Life on the line

The Second World War put 750,000 Canadians into khaki uniforms. Men from all parts of the country suddenly found themselves living in barracks and learning how to be soldiers. The transition was not easy and everyone had to learn to march, shoot and fight. The tens of thousands who saw action had to adjust...
  • Slaughter At St-Éloi: Army, Part 55

    November 1, 2004 by Terry Copp
    PHOTO: NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF CANADA, Walter B. Riddiford–PA145659 Canadian soldiers enjoy coffee on the Western Front in 1916. When the government of Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany decided to change the balance of power in Europe by military action, it did so in the firm belief that...
  • Trench Warfare In 1915: Army, Part 54

    September 1, 2004 by Terry Copp
    PHOTO: HORACE BROWN, NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF CANADA—PA107276 Canadian troops share a smoke in the trenches in France in 1915. The last elements of 1st Canadian Infantry Division left the Ypres salient on May 4, 1915, having suffered just over 6,000 casualties. One Canadian battalion, the...
  • The Horrors Of Gas Warfare: Army, Part 53

    July 1, 2004 by Terry Copp
    Photo: national archives of canada Richard Jack’s painting, The Second Battle of Ypres, depicts the battle scene in 1915. While 1st Canadian Infantry Division was training and re-equipping in England, the war on the Western Front had become stalemated. Trenches began to stretch from the...
  • Turning To World War I: Army, Part 52

    May 1, 2004 by Terry Copp
    From top: Bell tents and men fill a field at Camp Valcartier, Que., in 1914; A march-past is organized at Camp Borden, Ont., in July 1916; (Inset) Sir Sam Hughes (right) visits Camp Valcartier in September 1914. Most of the world remembers World War I...
  • The Fall Of The Reich: Army, Part 51

    March 1, 2004 by Terry Copp
    Canadian soldiers toss their hats in the air in celebration of the formal surrender of German forces in the Netherlands. The date is May 5, 1945. Starting a war is easy, the difficult part is ending it. When Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met at Yalta...
  • The Liberation Of Western Holland: Army, Part 50

    January 1, 2004 by Terry Copp
    Canadian soldiers come to the aid of a comrade wounded by sniper fire near Laren in the Netherlands. The 5th Canadian Armoured Division–Major-General Bert Hoffmeister’s Mighty Maroon Machine–began operations in the Netherlands on March 21, 1945 when the Westminster Regiment (Motor) took over a sector...
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