Saturday, March 18, 2023

German Submarines Found Themselves Off the Gaspé During the Second World War


Canada WWII Germany submarines spies traitors collaborators Nazi history

In the summer of 1942, U-Boats, German submarines, brought rain and shine to the Atlantic Ocean. They are sneaky, they harass the Allied convoys trying to supply Europe at war. The strategic importance of the port of Halifax during the Second World War explains the presence of these Nazi submersibles off the Canadian coast. Their numerous incursions into the waters of the Gulf and the St. Lawrence River, which took place as early as May 1942, sparked a battle that historians will call “the Battle of the St. Lawrence”.

Merchant ships traveling the Atlantic know the risk that the presence of German submarines represents. Despite the precautions they take, they are attacked by surprise. The murderous assaults of the Germans will have destroyed at least two dozen ships, the majority of which off the Gaspé coast. It is estimated that nearly 400 people lost their lives. 

Despite the shoreline surveillance system put in place by the Canadian government to discover and report any suspicious movement in this region, our means of defense remain fragile. The Gaspésiens are also called upon to collaborate to defend the territory. Among other things, they were asked to turn off their lights before sunset to interfere with the orientation of enemy U-boats.

Adrien Arcand was arrested in Montreal in the spring of 1940. He was accused of having plotted to overthrow the Canadian government. He will spend the rest of the war in an internment camp.

On the night of November 9, 1942, the German submarine U-518is approaching the Baie des Chaleurs discreetly. He slyly rises to the surface, not to fire a torpedo, but to land a man. Members of the crew then get out of the submarine, inflate an inflatable boat, sail to the Gaspé shore and drop off, a few kilometers off the coast of New Carlisle, a spy: Werner von Janowski.

An officer in the intelligence service of the German armed forces, Janowski's mission is to go to Montreal to contact a Quebec Nazi sympathizer, the one nicknamed the Canadian Führer, Adrien Arcand.  (more...)

German Submarines Found Themselves Off the Gaspé During the Second World War

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