Military Communications and Electronics Museum | Musée de L'électronique et des communications militaires

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  WORLD WAR II

10 July 1943 allied forces landed in Sicily and fought their way inland. By September they were in Italy and the 1st Infantry Division was soon joined by the 5th Armoured Division. Over the next 16 months fighting continued against a determined enemy until both the Hitler and Gothic lines were broken. In January 1945 Canadian forces were redeployed to NW Europe.


Following the Normandy invasion, the 2nd and 3rd Infantry along with the 4th Armoured Divisions began clearingthe coastal areas of NW Europe. Bitter fighting followed through France and Belgium, by the winter, the Canadians were in Holland. Joined by the 1st Infantry and 5th Armoured Divisions in the spring, Canadian troops continued clearing Holland and had pushed into northern Germany by the end of hostilities.

VE DAY

As the war drew to a close the 1st Canadian Corps was liberating Holland while the 2nd Corps was fighting in northern Germany. Great care was taken in arranging the surrender to ensure that all participants agreed to the details and that provisions were made for maintaining law and order. The RCCS provided the communications links which permitted the negotiations to commence.

WOMEN AT WAR

With the outbreak of war, Canadian women eagerly took on non-traditional factory work and began organizing volunteer service corps. The RCAF Women's Division (WD's), and the Canadian Women's Army Corps (CWAC), began recruiting in 1941, followed by the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRENS) in 1942.

47,820 women served in uniform, this included Nursing Services, while almost 2,000,000 women toiled on farms and in factories to aid the war effort.

RADAR TECHNICIANS OVERSEAS

The story of these Canadians is as diverse as the story of RADAR itself. Only the very brightest were recruited and trained for this highly classified work. Upon graduation, many were transferred to the RAF and RN where they served in every theatre. Servicing airborne, shipborne and ground radar sets, these men made an enormous contribution to the war effort.

ELECTRONIC WARFARE (EW)/SIGNAL INTELLIGENCE (SIGINT)

Although not widely known at the time, there was a significant EW/SIGINT effort throughout World War II. RCCS Special Wireless Sections provided tactical SIGINT, naval Communicators Special used high frequency direction finding against U-boats and RAF/RCAF personnel protected the bomber force with radio and radar deception. In addition, "TOP SECRET ULTRA" intelligence information was obtained by breaking the German ENIGMA cypher system.