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First Years of World War I


First Years of World War I First Years of WWI Canada in the War When the start of the war was officially declared on July 28, 1914 and Britain and by extension ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: First Years of World War I

First Years of World War I
First Years of WWI
Canada in the War   When the start of the war was
officially declared on July 28, 1914 and Britain
and by extension Canada joining in a few days
later on August 3, it was time for Canadians to
head over to England to begin training with the
British army. On October 14, 1914, the first
group of Canadians landed in England and were
stationed on Salisbury Plain for four months for
advanced training.
First Years of WWI
Their time in England, however, was miserable
they did not see any action, and during the 123
days that they were stationed on Salisbury Plain,
it rained for 89 of those days. The troops even
booed General Sam Hughes when he came over for an
official inspection. The troops were eager for
action, especially as they had been told by Prime
Minister Robert Borden that they had a duty to
defend the Empire and bring honour to Canada.
First Years of WWI
The Canadians would first see action in February
1915, when they were shipped from England over to
France and sent to the Ypres area to occupy a
series of trenches between the British and French
forces. While fighting in late April at what
later became known as the Battle of First Ypres,
the Canadians experienced the first use of a
secret German weapon.
First Years of WWI
As the men stood around waiting in the trenches,
a greenish cloud rolled towards them when the
cloud reached the first line of trenches, the men
began to cough and choke. They grabbed their
throats and collapsed in agony. The Canadians
became to first victim of a chlorine gas attack
also known as Mustard Gas.
First Years of WWI
Panic quickly took hold of the men in the lines
nobody had ever experienced this before, and they
were unsure of what to do. Soon the French
troops broke from the trenches and ran this
created a large opening in the lines of the
Triple Entente, and the Germans looked to exploit
this new found hole. They jumped out of their
trenches and rushed towards the Canadians.
Rather than run, the Canadians used their
handkerchiefs to cover their mouths and stood
their ground and held off the German advance
until reinforcements arrived, thus helping to
save the Entente line.
(No Transcript)
First Years of WWI
This had been the first time ever that gas had
been used this way in warfare. While it was a
very unreliable method of war, it was
devastating. The gas would be released and using
the winds, it would carry over to the enemy side,
severely damaging the men in the trenches. It
would shred the lungs of whoever inhaled the
toxic fumes those who were lucky were killed.
If you did not die immediately, you faced a long
and painful recovery. The skin of the infected
would burn and become infected.
First Years of WWI
In response to the mustard gas attacks, gas masks
were issued to all troops and anything else
that was a living being. Horses and dogs were
also given masks, as seen below. In retaliation,
the British also began using gas against the
First Years of WWI
CLASS DISCUSSION After the Germans used gas at
the Battle of Ypres, the Allies felt that they
were justified in doing the same. Read the
following reasons given by the British for the
use of gas
First Years of WWI
From a military point of view there can be no
doubt as to the wisdom, in fact of the necessity,
of using gas in order to reply to the many German
attacks of this nature. The question of morale
was bound up in this retaliation. Had the
Germans continued their chemical attacks in a
variety and extent as they did, and had it been
realized that for some reason or other we were
not able to retaliate as they did, and had it
been realized that for some reason or other we
were not able to retaliate in kind, none by the
gravest consequences could have resulted with
regard to morale...
First Years of WWI
  • What is the source of this quote? How can
    identifying the source indicate a bias?
  • What is morale? How is the writer justifying the
    use of gas in relation to the soldiers morale?
  • Why do you think the writer felt compelled to
    justify the use of gas?
  • Do you agree with the writers argument?

