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Canadians in World War I
Transcript of Canadians in World War I
Life in the Trenches
In the Heat of Battle
The War in the Air
The War in the Sea
The Tragedies of War
Soldiers, in their trenches.
Trench foot, an infection.
Life in the Trenches
The British and Canadian soldiers fed on meat and vegetables originally, but as supplies dwindled, later settled on corned corned beef, bread, and biscuits. At late winter, meals turned into pea soup with local vegetables due to low rations.
“In training the food was just eatable but in France we were starving...If we got meat once a week we were lucky, but imagine trying to eat standing in a trench full of water with the smell of dead bodies nearby.” Richard Beasley, 1993
A soldier enjoying his potato.
Although planes were originally used for aerial reconaissance, they soon became engines of war.
Canadians joined the British RFC to become pilots, and engaged in spectacular aerial battles with enemy pilots.
Dogfights were incredibly harrowing, and most pilots were expected to die within 3 weeks.
A formation of fighter planes.
Soldiers with machine guns, under fire.
A soldier writes on his notepad in a trench.
The Victoria Cross, awarded for gallantry "in the face of the enemy".
The battle took a toll on both physical and psychological health of the Soldiers.
New technologies such as machine guns, tanks and barbed wire rendered cavalry warfare obsolete. Hundreds of thousands died due to generals who did not change strategies.
Troops were ordered to leave the trenches and charge at the enemy, but were often killed by gunfire and barbed wire.
Those who did not follow orders were executed by higher ups.
'Through thundering gun and cannon fire, you can hear shouting of wounded soldiers or bold attackers, storming and laughing at death.' -Unknown Soldier
Life Back Home
Canadian women, assisting the war.
The Canadian government, in a state of total war, passed the War Measures Act. This allowed the government to do anything necessary for the "security, defence, peace, order, and welfare" of Canada.
Women, and farmers back home in Canada assisted the war by creating supplies and munitions for the soldiers.
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians were hired to work in factories to build ships and airplanes.
The Canadian economy boomed.
During 1917-18, the Canadian government employed conscription, and sent 25,000 Canadians overseas.
Wartime propoganda was used to convince men to join the army.
The sinking of the British ship Lusitania caused an uproar, and convinced the US to join the war.
In a stalemate, both sides dug trenches into the ground.
The trenches were very uncomfortable, wet , and dirty.
The waterlogged trenches cause diseases and infections, such as trench foot,
The soldiers were plagued by pests, such as rats and fleas, as well as psychological shock due to heavy shelling.
"Tell Sykes he is wasting his time; Flying can never be of any use to the Army."
-Sir Douglas Haig, 1911
Canadian merchant ship.
Germany, unable to match Britain's navy, built U-boats to counter their warships.
Although Canada's navy was small at first, consisitng of only two ships.
Halifax became a strategic harbour for refuelling and repair.
Canada's merchant marine became vital in delivering supplies to the Allied Warships.
U-boats could move underwater undetected.
61,000 Canadians were killed during the war, and 172,000 were wounded.
Over 17 million deaths and 20 casualties in total.
In 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.
Canada in World War I
The graves of the many soldiers who gave their lives for their country.
Previous to the war, Canada was considered merely a colony of Britain, and had no national identity.
The victories at Vimy Ridge and Passchendale brought pride and respect for Canada, and made Canadians proud to be Canadians.
-"In Flanders Fields", John McCrae, 1915.
Canadian ace pilot Raymond Collishaw
Even if a submarine should work by a miracle, it will never be used. No country in this world would ever use such a vicious and petty form of warfare!
— Admiral William Henderson, Royal Navy, 1914