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Canada and World War One - 2nd Edition
Transcript of Canada and World War One - 2nd Edition
The Great Powers
Devotion to and support of one's culture and nation, sometimes resulting in the promotion of independence.
The policy of one nation acquiring, controlling, or dominating another country or region.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand
of the Black Hand
Who are they?
Women were considered too frail and emotional to take part in battle, so they were encouraged to stay home and support the men who did go.
Those women who did join the services were limited to activities as nurses and ambulance drivers behind the front lines.
Initially the Canadian forces did not accept Aboriginal people, and the forces were also reluctant to take African- and Japanese-Canadians.
Lance Corporal John Shiwak
Inuit from Labrador
Sgt. Masumi Mitsui
Training the troops at Valcartier
The trials of boot camp built bridges between them and they began to develop a national identity, a sense of being Canadian.
A sense of, and pride in, the character of one's nation.
The army formed from these volunteers was known as the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF).
For much of the war the CEF maintained its independence and fought as a separate Canadian unit. This contributed greatly to a growing sense of national identity.
Sam Hughes was Canada's Minister of Militia and Defense from 1911 to 1916 when he was dismissed by Prime Minister Borden.
Hughes was a poor administrator who took advantage of his position by awarding large government contracts to friends who were profiteers, people more interested in making money than producing quality goods.
War Measures Act
Gave the Canadian government the authority to do everything necessary "for the security, defense, peace, order, and welfare of Canada."
The government could:
- Intervene in the economy
-Control transportation, manufacturing, trade, and agricultural production
It gave the government the power to strip ordinary Canadians of their civil liberties.
- Mail could be censored
- Habeus corpus was suspended
The right of a person under arrest to be brought before a judge.
Police could detain people without laying charges. Anyone suspected of being an enemy alien or a threat to the government could be imprisoned, or deported, or both.
These were government-run camps where people who were considered a threat were detained.
The Schlieffen Plan
A bold strategy for a two-front war.
The plan was for the German army to quickly invade Belgium, then France, and capture the city of Paris. Once this was accomplished, Germany could turn its attention to Russia.
First use of gas.
6000 Canadian casualties
No advantage gained
The Battle of the Somme
24,000 Canadian casualties - 1.25 million casualties overall.
Known as "The Bloodbath" - Commanders used tactics that proved to be useless in trench warfare.
Marching across open fields, wave upon wave of men were shot down by German machine guns.
Allies captured 13 kms of land.
First trial of tanks
Canadians gained a reputation as "stormtroopers"
The Battle of Vimy Ridge
Arthur Currie - First Canadian General
Little strategic value
High casualties - 200,000 on each side including 15,000 Canadians.
The War in the Air
The War at Sea
The Home Front
Canadian munitions factories built shells, ships and airplanes.
Canada exported lumber, nickel, copper, lead, wheat and beef.
After the war, workers demanded higher wages and better working conditions.
Supporting the War Effort
The Halifax Explosion
By 1917 many thousands of Canadian men had been killed and many thousands more had been seriously wounded. With so many working in industry for the war effort at home, the number of men who volunteered for war was too low to provide replacement troops in Europe.
Prime Minister Robert Borden
An anti-conscription parade.
Prime Minister Borden had promised there would be no conscription.
Compulsory enlistment for military service.
On Borden's return to Canada he introduced the Military Service Act, a bill that would make enlistment compulsory.
At first the act allowed exemptions:
- the disabled
- the clergy
- those with essential jobs or special skills
- conscientious objectors
A person who refuses military service on the grounds of religious or moral opposition to war.
The lowest recruitment levels in Canada were in Quebec:
- few recruits spoke English / few officers spoke French
- little attempt to keep French speaking recruits together
- relations strained over restrictions in use of French in schools outside Quebec
The majority of French-Canadians did not feel a patriotic connection to Britain or France because their ancestors had come to Canada generations before. They saw the Military Service Act as a means of forcing them to fight in a war that they didn't feel was theirs.
The Ross Rifle
Other groups that opposed conscription
Prior to the election, Borden passed two pieces of legislation designed to ensure his re-election:
Military Voters Act - allowed men and women serving overseas to vote.
Wartime Elections Act - gave the vote to all Canadian women directly related to servicemen.
He also cancelled the vote for all conscientious objectors and immigrants who had come from enemy countries in the last fifteen years.
USA Enters War
Two important events in 1917 changed the direction of the war:
Entry of United States into the war.
In a last desperate attempt the Germans struck at weak spots in the enemy lines and succeeded in driving deep into France.
The Hundred Days
Canadians broke through German lines and won important battles at Arras, Cambrai and Valenciennes.
