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Title: Pivot to the Pacific: Operation Downfall and its Lasting Effects on the Royal Canadian Navy
Authors: Campbell, Alexander
Royal Military College of Canada
Brown, Dr. Andrew
Keywords: Operation Downfall World War II
Royal Canadian Navy 1945 Commonwealth Pacific Campaign
Issue Date: 1-Apr-2022
Abstract: In 1943, during the late war period of the Second World War, the Allies commenced formal planning for the invasion of Japan. During this planning process, the British pushed for as much Commonwealth involvement as feasible. Ottawa’s desires were no different for Canada. The Canadian government hoped that involvement in the invasion, named Operation Downfall, would both buttress Commonwealth force numbers and maintain public support for the war effort. However, while the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) was more capable than it had been in 1939, it was still in need of revitalization—the fleet had been typecast as a convoy escort force rather than a surface fighting force, and would be unsuitable for the expected fighting of Operation Downfall. Also, the RCN was producing more sailors than they had ships for. This thesis argues that the RCN used Operation Downfall to expand the navy’s long-term capacity and versatility. That is, the RCN went from a feeble navy in 1939 to a reputable, general purpose force in 1945 capable of projecting sea power alone or in conjunction with other navies in a variety of combative roles shortly after the war’s end.
Appears in Collections:Honours Theses

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