The Major Battles of World War I

The Somme
Vimy Ridge
 April – May, 1915
 Ypres, Belgium
 Germans released 5 730
cylinders of chlorine gas
 Unprepared, the French
division fled, leaving the
Canadians to fight.
 Despite many Canadian
casualties, the Allies
saved the situation
 2 days later, the Germans
released gas on the
Canadians. Those in St.
Julien were overrun; the
Candians in Ypres held
 Fighting continued for 3
 In the attempt to hold off
the enemy attack, over
59 000 were lost for the
sake of positions that
had little strategic value.
 It was after this battle
that Lieutenant-Colonel
John McCrae composed
“In Flanders’ Fields”
 July – November, 1916
 Somme, France
 The plan was for a joint
British-French assault on the
Somme (Western Front)
 Many French were killed
protecting the French fortress
of Verdun in February,
making it difficult to
participate in the Somme
 The British went ahead with
their “Big Push”
 The Germans were waiting as
100 000 British troops
advanced from the trenches
in full daylight.
 In one day, almost 58 000
were killed, wounded or
missing. It was the biggest
disaster in British military
 Troops came to help
from the First
Regiment, and soldiered
on bravely.
 The Canadians entered
the “bloodbath” in
September, fighting
through many German
defensive lines
 The Canadians finally
managed to capture
Regina Trench on
November 11, despite the
mud and deaths in the
 April 9-12, 1917
 The battle began at
 Douai Plains, Nord-Pas-
5:28am on Easter
Monday, April 9.
 The Canadians took one
objective after another,
in spite of heavy
machine gun fire
 The Canadians took over
4 000 prisoners and
achieved one of the
greatest victories in the
war up to that time
de-Calais region, France
 Strategic place for
Germans, had fortified it
for 3 years
 Oct – Nov, 1917
 The objective was to
 Passchedaele, near Ypres,
capture German
submarine bases on the
Belgian coast.
 The Germans’ position
was firm, and the British
suffered appalling
 The Canadians were
called to lead one more
 The battlefield was a
muddy bog, and brought
back memories of Ypres.
 Attempts to rebuild
roads , gun platforms,
etc. were slowed by
German aircraft bombs.
 At 5:40am on Oct. 26,
the Canadians attacked,
but could not secure the
 Attacks during late
October and early
November brought much
suffering, but led to the
Canadians securing
many German strong

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