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WWII Canadian Propaganda Film
Plowshares Into Swords

Made in 1943 and produced by famed filmmaker Graham McInnes for the National Film Board and the Wartime Prices and Trade Board, PLOWSHARES INTO SWORDS is a typical industrial incentive film from WWII. The film shows the gigantic agricultural and industrial capacity of Canada, and describes how production (including steel, cattle, meat and grain products, munitions and more) must be increased for the war effort -- nearly 25% according to the needs described by the narrator. At the same time the film reassures Canadians that they will not have to sacrifice their own quality of life in extreme ways, to support the war effort. A morale-building classic, this film provides a fascinating look at Canadian industry in WWII.

The film also includes a lengthy segment showing Canadian armed forces in training and in combat, including against German U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic (6 minute mark).

At the 8 minute mark, the role of women and young people in increasing production is shown, as well as the role of mechanization in increasing productivity.

The wartime trade board is seen at the 9 minute mark, making decisions regarding the nation's production. The board also makes decisions about whether farmers can acquire new equipment should for example their tractor break down under the strain of wartime production.

One fascinating part of the film, at about the 11 minute mark onward, shows how old equipment -- sometimes not in working condition -- is either reconditioned to be put into service. Equipment that is not salvageable would be scrapped. There are also tips for how to keep machinery working and save time and money through maintenance.

The film ends with a wonderful montage that compares farmers riding tractors to tanks through cross-cutting -- thus the farmers play a role in the war as vital as tankers.

This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit

Royal Canadian Navy during The Second World War

The RCN expanded substantially during the Second World War, with the larger vessels transferred or purchased from the US and British navies (many through the Destroyers for Bases Agreement), and the smaller vessels such as corvettes and frigates constructed in Canada. By the end of the conflict Canada had the third-largest navy in the world, behind the United States and the United Kingdom, but only two ships larger than destroyers, the light cruisers HMCS Uganda and HMCS Ontario. Although it showed its inexperience at times during the early part of the war, a navy made up of men from all across the country, including many who had never before seen a large body of water, proved capable of exceeding the expectations of its allies. By the end of the Battle of the Atlantic, the RCN was the primary navy in the northwest sector of the Atlantic Ocean and under the command of Rear Admiral Murray was responsible for the safe escort of innumerable convoys and the destruction of many U-boats an anti-submarine capability that the RCN would build upon in post-war years. The Norwest Atlantic theatre was the only theatre not under command of either a Brit or American during the entire war.

WW2 Royal Canadian Navy

The Armed Forces of Canada in World War II: The Declaration of War and the Navy, September, 1939, to June, 1940. An excerpt from "The Armed Forces of Canada, 1867 - 1967: A Century of Achievement", by LCol D.J. Goodspeed, C.D.

The Battle of the Atlantic

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