World War 1 Battles – The Battle of Passchendaele
The battle of Passchendaele, also known as The Third Battle of Ypres, was fought during World War 1 during the dates of July 31, 1917 to November 10, 1917. It was fought by the allies against the German empire in Passendale, Belgium, now Passchendaele, on the Ypres Salient on the Western Front. The battle of Passchendaele serves as a powerful emblem of “mud, madness, and senseless slaughter of the Western Front,” (Britannica, 2019).
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In this battle, Canadians officers prevailed even with unimaginable difficulties and showed that they could face the Imperial German Army. It was significant to Canadians as they helped in accomplishing an achievement with expectations of defeating the German Fourth Army. It showed that Canadians were hardworking, persevering soldiers who did not give up even when facing impossible situations. They faced unimaginable counts of casualties, it was a bloodbath, regardless, they pushed forward. Furthermore, Canada’s accomplishment added to the country’s reputation as one of the best offensive combating forces of the Western Front. Canada’s incredible penances and accomplishments on the combat zones of Europe for sure picked up our nation another regard on the worldwide stage.
Under practically ceaseless downpour and shellfire, conditions for the troopers were alarming. Soldiers were advised to rub whale oil into their feet. An interesting story/experience written by The Canadian Encyclopedia said, ““Our feet were in water, over the tops of our boots, all the time,” wrote Arthur Turner, an infantryman from Alberta. “We were given whale oil to rub on our feet . . . this was to prevent trench-feet. To solve it I took off my boots once, and poured half the oil into each foot, then slid my feet into it. It was a gummy mess, but I did not get trench-feet.””
Passchendaele was obtained after enormous, significant costs that are still vividly remembered to this day. 100,000 Canadian soldiers were able to capture Germany-invaded land by combating through horrendous circumstances including mud and enemy fire. The mud and rain, lack of preparedness, and shortage of artillery support made Passchendaele a very different battlefield than many soldiers were accustomed to fighting on. The battle took great bravery in the face of the enemy and the efforts of all were truly exceptional. Many lost their lives, 16,000 killed and wounded, but ultimately this battle was victorious and the sacrifices of those who participated will never be forgotten.
Soldiers attitudes in World War 1
1. In the first few weeks after war was declared, thousands of young men eagerly came forward to join in the cause. Numerous young men were spurred by steadfastness to a thought: generally, patriotism. As noted by The British Library, French and Russian soldiers were guarding their countries from attacks, while others were urged to concentrate on their obligation to their King or Emperor, and such was the position of Canadians. Canadians sought to defend Britain. These thoughts urged men to volunteer for military administration and would keep spirits high on the forefront warfare. Men were driven most importantly by comradeship as they battled close by companions and friends. Recruiting campaigns and peer pressures were additionally other tactics of how young men were urged to go to war and why they were so enthusiastic about it. Furthermore, young men were unaware of to what extent the battle time frame would end and what number of losses were included; oblivious to the unforeseen situations that would take place and would lead to the deaths of thousands.
2. The individuals who participated in the combat of the First World War endured some of the cruellest forms of warfare ever seen. Many officers were not accustomed to the hardships and unexpected situations that came up. Recently developed technological advances made the battlefield and combat zone more deadly and terrifying. New weapons such as the machine gun and poison gas were introduced in the war and made it more unpredictable. When soldiers went into combat they noticed the opposition had dug trenches and placed machine guns in places which would shield their men from foe shelling and enable them to shoot back at the foe without presenting themselves to risk. However, the masses of Canadian soldiers were unaccustomed to these new tactics and confronted horrid, deadly zones of fire. Setbacks were very high, with numerous men killed and injured.
3. Young people today, in all probability, view positions of war far differently in contrast to the youths who lived during the period of the wars. Most know the enormous sacrifices and dangers associated with partaking in battle on war zones, and most would highly doubt enlisting. Youths of today are faced with countless problems right here at home. Why should they care about what is happening on the other side of the world? If it does not directly affect me, why should I waste the effort of making a stand/difference. They are against the idea of going to war and having wars as they are somewhat informed on the casualties it causes. Many young people have the notion that war is not always the solution, and they are quite often right. War is sometimes necessary, however, there are always other options that do not involve getting at each other’s throats.
4. On James Wells Ross’ twitter account was the photo of the death card of Major Ewan Alan MacDougal. He went missing on May 8th, 1916. He left that day with the motive of going out to the headquarters of an infantry battalion. He never arrived and was never heard from again. Major MacDougall’s death card wrote that he was previously reported missing and was presumed dead. The card also held valuable information such as the date of casualty, his unit, and location of unit.
