Chapter 7: World War One By: Maritoni and Hannah
How World War One Began • In August 1914, World War One began when Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo On June 28,1914. • Gavrilo was a man who just wanted his people’s independence. • Franz was a heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. • So, since Franz was the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Gavrilo murdered him which led to World War One.
Europe, Getting Ready For War • By 1914, tensions were rising, and all the nations and allies of Europe were having pre-war preparations. • By a month(August), Serbia and Austria-Hungary announced war on each other.
Alliances • Not only Serbia and Austria-Hungary were in World War One, but a whole lot of other alliances too. • Russia and France were with Serbia. • Germany was with Austria-Hungary. • For Germany to attack France, they had to go through Belgium. • But, even if Belgium was a small Country, they had a big ally, who was Great Britain, who had another ally called Canada.
Canada’s Reaction • Canada’s reaction was very weird because they celebrated and cheered. • A huge amount of men were excited to go to war. But, first they had to join the army, and since the Canadian Army was desperate for soldiers, they accepted everyone no matter how old or young. • A lot of Canadians were from Britain. French-Canadians were angry that Germany attacked Belgium and France. • Since it was Canada’s first time at war they thought it would all be a short, fabulous, non-painful war. They were wrong.
Sir Robert Borden • At the time, Sir Robert Borden was the prime minister when World War One started. • Borden never went to university but he was very intelligent. • In 1896, he went into politics and five years later he became the leader of the Conservative Party. • In 1911, there was an election and he led the Conservatives, which made him win the honour of being prime minister instead of Wilfrid Laurier and his Liberals. • He is remembered as the person who led Canada through one of the toughest times in history and he worked to give Canada a greater voice in the world.
The Battle of the Somme • At 7:30 am on July 1, 1916, The Battle of Somme started. • 100 000 British soldiers ran towards the German territory along the Somme River in France. But they didn’t know the Germans built dugouts strong and deep enough to protect themselves from weapons. • Once the British got through the German’s defence system they thought that the Germans would just surrender to them. • The British had their rifles ready. When they got to the barbed wire, Germans started firing Machine-guns at the British.
The Battle of the Somme(continued) • 60 000 soldiers in the British Army were either dead or injured. To make it even worse, this battle lasted for 5 more months. • The Battle of the Somme was fought 2 years after World War One began. • It was only one of the battles in World War One. • A trench was a horrible place to stay in. It was dirty, cold, wet and it smelled bad. There were rats and lice, but the trenches kept the soldiers safe from bullets and exploding shells. In each battle, the soldiers in the trenches defeated the attackers.
What Made The War So Terrible? • Most Canadians thought World War One would be over by Christmas. But by 1917, they thought it would never end. • Technology made the war terrible. Technology changed so much. • For example, in the War of 1812, a soldier would travel by walking or a horse. The guns would fire twice per minute. • But in World War One, steamships and the Canadian Pacific Railway were the soldier’s transportation. • Airplanes were invented.
What Made The War So Terrible?(continued) • An army’s demands were mailed by using a telegraph. • And weapons like Machine-guns, were so dangerous that it could fire up to 600 shots per minute.
Canada’s Military Effort • When the war first started, Canada’s army wasn’t ready. • Canada’s militia had 60 000 men who weren’t trained well. • They didn’t even have uniforms and most people didn’t have rifles. All they had were two big navy ships, the Rainbow, and the Niobe. • But Germany, had 3 million well-trained soldiers when the war started. • When Canadians heard the war was declared, the army grew quickly. • By December 1914, 30 000 soldiers went overseas to fight. During the war, 400 000 more soldiers followed them. These people were called the Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F).
The Second Battle of Ypres • This battle was fought in April 1915. • In this battle, Canadians kept fighting, while the other allies ran from poison gas. • Poison gas was a new, deadly weapon from Germany. • In the late 1916, the Canadians defeated the Germans in Courcelette, which is a French village. • But Canada’s most famous victory was at the German stronghold of Vimy Ridge in April 1917.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge • Early in the war, the Germans took Vimy Ridge in France. The British and French armies tried to get it back. • In April 1917, the Canadians took back Vimy Ridge after a hard battle. • For the first time, all four divisions(a military unit, of 15-20 thousand soldiers, commanded by a general) of the C.E.F fought together. • The Battle of Vimy Ridge was the first time Canadians succeeded in a task by working together. • But, almost 11 000 Canadian soldiers were killed or wounded.
War at Sea and in the Air • Canada’s navy(Royal Canadian Navy) was only 3 years old when the war started. • It only had a few warships, like the Rainbow and the Niobe. • A lot of Canadians joined a new service the British made: the Royal Flying Corps or the RFC. • When airplanes were made in 1903, airplanes were slow and dangerous. Pilots didn’t have parachutes. • When the war began, airplanes were used to spy on enemies. Later, machine guns were put on them. • Pilots of these planes were called aces. Aces shot down 5 or more enemy planes. • Canada didn’t have their own air force. Canadians had to join one of the British services: the RFC or Royal Naval Air Service.
