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1 oz. Pure Silver Coin - Second World War Battlefront: The Battle of the Atlantic - Mintage: 7,500 (2018)

1 oz. Pure Silver Coin - Second World War Battlefront: The Battle of the Atlantic - Mintage: 7,500 (2018)

$94.95 CAD
Mintage: 7,500
STATUS:
Canada and US only
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Turning the tide of war in the Atlantic! Order today!

“The Battle of the Atlantic was the dominating factor all through the war. Never for one moment could we forget that everything happening elsewhere, on land, at sea, or in the air, depended ultimately on its outcome…” - Winston S. Churchill

Throughout the Battle of the Atlantic (1939-1945), Canada and its rapidly expanding fleet of aircraft and ships were on the frontlines, shepherding vital convoys through waters fraught with danger from above and below. After periods of devastating losses, an Allied offensive in May 1943 dealt a significant blow to the U-boat fleet in the North Atlantic; on the 75th anniversary of this pivotal year, the fifth coin in our Battlefront Series reflects on the hardships endured by thousands of Canadians who served in the longest continuous campaign of the Second World War.

A tribute to the Canadians who fought in the longest campaign of the Second World War. Order your commemorative coin today.

Special features:
  • FIFTH COIN IN SERIES: Your coin is the fifth in our Second World War Battlefront Series, which chronicles Canada's participation in key battles of the Second World War.
  • A KEY CHAPTER IN THE STORY OF CANADA IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR: Your pure silver coin reflects on the 75th anniversary of a pivotal year, 1943, which marked a turning point in the deadly struggle to maintain transatlantic shipping during the Second World War.
  • THOUGHT PROVOKING BY DESIGN: Your 1 oz. tribute piece highlights Canada’s prominent role in the Battle of the Atlantic, but also reminds us of the courage of all who braved untold dangers onboard Canadian ships and aircraft in the Atlantic between 1939 and 1945.
  • A SPLIT PERSPECTIVE: This fifth coin in the Second World War: Battlefront series continues with a first-person perspective that places the viewer at the heart of the action—this time, with a view above water and a glimpse of the danger that lurks below.
  • EFFIGY OF KING GEORGE VI: Like all Canadian coinage issued throughout the Second World War, the obverse features the effigy of King George VI by T. H. Paget.
  • RICH IN DETAILS: The precision-engraved artistry is a proud testament of the Royal Canadian Mint’s internationally renowned craftsmanship.
  • INCLUDES SERIALIZED CERTIFICATE: The Royal Canadian Mint certifies all of its collector coins.
  • 1 OZ. PURE SILVER: Your coin is crafted from 99.99% pure silver!
  • LIMITED WORLDWIDE MINTAGE: Only 7,500 coins will be made available worldwide.
  • NO GST/HST!

Design:

Designed by Canadian artist Neil Hamelin, your coin captures the intensity of the Battle of the Atlantic and conveys a real sense of the dangers faced by those who sailed the seas between 1939 and 1945. Split between an above-water and an underwater perspective, the ominous scene re-creates the moments beforethe tragic sinking of HMCS St. Croix on September 20, 1943. In the skies overhead, an angled B-24 Liberator is representative of the Very Long Range (VLR) anti-submarine aircraft that provided air support and helped turn the tide of war in the mid-Atlantic. Bearing the markings of Royal Canadian Air Force Squadron 10, the aircraft patrols the waters south of Greenland and Iceland, where it has signalled the presence of a U-boat to the St. Croix. From beneath the rolling waves, U-305 surfaces to periscope depth and spies the St. Croix sailing towards them bow, a trail of smoke emitted by the aft exhaust stacks. The Royal Canadian Navy destroyer has pulled away from escorting the ONS-18/ON-202 convoy to investigate the potential threat; but the U-305 would waste little time in firing GNAT torpedoes that would strike the St. Croix’s aft, and another later on that would cause the ship to sink in just three minutes. Sadly, from a complement of 143 crewmembers and 10 officers, 81 survivors of the St. Croix were rescued by HMC Itchen, which was herself sunk by a U-boat just three days later. Your coin includes the engraved words “THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC – LA BATAILLE DE L’ATLANTIQUE”, the commemorative dates “1939 – 1945”, the word “CANADA” and the year of issue, “2018”. The obverse features the effigy of King George VI by T. H. Paget.

