|Study Notes and Review for History Quiz #2 (Part 2 of Unit 1)
****Four battles stand out in Canada's history.****
Second Battle of Ypres, April 1915: First time poisonous chlorine gas was used (German army) to break the Allied line at Ypres, Belgium.
Importance: Ypres was Canada's first major battle of the war. While thousands of other Allied troops in the battle either died or ran, Canadians distinguished themselves by their bravery.
The Somme, 1916: British commanders ordered the regiment to charge forward into German machine-gun fire in broad daylight.
- Day after day, British General Douglas Haig ordered more hopeless charges to break the enemy line so that his cavalry (troops on horses) could rush through. He did not stop for six months
-The cost: over half a million Allied soldiers were dead or wounded.
- Canadian troops sent into the Somme later that summer.
- Any soldier who refused to go could be shot for desertion or "cowardice" after a quick military hearing.
Importance: July 1, Canada Day, is also Memorial Day in Newfoundland and Labrador. Canadian soldiers remembered for their bravery.
Vimy Ridge, April 1917: a strategic location that neither the French nor the British troops could capture and hold in two years of fighting.
Importance: Between April 9 and 12, 1917, after the 2 years of unsuccessful fighting, the Canadians made the biggest Allied advance since the war began.
- The German army had really dug in at Vimy. They held three parallel lines of trenches along the ridge, protected by machine guns and big artillery placements.
-The key to Canadian victory would be detailed planning. A few weeks before, all the soldiers were taken for practice at a mock battlefield
-The Canadian army mastered the "creeping barrage" technique and used it at Vimy Ridge. Artillery gunners would lob shells toward enemy lines in a "barrage" of gunfire. Then, Canadian troops would slowly "creep" forward behind this screen. Minutes later, the gunners would angle their shots a little higher so that the shells would fly a bit farther. This allowed the infantry to creep forward again.
Passchendaele, November 1917: For months British General Haig had tried unsuccessfully to take Passchendaele Ridge in Belgium. Then he passed the job over to Canadian General Arthur Currie and his reliable storm troops.
-Heavy bombardment and rains had turned the landscape to mush. Currie warned Haig that these conditions would result in many casualties, but Haig was insistent. Many horses and soldiers actually drowned in flooded trenches and shell craters.
Importance: Canadians took the low ridge and the nearby village in two weeks of hard fighting.
-Passchendaele marked the first battle in which Canadian troops were led by their own general instead of a British one.
-General Currie reported to Canadian Prime Minister Borden his disgust with the battle conditions. Borden then met with the British Prime Minister and threatened that any repeat of Passchendaele would mean that no more Canadian troops would be sent to Europe.
- This attitude was very different from Canada's eager support of Britain in 1914. The Canadian military had matured in the four major battles at Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, and Passchendaele.
B) Create your own notes on 2 weapons that were used in World War 1. Include its name and a brief description.
C) Summarize how the Great War ended. Be sure to include the definition of “armistice” and the date and time of the armistice.