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Battles of WWI Battles of WWI

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Battles of WWI. 1915: Ypres April 22-May 27. Where Canadians first saw the battle in WWI Canadians lost over 6000 men, waiting for reinforcements In Flanders Fields, Belgium First Canadian Division. First Gas Attack John McCrae wrote his poem “In Flanders Fields” - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Battles of WWIBattles of WWI

1915: Ypres1915: YpresApril 22-May 27April 22-May 27

Where Canadians first saw the Where Canadians first saw the battle in WWIbattle in WWI

Canadians lost over 6000 men, waiting for reinforcementsCanadians lost over 6000 men, waiting for reinforcements

In Flanders Fields, Belgium In Flanders Fields, Belgium

First Canadian DivisionFirst Canadian Division

First Gas Attack First Gas Attack

John McCrae wrote his poem “In Flanders Fields” John McCrae wrote his poem “In Flanders Fields” just after the battle of Ypres in memory of a fallen friend.just after the battle of Ypres in memory of a fallen friend.

In Flanders FieldsIn Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blowIn Flanders fields the poppies blowBetween the crosses, row on row,Between the crosses, row on row,That mark our place; and in the skyThat mark our place; and in the skyThe larks, still bravely singing, flyThe larks, still bravely singing, flyScarce heard amid the guns below.Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days agoWe are the Dead. Short days agoWe lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,Loved, and were loved, and now we lieLoved, and were loved, and now we lie      In Flanders fields.      In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:Take up our quarrel with the foe:To you from failing hands we throwTo you from failing hands we throwThe torch; be yours to hold it high.The torch; be yours to hold it high.If ye break faith with us who dieIf ye break faith with us who dieWe shall not sleep, though poppies growWe shall not sleep, though poppies grow      In Flanders fields.      In Flanders fields.

1916: The Somme1916: The Somme(July-November)(July-November)

Canadians reputation Canadians reputation grows and are said to be grows and are said to be feared by the Germans.feared by the Germans.

They ran into heavy They ran into heavy fighting and suffered fighting and suffered some 2,600 casualties some 2,600 casualties before the full-scale before the full-scale offensive even got offensive even got underway. underway.

By the end 24 000 troops By the end 24 000 troops are lostare lost

•1st time tanks used (caused more confusion then damage, not good defense against artillery)

The final attack of the Somme, the Canadians advanced to Desire Trench - a remarkable feat of courage and endurance.

Last advance of 1916The autumn rains turned the battlefield into a bog and the offensive staggered to a halt. The line had been moved forward only six miles, though ground of itself was not particularly important

except in terms of morale.

The Allies had suffered some 650,000 casualties, and both The Allies had suffered some 650,000 casualties, and both sides had about 200,000 killed. sides had about 200,000 killed.

Well might the Germans refer to the Battle of the Somme as Well might the Germans refer to the Battle of the Somme as das Blutbad - the blood bath. das Blutbad - the blood bath.

One German officer described the Somme as 'the muddy One German officer described the Somme as 'the muddy graveyard of the German army'; graveyard of the German army';

The Somme had cost Canada 24,029 casualties, but it was The Somme had cost Canada 24,029 casualties, but it was here that the Canadians confirmed their reputation as hard-here that the Canadians confirmed their reputation as hard-hitting shock troops. hitting shock troops.

"The Canadians", wrote Lloyd George, "played a part of "The Canadians", wrote Lloyd George, "played a part of such distinction that henceforward they were marked out as such distinction that henceforward they were marked out as storm troops; for the remainder of the war they were brought storm troops; for the remainder of the war they were brought along to head the assault in one great battle after another. along to head the assault in one great battle after another. Whenever the Germans found the Canadian Corps coming Whenever the Germans found the Canadian Corps coming into the line they prepared for the worst."into the line they prepared for the worst."

British and French British and French had tried to take the had tried to take the ridge earlier in war ridge earlier in war however both failed. however both failed.

