Life in the Trenches Front line trenches faced each other across no-man’s land. - They were often wet and rat infested, and Soldier often dealt with lice.
Life in the Trenches Ammunition Front line trenches faced each other across no-man’s land. - They were often wet and rat infested, and Soldier often dealt with lice. FIRESTEP
Life in the Trenches At night patrols were sent out across no-man’s land to probe enemy defenses and cut his barbed wire. Dawn often brought attacks when men were ordered “over the top.” Once into the open ground of no-man’s land they were cut down by machine gun and artillery fire. The wounded were often left to die where they fell.
Canadians on the Battlefield As Canada enters the war our troops were not well trained or equipped but as the war progresses they learn quickly from their experiences. As the war begins Canadian troops are under the command of British Generals and this is an issue until later in the war when Canadian commanders are disturbed by the “attrition” approach to the war that comes from trench warfare. Canada will prove itself on the battlefields of Europe.
Ypres 1915 Canadian troops saw there first real battle. French colonial troops fled Canadian troops filled the gap. The first gas attack in the war was used by the Germans on the Canadians. Approximately 6,000 French and 2,000 Canadians died in 10 min but the Canadian troops held their ground despite incredible odds, and closed the four mile gap in the line created by the fleeing French. Earning a reputation as a fierce fighting force. Ypres also was the first time a colonial force pushed back the Germans.
GERMAN ATTACK Ypres 1915 YPRES 22 APRIL 1915
Somme 1916 In July of 1916 A daylight offensive attack by British commanders that lasted four months and gained little – (500,000 British troops lost and 24,000 Canadians including the annihilation of a Newfoundland regiment. Over 500,000 Germans troop die.) Over 57,000 British die in first half hour.
Vimy Ridge French and British spent two years and 300,000 peoples lives trying to take the hill. The Germans believed this position to be impregnable. When the Canadians arrived from the Somme the Germans made a sign saying welcome Canadians.
Vimy Ridge Sir Julian Byng leads a fierce attack that proves Canadian troops are ”battle-hardened”. Andrew McNaughton pinpoints German artillery and our troops follow a “rolling barrage”. All four Canadian divisions sweep the ridge. “The most perfectly organized victory of the war” – “A nation making moment” that gives the troops great pride.
Vimy Ridge Arthur Currie is knighted and given command of Canadian Corps. He had developed the plan for the battle. Vimy is the first time a Canadian is leading Canadian troops. Canadian also came up with a technique of Indirect fire 10,000 injured or wounded. 3,600 Canadians die in this battle Germans call Canadian soldiers storm troopers or shock troopers.
Passchendale-1917 Canadian troops are order to attack despite fierce opposition and a high estimated cost of lives by the British Command. Currie’s carefully planned attack succeeds. Arthur Currie predicted that 16,000 Canadians would die in this battle. 15,654 Canadians soldiers died in the capture of this very questionable military objective. Passchendaele, one of the worst battlefields of the war, was described as a “featureless desert of yellow mud.” 5 km of muddy craters gained and later lost