Science: The Greatest Canadian Contribution?.
When I think of Canadian involvement with the Allied victory during World War II, I think of the many soldiers and marines that were sent abroad and killed in combat, as well as the many Canadian aces that fought steadfastly in dogfights over Germany and Britain alongside the bomber aircrews working to "cripple German industry and shorten the war" (Cruxton and Wilson 239). However, what is all too often overlooked is that the greatest Canadian contribution was not one regarding the soldiers themselves, but rather the technologies they implemented. Was it the technological edge that won the war, or just an overwhelming number of men dying in the fields? I believe that Canada contributed greatest in the field of applied science and technology. But just how did Canadian scientists contribute? I will start with an overview of Canadian technology pre WWII that was implemented throughout the War, followed by an analysis of the National Research Council and its great advancements in collaboration with the Department of National Defence. Finally, we will take a look at the Canadian scientists" role in the development of the Atomic Bomb. After examining these points, I am sure you, too, will recognize the great scientific and technological role taken by our country.
Preceding the depression and WWII was a great time of prosper and new innovation, with many new inventions that were later applied to the Canadian war effort. One such invention was developed by Armand Bombardier of Quebec. Young Armand had always grasped advanced technology fairly easily, and in 1926 he strapped a wooden propeller to an old Model T engine and built the first of what was to become the snowmobile (Bridgman). After several years of research and development, he came up with the B2, a craft able to carry several passengers and cargo over tough terrain and through treacherous weather.