WWII Canadian Propaganda
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
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
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
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.
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.
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