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World War I War on Land, in the Air, and at Sea. LAND Recap: Trench Warfare.

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Presentation on theme: "World War I War on Land, in the Air, and at Sea. LAND Recap: Trench Warfare."— Presentation transcript:

1 World War I War on Land, in the Air, and at Sea

2 LAND Recap: Trench Warfare

3 Canada Goes to War…  The Canadian government encouraged men to enlist in the war  They said the war would be safe, with hardly any fighting, and the boys would be home for Christmas  They used advertising posters to encourage this idea

4 Digging In…  The Schlieffen Plan had failed  The Germans could not advance; the British and the French could not drive them back  Both sides set about digging in – fortifying their positions on the Western Front

5  They dug trenches to protect their troops  Each trench was about 2 metres deep, topped with sandbags  Soldiers could stand in the trench without being seen by the enemy


7 No-Man’s Land  A narrow strip, called No-Man’s Land, lay between the Allies and their enemies  Rifle and machine gun fire spattered across no-man’s land whenever a soldier detected movement in enemy territory  Shells flew from artillery behind the front lines, spraying shrapnel everywhere


9 Over the Top  Officers would sometimes order an advance, which meant “going over the top” of the trench and across No-Man’s Land fully exposed to the enemy’s fire

10 Over the Top  Occasionally, the troops managed to capture the enemy’s front line  The enemy would then retire to its reserve trenches a short distance away  Barbed wire stretched across the new patch of no-man’s land  A few metres of land had been lost or won

11 Over the Top  Hundreds of thousands of soldiers were often killed in the process  Then the whole dreary business started all over again

12 Life in the Trenches  Soldiers fought, died, and slept in the trenches  The Canadian government and the media presented war reports that were told in heroic terms – this would increase public support of the war  Later, veterans told a different story

13 No smiling and relaxed faces… No clean uniforms… Their equipment is scattered everywhere… Boredom and sleep are obvious…

14 The Trenches!




18 The Trench Cycle was the time period men would spend in the line This amount of time would vary from weeks to months Daily life was spent with inspections, chores, supplies and waiting, endless waiting

19 Greg Clark, an infantryman, remembers life in the trenches…   Trenches is too romantic a name. These were ditches, common, ordinary ditches. As time went by they became filthy. We had no garbage disposal, no sewage disposal. You would dig a little trench off of the main trench, dig a deep hole, and that was your latrine. You threw everything you didn’t want out over the parapet… And if you ever stood at a place where… you could look at the trenches, you saw this sort of strange line of garbage heap wandering up hill and down dale as far as the eye could see, and in that setting men lived as if it were the way men should live, year after year.



22 Canadians at War Scrapbook  Using pages 8 and 9 in the Canadians at War Scrapbook, answer the following questions:  Why were rats plentiful in the trenches?  Why could the men who died in No-Man’s-Land not be buried?  What is shrapnel?  When was gas used for the first time? Who used it first?  When did the first effective use of gas take place?  Which of the fifteen ‘Defensive Measures against Gas Attacks’ do you think are most effective? Why?  How long did men generally spend in the trenches?

23 The War in the Air  The airplane was still a relatively new invention  It was originally used for observing enemy positions and was not armed  At the outbreak of WWI, Canada had no planes or pilots

24 War in the Air  By 1915, planes were armed with machine guns and bombs  A pilot who shot down five enemy planes earned the title of ace

25 Dogfights  Meetings between warring aircraft often became deadly “dogfights”  Pilots tried to tailgate enemy plans so that the enemies could not return the gunfire  Being shot down usually meant instant death  The average lifespan of a pilot was only three weeks long  They called their planes “flying coffins”

26 Billy Bishop   One of the leading “aces”   He shot down 72 enemy planes which made him the greatest ace in the British Empire and earned him the Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery under fire

27 War at Sea At the beginning of the war, Canada had no real navy and only 350 naval personnel with 250 reserves; Canada had two ships and two submarines which were given by the British Navy; Early main activities were in port in Halifax, coastal protection and shipping movement and port inspection;


29 War at Sea  At first it appeared that Britain would dominate the war at sea  It had the larges and most modern fleet.  The greatest danger faced by the fleet was the German submarine or U-boat


31 Atlantic Convoys  Canada’s main role in the war at sea was in shipping Canadian troops, food, and munitions to Europe  The British started to collect ships in to large groups called convoys  Convoys would sail together from Quebec, Halifax, or St. John’s  The convoy system greatly reduced the number of ships sunk



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