Sir Max Aitken [Lord Beaverbrook], Canada in Flanders (New York: Hodder and Stoughton, 1916-17). ©Chinook Multimedia Inc

"Gas Attack at Ypres."


On battlefields defined by elaborate networks of trenches and dominated by machine gun and artillery fire, the Canadian army began to develop new tactics and new methods for the use of artillery and the machine gun.

Trench Warfare

For most of the war, the combatants faced each other in an elaborate network of trenches augmented by minefields, sand bags, and barbed wire. Machine guns and artillery were used to pound enemy positions and to prepare for attack.


The German army first used poison gas during an assault at the Ypres salient.


Canadian troops fought bravely at St. Eloi and Mount Sorrell in Flanders but suffered heavy casualties, possibly due in some part to the failure of the Canadian-made Ross rifle.

The Somme

At a cost of 600,000 casualties for a gain of 13 kilometres, the Battle of the Somme epitomized the futility of trench warfare and the unimaginative tactics of military commanders.


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