Chapter Six. Newfoundland and the First World War. Part I. The Start of the First World War. The World at the Start of the 1900s. The world at the start of the 1900s was very different than it is today
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
Newfoundland and the First World War
The Start of the First World War
The 5 powers would try to be stronger than the others by having the biggest and best military. This competition was called an Arms Race
Each Great Power tried to have bigger and better equipped armies; some Great Powers wanted Naval strength (ships) as well.
The Political Strength of a country in those days was measured by the size of their Empire
European countries (sometimes non-Great Powers) sent their armies all over the world to conquer land to rule. This was called Colonization
Asia and Africa were popular places to colonize.
To prevent war, the Great Powers aligned themselves with other countries and Great Powers to form Alliances
An alliance is like a military friendship: countries promise to protect other members of the alliance in case of war
There were many alliances before 1914, but the main two were called the Triple Entente/Allies and the Central Powers
The Central Powers
Italy (not a main power)
German-Ottoman Empire (Modern-day Middle-East) – A secret alliance that no other country knew about
Great Britain-Belgium (signed in 1839!!)
The Central Powers
Russia-Austria-Hungary: both wanted the same piece of land in south-east Europe
Germany-France & Great Britain: Wanted an empire
France-Germany: France wanted its lost land back
Great Britain-Germany: Both wanted rule of the seas
Great Britain-Germany: Germany wanted to be the greatest of the great powers; Great Britain didn’t want a single power ruling the world
Newfoundland Goes to War
When Great Britain declared war on the Central Powers, Newfoundland was automatically at war too
Newfoundland hadn’t had a military force since the 1870s
The Government of Newfoundland decided to raise a Regiment for overseas service with the British Army. This unit was to be called The Newfoundland Regiment
Regiment: A fighting force of about 800-1000 men
Another tool governments used to get people to join the army was called Propaganda
Propaganda: information used to promote a political cause or point of view (in this case, join the military)
Propaganda was effective, and hundreds of men joined the Newfoundland Regiment
These men had no formal military experience – officers and sergeants were cadet leaders or prominent locals.
The first 500 men to join (named “The First 500”) trained in Pleasantville before leaving for England on 14 October 1914
A problem with clothing materials gave the Newfoundland Regiment its nickname
British soldiers wore cloth wrap around their lower legs to prevent them from stepping on their pants. These wraps were called Puttees and were supposed to be khaki, like the rest of the uniform
A khaki shortage meant that there was no material to make khaki puttees
Instead, the NL Regiment was issued puttees made out of a blue fabric. Their nickname then became “The Blue Puttees”
This was the nickname they carried for the rest of the war
The Newfoundland Regiment at War
1. Newfoundland’s pride was at stake. It was feared that the regiment would be taken over by the British or Canadians.
2. The British Empire was threatened and Newfoundland should support Britain.
3. Canada passed conscription in 1916 and Newfoundland should as well.
1. The Government did not have the right to force people to fight.
2. It was a European war not a Newfoundland war.
3. The merchants were getting rich of the war effort while the working class risked their lives.