Thursday, February 4, 2010

The History of the Royal Canadian Air Force

Prior to WWII, Canada did not have a large number of military equipment. However, as the war progressed, Canada began to expand its military and artillery material. As Germany began to overrun many counties, such as Denmark, Norway, and above all, France, Canada realized that Britain was in great danger. Nevertheless, at the end of the WWII, Canada claimed the fourth largest Air Force in the world. Therefore, Royal Canadian Air Force significantly contributed for the victory of Allies in WWII by training aircrews in Allied countries, playing a leading role in the Battle of Britain, bombing over Germany, and giving protection to Allied troops from the skies.

First, one of the main initial functions of the Royal Canadian Air Force was to aid in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Pilots from many countries, such as Australia, and New Zealand participated to for this program. At the end of the war, 131, 553 pilots were trained from Canadian institutions. From that, 42 110 pilots went to Royal Air Force, 9606 went to Royal Australian Air Force and 7002 went for Royal New Zealand Air Force.(Shores,1984,p.30) Those pilots who trained from Canadian institutions gave a massive contribution for the victory of Allies in WWII. Therefore, Canada contributed by training pilots in Canadian free open skies, which trainees contributed for the Allies' victory in WWII.

Secondly, Royal Canadian Air Force made a momentous contribution in the Battle of Britain. As England Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, stated, "The Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin", the Battle of Britain began by alarming Allied nations. After France surrendered, the German Air Force, Luftwaffe, began to bomb southern England and London in August 1940. Nevertheless, Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force gained six victories in the first ten day of the Battle of Britain in the difficult circumstances. Flt Lt P S 'Stan' Turner, and Flt Lt Roberts Grassick were some of the successful Canadian pilots, who played a vital role in the Battle of Britain. The Royal Canadian Contribution in Britain had increased, as three squadrons formed in eight months. (Shores, 1984, pp.46-47) These included five-day and three night units in Fighter command. Royal Canadian Air Force claimed more than 60 night victories in the Battle of Britain. Most successful Canadian night fighter pilots in Western Europe had been R A Kipp and R Bannock. (Shores, 1984, p.56) Due to this massive contribution of Royal Canadian Air Force, German attacks over Britain had stopped. Without Canadian support, Britain would have fallen into German attacks. Therefore, Royal Canadian Air Force made a significant contribution saving Britain against the rain of German bombs.

Thirdly, Royal Canadian Air Force gave a great support to Royal Air Force in bombing over Germany. For instance, on May17 1943, Royal Canadian Air Force were involved in the bombing activities on hydroelectric installations in the Ruhr Valley of Germany. Because of the Canadians great efforts, they managed to blow up two dams of the hydroelectric plant. The Royal Canadian Air Force pilots risked their lives over German skies. They weaken much military equipment and other war material in Germany. Accordingly, the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force work together in bombing missions over Germany. Therefore, Royal Canadian Air Force helped many Allied nations by destroying much of the valuable German resources.

Finally, Royal Canadian Air Force helped protecting Allied troops on ground. Since Canada transported many resources to Europe by using convoys, the Royal Canadian Observation Post had the responsibility for protecting as many convoys as they could. Consequently, by the end of the 1943, U - boat activities in the Western Atlantic was greatly reduced and controlled by Royal Canadian Air Force. (Shores, 1984, p.38) Furthermore, 36-bomber squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force secured the skies over Juno Beach on D - Day. 404 squadron attacked three German destroyers on the first day of D - Day. Moreover, during the first days of the invasion of Normandy, 414 of Royal Canadian Air Force was involved in spotting ships and supplies supporting on lands for Allied troops. As a result, many of these goods went into Allied forces without harm from enemy attacks. Eventually, these incidents led to the liberation in the Europe. Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force protected troops and resources on ground from Germans. For that reason, Royal Canadian Air Force provided a remarkable service for the liberation of Europe and the victory for Allied nations.

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