If Japan Should Attack: Perceptions of Fear and Threat in British Columbia's Newspapers, 1941-1943

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McDonald, Paige




From 1941 to 1943, incidents in the Pacific theatre of the Second World War seemed to bring the conflict closer and closer to the shores of British Columbia. Anxieties about a potential Japanese attack began to grow. British Columbia’s newspapers discussed fear and anxiety through their articles, editorials and opinion pieces, bringing together the thoughts and words of Canada’s military and government officials, and the writers and readers of the newspapers. The newspaper pieces dealing with the potential threat appeared most frequently surrounding major events in the Pacific, notably the attack on Pearl Harbor, the shelling of Estevan Point, and the Japanese occupation of the Aleutian Islands. Fear and threat were presented, debated, and reshaped within these newspaper communities. As the nature of the Japanese threat evolved with each major incident in the Pacific, so too did the discussions of fear.


Canadian History




Carleton University

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