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Second World War
The Second World War (1939–1945) was the largest and most widespread conflict in human history. It impacted all peoples, regardless of creed, class, or ethnicity. During the six-year conflict, more than 100 million people around the globe were mobilized for military service. Fifty million people died during the war, including 15 million soldiers, 20 million Russians, 6 million Jews, and 4 million Poles.
The people of Alberta were quick to answer the call to arms. Over 50,000 Albertans would serve in the Canadian Army, another 7,500 in the Royal Canadian Navy, 20,000 in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and many more in the RCAF Women’s Division, the Merchant Marine, and the Royal Air Force (RAF), bringing the total number of enlistees to 82,500. Those not eligible for military service found other ways to contribute. This website is a testament to those Albertans who remained at home while their husbands, fathers, brothers, and uncles went off to war. The Homefront in Alberta website examines the struggles, triumphs, and tragedies of these Albertans as they grappled with the news from the front and of the fate of their loved ones abroad. The project recounts and examines some of these poignant events and moments as they unfolded in communities across the province. The information contained in this website is divided into three sections: World War II (Canada and Alberta at War), Living with War, and Homecoming. World events provide a context and backdrop for users as they experience how Albertans at home contributed to, and were affected by, the Second World War.