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Royal Canadian Navy

Prior to 1910, the Canadian Government showed very little interest in naval affairs. However, with major conflict brewing in Europe, the Canadian Parliament was determined to organize a naval service. On 4 May 1910, under the authority of the Naval Services Act, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) was born, adopting the structure and organization of the British Royal Navy.

In the beginning, the RCN consisted of only two second-hand British cruisers and a handful of volunteers. However, during the First World War, the RCN reached a strength of 9,000 officers and men.

During the years following the Great War, the RCN was drastically reduced in numbers, so when Canada declared war on Germany, September 1939, they immediately embarked on a rapid expansion program. One of their methods of expansion was to reactivate the Canadian shipbuilding industry. The RCN, at the beginning of the Second World War, was in the same shape as the rest of the Canadian Military, having been a low priority for the government for quite some time. However, by the end of the Second World war, the RCN was one of the largest navies in the world.

During the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Navy saw its share of battles, including the 19 August 1942, Dieppe Raid. During the Raid on Dieppe, the RCN showed a tremendous amount of courage, for as they approached the beach on that ill-fated day they were faced with immense German fire. They continued, however, to make their way to the beach, fearlessly coming to the aid of their fellow Canadians who were wounded and pinned on the beach by enemy fire. Four members of the RCN would lose their lives as a result of the raid.

After the Second World War, the RCN experienced a rapid decline in size, but was rebuilt again in the early 1950s at the outbreak of the Korean War and achieved an enviable reputation as submarine hunters.

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