An armistice, or truce, was finally signed in a railway car in France, and the war ended at 11:00 AM, November 11, 1918.
An agreement by warring parties to end hostilities.
Prime Minister Borden fought successfully for Canada to have its own seat at the Paris Peace Conference, and not to be simply represented by Britain.
He also insisted that he be included among those leaders who signed the Treaty of Versailles.
Terms of the Treaty of Versailles
- Germany had to agree to a war "guilt clause"
- Germany had to pay war reparations totalling about $30 billion.
- The map of Europe was redrawn, reducing Germany's territory, and dividing it into two parts so that the newly independent Poland would have a corridor to the sea.
- The German army was to be restricted to 100,000 men; the nation was not to be allowed U-boats or an air force.
Borden also fought hard to have Canada become a member of the League of Nations, established under the Treaty of Versailles.
The military support and cooperation provided by member states within an international organization to ensure that each will help the others in the event of aggression.
Penalties, such as restricting trade, applied by a group of nations to try to force an offending nation to end aggression or an offensive policy.
The Spanish Influenza
Causes of the First World War
A nation's policy of enlisting, training, equipping, and maintaining armed forces ready for war.
Vimy Ridge was a key position near the Somme.
Byng developed strategies of attack - meticulous planning and training
Stunning victory - 4 days
Canadians took more ground, more prisoners and captured more artillery than any British offensive.
This gave Canadians a sense of national pride and the reputation of being an elite fighting force.
The Second Battle of Ypres
to the War
Some Canadians were not welcome to participate...
New Technology and the War
War in the Air and at Sea
The Home Front
Henri Bourassa argued that Canada had lost enough men and spent enough money on a war that had little to do with thsi country.
Spending more money and sending more troops would bankrupt the country and put a strain on Canada's agricultural and industrial production, threatening Canada's political independence.
Most significantly, he believed that conscription would bitterly divide the nation.
The End of the War
Canada's Emerging Autonomy
Canada After the War
Carl Frederick Falkenberg
Canada's Delegation to the League of Nations (1928)
My Great-Grandfather Philippe Roy was the second of Canada's representatives abroad with full diplomatic status. A French-speaking Senator from Alberta since 1906, he served as Canada's "Ambassador" to France from 1911 to 1938. Among the honors he received was that of grand officer of the Legion of Honor. In 1938 he was named Honorary Citizen of Paris, one of the highest honors the French capital bestows on foreigners.
My Grandfather, Carl Frederick Falkenberg joined the 8th Royal Rifles in June 1915. He was sent overseas and was badly wounded in November 1916. After six months in an English hospital he transferred to the Royal Flying Corp in June 1917.
Distinguished Flying Cross Citation
Lieut. (T./Capt.) Carl Frederick Falkenberg (Quebec R.).
A bold and skilful airman, who has destroyed four enemy machines and driven down four out of control. In addition, he has performed many gallant deeds in attacking troops, transport, etc., on the ground.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 2 November 1918
Distinguished Flying Cross Bar Citation
Lieut. (A./Capt.) Carl Frederick Falkenberg, D.F.C. (Quebec R.). (FRANCE.)
A gallant and skilful fighter who, since he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, has destroyed four enemy machines and one balloon, and has also driven down two more machines out of control, making in all fourteen enemy aircraft and one balloon to his credit. He has further rendered gallant service in attacking ground targets and reconnoitring enemy lines.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 3 December 1918
The Quebec Chronicle
November 8, 1919
The many friends of Flight Commander C.F. Falkenberg of this city will be pleased at his safe return home after very daring and distinguished war service.
This gallant officer left Canada in September 1916 with a special draft of two hundred and fifty officers and was after posted to the famous 14th Battalion, Montreal Regiment, arriving in France late in October of the same year.
While serving on the Vimy Front he was wounded in a night attack on November 27th, the occasion being the blowing up of the Montreal crater, the largest of the Western front. He was admitted to hospital and sent to England for treatment and on his discharge in May 1917, was posted to the Quebec Infantry Reserve at Shoreham. Commander Falkenberg, however, applied for and got attached to the Royal Flying Corp in June, upon which he spent seven months in training. He was then ordered to France in February, 1918, and was posted to No. 84 Squadron, R.A.F. on the St. Quentin front, where he went through the German offensive of 1918, doing some very heavy fighting. A bad accident when on an offensive patrol, May 10th, resulted in a broken nose and concussion, which necessitated three weeks in hospital before returning to his squadron.
On August 8th, Capt. Falkenberg was promoted to Flight Commander having been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross four days previously, to which a Bar was subsequently added in December, a very high distinction.
