By which will later prove very useful

By the summer of 1940 Britain’s strongest allies had fallen to the mighty German military. One by one European countries dropped like flies, leaving Britain to turn to the British dominions for aid. The Commonwealth consisted of a variety of countries with Canada being both the closest to Britain and the most prosperous. In the midst of Nazi Germany slowly breathing down the neck of mother Britain threatening an invasion by air, it would only make sense that Great Britain depended on Canada in this troubling time. Before the events of this battle, Canada was training Commonwealth youth into proper airmen. During the battle, Canada was one of the first and well-equipped units to arrive to support Britain after Dunkirk. As well as having two air squadrons that were very significant in the Battle of Britain. The Battle of Britain verified that Great Britain needed Canadian assistance in order to win the battle. Canadian importance is evident in all parts of the Battle of Britain, beginning with the British Commonwealth Air Training Program.On December 17, 1939, leaders from Canada, The United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand had gathered together to sign an agreement (Veterans Affairs Canada). This treaty would put into action the British Commonwealth Air Training Program (Veterans Affairs Canada) which will later prove very useful to the war effort. The BCATP was a program held in Canada for men and women throughout the Commonwealth to train, in hopes of becoming pilots and aircrew (Veterans Affairs Canada). In the decision – making for this program, it was unanimously agreed upon that Canada would be the setting for it due to four vital factors. First, It could not be held in Great Britain because it would be susceptible to assaults. Second, Canada had the capacity and vacant areas for training camps to be built upon while Great Britain did not. Third, Canada is considerably close to Britain which would allow easy transport of men, equipment and aircraft, and forth, Canada has a close relationship with the United States which would make transporting American aircraft parts to the camps easier (Veterans Affairs Canada). This agreement mutually helped Canada as well, allowing the country to contribute to the war effort without having to sacrifice its divisions. Canada has paid a great deal of money towards this program by paying for the initial and elementary flying training and eighty percent of the remaining cost (Veterans Affairs Canada). Britain would pay its part by supplying the aircrafts needed for training. There were camps all throughout Canada. The most notable being Camp Trenton in Trenton, Ontario and Base Borden in Borden, Ontario. By the end of 1940, there were 31 functioning air units and 39 men had graduated from Camp Borden. This came in time because by this time Britain need well-trained pilots to help fight against the German Air Force, more formally known as, the Luftwaffe. By the time of the program’s closing, the program had produced: 72 835 RCAF airmen and crew, 9 606 Australian airmen and crew, 7 002 New Zealander Air Force employees and 42 110 Royal Air Force employees.  If Canada was not there to hold the BCATP training bases then Britain would not have had well-trained pilots coming to its aid after the evacuation of Dunkirk.The Battle of Dunkirk signalled the fall of France and the eventual invasion of Britain. The following quote displays how Prime Minister Winston Churchill predicted the fast approaching Battle of Britain.”The Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our British life, and the long continuing of our institutions and our empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. Let us, therefore, brace ourselves that, if the British Empire and It’s Common-wealth last for a thousand years men will still say “this was their finest hour”(pg.234, Reader’s Digest). This event surely was the British Empire’s finest hour. After the battle of Dunkirk, Britain was undersupplied due to having to leave a large amount of equipment on the beach of Dunkirk and was not prepared to retaliate. Canada had graciously sent both the 1st and 2nd Canadian Infantry Divisions. The 1st division was quickly deemed the only well-equipped infantry unit there at that moment. The General, General Andrew McNaughton, tasked the 1st division troops to create the illusion of well-equipped soldiers, numbered in the thousands to the German military. In the air, the No. 1 Royal Canadian Air Force squadron was one of the first to confront the Luftwaffe and was ready to defend Britain and the British ideals. If it was not for the Canadian forces being there the British military would not have had the time to recuperate after the evacuation of Dunkirk. The 1st and 2nd Divisions, The No.1 RCAF squadron and the 242 RAF (Canadian) squadron acted as a shield, shielding Britain from the initial attack that would have surely resulted in a defeat.          Alongside the two infantry divisions, Canada also sent 80 Canadian pilots. These pilots were divided three ways: twenty-six were a part of the No.1 Squadron RCAF, 16 flew with the RAF 242 squadron which was majority Canadian and the remaining were distributed to different RAF squadrons. These pilots accounted for three percent of the total aircrew, however, the Canadian casualties accounted for three percent of the total casualties as well. 20 out of the 80 pilots sent had died, on the British battlefield. One would assume that the small number of Canadian pilots would not have had made a significant difference in this battle but that would be false.  The 242 squadron came back with a total of twelve victories by the 30th of August 1940 and the two mostly Canadian squadrons destroyed approximately 60 German aircrafts and damaged or destroyed another 50.  The No.1 RCAF squadron was the first to support Britain after the fall of France proving that without Canadian involvement Britain would have undoubtedly lost the battle of Britain.            “The stamina and valour of our fighter pilots remained unconquerable and supreme. Thus, Britain was saved well might I say in the House of Commons that never in the field of human conflict was much owed by so much to so few”(Churchill, Winston). Here in this quote, Prime Minister Winston Churchill is showing the gratitude owed to the very few Canadian and Commonwealth pilots that fought alongside the R.A. F resulting in the victory of the Battle of  Britain. Britain was weak and surrounded. When the odds looked grim, Canada was there to support the back of mother Britain. Canada held the training program that provided Britain with properly trained airmen, Canadian pilots were one of the first to confront the Luftwaffe, and the Canadian squadrons sacrificed and accomplish a great deal during this conflict. Thus, without Canadian aid, the Battle of Britain would have been written down in history, as a loss for Britain, a loss for democracy and a loss for the way of life that the world has come to know so well today. Canada did not only help but was necessary for Great Britain’s success in the Battle of Britain.