Chronology of Canadian Military History Canadian Military History, Colonial Period, New France, First Peoples, Seven Years War, French Indian War Canadian Military History, British North America, American Invasion, War of 1812, Dominion of Canada, Riel Rebellion, South African War Canadian Military History, World War 1 History, 1914-1918, Canadian Armed Forces, conscription Canadian Military History, World War 2, 1939-1945, Battle of the Atlantic, conscription, invasion, Dday, Normandy, Germany, axis, allies, Hong Kong, Dieppe 1946-today
Canada and the 
First World War
The First World War
The Canadian Expeditionary Force
Vimy Ridge
Recruitment and Conscription
The Canadian Corps: Spearhead to Victory
Canadians on other Fronts
Canada and the Air War
Canada and the War at Sea
The Aftermath
Canada between the Wars
Canada in World Affairs



In February 1915, Canadian troops took up positions along the Western Front in France and Belgium.

The war quickly reached a stalemate. Each side dug a complex series of damp, uncomfortable trenches protected by barbed wire. The men lived in these to shield themselves from observation and the machine-gun and artillery fire that swept the battlefields. In April 1915, the 1st Canadian Division fought the grim Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium, during which the Germans introduced poison gas to the Western Front.

A costly war of attrition followed for over a year and more Canadian divisions joined the struggle. In the late summer and autumn of 1916, the Canadians fought under gruelling conditions to advance only a few miles on the Somme front. By October 1916, the Canadian Corps had grown to four infantry divisions supported by strong artillery, cavalry, engineer, and auxiliary forces, a total of more than 80,000 men.

The Canadian Expeditionary Force

NAC-c- 6984

Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0M8