Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

CHAPTER 6: Turning Point 1943

The Navy (2 pages)

A Navy Reborn

A host of factors would transform a disastrous naval situation into a resounding success before the year 1943 came to a close. These factors were: the cessation of operations by part of the navy in early 1943, the installation of more sophisticated sensing devices, more extensive training, the addition of more escort vessels and the arrival of long-range aircraft that made it possible to cover the whole North Atlantic.

When the RCAF acquired American Liberators with enough range to cover the entire Atlantic from bases along North American coasts, in conjunction with Allied aircraft operating from Europe, the German submarines began to have less freedom of he seas, especially in daylight.

Having regained control of the situation, Canada, with Britain's support, would finally get what it had been seeking since 1942 - a command of its own. The Americans, although virtually vacating the North Atlantic, had wanted to retain control over the entire North American coastline. In March 1943 the Canadian North-West Atlantic Command was formed at an Allied conference on convoys held in Washington. The Royal Canadian Navy was thereafter responsible for all convoys travelling north of New York City and west of the 47th Meridian, some 1,000 kilometres from Halifax. The reorganized RCN that resumed responsibility for convoys in the spring of 1943 was more effective, and in the next two years it destroyed 17 of the 27 submarines it would be credited with sinking between 1939 and 1945. From late 1942 on, the German navy, like the German air force, could no longer replace all of its losses.