Role,of the Canadian Military
in 20th Century
The Canadian military has taken on different roles throughout the world throughout the 20th century.
Second Boer War from 1899-1902
Britain asked Canada to lend a hand in South Africa as they fought in the second Boer War. Canada did send soldiers. The English Canadians supported helping Britain, but the French Canadians did not. In this picture we see soldiers on horseback. This was the mounted division of our forces. Horses would later be replaced by tanks.
World War 1 from 1914-1918
Canada played an active role in world war one. Again, when Britain declared war on Germany, Canada was automatically brought into the war as well. In this photo, we see what trench warfare looked like. The conditions were horrible…men often got trench foot (see photo below). As well, notice how technology was changing in warfare. The man second from the right is holding a device that acted like a periscope, allowing men in the trenches to look over the mud to see the enemy without having to raise their heads and risk being shot.
Second World War from 1939-1945
Canada was again very active in WW2. The war was fought mainly in Europe. The Allied troops were often greeted with cheers and great appreciation by citizens of war torn regions that were taken over by enemy forces. Notice how tanks are dominant in the second world war.
The Korean War from 1950-1953
Canada did send troops to Korea when North Korea invaded South Korea, but only 312 men died from the fighting. Canada did have an air force, but they served mainly in a supportive role.
The October Crisis in Canada 1970
In October of 1970, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau used the War Measures Act to summon thousands of Canadian military troops throughout Quebec to squash a terrorist crisis in Canada started by the FLQ (Front de liberation du quebec). We protected our own land against our own citizens.
Vietnam war from 1955-1975
The Canadian military did not have a fighting role in Vietnam. They were used to enforce peace treaties that were reached. Some Canadians opposed the Vietnam war and some supported it. The picture above shows how some Canadians did not want to be a part of the war in any way…not even to help the USA. Notice how Canada's role is changing from fighters to peace keepers.
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