Monday, December 4, 2023

The Vast Aerodrome Of Democracy

The conclusion of the First World War saw a time of mourning and commemoration in Canada. Cities and towns would put up cenotaphs. Memorial windows would be erected. And war graves would be marked with tombstones of a distinctive style, all seen here. 

The country was hit hard by the Depression of the 1930s.

The next gallery, focusing on the Second World War, opens with this artifact, a Mercedes limo that once belonged to Hitler, with a photograph of a rally behind it.

During the 1930s, the countries that would eventually become known as the Axis made aggressive moves across the world, unchecked by the powers of the day.

When war broke out at the beginning of September 1939, Canada declared war from the start.

The first soldiers would be sent out soon afterwards.

Most of them would end up in Britain, where units of the RCAF would be involved in the Battle of Britain.

The Nazis swept across western Europe, having the momentum in the early part of the war, reaching its peak with the capture of France.

The air war became critical at this point, along with the Battle of the Atlantic, which would last from beginning to end.

Pilots had to learn fast. They'd start with the Link trainer, which was said to be harder to operate than an actual plane.

This is one of them.

American President Franklin Roosevelt, who understood the threats posed by the Axis before his countrymen would accept them, called Canada the "aerodrome of democracy." It was here that the Commonwealth air training program was situated, with its vast spaces and distance from the enemy being ideal for training pilots.


  1. My Dad fought in WW II, and I know a little about it. These were hard times. Odd the Hitler limo is on display.

  2. Dark times. Crazy the Austrian little man´s car is on display.

    1. I think it's appropriate, a symbol of ultimate evil in a place exhibiting the war against that evil.

  3. In the UK virtually every village erected a memorial to their war dead. There was no central authority organising it, it just happened independently in every village in the land.

  4. The memorial window is beautiful! Take care, have a great week!

  5. the Aerodrome Of Democracy getting smaller?

  6. Before reading the caption, I instantly thought of Hitler when I saw the car.

  7. There wasn't much time between the two wars and a lot of that time was the great depression.

  8. Memorial window is lovely ~ sad but a creative tribute ~

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  9. The memorial window is beautiful, a nice tribute.

  10. Yes, many Americans entered the war as Canadian pilots.. after the war was indeed sad. And of course the influenza epidemic of 1919!

  11. The memorial window is beautiful.