M965.199.1822 | Soldiers Three
June 19, 1940, 20th century
Ink, crayon and graphite on card
38.6 x 28.2 cm
Gift of Mr. John Collins - The Gazette
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Cartoon (19139) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , war (1452)
Keys to History
After the quick conquest of Denmark and Norway, Germany conquered Holland, Luxembourg, Belgium and northern France. Britain and the Commonwealth countries were left to face Germany's military might. As Britain's principal ally, Canada accelerated the mobilization of its military, financial and industrial resources. Canada immediately sent four of its destroyers to Britain, and troops to garrison Iceland. The possibility that Britain might be defeated led many groups in Canada to call for conscription. King's government passed the National Resources Mobilization Act (NRMA), which gave the government the power to conscript men for the defence of Canada. While NRMA training and service was limited to home defence, it was hoped than many of the conscripts would volunteer to serve overseas.
After Germany had conquered most of Europe, Britain depended heavily on Canada for support. The United States did not enter the war until late in 1941.
Germany now controlled the French shore of the English Channel. It planned to invade Britain once Germany's air force controlled the sky over the channel.
In April, May and June of 1940, Hitler took control of northern Europe. The National Resources and Mobilization Act was passed on June 21.
As John Collins illustrates in this cartoon, Canada's size, manpower, resources and ties to Britain meant that Canadians were destined to play a crucial role in the war.