Canadian Military History Gateway
Organization > National Defence
Subject > Politics and Society
Date > 1900
During the First World War nearly 3,000 Canadians became prisoners of war.
During the summers in southern Italy, the Canadians wore tropical uniforms like the rest of the British 8th Army. This reconstruction by Ron Volstad shows a corporal of the Royal 22e Régiment, the only Francophone regular infantry regiment in the Canadian army during the war. The unit saw its first action of the war during the landings in Sicily in 1943. Note the famous red patch of the 1st Canadian Division on the upper shoulder. This formation badge dates from the First World War. (Canadian Department of National Defence)
The development of a Canadian army overseas promoted the growth of a Canadian identity that was separate from the British model. Canada's military independence on the battlefield would be succeeded, over the decades, by gradual political independence.
The Spitfire Mk. IX was the third-generation of Supermarine's famous fighter, and the final one equipped with a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. The L.F. Mk. IX was an aircraft optimised for combat at lower altitudes - note the clipped wings shown in this photograph of a surviving example in the collection of the Canadian Aviation Museum. The aircraft bears the 'AU' code letters of 421 'Red Indian' Squadron, Royal Canadian Airforce. 421 Squadron was one of several Canadian fighter squadrons stationed in Europe. (Canadian Department of National Defence, PCN-5234)
Opposition by all groups to the new navy became an issue in the 1911 election that saw Laurier defeated. The navy was mothballed by the new government and a monetary contribution to the British Navy was made instead. Canada’s navy hung on until better times by retaining two mine-sweepers for training purposes.
Canada’s effort during the First World War was exceptional given its small population and its military history. Those Canadians who sacrificed their lives are remembered in the many monuments and cemeteries in Europe.
Built in 1898-1900 to protect the entrance to the Royal Navy (and later the Royal Canadian Navy) base on the Pacific, the battery has been restored to its appearance during the Second World War 1939-45. (Parks Canada)
This officer with his dufflecoat and binoculars is dressed as he would have been on watch at sea. With all badges of rank covered, there is nothing to show his rank, or if he is a member of the Royal Canadian Navy or the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)
This report is an account of the Japanese balloon attacks against the United States and Canada in the final year of the Second World War, and the measures adopted, especially in Canada, to meet this new type of warfare. It also includes information on the effectiveness of the attacks and the types of weapons dropped by the balloons.
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A young Canadian officer, Ralph Wilson Becket, joined the First Special Service Force, a combined Canadian-American mountain warfare force, and saw service at Kiska and the invasion of southern France.