The Battle of the St. Lawrence

The Battle of the St. Lawrence (1942 - 1944) has become known as the Canadian theatre of World War II. During this period, German U-Boats lay waiting in the depths of the St. Lawrence River, with intent to obstruct supplies heading towards Great Britain and the Allied Forces. To an extent, they were successful; of the twenty-two ships sunk in Canada during WWII, sixteen of these were in the St. Lawrence waterway region.

The Interdisciplinary Centre for the Development of Ocean Mapping (CIDCO), in association with the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), embarked on a project called "Live the Battle of the St. Lawrence Through its Wrecks".  Its aim was to trace the history of the battle and the movements of Allied and German convoys and to locate the shipwrecks in the area.

Starting with research shared by Mr. Samuel Côté (, submarine archeologist Erik Phaneuf and the CIDCO team began the search for five possible wrecks lying off Cap Gaspé, in the Forillon National Park, Gaspésie, Quebec.

To prepare for the exploration, survey data previously collected by the CHS was optimized using CARIS BASE Editor™ and CARIS HIPS and SIPS™ software to help narrow the search area.

By utilizing this combination of methods, the team was successful in locating five wrecks: Mount Taygetus, Mount Pindus, Oakton, Saturnus, and Inger Elisabeth

To find out more, go to for an interactive look at Canadian history.

Published 2016-07-22

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