This feature-length documentary focuses on the Canadian pilots who served in the air force bomber command in Britain during World War II. From the outset, it was clear to Britain that air combat would be the key factor in the battle against Hitler's Germany. Told they would be targeting factories and military targets, the airmen were actually ordered to drop their payloads on civilians in an attempt to annihilate the enemy. Using interviews, re-enactments, old footage and photographs, Brian McKenna's film depicts the war from the perspective of the pilots.
This documentary looks at the events of June 6, 1944, when 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. Part of the 3-part series The Valour and the Horror.
In 1945, Great Britain and the United States organized a bombing raid that devastated the ancient city of Dresden. This short documentary returns exactly 40 years after its destruction and celebrates its renaissance with the re-opening of one of the most beautiful opera houses in Europe. One guest at this gala was the Canadian navigator of one of the bomber planes, returning to Dresden on a mission of peace that brought him face-to-face with the people who were once his enemies.
This film is part of the Valour and the Horror series, three controversial films on Canadian involvement in World War II. In the autumn of 1941, nearly 2,000 inexperienced Canadian soldiers were sent to Hong Kong at the request of the British government as a symbolic show of strength that would deter a Japanese attack on the colony. Canada's soldiers found themselves in the midst of a desperate battle they could not hope to win. On Christmas Day, 1941, the British colony of Hong Kong officially surrendered to Japan. The surviving defenders became prisoners of war. Over the next three and a half years, many of them would come to envy the dead.
They raised children, baked cakes... and built world-class fighter planes. Sixty years ago, thousands of women from Thunder Bay and the Prairies donned trousers, packed lunch pails and took up rivet guns to participate in the greatest industrial war effort in Canadian history. Like many other factories across the country from 1939 to 1945, the shop floor at Fort William's Canadian Car and Foundry was transformed from an all-male workforce to one with forty percent female workers.
Part three of a 3-part series, Canada Remembers, Endings and Beginnings focuses on the final phase of WWII in Europe in 1945 and the aftermath. Veterans recount their memories of the conflict at the Rhine and the celebrations on VE Day, followed by their contribution to the victory in the Far East. These recollections are complemented by outstanding footage filmed by army cameramen. The film also focuses on what transpired after the war, when the soldiers had to reintegrate back into society.
Part two of a 3-part series, Canada Remembers, The Liberators focuses on WWII during the period between June and December 1944. While following the action from the D-Day landings on the shores of Normandy up into Belgium and Holland, the film also highlights the contributions of the women who remained on the homefront. As the fourth largest producer of armaments among the Allied countries, Canada spent much of the war evolving into a formidable industrial nation.
Part one of a 3-part series, Canada Remembers, Turning the Tide documents the years between the outbreak of WWII in September 1939 and June 1944. A compilation of modern day interviews interspersed with photographs and footage from the war, this documentary covers landmark events such as the Battle of Britain, the raid on Dieppe, the landing in Sicily and the battle for Ortona. It focuses on both the Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen who fought in the war and the women who became part of the war effort, either by enlisting or by going to work in the factories and shipyards.
This documentary is a record of the role played by Spitfires in defeating the Axis during World War II. The film, which shows these planes in action during the Battle of Britain, in Italy, and on D-Day, also depicts the work of aeronautical engineers and ground crews who kept the Spitfires in the air.
This 1964 documentary returns to the battlefields where over 100,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. The film also visits cemeteries where servicemen are buried. Filmed from Hong Kong to Sicily, this documentary is designed to show Canadians places they have reason to know but may not be able to visit. Produced for the Canadian Department of Veteran Affairs by the renowned documentary filmmaker Donald Brittain.
This newsreel documentary made during WWII was used to illustrate Britain's preparations for an air attack. Scenes depict destruction wrought by enemy planes, the efficiency of retaliation by the Royal Air Force and the precautions taken in Canada against possible air attack. Part of the Canada Carries On series.
The bombing of the American naval base at Pearl Harbor thrust 9-year-old Minoru Fukushima into a world of racism so malevolent he would be forced to leave Canada, the land of his birth. Like thousands of other Japanese Canadians, Minoru and his family were branded as an enemy of Canada, dispatched to internment camps in British Columbia and finally deported to Japan. Directed by Michael Fukushima, Minoru's son, the film combines classical animation with archival material. The memories of the father are interspersed with the voice of the son, weaving a tale of a birthright lost and recovered.
Ages 6 to 17
History - World History
History - World War II
Discuss the perilous position of the tail gunner on board a fighter plane.
Comment on the wartime practice of dropping bombs on German civilians; was
this practice ethical and justified? What is the value of re-enacting and/or
retelling the stories of soldiers from World War II? Vietnam? Iraq?