Famous Canadian Soldiers and Aces • William “Billy” Barker- After a year(he first started as a soldier), he joined the RFC. He shot down 50 enemy aircrafts, making him one of World War One’s top aces. In 1918, he received the Victoria Cross.(Britain’s highest medal for bravery) • Sir Arthur Currie- Was the first Canadian general to lead the C.E.F. • He was thought as one of the best generals of this war. • In one battle, he sent forces on a night time mission across a canal near Cambrai, France. • In the morning, the Canadians won the battle against the Germans and after the war, Currie became president of McGill University in Montreal.
Famous Canadian Soldiers and Aces • Alan Arnett Macleod- Joined the Royal Flying Corps when he was 18. • On March 28, 1918, a German plane shot their fuel tank and set their(he and A.W. Hammond) plane on fire. • Though he was wounded, he went out on the wing of the plane and steered the plane from there.(while Hammond fired at the enemies) • Macleod and Hammond shot down three German planes before crashing. • He managed to get out of the plane alive dragging Hammond with him. • Macleod was shot again and then passed out from his injuries. • On September 4, 1918, he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He was one of the youngest to receive this award. • But sadly, he died 2 months later from Spanish flu at 19.
Forgotten Heroes • Woman were not allowed to fight in this war. So, they became nursing sisters. Nursing sisters cared for the wounded. But this was pretty dangerous. They worked so close to the battles. Forty-six nursing sisters died in this war. • With the men fighting, there was a short number of people working back in Canada. So for the first time, factories and shipyards hired women. The woman built weapons and supplies for the war. They took the jobs that were thought to be for men. Woman knitted socks, sweaters and scarves for the soldiers.
The Number 2 Construction Battalion • Even though Canada needed all the soldiers they could get, they still turned away African-Canadians. • So, the army created a unit of African-Canadians. • These people weren’t allowed to fight. • Instead, they went overseas to dig trenches, clear forests and build railway lines. They did this well. • In Pictou, Nova Scotia, they accepted African-Canadians from across the country. The battalion’s officers were all European-Canadian. • But, there was one African officer: Captain William White. He was the only African-Canadian officer in the whole British Empire during the First World War.
Aboriginal Volunteers • About 7 500 Aboriginal Canadians served in the C.E.F. Many Aboriginals came from far regions in Canada where they had no pressure to join the war or not. • But still, they joined. • Some Aboriginal joined for adventure, the promise of steady jobs, and tradition(First Nations fought with the British in the Seven Years’ War, the American Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812). Others thought by being in the war, the Canadian government would treat them fairly. • First Nation women also helped. They treated the wounded soldiers.
Aboriginal Volunteers(continued) • Many Aboriginal soldiers were awarded for bravery. Brothers Alexander George Smith and Charles Smith both received the Military Cross. • Many Aboriginals came back as heroes, but they were still not allowed to vote in Canada. • During World War One, Aboriginals were treated fairly and equally. • But, when they came back, they did not have the same benefits as non-Aboriginal Canadians did. For example, First Nation reserve lands were taken by the Canadian government and offered to non-Aboriginal veterans as land grants.
Aboriginal Heroes • Tom Longboat, a member of the Onondaga First Nation, was an athlete. In 1907, he won the Boston Marathon breaking a record. He was one of the famous athletes in the world. In World War One, he served as a dispatch runner(dangerous job which involves carrying important messages from headquarters to the front-line). He was wounded 2 times. Once he was wounded so badly that he was mistaken as dead. • Henry Louis Norwest was a Métis from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. He was a rodeo performer and had a excellent shot with a rifle. He earned some of Canada’s highest military honours for bravery. Henry Norwest was killed three months before World War One ended.
Aboriginal Heroes(continued) • Fredrick Loft was a Kanienkehaka (Mohawk), and a veteran from the Six Nations Reserve. • He thought Aboriginals’ sacrifices during World War One let them have equal rights. But, it didn’t fully. • He founded the League of Indians of Canada in 1919. This was the first Aboriginal political organization in Canada.
Industry(Home Front) • Mobilization is when a country gets ready for war. But Canada never mobilized before, which meant they weren’t ready. • Britain wanted to buy weapons from Canada, but Canada only had a few factories to make weapons. One factory could make 75 artillery shells a day, but in a battle soldiers would need about 100 000 shells in a few hours. • By 1917, Canada had more than 600 factories. When the war ended, Canadian factories made about 25 million shells. One third of the shells were used by the British.
