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Canada & WW 1, 1914 - 1918 Canadians in Battle. The War on Land: Trench Warfare.

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Presentation on theme: "Canada & WW 1, 1914 - 1918 Canadians in Battle. The War on Land: Trench Warfare."— Presentation transcript:

1 Canada & WW 1, 1914 - 1918 Canadians in Battle

2 The War on Land: Trench Warfare

3 Trench Warfare Schlieffen Plan almost succeeded as German forces made it to the outskirts of Paris within a few short weeks Germans retreated  built trenches in flat countryside to defend against machine gun fire & exploding shells

4 Trench Warfare No-man’s land – the area between the enemy trenches full of barbed wire entanglements & land mines Raids between trenches occurred at night, dusk & dawn with men going “over the top” of the trench Many men died making futile attempts to break through enemy lines as they were mowed down by machine gun fire Sniper fire made rescue of wounded soldiers dangerous

5 Trench Warfare Wet, dirty conditions led to trench foot/mouth Rats fed on the dead whose body parts were scattered by shells in the quicksand of no- man’s land Shell-shock led some soldiers to have severe nervous breakdowns After a month at the front soldiers went to the rear to bathe & eat good food

6 Battles: Ypres April 1915 Canada’s first major battle of WW 1 First poison gas (chlorine) attack in history Canadian troops the only ones to hold their position Covered faces with urine soaked handkerchiefs for protection 6000 casualties / 2000 dead Cdn. Lt. Col John McCrae wrote “In Flanders Fields” after friend killed

7 In Flanders Fields By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872- 1918) Canadian ArmyIn Flanders Fields the poppies blow Between the crosses row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

8 Battles: the Somme July 1916 1 July 1916  British / Canada suffered 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 dead—the bloodiest day in the history of modern warfare Newfoundland & Labrador troops had a 90% casualty rate at Beaumont Hamel  greatest single disaster in 500+ yr history  July 1 Memorial Day British General Haig insisted attack go on despite heavy losses  war of attrition (wearing down) Tanks first used at the Somme, but not affectively in the mud

9 The Somme Memorial German Cemetery – The Somme

10 Beaumont-Hamel



13 British Lines German Lines Danger Tree – furthest most point of Newfoundlanders advance

14 Battles: Vimy Ridge Apr. 1917 Cdn General Arthur Currie was given orders to capture Vimy Ridge Currie wanted all Canadian divisions fighting together Currie made sure every soldier knew his job 100,000 Cdn troops were to closely follow a creeping barrage using tunnels to move soldiers & supplies Germans caught by surprise allowing Canada to capture in a few hours more ground, more guns, & more prisoners than in the first 2.5 yrs of war National spirit born  led to independence

15 British Lines

16 German Trenches

17 The Tunnel System



20 The casket represents the fallen soldiers of Canada The Mourning Woman looking down on the casket represents Canada mourning her lost



23 Battles: Passchendaele Oct ‘17 16,000 Cdns died for 7 km of mud that was soon won back by the Germans British Generals lacked common sense & empathy Soldiers unable to move through the mud  some sucked in & drowned in it

24 War in the Air Airplanes new invention at the beginning of the war Canada had no air force so Canadians joined BRFC Dogfights (duels in the air) led to lifespan of 3 weeks Cdn. Billy Bishop won Victoria Cross for 72 kills 4 of the top 7 aces in RAF were Canadians

25 The War at Sea German U-boats (submarines) were a serious threat to the island nation of Britain receiving supplies Lusitania sinking in 1915 held back Germany out of fear of US joining war 1917 desperate Germany began very effective unrestricted submarine warfare sinking 1000 Allied ships in 4 months Convoy system (groups of supply ships escorted by armed destroyers) were effective deterrent to U-boats

26 The Last Hundred Days USA joins Allies end of 1917 Spring 1918 desperate Germany launches mighty offensive on Western Front before US troops arrive Germans stopped 80 km from Paris Aug 8 Canadians spearheaded Allied attack that pushed Germans back 130 km in 6 weeks Nov. 11, 1918 Germany formally surrenders at 11 am ending WW 1

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