Presentation on theme: "When Britain declared war on August 4 th, 1914, Canada and the rest of the British Empire were automatically at war too. Canada did not yet have control."— Presentation transcript:
When Britain declared war on August 4 th, 1914, Canada and the rest of the British Empire were automatically at war too. Canada did not yet have control over its own foreign affairs. Responses to recruitment Sam Hughes Valcartier Ross Rifle and MacAdam Shovel discrimination
At first, it was easy to get plenty of volunteers for Canadas army, called the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Reasons included: Canadas large, loyal British population wanted to fight for Britain. Recruiting posters appealed to feelings of heroism and obligation. For the unemployed, army life gave wages and three meals a day. People thought the war would be over quickly.
Appointed Minister of Militia and Defense by Prime Minister Robert Borden. Ordered to establish, organize, and train a Canadian contingent of 25,000 and send them to Europes Western Front (Canada only had an army of 3,000 at this time).
Hughes began a massive nation-wide recruitment, seeking single, healthy men. Campaign was successful: men and boys flooded recruiting offices, willing to fight for $1 a day. Established a training base at Valcartier, Quebec, which had 32,000 volunteers by September 4 th, 1914.
Once troops arrived in Europe, they were put under British command and through training that would prepare them for the type of ground and trench warfare that was occurring. By the spring of 1915, Canadian soldiers were on the ground fighting in France and Belgium.
Became the target of criticism: not listening to the opinions of others insisting on using Canadian-made goods (even those that didnt work), including the Ross Rifle, unusable trench equipment, and harsh regulations on soldiers.
One of the most hated rifles in military history. Hughes persuaded Ottawa to equip Canadian soldiers with the Canadian-made rifle, even though the British, US Army, and RCMP stated it was unsuitable for military service. Was very unpopular among Canadian soldiers.
PROSCONS very accurate great for target shooting and hunting only great in clear, dry conditions did not work well in situations where it had to be reloaded quickly jammed and seized up when fired rapidly in muddy and rainy conditions very long, and heavy to carry if assembled backwards, it could be fired backwards into the soldiers face
Hughes tried to keep costs down during the war, but this sometimes led to substandard equipment: Boots had poor lining and were prone to leaking Vehicles lacked spare parts Meat was substandard Belts were irregular for normal military usage MacAdam shovel: shovel with a hole in it so it could also be used as a shield. The holl rendered it useless for shovelling.
At the outset of war, Aboriginals, black Canadians, Asians and Canadians of German, Ukraine, and Austro- Hungarian descent were not encouraged to enlist. Eventually, Aboriginals and black Canadians were able to enlist. Black volunteers were recruited to join a segregated, non-combat construction battalion. French Canadian soldiers felt discriminated against: no French Canadian units no French Canadian soldiers were put in senior positions led to huge resentment and protests in Quebec
Were not allowed to sign on as soldiers, sailors, or pilots. More than 3000 enlisted as nurses Approx. 1000 served as drivers (ambulances etc.)