Assignment: Did You Know?
- Submarines, Stealth, Secrets, Spies: just some of the amazing things that Canadians along the shores of Canada's primary river link with the world had to cope with during the violent years of World War II.
- German U-boats threaten merchant and naval ships in Canada's own St. Lawrence River. Not far off the busy communities of Québec, the silent killers of the German Kriegsmarine prowled in search of valuable merchant ships bound for Britain or RCN warships charged with safeguarding the passage of vital convoys.
- Canada was invaded on many occasions in 1942 and 1944 by 16 U-boats of the Kriegsmarine. Not only did they seek to sink ships, they sought to rescue German prisoners and even land spies.
- On May 14, 1942, U-boat 213 surfaced and German spy M.A. Langbein came ashore near the village of St. Martin, NB. He spent some time in Montreal and Ottawa. He spent the money he was given on good living and eventually gave himself up to the RCMP in 1944. He did not engage in any spying.
- Werner Janowski was another German spy set ashore on November 9, 1942 by U-518 at new Carlisle, Québec. He was turned in by a suspicious hotel owner because he smelled “stale and of diesel”—U-boats had that very spell. He was captured by the RCMP and was 'turned'—he fed false information to the Germans. He was repatriated to Germany after the war.
- In Labrador, a part of what is now Canada but during the War was still part of the British Empire, the Germans even landed a crew from U-Boat 537 and set up a secret remote weather station. They even left American and Canadian cigarette butts and packs so that if it was discovered it would be considered a secret Allied weather station. Station 'Kurt' wasn't discovered until 1981. It is now on display in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa.
Choose any one of the above stories. Research and report your findings in an oral presentation.