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Attempts to Increase Military Strength

Type: Document

Despite their disunity, the staff of New France agreed on one thing - the need for more fighting men to defend the colony. During the winter of 1756-57, Governor Vaudreuil reorganized existing resources, and two more battalions from the French metropolitan army were dispatched.

Site: National Defence

Militia Deficiencies

Type: Document

Deficiencies in the militia included a lack of weapons, the tendency of militia members to lose uniforms and equipment, political interference, and rising economic sacrifices by individual members. These problems were compounded by the lack of a real enemy to focus political interest in solving the problems.

Site: National Defence

The British Garrison

Type: Document

In 1755, the British colonies were more lightly garrisoned than their French counterparts. The largest concentration was in Nova Scotia, where 1,500 regular soldiers were stationed. The other colonies had to make due with scattered Independent Companies to support their militia.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Timber Now Vital to Britain

Type: Document

In 1806, developments in Europe made access to Canada crucial to Britain's survival. Emperor Napoleon's France blocked access to the Baltic, the traditional source of timber used in building ships for the Royal Navy. Canada was the only alternative source in British control.

Site: National Defence

The Tide Turns Against New France

Type: Document

In 1758, French attempts to halt General Forbes' British army were not enough to hold the Ohio Valley, and Fort Duquesne had to be blown up. Earlier that summer, Fort Frontenac on Lake Ontario had been taken by Americans. Calls for help fell on deaf ears in France, in trouble in Europe.

Site: National Defence

Large Garrison Still Needed

Type: Document

Defending British North America after the end of the war of 1812 required a large number of British soldiers. Thousands of men were stationed in Upper and Lower Canada, and thousands more in the Maritime colonies.

Site: National Defence

The Invasion of Nova Scotia

Type: Document

Throughout late 1775 and into the summer of 1776, the garrison of Nova Scotia increased in numbers. Colonial regiments raised in America from loyal subjects were an important part of the garrison. Along with additional British regular troops, they secured the colony for the Crown.

Site: National Defence

A Long-awaited Attack

Type: Document

In the fall of 1813, the Americans finally put in motion their long-delayed attack towards Montreal. Two invading columns were launched - one eastwards down the St. Lawrence, and a second up the Châteauguay valley from the south. Six thousand defenders faced the 14,000 invaders.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Reinforcements Raised

Type: Document

During the year 1813, Britain's attention was focused on its fight against Napoleon's troops in Spain. There were limited reinforcements available for North America. To help strengthen the colonies' defences, many units were raised from Canadian volunteers and conscripts.

Site: National Defence

A Dead-End Situation

Type: Document

In 1760, the French position in New France was desperate, with three enemy armies due to converge on Montreal in the spring. French general Lévis decided that the only hope was to retake Quebec from the British before the invaders were reinforced.

Site: National Defence