First Years of WWI
Canada in the Air   World War I also witnessed
the invention of another form of fighting that
in the air. The airplane was still a relatively
new invention, and World War I was the first time
that it was armed with machine guns and bombs.
The pilots of the War felt that they were the
Knights of the War, flying high above the
trenches and the gas below. A pilot who killed
five enemy planes would earn the title of Ace
and Canadas most famous Ace was Billy Bishop,
who was credited with 72 kills and eventually was
awarded the Victoria Cross.
First Years of WWI
Bishop was celebrated in Canada and seen as a
hero who was single-handily winning the war for
the Triple Entente. He was handsome, brash, and
boastful about what he did which made him
exceptionally popular and a great story. He
became a hero to millions of Canadians at a time
when the nation needed somebody to hail as a
saviour. The problem was that not everything
Bishop claimed was true only years later did any
serious doubt arise about the missions he flew
over Germany.
First Years of WWI
Canada on the Sea The final frontier of the war
was on the sea. If you remember back, one of the
main causes of the war was the MILITARISM of the
European nations, especially Britain and Germany.
Between 1903 and 1914, the two naval rivals were
in a race against one another to build the most
powerful and sophisticated dreadnoughts the
most advanced warships of the time.
First Years of WWI
Britain had developed the larger fleet, although
Germany was not that far behind. The greatest
threat to the British navy was the German use of
submarines, which were known as U-Boats. By
1918, German U-Boats had sunk over 6 million
tonnes of British shipping and was a constant
threat to anything sailing across the Atlantic.
First Years of WWI
In order to combat the presence and success of
the U-Boats, the British developed the convoy
system, where military ships would escort
merchant and supply ships across the Atlantic
Ocean and in the waters around Europe.
First Years of WWI
This was designed to help protect any people and
cargo that was aboard the ship. The warships
were to locate U-Boats by observing their
periscopes and attack them by dropping mines, all
while the cargo ships sailed safely to their
destination. This would be vital for Britain, as
it allowed its colonies, including Canada, to
safely supply the motherland with anything and
everything that they needed.
First Years of WWI
Canada in the Trenches   One of the reasons that
the use of mustard gas proved ineffective was the
trench system. As we learned last day, the
trenches came about because the Schlieffen Plan
had failed as the Germans had hoped. They were
unable to take France because they had to split
their army in two in order to hold off the
Russians on the Eastern Front. As a result, both
side the Entente and the Alliance were forced
to dig into the ground and create an elaborate
set of trenches in order to make sure that
neither side gained too much land.
First Years of WWI
By 1916, the third year of the war, the fighting
had become a stalemate. The sides would fight
over as little as a few hundred yards of land
during each engagement, and the war became more
permanent as the trench system became a fact of
the war.
First Years of WWI
The trenches were organized into two major zones
the front line and support trenches were
connected by communication tunnels, which the
second line of trenches included latrines,
medical areas and rest areas. The front line
trenches were those nearest to the enemy, and
therefore the most dangerous. Immediately in
front of the front line trenches were massive
amounts of barbed wire, which were designed to
prevent the enemy from charging into your trench.
First Years of WWI
First Years of WWI
First Years of WWI
Not only that, but the trench needed to be deep
enough to conceal a standing soldier from enemy
snipers. In order for soldier to jump out of the
trench and go Over the Top, there were steps
build immediately before the ledge of the front
line trench.
First Years of WWI
First Years of WWI
In going Over the Top, soldiers faced an
incredible difficulty getting to the enemy
trench. After jumping out of their trench,
soldiers would have to cut through the barbed
wire from there, they had to cross No Mans
Land, a brutal area where soldiers were out in
the open and completely open to fire upon. While
soldiers were crossing No Mans Land, remaining
soldiers in the trenches would shell the enemys
trench with heavy artillery and even mustard gas
all in an attempt to help your own soldiers get
across alive.
First Years of WWI
The trenches were widespread all over Europe.
Both the British and the Germans had developed
complex and incredible trench networks that
provided support and living arrangements for
their soldiers. You could move for hundreds of
miles throughout the trench systems without ever
seeing the enemy the problem, however, was that
if you could not see the enemy, there was the
chance that you would never move forward, leaving
the possibility of a stalemate that could last
(No Transcript)
First Years of WWI
Life in the trenches was awful. As the trenches
were often built close to waterways, the trenches
would flood quite often. Many men suffered from
a severe condition known as trench foot, with was
an inflammation similar to frostbite. If not
treated quickly, a soldier could lose their foot.
To prevent this condition, soldiers were ordered
to keep their feet dry and rub oil on them to
keep moisture away. This would prove to be
impossible because of the constant flooding and
lack of dry space in the trenches.
First Years of WWI
Shell shock was also a common occurrence for men
in the trenches. Men on the front lines faced
constant levels of high stress and rarely slept
the consistent fire and shelling of the trenches
caused some men severe psychological damage.
Many men suffered nervous breakdowns and were
unable to fight.
First Years of WWI
Many of the new weapons that were developed in
the twentieth century contributed to the
soldiers psychological stress. The machine gun
made its first major appearance in war. These
weapons would move to side to side, spraying then
men with bullets in an unrelenting fashion. When
men would go Over the Top, the enemy could
simply mow them down.
First Years of WWI
The constant attacks that each side launched
against the other failed to establish any major
breakthroughs on the ground. Little new land was
ever captures by either side. Whenever one side
captured any land, the other side would usually
quickly take it back.
First Years of WWI
The tank was also a weapon that made its debut in
World War I. The tank could simply roll over the
barbed wire and trenches, but they proved to be
unreliable as the engines would often stall or
break down, or the inside of the tank would fill
with gas fumes. Eventually, some generals sent
tanks without anybody inside of them across to
the enemy trench in hopes that it would do enough
damage that the soldiers could then take over the