He was next posted to the Home Establishment in England, Oct. 10th, for the rest and was recommended for a post as Instructor in No. 1 Aerial Fighting School, Ayr, Scotland, which he refused as he wished to return to his original squadron.
Following the signing of the Armistice, he cancelled his leave to Canada and, re-considering his previous decisions, joined the Canadian Air Force thinking that it was about to return home as permanent establishment. The Force, was however, demobilized in August 1919, and Capt. Falkenberg returned to Canada last month.
The official number of enemy machines shot down by this intrepid aviator is fifteen and his D.F.C. was awarded for shooting down eight Huns besides doing a great deal of bomb dropping and attacking the enemy on the ground. The Bar was awarded for shooting down seven enemy aircraft - five in one week - also for leading successful offensive patrols against enemy aircraft, balloons, aerodromes, etc., etc.
In all, Capt. Falkenberg did four hundred hours active service flying in France and over two hundred patrols during the summer of 1918. He was shot down by enemy aircraft and anti-aircraft guns no less than eight times receiving bullets through his petrol tank, engine, guns, etc.
In twelve months, No. 84 Squadron, to which he was attached, shot down and destroyed over three hundred and forty enemy machines and balloons, being the record for a year, and received in that time over forty decorations, including one V.C., one D.S.O., and the remainder of M.C.'s, D.F.C.'s, Croix de Guerre, etc., etc. In the month of September 1918, this Squadron shot down over fifty enemy kite balloons and was congratulated on several occasions by G.H.Q. for good work.
WON DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS WITH BAR FOR DARING EXPLOITS
CAPT. FALKENBERG RETURNED HOME
The "war to end all wars" claimed the lives of more than 8 million soldiers, cost almost $350 billion, and changed the map of Europe.
Causes of WWI
Africa - with its wealth of gold, diamonds, ivory, agricultural land, and other resources - became the last frontier for colonizers in the late 1800s.
Britain had established the largest navy in the world. Germany built up its military resources to match Britain's naval strength. In response, Britain increased the size of its navy and built the HMS Dreadnought. Germany built more ships, increased the size of its army and reserves of weapons.
Relating to peoples in eastern, southeastern, and central Europe, including Russians, Serbians, Croatians, Poles, Czechs, etc.
Russia supported Pan-Slavism, uniting the Slavic peoples of the Balkans. Russia hoped that this would allow it access to the region's warm-water ports.
Austria-Hungary saw Pan-Slavism as a threat. Several nations under its control were Slavic and located in the Balkans.
The Ottoman Empire had controlled the Balkans and southeastern Europe but it was crumbling. It feared losing even more territory.
A union or agreement among groups working toward a common goal.
It was hoped that forming alliances would reduce the threat of war, but it proved to have the opposite effect, making it easier for countries to be drawn into war.
A terrorist group of Bosnian Serbs that was determined to free Bosnia from Austria-Hungary.
The Balkans were a hotbed of nationalism. Some countries in the area were newly created while others regained independence as the Ottoman Empire disintegrated. The Austro-Hungarian Empire controlled several Slavic nations that wanted independence and rebelled against Austrian rule.
Laurier: "It is our duty to let Great Britain know and to let the friends and foes of Great Britain know that there is in Canada but one mind and one heart and that all Canadians are behind the Mother Country."
Borden offered Britain 25000 troops but 30000 volunteered.
profiteering: making a profit by raising prices on goods or producing poor quality materials.
The War on Land
Major Canadian Battles
The Schlieffen Plan almost worked. But German leaders had made some changes that weakened the original plan:
They pulled troops from the west to reinforce their defenses in the east.
The soldiers were exhausted by the pace of the attack.
The Allies were able to rally and stop Germany's advance at the Battle of the Marne in September 1914, making a quick German victory impossible. Instead, the German army dug a defensive line of trenches along the river Somme and into Belgium. To counter this, British and French troops dug their own system of trenches stretched from the English channel to the Swiss border.
Artillery: large guns used to fire shells
War of Attrition: a military strategy based on exhausting the enemies manpower and resources before yours are exhausted, usually involving great losses on both sides.
Major Canadian Battles
Those injured, killed, captured, or missing in action.
Big Bertha had a range of about 13 kms. Some large German artillery could fire up to 27 kms.
As part of the growing militarism in the years before the war, Britain asked Canada to help contribute to its naval forces. In 1910, Laurier introduced the Naval Service Act.
Convoy: a group of ships travelling together protected by an armed force.
Merchant Marine: civilian ships and sailors that transported food, weapons, and munitions.
Allegiance: loyalty or faithfulness.
Honour Rationing: a civilian effort to consume less and conserve supplies on the home front.
"Meatless Fridays" and "Fuel-less Sundays"
Victory Bonds: bonds issued by the Canadian government to support the war effort.
