Canada Enters WWI

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Canada Enters WWI

  1. 1. World War I Canada at War
  2. 2. 1914 Princip assainates June 28: Arch Duke Ferdinand Germany offers July 6: “blank cheque” to Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary July 23: sends ultimatium to Serbia
  3. 3. 1914 Russia promises to July 24: help Serbia, mobilizes troops Austria-Hungary July 28: declares war on Serbia Germany declares Aug. 1: war on Russia
  4. 4. 1914 Germany declares Aug. 3: war on France Great Britain Aug. 4: declares war on Germany Canada is at war
  5. 5. Canada at War • Canada became a political dominion in 1867, however Britain still controlled foreign policy • When Britain declared war on Germany, Canada, along with the rest of the British Empire was automatically at war • Most English-speaking Canadians were of British origin, and supported the war out of patriotic feelings for Great Britain
  6. 6. • Prime Minister Robert Borden offers Britain 25,000 troops • However, more than 30,000 volunteer within the first month • Believed the war would be short • Exciting adventure • A way to escape financial hardships at home
  7. 7. The War on Land • In earlier wars, infantry soldiers fought in armed units supported by cavalry (soldiers on horses) • They charged at their enemies across open fields firing rifles equipped with bayonets • By 1914, advances in weapon technology demanded a new style of warfare • Machine guns were able to fire at unprecedented speed, and changed the way war was fought
  8. 8. The War on Land • Commanders failed to understand how new technology demanded new tactics • Engaged in a war of attrition, each side repeatedly attacking the other until one was completely exhausted and unable to continue
  9. 9. Life in the Trenches
  10. 10. Life in the Trenches • Began as primitive fortifications, and developed into a complex system of trench lines, machine gun and artillery positions • By December, 1918, the line stretched for 750 kilometers from the Belgian coast to the Swiss frontier • “No man’s land”: the area of land between two enemy trenches that neither side wishes to openly move on or take control of due to fear of being attacked by the enemy in the process
  11. 11. Life in the Trenches • Trenches were cold and damp, often flooded during heavy rain • Became stinking cesspools, overrun by rats • Soldiers clothing was infested with lice • Many men developed trench foot
  12. 12. Life in the Trenches • Relatively minor injuries could prove fatal through onset of infection and gangrene • The Germans recorded that 15% of leg wounds and 25% of arm wounds resulted in death, mainly through infection • The Americans recorded 44% of casualties who developed gangrene died • 50% of those wounded in the head died and 1% of those wounded in the abdomen survived

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