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Canada and World War One

For use with Counterpoints: Exploring Canadian Issues. BC Social Studies 11

Tim Falkenberg

on 24 January 2014

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Transcript of Canada and World War One

Canada and World War I
Three Weak and Crumbling Empires

Austro-Hungarian Empire

Russian Empire

Ottoman Empire
Background to the War
to the War

This was the event that
brought on World One!
Intense loyalty to one's own
country and culture
Massive buildup in armaments
or armies
Acquisition of overseas territories
Archduke Franz Ferdinand
of Austria-Hungary
Gavrilo Princep
Serbian member
of the Black Hand
The Russian Empire
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
James Jacobs
from Windsor
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.
Internment Camps
These were government-run camps where people who were considered a threat were detained.
Progress of the War
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.
New Technology and the War
The Second Battle of Ypres
First use of gas.
6000 Canadian casualties
No advantage gained
The Battle of the Somme
24,000 Canadian casualties - 600,000 Allied casualties
Known as "The Bloodbath"
Marching across open fields
First trial of tanks
Canadians gained a reputation as "stormtroopers"
The Battle of Vimy Ridge
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.
Canadian milestone.
Arthur Currie - First Canadian General
Little strategic value
High casualties - 15,000
The War in the Air
The War at Sea
The War at Home
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.
How did Canada pay for the war?
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.
Montreal, 1917
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
Industrial workers
Labour movement
Election 1917

Liberals (Laurier)
Union (Borden)
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.
The Central Powers Collapse
March Revolution
Bolshevik Revolution
USA Enters War
Two important events in 1917 changed the direction of the war:

Russian Revolutions
Entry of United States into the war.
German Offensive
In a last desperate attempt the Germans struck at weak spots in the enemy lines and succeeded in driving deep into France. However, they had exhausted themselves. They had no reserves, and without fresh troops, food, and supplies, they could not continue.
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.
Collective Security
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
The Beginning of World War I
Assassinated by...
Some Canadians were not welcome to participate...
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.
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
Austria-Hungary is often referred to as the polyglot empire as it consisted of many different cultures who spoke many different languages.
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.
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