1917: Vimy Ridge1917: Vimy Ridge(April 9-12)(April 9-12)

1st Canadian-only 1st Canadian-only offensive (without the offensive (without the British or French).British or French). Led By British Lieutenant-General Julian Byng. Canadian Maj. Gen. Currie, responsible for tactics and planning(lessons learned from Sommes)

Maj. Gen. Currie, Maj. Gen. Currie, Planned and rehearsed their plan Planned and rehearsed their plan before the attack. before the attack.

Instituted the Instituted the Marching BarrageMarching Barrage. Before, artillery . Before, artillery was used to destroy the enemy barbwire and was used to destroy the enemy barbwire and trenches, before sending the troops over the top.trenches, before sending the troops over the top. Unfortunately most of the Germans were in fortified bunkers that Unfortunately most of the Germans were in fortified bunkers that

protected them from the shelling and then would come out of the protected them from the shelling and then would come out of the bunkers when the shelling stopped and open machine gun fire on the bunkers when the shelling stopped and open machine gun fire on the allies. allies.

In the Marching Barrage In the Marching Barrage the troops were ordered the troops were ordered to be right behind the to be right behind the artillery barrage, thus the artillery barrage, thus the enemy would not have enemy would not have enough/as much time to enough/as much time to prepare a defense.prepare a defense.

Canadians learned and followed Canadians learned and followed right behind the artillery shells, thus right behind the artillery shells, thus taking ground quickly and with taking ground quickly and with surprise surprise

Sappers Sappers to dig a tunnel under the to dig a tunnel under the Germans’ trench at the base of the Germans’ trench at the base of the Ridge and set off a massive Ridge and set off a massive explosion. explosion.

This explosion, followed by the This explosion, followed by the marching barrage, caught the marching barrage, caught the Germans by surprise and the ridge Germans by surprise and the ridge was taken by nightfall. was taken by nightfall.

Train tracks built for fast delivery of supplies to front

““If they take Vimy Ridge, they will be going home in a If they take Vimy Ridge, they will be going home in a row boat.”row boat.”

This Canadian victory was highly recognized by all the This Canadian victory was highly recognized by all the Allied countries. Four Victoria Crosses were awarded to Allied countries. Four Victoria Crosses were awarded to Canadian soldiers and Arthur Currie, Commander of the Canadian soldiers and Arthur Currie, Commander of the 1st Canadian Division, was knighted. 1st Canadian Division, was knighted.

Some argue that this is one of the most important Some argue that this is one of the most important landmarks on the road to Canadian nationhood. landmarks on the road to Canadian nationhood.

Canadians however suffered the killing or wounding of Canadians however suffered the killing or wounding of 10,602 soldiers.10,602 soldiers.

1917: Passchendaele1917: Passchendaele(October 26 - November 10)(October 26 - November 10)

The battle saw 16,000 of the 20,000 The battle saw 16,000 of the 20,000 men die here. men die here.

The Pre-attack barrages of the The Pre-attack barrages of the artillery created huge craters in the artillery created huge craters in the ground of ‘no-mans land.’ These ground of ‘no-mans land.’ These holes filled up with water when it holes filled up with water when it rained and drowned many soldiers. rained and drowned many soldiers.

•Canadians move here after Vimy, Canadians move here after Vimy, Currie argued that it was too muddy Currie argued that it was too muddy but was ignoredbut was ignored

The plan: drive a hole in the German lines and advance to the Belgian coast and capture the German submarine bases there.

The land was largely reclaimed marshland, swampy even without rain. After the heavy shelling and lots of August rain no-mans land was an impassable terrain of deep "liquid mud",

The Germans were well entrenched in their pillboxes which the initial bombardment had not destroyed.

The town of Passendale was finally taken by the Canadian forces, but the allies suffered almost half a million casualties, and the Germans, just over a quarter of a million.