Did you know that the province of British Columbia actually had its own Navy, or to be more specific its own submarine service. Yes, that is a fact. In 1914 days before the the start of the First World War, the Premier of BC was urging the Government of Canada to buy two Holland built submarines from the yards in Seattle. The two boats had been built for the Chilean Navy but they had defaulted on payment. The purchase was urgent because once war broke out the USA as a neutral could not sell to a belligerent country. The worry for British Columbia was the fact the German Heavy Cruiser Leipzig was patrolling off the Canadian West Coast. In the event of war they could shell the undefended BC coast. Time was rapidly running out and the federal government was not making a move to purchase the two boats. With time of the essence the BC premier decided to go ahead and buy the boats. Hence, we had a Provincial Navy. The Federal Government did agree to buy them a few day after war was declared. Nevertheless, buying the submarines was a wise move for the province, just knowing two submarines were lurking off the British Columbia coast line was enough to deter the German cruiser.
What the Germans didn’t know was the Royal Canadian Navy could not crew the submarines, they had far from enough personnel with the necessary training!
Cheers and keep reading.