Fighting

Grenades in trench warfare

One lesson of trench warfare was that "bombing" (or using hand grenades) was much more important in capturing and clearing enemy trenches than had been imagined before the war. As a result, training manuals like this one by James Ferris, who joined the 63rd Battalion in Edmonton in July 1915, were published as a way to pass on new tactical knowledge.

News from around the war

An Edmonton radio station compiled this almanac of events of the Second World War, beginning with British leaders attending talks in Rome on 11 January 1939 and ending with changes to the butter ration on 14 December 1946.

View PDF: CJCA War Diary.pdf

News for signallers

Printed after the end of the Second World War in Europe, this issue covered demobilization policy, sports news, entertainment, and an exhortation to vote in the 1945 federal election.

View PDF: Link.pdf

Don't be neutral!

Did Canadians really enlist in the First World War to help Belgium? The Hamilton Recruiting League obviously thought so, and used Belgium as the subject of one of its recruiting cards.

Lessons in anti-tank warfare

Written in 1939, this training pamphlet was distributed before the British or Canadian army had much experience with modern anti-tank warfare.

View PDF: AT Regiments.pdf

"Assigned Pay will be discontinued"

One of the few drawbacks of returning to Canada after the First World War was the end of the separation allowance and assigned pay that had been remitted to one's next of kin.

Conducting of Troops

The complexities involved in moving large numbers of soldiers in an orderly fashion are outlined in this booklet, which was printed not long before the end of the First World War.

A nurse and her patients

British nurse Sarah Arnold kept a diary while she worked at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading during the First World War but instead of writing in it herself, she asked her patients (including some wounded Canadian soldiers) to write of their experiences. After the war, Arnold married John Bridgman of Aberdeen, Saskatchewan, one of the soldiers she had nursed.

View PDF: Arnold diary.pdf
Infantry Training, Part 1: The Infantry Battalion (1944)

Infantry Training, Part I: The Infantry Battalion

The UK War Office produced and issued a series of short training manuals used by both the British and Canadian armies. Collectively, these manuals established the doctrine, or tactical procedures, for both armies throughout the war. This 1944 manual concerns the operation of the infantry battalion.

The Canadian War

This masthead of this First World War magazine told readers everything they needed to know about its editorial position: "Patriotism - Union - Victory ; Written and Edited Without Remuneration ; Devoted Entirely to Propaganda for the War."

Infantry Training, Part VII, Section and Platoon Tactics

The UK War Office produced and issued a series of short training manuals used by both the British and Canadian armies. Collectively, these manuals established the doctrine, or tactical procedures, for both armies throughout the war. This 1944 manual on the tactics of small units reflected the experience gained in North Africa and Italy.

Mackenzie King's manpower policy

The federal government of prime minister Mackenzie King used St Jean Baptiste Day, an important holiday in French Canada, as the occasion to clarify its manpower policy for the benefit of French Canadians.

Politics in wartime

In this radio broadcast, Union Nationale provincial cabinet minister Anatole Carignan criticized federal cabinet minister Ernest Lapointe for ignoring the wishes of Quebec. Carignan was defeated in the 1939 Quebec provincial election.

At war with Japan

After the surprise Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Canada lost no time in declaring war on Japan.

Widening the war

On 7 December 1941, the federal government announced that a state of war existed between Canada and Romania, Hungary, and Finland.

The advance through Italy

The messages from Generals Alexander and Leese were sent to the troops at the end of a period of bitter fighting in Italy. In the weeks that followed, Allied troops (with the Canadians in reserve) would continue the advance, eventually capturing Rome in June 1944.

1 Canadian Corps leaves Italy

Early in 1945, Canadian units were withdrawn from the campaign in Italy so they could join the Canadian divisions fighting in north-west Europe. On their departure, the army commander thanked them for their work since the invasion of Sicily in July 1943.

Certificate of Honour

First World War veteran Eli Spencer also served in uniform during the Second World War, and was given this certificate (along with a wallet-size version) by the city of Ottawa in recognition of his service.

Recruiting in Toronto

Before the First World War was twelve months old, citizens' recruiting groups had swung into action to ensure that there were sufficient numbers of volunteers coming forward to reinforce Canadian units at the front.

Change of command in Italy

Richard McCreery took over the Eighth Army in Italy (including I Canadian Corps) from Oliver Leese, and remained in command through the rest of the campaign.

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