Victory Bonds • The Canadian government sold Victory Bonds to help pay for the cost of the supplies for the war. • The people who bought Victory Bonds could get their money back after the war. • The government would also pay an extra amount of money(interest) back to the person. • Millions of money worth of Victory Bonds were sold.
The Conscription Crisis • At first, Canada’s army used volunteers. But by 1915 and 1916, the army lost a lot of men. Prime Minister Borden believed in conscription(a required military service) to replace them. A lot of French-Canadians did not like being forced by law to fight for Britain. Farmers were worried their crops would fail if more farm workers had to join the army. • Robert Borden’s government won the election in December 1917. • In Quebec, people once had cheered the war. But after conscription, they got mad. Even some people from Quebec thought about separating from Canada. • But World War One ended before many conscripted soldiers could be sent overseas. The conscription crisis put national unity in danger.
Fear and Prejudice • After the war began, a lot of Canadians did not trust German-Canadians or Germany’s allies. They thought German-Canadians were spies. • Canadians were so scared that they didn’t want to do German-related things. Schools stopped teaching the German language and literature. Orchestras stopped playing German composers like Beethoven and Mozart. • In 1916, the people of Berlin, Ontario decided to change their city name because Berlin was the capital city name of Germany. They did not want to look like they were against Canada. • First, they considered Hydropolis and Industria. But they chose and renamed Berlin to Kitchener, from Lord Kitchener, Britain’s secretary of war. Today, it is still called Kitchener.
Fear and Prejudice(continued) • The Canadian government saw German-Canadians and other immigrants as “enemy aliens”. More than 8000 of these people were interned(kept confine during war) even though they did nothing wrong. • Most of these people were German or Ukrainian from Austria-Hungary. • They were kept in prison camps across Canada, far from their families and homes. Many had to do heavy labour(work that’s done with the hands, like fruit and vegetable picking, road building, or any field work. • In 2005, prime minister Paul Martin apologized for internment during World War One.
The Halifax Disaster • The worst disaster in Canada in World War One was the Halifax Disaster. • Halifax was the gateway to Europe during the war. So most Canadian troops and supplies left from its harbor. • On December 6, 1917, at 9:00 am, a French ship, Mont Blanc, accidentally hit another ship, the Imo, in the Halifax harbour. • The Mont Blanc caught on fire. This ship was also filled with explosives. • So, a big explosion sent a fireball into the air. The Mont Blanc was gone.
The Halifax Disaster(continued) • This explosion destroyed buildings, trees, and even blasted the ship’s anchor 2 kilometers on Halifax’s land. • Much of Halifax was destroyed, and more than 2000 people died. • These tragedies were later shown as accidents, but at the time, people blamed the “German spies”.
The EndofWorldWarOne!! • In April 1917, the United States declared war on Germany. • In the spring of 1918, Germany tried to defeat all the Allies(Great Britain, Canada, France, Russia and others) before the Americans came. But the Germans failed and the Americans counterattacked. • The Allies won many hard-fought battles. Canadians took the lead for most of these battles. • The Germans asked for peace. • World War One ended on November 11, 11:11 pm. • Today, November 11 is called “Remembrance Day” to remember all the soldiers who fought for us.
The Treaty of Versailles • This peace treaty was signed in 1919 after the Germans surrendered. • It ended World War One. • The Treaty of Versailles changed the map of Europe. New countries were made and old ones were broken up. • Germany was blamed for World War One and forced to pay for its cost. • Some people believed The Treaty of Versailles just caused more problems, leading to World War Two.
After World War One • This war brought many changes to Canada. It sped up industrialization. It changed the way people thought about women rights. It gave Canada a greater voice in world affairs. • But many men died. More than 60 000 Canadians died fighting in this war. Most families lost a dad or a son. • In 1914, many men went cheerfully into World War One. • Only a few came back unharmed. Most soldiers came back badly wounded. Some of them lost an arm or a leg, burned or blind. • The Canadian government built veterans’ hospitals for soldiers who needed a lot of medical help. • Many veterans suffered “shell shock” or as it’s called today, post-traumatic stress syndrome, was a form of mental breakdown caused by seeing the horrors of war.
After World War One(continued) • Some people felt very gloomy about life because of all the death. • Many Canadians thought this war was a terrible mistake. • Others felt pride in the role that Canada played in the war. They believed Canada helped protect freedom. • People also felt World War One made Canada areal nation, ready for full independence. • But everyone didn’t agree that this war brought everyone together. Many French-speaking Canadians felt betrayed by the conscription.
Conclusion • Some people called World War One “the war to end all wars”. They believed the nations of the world would never fight again, because they now knew how terrible modern war was. • At the end of 1918, Canadians hoped the future would be better.