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Another primary source found was a picture of soldiers who were waiting and loading on to a train at Cherry Street Station. These trains were bound for Camp Valcartier in Quebec. A related photo was of how Canada was using the CNE grounds for World War One. It was first decided that training for the military was to be done at Camp Valcartier in Quebec, however, as the war hauled on, the military chose it would bode well for soldiers to prepare locally, utilizing neighborhood structures and offices. What was known as Exhibition Park, soon progressed into Exhibition Camp.
Furthermore, at the start of James Wells Ross’ twitter account is a picture of a newspaper written by The Toronto Daily Star, which in big, bold letters, has the title, “Austria Formally Declares War.” A state of war was proclaimed in Germany. Martial law has been declared throughout military districts of Germany. A few days after that Britain announced war against the country, and so began the journey of Canada through the World War. Hundreds of thousands volunteered to risk their lives for their country. Many came back, many did not. The sacrifices and bravery needed for the war is not forgotten today and will never be erased from the minds of people, old and young.
How did the role of women change after World War 1?
In World War I, many significant changes were made, one of the most memorable was the opening up of a tremendous scope of new job options for them. As men left for enlistment in the army, women were needed to fill in the gaps in the workforce. A study shown in Britain said that approximately two million women filled in vacancies in jobs caused by men leaving. This prompted ladies working in regions of work that were once in the past held for men, for instance as railroad monitors and ticket authorities, transports and cable car conductors, police and firemen. Women also worked in munition factories and on heavy machineries. Nonetheless, they got lower compensation for doing likewise work, and along these lines started probably the earliest requests for equivalent compensation. Although Lesley Hall, a researcher and historian, explained, “Women were earning more than they would have done in their roles before the war. And in their war work roles they were much less constrained than they would have been in jobs like domestic service.”
In 1917, Canada’s Borden government first passed the War Time Election Act, allowing some women to vote. These included women who had husbands, sons, and relatives who were already enlisted in the war. As written by Thoughtco, in 1918, in Britain the vote was given to property-owning ladies beyond 30 years old, the year the war finished, and women in Germany got the vote not long after the war. All the recently made focal and eastern European countries gave ladies the vote, and this was all possible because of the war. Although war is undoubtedly and evidently a terrible event, it led to changes in women’s roles and how the world viewed them.
Taking everything into account, World War 1 changed life for women to improve things, women turned out to be all the more politically and socially included. The privilege to cast a ballot in government and some common decisions were the first of numerous means, and by the mid 1920’s, each territory in Canada, except for Quebec, permitted women the privilege to vote. They were permitted to hold office in Parliament by 1919, and gatherings of ladies started to establish associations devoted to battling for rights and improving the lives of women across the country. After World War One there’s no uncertainty that women’s place in society would never be the same again.
- Daubs, Katie. “World War 1 Soldier’s Diary: James Wells Ross Leaves Toronto for Valcartier.” Thestar.com, The Star, 28 Aug. 2014, https://www.thestar.com/news/world/ww1/2014/08/28/wwi_soldier_james_wells_ross_leaves_toronto_for_valcartier.html?li_source=LI&li_medium=star_web_ymbii.
- Foot, Richard, and R.H. Roy. “Canada and the Battle of Passchendaele.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, The Canadian Encyclopedia, 21 Nov. 2018, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/battle-of-passchendaele.
- “Home Front – How Life for Women Changed during World War One.” BBC Radio 4, BBC, https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1CyKfX4JlmbPdmGHHmFWRcS/how-life-for-women-changed-during-world-war-one.
- Miller, Mary. “Why Aren’t More Young People Involved in the Anti-War Movement?” Common Dreams, Common Dreams, 1 Nov. 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/11/01/why-arent-more-young-people-involved-anti-war-movement.
- S., Anitha, and Pearson R. “Striking Women.” World War I: 1914-1918 | Striking Women, Striking Women | Women and Work, https://www.striking-women.org/module/women-and-work/world-war-i-1914-1918.
- Veterans Affairs Canada. “The Battle of Passchendaele.” Historical Sheets – The First World War – History – Remembrance – Veterans Affairs Canada, 14 Feb. 2019, https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/first-world-war/fact_sheets/passchendaele?wbdisable=true.
- Wilcox, Vanda. “Combat and the Soldier’s Experience in World War One.” The British Library, The British Library, 20 Jan. 2014, https://www.bl.uk/world-war-one/articles/combat-and-soldiers-experiences.
- Wilde, Robert. “An Overview of Women Entering the Workforce During WW1.” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 2 Aug. 2019, https://www.thoughtco.com/women-and-work-world-war-1-1222030.
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