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Banner: From Colony to Country: A Reader's Guide to Canadian Military History

Canadian Military History: An Overview
War of 1812
Rebellions of 1837 and 1838
Northwest Campaign
South African War
First World War
Second World War

General References

Government and the Military

Troops and Traditions

Personal Stories

Aboriginal Peoples

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Art, Music and Literature


Web Research
Second World War
Web Research

The websites listed below are only a sample of those available to anyone interested in Canada's participation in the Second World War. The sites contain extensive reading lists, documents, maps, photographs, posters, biographical information and letters home, as well as links to additional sites. Those interested in family history, as well as those having an interest in the war itself, will find a variety of useful material in these sites.

Please note that due to the transitory nature of websites, some links may have changed or disappeared since this pathfinder was compiled.

Air Force Association of Canada

  • The historical section of the Air Force Association's website includes "RCAF Personnel - Honours and Awards - 1939-1949" by Hugh Halliday, a compilation of the records of some 9,200 awards for bravery or for service, given to about 8,300 RCAF personnel during the Second World War. The awards range from the Victoria Cross to Mentions in Despatches, and include many foreign decorations

Air Force: History

  • This website, sponsored by the air force staff at National Defence Headquarters, includes a variety of historical materials on the RCAF

Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame

  • Biographical sketches of each member of the Hall of Fame, which includes many of Canada's outstanding Second World War aviators

Canadian Air Aces and Heroes

  • A private site developed by Miles Constable, that includes comprehensive, illustrated biographies on a fairly small number of Canada's airmen

Canadian Genealogy and History Links

  • The "Military" section of this site contains many valuable links to online resources about Canada's role in the war, including general sites and sites organized by province, as well as sites that contain lists of names, diaries and letters, regimental and unit information

The Canadian Letters & Images Project

  • This site provides "in their own words" insights into some of the experiences of the men and women who served in the world wars. At present, there is more material from the First World War than the Second World War

Canadian Navy of Yesterday & Today

  • Created and maintained by Sandy McClearn, this site emphasizes images of Canadian warships, including those of the Second World War

  • It also includes links to other Canadian naval and naval aviation sites

Canadian War Brides

  • Stories, a thesis, a bibliography, photographs and related information

Canadian War Museum (CWM)

  • This site includes the Museum's excellent library resources on Canadian military history, information on exhibits and the impressive war art collection maintained by the Canadian War Museum

  • "Canvas of War : Masterpieces from the Canadian War Museum", a virtual exhibit that includes highlights of the war art exhibition mounted by the Canadian Museum of Civilization in the millennium year

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

  • The "Register" is an online index to all Commonwealth fatal casualties in the South African War, both world wars and Korea, including all Canadians

  • The "Register" also includes service personnel who died by accident or by disease and who are buried in cemeteries in Canada

  • Included are those Second World War fatalities for whom there is no known grave and who are commemorated on memorials, such as the Ottawa Memorial to airmen lost in and near North America

  • For the family historian, this site is most informative. Individual entries include the names and addresses of next of kin, some biographical details, war service information, date of death and place of burial or commemoration

Directorate of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence

  • Includes a listing of all Directorate publications

  • The unpublished Army Headquarters, Canadian Military Headquarters and Canadian Forces Headquarters reports, which served as the basis for Second World War official Army histories, are available in full text. Some of these address subjects not covered in the official histories

  • Also available is a directory of Canadian war memorials. This can also be accessed at:

Industry Canada: Canada's Digital Collections

  • As part of its SchoolNet initiative, Industry Canada has sponsored and supported a large number of websites, as well as indexing and digitization projects. Many of the sites completed to date relate to Canada's role in the Second World War, including information on war memorials, First Nations veterans and collections of diaries, letters, memoirs, regimental histories and related materials

  • The information contained in They served for freedom = À la défense de la liberté, by the Wellington, P.E.I., Legion War Veterans Club, listed under "The Second World War and Research in Family History" in the Commemorations section, is on this site

Internet Public Library

  • Links websites by subject, including detailed references to all aspects of Canadian military history

Library and Archives Canada

  • Leads to "ArchiviaNet", an online index to the finding aids for many of the archival holdings of Library and Archives Canada, including government records and private papers

  • See the books by Dubé, Hyam, Lovering, and O'Brien and Wright, listed in the General References section under "Bibliographies and Guides", for guidance to the textual, visual and aural records that are in the many record groups that contain Second World War materials

  • This site leads to "AMICUS Web", the catalogue of Library and Archives Canada's published collection and the collections of major libraries across Canada. "AMICUS Web" can be searched online, free of charge

The Royal Canadian Air Force Memorial Museum

  • The site of the RCAF Museum, Trenton, Ont., contains a wealth of information relating to the RCAF during the Second World War

A Tribute to the Merchant Seamen of World War Two

  • Although designed as a tribute to all allied merchant seamen, this site emphasizes the contribution of Canada and Newfoundland to the Second World War

Veterans Affairs Canada

  • This site contains a great variety of useful information for military historians, genealogists, teachers, students and veterans. It serves as an access point for a digitized version of the Books of Remembrance for those who died in the Second World War and to the "Canadian Virtual War Memorial", a database containing information on more than 100,000 Canadian men and women who gave their lives in time of war (based in large part on information available from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission). The "Canadian Virtual War Memorial", which can be accessed directly at:
    , includes a provision for families, or any interested individuals, to add photographs, letters or supplementary information to the biographical record of any individual. It is also linked directly to the relevant Book of Remembrance

  • The site also emphasizes memorials and commemorations, including information on a selection of Canadian and Newfoundland memorials in Europe. These include a short history of the memorial and a photograph

  • This site is particularly strong on the role of First Nations Canadians in both world wars, including a bibliography of published and archival sources

"We Will Remember": War Monuments in Canada

  • Information on local war monuments in Canada, organized alphabetically by place name within each province

  • The site includes a brief history of each monument, photographs and often a list of the names that appear on the monument