In 1942, Winnipeg staged a Nazi invasion to promote the sale of war bonds

Originally published at:


And little did folks know it was all true…


The US had the real thing in 2016. Fact!


In other Winnipeg news, during the General Strike of 1919 one rallying point was a public market on land sold by my relatives to the city of Winnioeg at a low price “for the public good”. So it was later used for something else. I saw a story a few years ago tgat tgey can’t sell the old police HQ because the money wouod revert to the cousins, same deal.

It was land where my great, great, great grandmother Sarah lived for her long life after about 26, a Syilx woman.

Today is actually the day in 1870, 150 years ago, when Thomas Scott was convicted. He was executed the next day.

It all happened so fast. On Februrary 16th, Norbert Parisien escaped from Thomas Scott’s gang, and shot Hugh Sutherland, my great grandmother Catherine’s brother. Thomas Scott’s gang then beat and lynched Norbert, a Metis man. My great, great grandfather John Black stopped it, but too late save Norbert.

I onky read about this some years back. I can’t figure out why Thomas Scott wasn’t charged with murder.

My great, great grandmother Janet, Hugh’s mother, went to Louis Riel to persuade him to avoid anymore bloodshed. So maybe that’s why Thomas Scott was the third and final casualty during the Resistance, th ough once the expeditionary force arrived in the summer, there was vicious retribution.

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This “invasion” is dramatized in the fascinating 2007 Guy Maddin film “My Winnipeg”


For Canadians the War probably seemed like a remote problem. But it was very real to the British and giving Canadians a day to think about the threat that a fellow Commonwealth realm faced was brilliant.

(there is an off-topic thread in reply to this that went no where, I deleted my contributions)


And they must have kept German POWs in the Winnioeg vacinity. I have a length of chain with a note from my father saying it was used to chain German POWs after that was done to Allied soldiers in Germany. They all lived in Winnioeg. Officers were treated differently, but enlisted men couid be used for labor, and I gather the German POWs may have been used for farming, replacing able bodied men gone to war. That wouod explain why a POW camp was so far from the ocean.


My rural town in Michigan hosted about a dozen German POWs. They were working the dairy and picking apples for the better half of the War.

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Are you kidding? Canada entered WW2 in September 1939. Canadians took part in the Dieppe raid in August 1942, and Canadians had been fighting for three years by that time.


Uhh you realize only soldiers were fighting. Not everyone is a soldier. Civilians were asked to buy war bonds on numerous occasions. It’s hard to make a personal connection when you’re not the one actually in the shit.

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You realize of course that soldiers have family?

The 1941 census states a population of 11,506,655 Canadians.

The military history of Canada during World War II begins with the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939. The Canadian Armed Forces were eventually active in nearly every theatre of war.
In all, some 1.1 million Canadians served in the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, and in forces across the Commonwealth, with approximately 42,000 killed and another 55,000 wounded.
During the war, Canada was subject to direct attack in the Battle of the St. Lawrence, and in the shelling of a lighthouse at Estevan Point in British Columbia.
The Canadian Merchant Navy completed over 25,000 voyages across the Atlantic, 130,000 pilots were trained in Canada in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
More than 650,000 Canadians fought in WW II I, there were bound to be a lot of memories of that alive some 25 years later.
Last but by no means least, at that time almost 20% of the Canadian population was “foreign-born”, most of them immigrants from all over Europe. I.e. from countries that were also at war and/or under occupation.

I think it is safe so say that a lot of Canadians had a very personal connection to the war.

Edit: corrected typo caught by @teknocholer.


Why are they arresting Phil Collins from Genesis?

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Perhaps you’re thinking of 21st century USA, where only poor people volunteer to fight in various little far-off wars that rarely make the news, and civilians vote for another round of tax cuts. Total war is something different.


That could be Phil Collins, but kind of before his time.

But, he has a daughter (an actress) and I think a son, who are Canadian. I’m not sure of the story, but he was married to their mother from 1975 to 1980. I don’t think he lived in Canada, especially since those were prime Genesis years.

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Easy Lover.

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I’m not sure what your point is here.

Have you a link to interviews with Canadians of that era saying they had no idea what was going on?

  • Almost everyone subscribed to newspapers and/or magazines. War news was top priority.
  • Almost everyone had a radio. In addition to domestic news services, it was common for radios of that era to include shortwave bands so, for example, the BBC World Service could be heard directly.
  • Anyone who went to a theater saw newsreels from the war zones.
  • Those at home got letters from family and friends serving overseas. This is 1942, remember. Canadians, particularly air force and merchant navy, had been taking heavy casualties for several years.
  • Many of the parents of those sent overseas had served in the Great War, and I doubt they were ignorant of what warfare entailed.

If you mean that crumbling heap of speculation and stuff you just made up, @FGD135 has already bulldozed that flat and buried it. I don’t feel in any danger. :wink:

But my time is valuable. 73, as the telegraphers of the day would have put it.


A crime against good taste!


Correct. over telegraph or radio-telegraph.

Oversea news was read over telegraph or radio-telegraph. The news wire wasn’t a literal wire even then. But it was a keyed code (morse code) not voice.

Short-wave reception is complicated by broadcasts are directed to specific areas according to frequency. BBC World Service had frequencies that mainly targeted North America.

As a repairer of vintage sets, I can say that most sets did not receive shortwave. Maybe in rural parts of Canada the shortwave sets were more popular? I don’t have that information.

Correct. They were not live.

Censorship of operations and causalities was in full effect by 1942. We know in hindsight what happened, but Mom and Dad didn’t really have a good sense of what dangers little Jimmy faced.

Occupation of England was not on the table in the WW1. Which is specifically the topic of the war bond promotion.

You have to ask yourself why did they stage a Nazi invasion. I offer up a plausible theory, what is yours since you clearly disagree with every statement I have made in this thread.

I’m skeptical of that, but I’ll concede that point.

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I posted some of the newspaper accounts of this here:

A few more pages from the Winnipeg Tribune’s coverage of IF Day, which took place on February 19, 1942. Wikipedia claims that this Winnipeg event was the inspiration for Vancouver’s event a week...

And from Vancouver’s copycat event the following week:

Vancouver’s IF Day, February 26, 1942. The front page of the Vancouver News-Herald proclaimed the city’s worst fears, as if the Nazi’s had taken over the West Coast. This creative chapter was part of...

Tom Hawthorn also just covered the Vancouver version here:

I also once saw a snapshot of this event in someone’s photo album, showing a Nazi soldier marching up Granville Street. He was wearing his helmet backwards! Actually, I think the soldier in the photo from Tom Hawthorn’s article also has his helmet on backwards!

I wish we had more surviving film footage of this event in Vancouver, along with the narrative pitch they used to sell Victory Bonds, but alas, only Winnipeg film footage seems to have survived. Well, at least the story lives on. It’s a great chapter from the homefront.


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