History Browser

Search Results

Date > 1600 > 1680-1689 > 1684

Subject > Strategy and Tactics

Organization > National Defence

The Garrison Staff

Type: Document

The administrative centres of New France - Quebec, Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Louisbourg and New Orleans - each had a governor with a small staff of his own. This 'garrison staff' was responsible for the military administration of the town.

Site: National Defence

Conflicting Strategic Interests

Type: Document

French strategy in Acadia and Newfoundland centred around controlling access to the St. Lawrence River. Competition with Britain and her American colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries led to the fortification and garrisoning of the region.

Site: National Defence

European Tactics: Impractical In Canada

Type: Document

French officers realized that the battlefield tactics of European warfare, dictated by the limited effectiveness of contemporary firearms, would not be enough to defend Canada against an attach by the British. There were not enough defenders to overcome an attack in this way.

Site: National Defence

The Military Shift Westwards

Type: Document

By the end of the 17th Century, Montreal had replaced Quebec as the military centre of Canada. At the hub of several inland waterways, it became the centre of a military expansion west and south. A series of forts were built on the Great Lakes to protect French interests.

Site: National Defence

Irregular Soldiers And Hardened Voyageurs

Type: Document

French colonists in Canada were skilled at shooting and using canoes and snowshoes to travel great distances. These skills were useful for mounting military raids. The Canadians were reluctant to fight in the militia during the 1670s, but became more enthusiastic when war with the Iroquois resumed.

Site: National Defence

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville

Type: Document

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville (1661-1706), son of tactician Charles Le Moyne, was perhaps the greatest soldier New France ever produced. Between 1686 and 1706 he established himself as a master commander both on land and at sea. Also an explorer, he founded the first permanent settlement in Louisiana.

Site: National Defence

Placentia, Newfoundland

Type: Document

Both Great Britain (in 1651 at St. John's) and France (in 1660 at Placentia) established naval bases in Newfoundland to support their fishing fleets on the Grand Banks. The French garrison mutinied, and the base was virtually ungarrisoned until 1687.

Site: National Defence

The Strategic Defence Of Canada

Type: Document

Canada in the early 1680s faced imminent conflict with the British as well as ongoing battles with the Iroquois. To preserve the colony, good fortifications in good condition were essential. Unfortunately, existing fortifications were poorly cared for or very weak.

Site: National Defence

Officers' Duties

Type: Document

Officers were responsible for supervising and leading their men. Their lives were very different from the common soldiers', but relations between the ranks were usually good, in part because of the nature of warfare in New France.

Site: National Defence

An Original Doctrine Of War

Type: Document

Joseph-François Hertel de La Fresnière created the new way of fighting: small mixed forces (including professional officers, French soldiers, Canadian militiamen and Amerindian allies) would employ native tactics of ambush and surprise, combined with European discipline.

Site: National Defence