Focus On

The Memory Project highlights some of the more unique stories of Second World War and the Korean War veterans.

This online resource groups some of the thousands of veteran stories by theme – such as important dates and events of the Second World War and the Korean War. New Focus On groups are periodically added – revisit the site often.

Women in the Second World War

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Women in the Second World War

During war, through circumstances or by design, women defended their homes and communities, cared for the wounded, prepared wartime materials and provided physical, economic and moral support.

The Liberation of the Netherlands

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The Liberation of the Netherlands

Liberation of Holland, WWII, begun by American troops, who entered Maastricht on 13 September 1944; British troops also played a major part in liberating southern Holland, along their axis of advance toward Berlin. The failure of an airborne assault on Arnhem (September 17) prevented the liberation of the rest of Holland in 1944. FIRST CANADIAN ARMY, under General H.D.G. CRERAR, on the north end of the Allied line, was to clear the Dutch approaches to the key Belgian port of Antwerp, along both banks of the Schelde estuary, a task completed in November.

Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War

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Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War

The Royal Canadian Navy was tiny in 1939, but its expansion during the Second World War was remarkable: 99,688 men and some 6,500 women enlisted and manned 471 fighting vessels of various types.

The Raid on Dieppe

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The Raid on Dieppe

The raid across the English Channel (Operation Jubilee, 19 Aug 1942) on Dieppe, a small port on the French coast between Le Havre and Boulogne, was planned as a "reconnaissance in force" to test the defences of Hitler's continental fortress and the capability of the Western Allies to launch large-scale amphibious assaults against his Festung Europa (Fortress Europe).

Chinese Canadian Veterans of WWII

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Chinese Canadian Veterans of WWII

When war was declared in 1939, more than 600 Chinese Canadians volunteered to fight for Canada. While Chinese Canadians served in all theatres of the war and many risked their lives for their county, they did not have the right to vote in Canada.

The Burma Campaign

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The Burma Campaign

Many Burmese, resenting Britain's hold over their country which went all the way back to the nineteenth century, cooperated when the Japanese invaded in December 1941. The Japanese saw Burma as a stepping-stone to India as well as protection for their troops fighting in the Malayan peninsula and in Singapore. At little cost, by May 1942 they had driven the British Indian troops west into India. The Japanese occupation of Burma cut the Burma Road from Mandalay in north central Burma to China; the Americans had been using that route to supply Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist forces, engaged in their own war against Japan ( see War in China, 1937-1945 ).

HMCS Sackville – The Corvette Life

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HMCS Sackville – The Corvette Life

To a casual observer, the key battles of the Second World War were fought on land. Normandy, Stalingrad, El Alamein and others come to mind. Yet many historians believe that the key to the Allied victory was the war at sea, in particular the Battle of the Atlantic. Without the Atlantic lifeline, the United Kingdom would have lacked the weapons, fuel, food and reinforcements to survive. If Britain fell there would be no means for a re-conquest of Europe.

Canada and the Korean War

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Canada and the Korean War

Five years and one month after the guns in Europe fell silent, the guns in Korea roared to life. From 1950 to 1955, 26 791 men and women in the army, navy, and air force fought alongside other United Nations forces to push the North Korean and Chinese offensives against South Korea north across the 38th parallel. An additional 7 000 Canadian forces remained in South Korea from 1953 to 1957 to protect the hard-fought peace. 516 Canadian men lost their lives.

Black Canadian Veterans of the Second World War

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Black Canadian Veterans of the Second World War

These veterans discuss their military experiences.