In 1914 with a regular army of only 3,110 men Canada was ill-prepared to enter World War I (1914-1918). Yet, in a display of incredible unanimity thousands of young Canadians volunteered to fight for the Allied cause. Ultimately the Canadian contribution was the most important non-British contingent within the vast Allied armies with a total of nearly 700,000 Canadians in uniform. For a nation of only 8 million people this was a remarkable war effort and nearly one of every ten who fought in the war did not return. The Canadians served in all the major conflicts on the Western Front; they were the first troops to suffer a gas attack in 1915 and served at Ypres and the Somme. The Canadian Corps is most famously remembered for their victory at Vimy Ridge one of the major successes of the war. This victory was also a national coming of age, having started the war as a single division under British command, here for the first time the four divisions of the Canadian Corps had attacked and triumphed together.
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June 19, 2007
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