Home Front

The Rush For Rubber
Home Front

The Rush For Rubber

On Dec. 7, 1941, in a co-ordinated strike without equal in the annals of war, the Japanese wrought havoc on units of the United States Pacific Fleet in a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, invaded the Philippines and Hong Kong, assumed control of Saigon and the rest of French Indochina, landed invading forces at two points on the northeast coast of Malaya, and bombed Singapore. Other units headed for key invasion points in Sarawak, North Borneo and the Dutch East Indies. Using bicycles as their principal means of transport through the Malayan rubber plantations, the Japanese advanced swiftly and silently, outwitting and outdistancing the British, Australian and Indian defenders. These co-ordinated attacks gave Japan control of the Indian Ocean and severed the artery of the Allied rubber ...
In The Shadow Of War
Home Front

In The Shadow Of War

Nadia Jarvis was nine years old in September 1939. Her parents, Ukrainian immigrants by the name of Peter and Anastasia BosHuck, owned the Venice Cafe on a busy street in downtown Saskatoon and the family lived in a second-floor apartment above the restaurant. Young Nadia had spent her summer holiday roaming back alleys and playing games in vacant lots with the children of the blacksmith, the grocer, the barber and others in the neighbourhood. She had no idea the world was on the brink of the biggest and deadliest military conflict in human history until one afternoon in early September. Suddenly, her tranquil life was upended by newsboys racing up and down the street brandishing hastily printed editions of the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix and screaming—at the top of their lungs—Extra! Extra...
Home Front

The Farmers' War

On April 14, 1941, federal agriculture minister James Gardiner delivered an urgent address to the nation’s farmers. His words were broadcast coast-to-coast by CBC Radio. Canada had been at war for nearly 20 months and Gardiner began by summarizing where things stood. The Allies were in the midst of a titanic and deadly struggle with Nazi Germany for control of the North Atlantic. They had to win, as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had earlier warned, or totalitarianism would triumph over democracy, slavery over freedom, evil over good. “I do not come offering,” Gardiner declared, “I come asking. Asking that every Canadian dollar and every Canadian acre be made to yield its utmost toward the accomplishment of Churchill’s double purpose—the winning of the Battle of the Atlantic ...

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An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.