Colección 2019.11 - World War II Polar Bear Training Exercise Photograph Collection

[View of British Columbia central coast area] [Military vehicles traversing rough ground between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola] [Military vehicles traversing rough ground between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola] [Military vehicles traversing rough ground between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola] [Dirt road between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola] [Unloading jeep from military cargo truck] [Unloading jeep from military cargo truck] [Soldiers trekking uphill through mountainous terrain] [Soldiers trekking uphill with pack horses through mountainous terrain] [Soldiers trekking through mountainous terrain] [Utility poles between Bella Coola and Anahim Lake] [Soldiers traversing switchbacks on rocky slope] [Soldiers traversing switchbacks on rocky slope] [Soldiers hiking single file on rocky slope] [Soldiers hiking single file on rocky slope] [Mountain gorge between Bella Coola and Anahim Lake] [Tethered pack horse] [Tethered pack horses] [Soldier mending uniform] [Soldiers bearing packs by military truck] [Military chaplain reading by a makeshift altar with the Union Jack] [Military chaplain standing by a makeshift altar with a cabin and group of soldiers in background] [Military chaplain reading by a makeshift altar to a large group of soldiers] [Military chaplain reading by a makeshift altar to a large group of soldiers] [Military chaplain reading by a makeshift altar to a large group of soldiers] [Military chaplain reading by a makeshift altar to a large group of soldiers] [Military chaplain reading by a makeshift altar to a large group of soldiers] [Military chaplain reading by a makeshift altar to a large group of soldiers] [Military chaplain reading by a makeshift altar to a large group of soldiers] [Military chaplain reading by a makeshift altar to a large group of soldiers] [Military chaplain reading by a makeshift tree stump altar] [Group of soldiers caring for their feet] [Soldier cooking over campfire] [Man smoking a cigarette by a vehicle] [Two soldiers by tent with morning coffee, trying on snowshoes] [Two soldiers by tent with morning coffee, trying on snowshoes] [Group of seated soldiers, relaxing with packs nearby] [Knights of Columbus mobile canteen and other military tent buildings] [Mounted soldiers with a pack horse in front of a stone building] [Soldiers walking along road with children watching nearby] [Soldiers with packs walking through a rancher's field] [Soldiers with packs walking over a wooden log bridge] [Soldiers transferring water from military truck water bag to a large water bag on the ground] [Soldiers unloading American military jeep from military truck]

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World War II Polar Bear Training Exercise Photograph Collection

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2019.11

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  • 1945 (Criação)

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44 photographs : b&w ; 9 x 6 cm

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Alcance y contenido

These photographs were taken by an unknown photographer from Department of National Deference Public Relations (Pacific Command) during the 1945 Polar Bear Exercise. This exercise was held in northern British Columbia in February and March 1945, using some 1,150 soldiers of the 6th Division. The intent of the exercise was to test the effects of "wet cold" conditions on military men and material. The scenario for the Polar Bear Exercise was that: "Action will be based on reports of a Japanese force having been landed at Bella Coola from submarines, having rendered useless RCAF installations at Bella Bella, and giving positive indication that this force is composed in great part of construction personnel with a comparatively small protective element; the assumption being that it will try to construct a useable road from Bella Coola to permit movement inland of a larger fighting force to follow at some later date". The exercise itself was conducted in three overlapping phases. Between 12 February and 5 March the force moved from Prince George to Anahim Lake, chiefly using an array of motor transport but with some pack horses. The second phase ran from 4 March to early April. This was a series of marches from Anahim Lake to Bella Coola and return; a secondary force of 19 men split off from the main body and, travelling by snowmobile and snowshoe, traversed the Rainbow Mountains to Bella Coola; on the return march this detachment was increased to 120 men and dubbed "Y" Force. The third phase was removal of all troops by vehicle from Anahim Lake to Williams Lake. These photographs are believed to document the return from Bella Coola.

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If you can provide any additional information about these photographs, including identification of people and places, please contact us at archives@unbc.ca

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Halliday, Hugh A. (1997) "Recapturing the North: Exercises “Eskimo,” “Polar Bear” and “Lemming,” 1945," Canadian Military History: Vol. 6 : Iss. 2 , Article 4. Available at: http://scholars.wlu.ca/cmh/vol6/iss2/4

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