Explore History

First World War (1914-1918)
The U-Boat Menace

The emergence of the submarine was a major development in naval warfare. German submarine - or U-Boat - attacks against Allied shipping in the Atlantic and in European waters posed a major threat to the Allied war effort.

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Life Ring, SS Brussels
Canada's Grand Armada, 1914

The First Canadian Contingent sailed for England in October 1914 with over 31,000 troops on board 31 ocean liners escorted by Royal Navy warships.

This large oil painting by Frederick Sproston Challener depicts the convoy of ships carrying the First Contingent forming up in Bay of Gaspé, Quebec before leaving for England. With Canada at war from 4 August 1914, Canadian recruits from across the country converged on the army's newly-constructed Valcartier Camp near Quebec City. There, they trained for about two months before marching to Quebec City where soldiers, guns, horses, and war supplies were crammed onto ships for overseas transport.

Canada's Grand Armada, 1914
Painted by Frederick Sproston Challener in 1919
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
CWM 19710261-0120

The Return of U-9
U-Boat Deck Gun
Periscope Lens, U-117
U-Boat Signalling Lamp
Cut-Away German U-Boat Mine
German Naval Mine, U-153
SS Audax Sinking
Life Ring, SS Brussels
Life Ring, UC-77