Canada’s expanding role in the Atlantic

Thanks to unprecedented naval expansion and extensive escort duties, Canada emerged as one of the principal players in the Allies’ complex operation in the Atlantic, where vital convoys of merchant ships were heavily targeted by the ever-present U-boat menace.

In 1942, Canada shouldered much of the responsibility for defending convoys in North American waters, where the U-boat offensive had suddenly trained its sights on the coast—including the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where they sought out targets of opportunity. The United States had entered the war in December 1941, but was unable to undertake escort duties for all convoys sailing between New York, Halifax and Newfoundland—the burgeoning Canadian fleet helped fill that demand. Through it all, Canada’s mid-Atlantic escorts continued their dangerous transatlantic voyages, where they were often at the mercy of storms and increasingly large “wolf packs” of U-boats.

A turning point came in May 1943. To ensure a build-up of forces and supplies for upcoming military campaigns in Italy and beyond, the Allies launched a major anti-submarine offensive that was backed by naval and air reinforcements. It proved to be successful, with 43 U-boats sunk in May alone—a reversal of fortune for the U-boat fleet, which was forced to scale back its Atlantic campaign.

Newer anti-submarine ships and aircraft were now better equipped for the deadly cat-and-mouse game, with the addition of more sophisticated weaponry and modern radar technology. While Canadian-built frigates were added to the Royal Canadian Navy’s fleet, the Royal Canadian Air Force also acquired very-long-range (VLR) Consolidated Liberator bombers that helped close the mid-Atlantic Air Gap (the “Black Pit”)—the infamous U-boat hunting grounds that were previously beyond the range of Allied air cover.

Still, losses continued on both sides until the last U-boat surrendered in May 1945. By then, the demands of Canada’s involvement in the Battle of the Atlantic had re-defined the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), which had grown from a small force in 1939 to one of the world’s largest navies in 1945, with nearly 100,000 men and women in service and a fleet of almost 400 vessels. Over the course of those fateful 2,075 days, Canadian ships had ensured the safe passage of over 25,000 merchant ships that supplied some 182 million tons of supplies and food, but at the tragic cost of 4,600 Canadian lives.

Did you know…
  • The U-boat “wolf pack” tactic was the enemy’s response to the Allied convoy system. Once a convoy was spotted, a U-boat would shadow it while summoning others to form a pack. A coordinated mass attack typically took place at night, when U-boats, often moving on the surface, suddenly and independently attacked different ships to overwhelm the escort’s defences.
  • In the winter of 1942-1943, Canadian naval ships accounted for about half of all convoy escorts on the main routes between New York, Halifax, and British ports.
  • Canada’s growing contributions were recognized in April 1943, when Canadian and Newfoundland waters became a separate Allied theatre of operations—one that was placed under Canadian command.
  • Canadian ships also escorted Arctic convoys of supplies bound for the Soviet Union, in support of the Allied efforts on the Eastern Front.
  • While May 1943 marked the turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic, the RCN nonetheless suffered losses to the end of the war—including HMCS Esquimalt sunk by a U-boat off Halifax in April 1945.
  • Featured on the reverse, HMCS St. Croix had been credited with two U-boat kills before she was struck and sunk by U-305 on September 20, 1943. HMC Itchen was able to rescue 81 survivors of the St. Croix; but in a sad twist of fate, Itchen was herself torpedoed two days later, with only three survivors rescued: two from Itchen and one from St. Croix.

Packaging:

Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a graphic beauty box.

Order today!

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Specifications

  • No.147821
  • Mintage7,500
  • Composition99.99% pure silver
  • Finishproof
  • Weight (g) 31.39
  • Diameter (mm) 38
  • Edgeserrated
  • Certificateserialized
  • Face value20 dollars
  • ArtistNeil Hamelin (reverse), T. H. Paget (obverse)

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