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Canada in World War 1

By jets1523 Oct 14, 2012 1266 Words
World War I was a time that affected almost ever country or region in the world in one-way or another. The common wealth of Canada was no different. Although not located in Europe where the war was primarily fought, our dominion was still a major contributor to the war effort and fought valiantly in defending the ideals of democracy and a free world. Many of our soldiers lost their lives in various battles throughout the war but without their efforts the war may have swung Germanys way, causing more battles, a longer war, more money and eventually more lives.

On August 4th 1914, England went to war with Germany. As part of the great English empire, our country of Canada was dragged into the war as well. As soon as England declared war, we threw our full-fledged support England’s way. Primarily this meant we provided troops and resources to the war effort. Before World war one began, our army was miniscule and held little power. After war was declared on England however, our army grew by the thousands, as many of our citizens felt obligated to help the motherland. By 1919 a total of six hundred thousand Canadian men and woman participated in the war effort as nurses, soldiers and chaplains, this number does not include the people on the home front who contributed to the war effort. 3

Canada’s first great mark on World War I was at the second battle of Ypres. The 1st Canadian division moved to reinforce the British and allied lines. In April of 1915, the Germans unleashed canisters of poison chlorine gas. Carried by the wind, this gas entered allied trenches forcing retreat and countless deaths. Soon however, we Canadians figured out that by urinating on rags and placing them over our mouths and noses we could overcome the gas and continue the fight. By the time they figured this out there were enormous gaps stretching in the allied lines. Many allies had retreated due to the gas so it was up to our boys in uniform to restring the lines and repel the enemy forces. On April 24th, more gas from the German side was released this time the potency of the gas was so high that urine soaked rags could not stop the chemicals from entering the lungs, causing upwards of six thousand casualties. This battle is a true testament to how courageous our Canadian soldiers were and how they truly cared about the war effort. They could have retreated, but no they did there job and held the line. Our Canadian men next fought in the great battle of Somme, this battle claimed over fifty-seven thousand British lives and an estimated twenty five thousand Canadian lives. However, it gave us our nickname as the shock troops because in this battle our men fought like bats out of hell and by November 11th we were able to defeat and secure all of the German trenches in the area of Courcelette. 1 The next offensive occurred when all four of our Canadian divisions met up during the battle of Vimy Ridge. During this battle we lost over ten thousand soldiers but managed to kill numerous amounts of Germans and take four thousand prisoners of war. During the final months of the war our troops fought courageously. These final months are known as the hundred days offensive. In the final one hundred days of war our corps lost over forty five thousand men. Battles in this offensive included the brutal battle of Arrias and the battle of Cambrai. In the battle of Arras German forces were forced to retreat. In the battle of Cambrai, Canadians broke through the Hindenburg line defeating the Germans at their main distribution center4. An interesting fact to be noticed is that the last recorded casualty of World War I occurred two minutes before the armistice; the man was a one of our own, a Canadian Soldier who went by the name of George Lawrence Price3. We Canadians made great sacrifices for the greater good of the world, this point undoubtedly proven by the stories of the battles our men fought in.

Our country of Canada is home to both the British and the French; this caused some major problems in World War I. Even before the war, the French Canadians did not adhere to our British policy. When Prime Minister Robert Borden installed the Canadian military act of 1917, the French especially in Quebec rebelled; refusing to fight because they felt the military act was unfairly targeted towards them. After the war, and to this day there is still a rift between French and British Canadians. However, the war did bring British Canadians closer together. As our country and our men fought against the powers of evil, Canadians formed a bond that could not be broken, bringing us one step closer to becoming an independent nation 3.

To those whom it may concern, including but not limited to Woodrow Wilson (United States), Vittorio Orlando (Italy), George Clemenceau (France) and David Lloyd (England)2. We Canadians do not request much. This war did not affect us as much as it did many other European countries. Yes, many of our citizen’s lives were lost in battle, but our countries lands and resources have not been depleted; the same cannot be said for many European countries that have lost so much to this grave war. Canada is not asking for much, we do however have a few objectives. We ask for the same representation in the conference that some of the smaller countries have received. Meaning, we request at least 2 seats in the conference and we also request that Canada signs its name independently on the treaty. We do not do this to be a pest for we realize we are not an independent country, however we also realize the sacrifice that our soldiers have made for the greater good of the world and these sacrifices are equivalent to those of any legitimate country 5. Those sixty four thousand men who gave their lives for the motherland and the over one hundred and fifty thousand who lie injured shall not have been killed or injured in vain and shall be remembered for eternity. We Canadians also feel strongly about the implementation of a League of Nations in order to avoid this kind of disastrous war in the future. Along with our viewpoint on the installment of the League of Nations, we hold a few more viewpoints along with a few more objectives that we feel will better the world. One being full support of the Japanese Racial Equality Agreement due to the fact our dominion of Canada is home to a greatly diverse group of people. Two, to work together with the economic and political systems of the United States and Great Britain in order to simplify our lives. (peace of paper handed out in class) To sum it up, Canada lost many men in World War I, in their memory, we respectfully request two things. One for representation equal to that of smaller countries, and two for our name to be Independently signed on the treaty. We also believe certain objectives should be accomplished for the betterment of the world. We believe in the implementation of a league of nations, the approval of the racial equality agreement and the necessity of our state to work together with two of the great countries of the world, our motherland Britain and our neighbors to the south the United States. May Canada live on forever.

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