The Pacific War

The Pacific War was fought against German and Japanese ships during the second world war. The main base for the war ships from Canada was in Esquimault, BC. The ships went out to Alentian Island, Okinawa, Hong Kong, and along the South American coast to southern Chili. The Canadian war ships went out to capture the German merchant ships. These merchant ships were sometimes armed and difficult to capture.

The main ships from Esquimault included the HMCS Prince Robert and the HMCS Prince Henry. The HMCS Robert was used as an escort ship before the war. Both ships were originally merchant ships, but they were armed with heavy guns. This way they were disguised and still looked like regular freighters. Both ships were assigned the role of terminating all German ships in the Pacific ocean. The two ships operated a surveillance and search pattern along the west coast of the Americas; from San Francisco and San Diego through the equatorial zone to Peurto Montt in Southern Chili.

HMCS Prince Robert

The Greman freighters Munchen and Hermonthis and the SS Weser were intercepted and when they tried to escape, to their allies the Japanese, the enemy ships were sunk. The SS Weser was captured by the Prince Robert and the other two ships were shot down by the Prince Henry. The prisoners that were taken were sent to Canadian prisoner of war camps.

On December 7th 1941 the American base at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii was bombed by the Japanese. The RCN defended the B.C. coast against a possible suprise attack from the Japanese. This was when the Canadian Internment Camps for the Canadians with Japanese ancestry was started. The internment camps were a cautionary measure against the possibility of treason.

A fleet of 30 peacetime vessels, armed merchant cruisers, 9 armed yachts, corvetts, and 5 minesweepers patroled the B.C. coast. The main focus of the patrol ships was to guard the shipping in and out of Prince Rupert, Victoria, and Vancouver. This continued until the end of the WWII.

The Pacific War wound down when the war in the Atlantic increased. More attention was focused on the East Coast because the Germans were located there. During the Pacific War the fleet learned new fighting techniques. These included fighting in a cirle instead of a line and oiling at sea. Fighting in a circle was when the ships found a sub they would circle around the ship and this way there would be no risk of the enemy getting away. Oiling at sea was when a large oil tanker came to a location and then many fighting ships would come and fuel up. This way they could stay out at sea instead of comming into a port.

Since Canada helped the U.S. after the bombing at Pearl Harbour the ties between the two countries became stronger.