer just America’s tank.

War at Sea

Book Review: In War At Sea, Ken Smith, recounts the Royal Canadian Navy’s role and expansion during the Battle of the Atlantic. Through the use of personal accounts, as well as an impressive selection of photographs, Smith provides a vivid account of Royal Canadian Navy ships and crews as they embarked on dangerous convoy missions and battled German U-boats.

The Little Third Reich on Lake Superior

Book Review: Author Ernest Robert Zimmerman, a former Lakehead University history professor, grew up in wartime Nazi Germany. His comprehensive book sheds light on a slice of history that brought European prisoners of war and other internees to an isolated Canadian community.

Bomb Girls: Trading Aprons for Ammo

Book Review: The phrase “bomb girls” conjures up all sorts of glamorous images: rows of ingenues coquettishly sweating on a factory line, powered by sassy grit and girlish determination. Historian Barbara Dickson’s Bomb Girls strips away such stereotypes and gets to the truth of the matter.

Tragedy at Dieppe

Book Review: Zuehlke’s self-described “you are there” style succeeds in putting readers into the horror of the Dieppe landing. The graphic accounts of Canadian soldiers slaughtered helplessly on the beaches at Dieppe and the surrounding towns are troubling and horrifying.

One Day in August

Book Review: David O’Keefe takes a completely different approach to the Dieppe landing. With significant new evidence in hand, O’Keefe seeks to reframe the entire raid within the context of the secret naval intelligence war being fought against Nazi Germany.

Our Finest Hour

Book Review: David Bercuson captures his theme well in the latest edition of his old standby Maple Leaf Against the Axis, now revised, updated, and re-released as Our Finest Hour. Bercuson has rewritten some sections, believing he had been too harsh in his judgment in earlier versions of the original.

The Best Little Army in the World

Book Review: The interpretation of the Canadians as somewhat bungling enthusiasts has been undermined by recent Canadian scholarship. The Best Little Army in the World draws on that literature to attack that myth.

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