PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA104282
St. Croix, St. Francis and Columbia were three of the over-age destroyers given to the RCN.
The fall of western Europe to the Nazis by the end of June 1940 changed the nature of the war profoundly. Britain now stood alone in Europe against not only Germany and Italy, but also Germany's notional ally, the Soviet Union.
It was a formidable array.
Europe, from North Cape, Norway, in the Arctic to the Straits of Gibraltar, was either at war with Britain or, in the case of Spain, openly hostile, while the whole Mediterranean was a war zone. Britain's very survival now depended on her ability to withstand the onslau...