One of the Allies’ most feared and lethal foes were the German submarines, the "U-boats". This model depicts the submarine U-69, one of at least eight different U-boats to have operated in the waters of the St. Lawrence River. The first of the VII-c class submarines, U-69 was sunk on February 17, 1943, after being rammed by the HMS Viscount off the coast of Newfoundland. Unfortunately, U-69 had already sunk seventeen ships and damaged one other before meeting her fate. One of her victims, the 2,245-ton freighter, SS Carolus, was sunk 173 miles off the coast of Quebec City: "She sank two minutes after U-69 struck her with two torpedoes off the fashionable summer resort of Metis Beach.
On both sides of the river people saw the light of navy starshells, some heard the sound of depth charges. The corvette Arrowhead rescued 18 of the Carolus crew and took them to Quebec City. Eleven men had died."

Built by the Deschimag A. Weiser company of Bremen, Germany, the U-889 was commissioned on August 4, 1944. Less than one year later – on May 15, 1945 – she surrendered to the Royal Canadian Navy in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. From there, she Read More
One of the Allies’ most feared and lethal foes were the German submarines, the "U-boats". This model depicts the submarine U-69, one of at least eight different U-boats to have operated in the waters of the St. Lawrence River. The first of the VII-c class submarines, U-69 was sunk on February 17, 1943, after being rammed by the HMS Viscount off the coast of Newfoundland. Unfortunately, U-69 had already sunk seventeen ships and damaged one other before meeting her fate. One of her victims, the 2,245-ton freighter, SS Carolus, was sunk 173 miles off the coast of Quebec City: "She sank two minutes after U-69 struck her with two torpedoes off the fashionable summer resort of Metis Beach.
On both sides of the river people saw the light of navy starshells, some heard the sound of depth charges. The corvette Arrowhead rescued 18 of the Carolus crew and took them to Quebec City. Eleven men had died."

Built by the Deschimag A. Weiser company of Bremen, Germany, the U-889 was commissioned on August 4, 1944. Less than one year later – on May 15, 1945 – she surrendered to the Royal Canadian Navy in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. From there, she was transferred to Halifax and commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy as HMC U-889. On January 10, 1946, she was turned over to the United States Navy, which kept her until scuttling her at the end of 1947. German U-boats, such as this one, were the main source of danger for Allied convoys attempting to cross the Atlantic during the Second World War.

© 2008, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Scale Model of the German U-Boat, U-69

A scale model of one of the Allies most feared and lethal foes, the German u-boat the U-69 would tally 17 ships sunk and 1 damaged before meeting her fate off the coast of Newfoundland.

Canadian Forces Base Gagetown Military Museum.

© Canadian Forces Base Gagetown Military Museum.


During the Battle of the North Atlantic, the Royal Canadian Navy was responsible for protecting the large convoys carrying food and war supplies to Britain and Europe from the German U-boats traveling in "wolf-packs" beneath the surface. Two of the most successful weapons used by the Royal Canadian Navy were the Hedgehog and the Squid. The Hedgehog was a "forward throwing" weapon that launched twenty-four 35 lb. warheads into the sea, intending to sink submerged U-boats with devastating explosions. The weapon was designed to explode on contact, an improvement over the pressure-detonated depth charge system. The Squid was a similar weapon to the hedgehog, only considerably larger. Also a forward launching weapon, the Squid carried 300 lbs. of explosive and launched three to six warheads at a time. The Squid was the most effective anti-submarine weapon of the Second World War.
During the Battle of the North Atlantic, the Royal Canadian Navy was responsible for protecting the large convoys carrying food and war supplies to Britain and Europe from the German U-boats traveling in "wolf-packs" beneath the surface. Two of the most successful weapons used by the Royal Canadian Navy were the Hedgehog and the Squid. The Hedgehog was a "forward throwing" weapon that launched twenty-four 35 lb. warheads into the sea, intending to sink submerged U-boats with devastating explosions. The weapon was designed to explode on contact, an improvement over the pressure-detonated depth charge system. The Squid was a similar weapon to the hedgehog, only considerably larger. Also a forward launching weapon, the Squid carried 300 lbs. of explosive and launched three to six warheads at a time. The Squid was the most effective anti-submarine weapon of the Second World War.

© 2008, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

anti-submarine weapons

Display of anti-submarine weapons including two hedgehog bombs and a squid bomb. The hedgehog bombs on display each weigh 65 lbs. (29.5 kg) including 35 lbs. (15.9 kg) of Torpex explosive.

The Naval Museum of Alberta.

© The Naval Museum of Alberta.


The British and Dominion navies used three types of floating moored mines during the Second World War: the magnetic, the acoustic, and the contact or "horned" mine. All three types of mine used the same elliptical (oval-shaped) casing, but detonated in different ways. The contact or "horned" mine detonated when it came into contact with the hull of a vessel; the acoustic mine was activated by the sound of a ship’s propellers; the magnetic mine was activated by the magnetic field emitted by the hull of a ship. Floating moored mines were used extensively by both Allied and Axis forces during the Second World War, particularly in English Channel warfare. Both sides employed minesweepers that used a sweep wire to cut the mooring cables of the mines and deactivate them.
The British and Dominion navies used three types of floating moored mines during the Second World War: the magnetic, the acoustic, and the contact or "horned" mine. All three types of mine used the same elliptical (oval-shaped) casing, but detonated in different ways. The contact or "horned" mine detonated when it came into contact with the hull of a vessel; the acoustic mine was activated by the sound of a ship’s propellers; the magnetic mine was activated by the magnetic field emitted by the hull of a ship. Floating moored mines were used extensively by both Allied and Axis forces during the Second World War, particularly in English Channel warfare. Both sides employed minesweepers that used a sweep wire to cut the mooring cables of the mines and deactivate them.

© 2008, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

British Mk.XVII influence mine without a sinker

Specifications: This is an acoustic-type mine with a diameter of 40 inches, a length of 56 inches with an 8 inch belly band, a weight of 562 pounds (without sinker), and an explosive of 320 to 500 pounds.

The Naval Museum of Alberta

© The Naval Museum of Alberta


Learning Objectives

  • Develop an understanding of the participation and role of Canada’s Navy in the World War II.
  • Examine the contributions, sacrifices and experiences of individuals who participated in naval events during World War II.
  • Identify the locations in which Canada’s Navy operated during World War II.
  • Evaluate the weapons and technology involved in the war at sea.

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