Income Tax: a tax on personal income.
Corporate Tax: a tax charged to businesses based on their total revenue.
Propaganda: information, usually presented by governments, presented in such a way as to inspire spread particular beliefs or opinions.
Francis Pegahmagabow's medal set includes the Military Medal, with two bars, the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal 1914-1920, and the Victory Medal 1914-1919. Pegahmagabow was Canada's most decorated aboriginal soldier in the First World War. Peggy, as his fellow soldiers called him, enlisted in August 1914 and went overseas with the First Contingent. He served for most of the war as a scout and sniper with the 1st Battalion, acquiring a fearsome reputation as a marksman. At the Battle of Mount Sorrel in June 1916, Pegahmagabow captured a large number of German prisoners and was awarded the Military Medal. He was awarded a bar to his Military Medal during the Battle of Passchendaele in November 1917, and a second bar for actions during the Battle of Amiens in August 1918.
Conscription: forced enlistment in the armed forces of all fit men of a certain age.
Groups organized to improve conditions for workers.
Laurier was firmly against conscription, believing "the law of the land... declares that no man in Canada shall be subjected to compulsory military service except to repel invasions or for the defence of Canada."
khaki election: the name given to the 1917 federal election because of Borden's efforts to win the military vote.
Union Government: The coalition government formed by Conservatives and some Liberals and independents that governed Canada from 1917 to 1920.
abdicate: to give up a position of authority.
socialist: a believer in a political and economic system in which the means of production and distribution in a country are publicly owned and controlled for the benefit of all members of a society.
Central Powers: the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria.
The final offensive in France, and the battles of the Hundred Days Campaign exhausted the Germans and the rest of the Central Powers. They had no reserves and could not continue without fresh troops, food, and supplies. The Central Powers collapsed one by one.
Canada's Emerging Autonomy
The End of the War
Paris Peace Conference: a meeting in Paris in 1919 to discuss the terms of a peace agreement after the First World War.
The League of Nations proved to be a more idealistic vision than a practical solution to world problems.
- The US did not join
- Nations were not used to cooperating
- The League did not have a military force of its own.
After four long years of fighting, Canadian soldiers returned to Canada to find:
- no steady pensions for veterans
- no special medical services for those wounded in the war
- few jobs
Historical significance can vary over time, in relation to today's concerns.
The following are excerpts from two secondary sources written by two highly regarded professionals about the Battle of Vimy Ridge. They reflect very different conclusions.
Many historians and writers consider the Canadian victory at Vimy a defining moment for Canada, when the country emerged from under the shadow of Britain and felt capable of greatness. Canadian troops also earned a reputation as formidable, effective troops because of the stunning success.
- Tim Cook, from the Canada War Museum's website.
It [Vimy Ridge] had a negligible effect war's outcome. The Canadians had equal casualties and more strategic successes in other battles, such as Amiens and Passchendaele. If French or British rather than Canadian troops had driven the German enemy off Vimy Ridge, history probably would have forgotten about it. As it is, over the years, Canadian propaganda - and there is no other word for it - has airbrushed out the participation of British officers, tacticians, and artillery, and even supporting British infantry.
- Michael Valpy, Globe and Mail - April 7, 2007
Which interpretation is closer to the truth?
A. ...the most thrilling letter I have ever written to you... I hope you will find it the same. The greatest victory of the war has been gained, and I had a small part in it. (Letter from Lieut. Clifford Wells [Canadian] to his mother, April 20, 1917)
B. I would not want to have the impression left that Vimy was our greatest battlefield. (General Arthur Currie, senior Canadian officer in World War I)
C. A more desolate scene than this battlefield could scarcely be imagined. Every foot of earth had been up heaved time and time again during the furious bombardments from both sides, until the very bowels of the Ridge had been hurled on high and spread abroad.... Amid this flood...lay the half-submerged bodies of the dead, whose blood had coloured to rusty red the stagnant water lapping around them. (War Diary, No. 11 Canadian Field Ambulance, 4th Division)
D. The fierce battle over Vimy Ridge was fought to a standstill. To be able to call oneself a Vimy fighter, was from then on a high honour! ... In the hearts of the fighters and their loved ones, who restlessly, with deep yearning lived through it all in the Homeland [Germany]; the memory of the days of heroic glory and deepest sorrow glows indelibly at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, that patch of earth sanctified by the rivers of noble blood and uncountable heroic graves. (Generalleutnant Alfred Dieterich, The German 79th Reserve Infantry Division in the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917)
Canadian Soldiers returning from Vimy Ridge
Dulce et Decorum Est
BY WILFRED OWEN
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.