The other legacy of D-Day: A Canada that built stuff. So much stuff – by Tony Keller (Globe and Mail – June 7, 2024)

On the 80th anniversary of D-Day, we memorialize the sacrifice, in blood and lives, of the Canadians who liberated Europe. Largely forgotten, however, are the economic, technical and industrial achievements that made victory possible – how Canadian business retooled, innovated and threw up new factories overnight, and the mind-boggling quantities of stuff they churned out.

Canada didn’t just clothe, feed, equip and arm the more than one million Canadians in uniform (out of a population of just 11 million). Stimulated by unprecedented federal spending and borrowing, industry shook off the Great Depression, and was soon building and exporting massive quantities of, well, everything.

According to the official postwar history from the federal Department of Munitions and Supply, “prior to the war, Canada’s aircraft industry consisted of eight small plants with … an average annual production of approximately 40 aeroplanes.”

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