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WWII: An Overview in Moving PicturesWWII: An Overview in Moving PicturesMany Voices, Many StoriesMany Voices, Many StoriesThe Home FrontThe Home FrontCritical PerspectivesCritical PerspectivesSee Everything, Hear Everything
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See Everything, Hear Everything
Watch films, excerpts and view archival artefacts—all chosen by
NFB experts—plus much more!
 
 
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Excerpt (1:10)
In Desperate Battle: Normandy 1944
1992, director: Brian McKenna
The first Canadians to enlist in 1939 were motivated by...
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Excerpt (3:20)
In Desperate Battle: Normandy 1944
1992, director: Brian McKenna
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Excerpt (5:30)
Death by Moonlight: Bomber Command
1991, director: Brian McKenna
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Excerpt (5:32)
Savage Christmas: Hong Kong 1941
1991, director: Brian McKenna
Around 2000 Canadians were sent to the UK colony of Hong...
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Excerpt (3:20)
Savage Christmas: Hong Kong 1941
1991, director: Brian McKenna
Two army units in Hong Kong were the first Canadians to...
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Excerpt (5:31)
Savage Christmas: Hong Kong 1941
1991, director: Brian McKenna
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1
In Desperate Battle: Normandy 1944
Excerpt  (1:10) 1992, director: Brian McKenna
Description The film
The first Canadians to enlist in 1939 were motivated by economic hardship as much as by patriotism. The armed services offered paid employment at a time of widespread poverty and unemployment. About 55,000 volunteered in the first month of the war. In Quebec, where WWI conscription had met with bitter opposition, most were opposed to drafting servicemen for overseas combat.

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On June 6, 1944, a combined force of American, British and Canadian troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. The Allied invasion of occupied France was a turning point in the war against Hitler's Germany. From a tactical view, Canada's role was limited; strategically, it was pivotal. Canada's infantry and armored regiments were thrown against Germany's elite troops and tank divisions. The price they paid was enormous.