Canadian Military History Gateway
Subject > Wars, Battles and Conflicts > Early History to 1603
Resource Type > Image
This house was reconstructed in the style of those built by the Vikings at l’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland around the year 1000. (Parks Canada)
L’Anse aux Meadows was the site of a Viking settlement at around the year 1,000. The area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Parks Canada)
This picture of a ship is engraved on a plank of the galleon San Juan, which sank in Red Bay, Labrador, in 1565. (Parks Canada)
This Norman (or Viking) axe man holds a Danish style battle axe. Vikings were also called ‘Norman’ — men of the north — by the Dark Ages French. A large group of Vikings occupied and settled on the north-western coast of France in what became Normandy. This is the region from which many of the French settlers to New France came in the 17th century. It is also where the Canadian Army landed on D-Day on 6 June 1944. Print after Viollet-Leduc from the Bayeux tapestry.
The sleek design of these ships made them the fastest, most seaworthy craft of their time. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)
The weather shown hitting these Spanish ships was encountered by the Basque whalers based in Labrador during the second half of the 16th century. Occasionally, ships were lost. One such was the San Juan, sunk in Red Bay, Labrador in 1565.
The vessels of Cartier's expedition are dwarfed by the dramatic scenery at Brion, Iles-de-la-Madeleine.
Archers and crossbowmen were commonly found on ships and in the early overseas settlements of the first half of the 16th century. Such soldiers were most likely part of the early Portuguese forays to Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island. (Museu de Arte Antiguo, Lisbon)
The Iroquois were surprised and fearful at first of Cartier's cannon, but their awe did not last very long.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert's British colony on Newfoundland failed partially because the colonists were more anxious to find silver mines than to plant crops. On 5 August 1583, Sir Humphrey claimed the island in a ceremony that involved his holding a twig of a hazel tree and a sod of earth. That winter, the explorer sailed back to England and was lost at sea when his ship sank in a storm.