Lesson 3 - Battles of WW1 by wuyunqing


									              Canadians in Battles of WW1
Second Battle of Ypres, April 1915

• This was Canada’s first major battle.

• Soldiers had Ross rifles.

• Soldiers were positioned with French
troops. When the Germans started using
chlorine gas, the French troops fled leaving
a large hole in the defensive lines.

• Breathing through handkerchiefs soaked in
their own urine to offset the gas effects, the
Canadians held. The attacking Germans

• Over 6,000 Canadian troops were killed or
Canadians in Battles of WW1
Second Battle of Ypres, April 1915

• In Flanders Field 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…

•During the Battle of Ypres, Lieutenant Colonel
John McCrae wrote the poem “In Flanders Field.”
It is recited on Remembrance Day.

•McCrae wrote the poem to honour his friend
Lieutenant Alexis Helmer who had been killed by a
shell burst on 2 May 1915. McCrae had performed
the funeral ceremony in the absence of the

In mourning, McCrae wrote the poem in five
Canadians in Battles of WW1
    The Somme, 1916

    • The Biggest military disaster in British
    history. In one day, almost 58,000 troops
    were killed.

    • Beaumont Hamel was the opening battle.
    Newfoundlanders fought here
    (Newfoundland was not part of Canada at
    this time). Ordered to charge at machine
    guns, 725 of 800 men were killed or

    • The British General used the same battle
    plan for six months. Over 1 million Allied
    soldiers were killed or wounded.

    • The British used tanks for the first time in
                Canadians in Battles of WW1
Vimy Ridge, 9-12 April 1917 – The Birth of a Nation

• For three years, the English and French had not
been able to capture Vimy Ridge. Over 150,000
soldiers had been killed or wounded.

• The ridge was heavily armed with machine guns at
three locations, deep trenches and many soldiers.

• Canadians employed a number of new attack
strategies such as a creeping artillery barrage,
platoons, cables for telephone communication,
strategic artillery attacks targeting machine guns and
reserve troops.

• In four days, Canadians captured the ridge

• Over 10,500 Canadian troops were killed or

• The Canadian effort was acknowledged by the
world. A nation was born.
                 Canadians in Battles of WW1
Passchendaele, November 1917

• The area was a bog, and No Man’s Land had
many water-filled holes. These conditions
prevented infantry from advancing.

• A British General ordered the attack, but in the
field, Canadian troops were led by a Canadian

• Canadians won the battle but suffered nearly
16,000 casualties. In total, Allied troops suffered
nearly 500,000 casualties. Many soldiers
drowned in the water-filled holes.

• Many people considered this battle a waste of

• Today, a memorial has been erected on the site
bearing the names of the 55,000 soldiers killed
but whose bodies were never found.
Canadians in Battles of WW1
   The Hundred Days

   • Canadians led an offensive attack against
   German positions.

   • Over 100 days, the Allied troops fought
   through enemy defenses and forced the
   Germans to retreat.

   •Nearly 25% of the German soldiers

   •By November 1918, the Germans had
   retreated back toward the German border.

   •At this point, German military commanders
   decided to surrender. A ceasefire was
   arranged for 11:00 a.m. on 11 November 1918.
Canadians in Battles of WW1

   • Canadians fought in many more WW1 battles.

   • These four battles (Ypres, The Somme Vimy Ridge and
   Passchendaele) are considered Canada’s most important

   • WWI fighting stopped at 11:00 a.m. on 11 November
   1918. NOTE: WWI was not technically over at this
   time…a Peace Agreement had to be negotiated and
   signed to officially end the war.

   • The last Canadian was killed at 10:45. Private George
   Price was shot by a German sniper as Canadian troops
   marched into Mons, Belgium.

   • In WWI, 9,000 Canadian soldiers were killed and another
   40,000 wounded.

   • At Vimy Ridge, the bravery of Canadian soldiers was
   called “The Birth of a Nation.”

   • Was the cost of life worth the results?

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