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Halifax Harbour is a major wartime port

The Story

It is 1917 and the First World War is dragging on in Europe. Halifax boasts one of the best natural harbours in the world. The harbour offers natural protection, making it a strategic and popular port. Soon to be the site of Canada's worst man-made explosion, Halifax Harbour is bustling with wartime activity. A city of less than 50,000, Halifax is now swollen with soldiers and sailors from across Canada and from Allied countries. As shown in this CBC Television clip, casualties of war are heavy on land and particularly on sea. Germans have perfected their U-boat attacks, successfully stopping fleets leaving Halifax Harbour. A week before the Halifax explosion, a munitions building in New Jersey is mysteriously destroyed, putting everyone on high alert. 

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television Special
Broadcast Date: May 24, 1967
Host: Thomas Raddall
Duration: 4:27

Did You know?

• The First World War began in August 1914 and ended with the signing of the armistice on Nov. 11, 1918.
• Some key Allied countries involved in the First World War included Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Belgium, United States and Canada.
• Halifax Harbour has been an important, strategic port throughout history.


The Halifax Explosion more