Day: March 24, 2013

Shaped By Crisis: Building New Corvettes: Navy, Part 56

Shaped By Crisis: Building New Corvettes: Navy, Part 56

The operational crisis of 1942 shaped the nature of the Royal Canadian Navy’s escort fleet for the balance of the war. If the RCN and the minister of defence for naval services had had their way in early 1942, all emergency war construction would be frigates. The minister, Angus L. Macdonald, considered the whole corvette class of vessels obsolete, while the professional navy remained focused on acquiring proper warships for the postwar fleet. But Canada continued to build corvettes, and fully one third of the RCN’s corvette total was added to the fleet after 1942. Why build “obsolete” ships? The answer is twofold, and both paths led to more corvettes. The first was that Canada had significant reserve shipbuilding capacity, especially on the Great Lakes, for small warships. In the g...

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