Military | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article

    Battle of Mackinac Island

    There were two Battles of Mackinac Island during the War of 1812. The first was fought in 1812 and the other, in 1814. Both were British victories over American forces. On 17 July 1812, British soldiers and their First Nations allies captured Fort Mackinac from the Americans. Mackinac was central to the fur trade in the Great Lakes. Britain and the US fought to control the area, and on 4 August 1814, the two sides clashed again on Mackinac Island, resulting in British victory. In 1815, the Treaty of Ghent ended to the war and restored peace to the area.

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  • Article

    Battle of Medak Pocket

    In 1993, during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, Canadian peacekeepers with the United Nations (UN) advanced into disputed territory in Croatia with orders to implement the Medak Pocket ceasefire agreement between the Croatian Army and Serbian irregular forces. Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI), came under Croatian attack for more than 15 hours. In the firefight that ensued – the most significant combat experienced by Canadians since the Korean War – 2 PPCLI held its ground and preserved the UN protected zone. UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said the Canadian soldiers brought credit to their profession, saved lives, and enhanced the credibility of UN peacekeeping forces.

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    Battle of Mississinewa River

    The Battle of Mississinewa River is considered a significant victory for the Americans during the War of 1812. In December 1812, American troops, led by General William H. Harrison, fought against the British-allied Miami, Indigenous peoples who traditionally occupied the lands that became the states of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The battle was in response to raids on American settlements at Fort Wayne and Fort Harrison in the Indiana territory. The primary aim of the battle was to remove the threat of attacks against the Americans.

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  • Article

    Battle of Mons

    ​On 11 November 1918, the last day of the First World War, Canadian forces captured the Belgian town of Mons — liberating a place that had been under German occupation since 1914.

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    Battle of New Orleans

    The Battle of New Orleans (8 January 1815) has the unique distinction of being the last major battle of the War of 1812; it took place after the war was officially over. With the defeat of Napoleon in Europe, Britain could stop fighting a two-front war against both revolutionary France and the United States. Britain began to consolidate its forces in North America to deliver critical blows from both land and sea to the American forces in late 1814. Sadly, for the British, their ambition was forestalled by American gumption and a series of critical failures that prevented their amassed numbers from securing victory.

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  • Article

    Battle of North Point

    Since March 1813, British naval forces under the command of Rear Admiral George Cockburn had positioned naval forces in Chesapeake Bay in order to draw US forces back toward defending the capital on the northeastern seaboard instead of pressing attacks into Canada.

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  • Article

    Battle of Ortona

    In December 1943, as part of the Allied advance through Italy during the Second World War, Canadian forces fought one of their toughest battles of the war in a bid to capture the town of Ortona. The month-long campaign — first at the Moro River outside Ortona, then with vicious street fighting in the town itself — cost more than 2,300 Canadian casualties, but eventually won Ortona for the Allies.

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    Battle of Paardeberg

    The Battle of Paardeberg was the first major British success in the South African War since "Black Week," 10-15 December 1899. Faced by a reorganized British offensive directed at their capitals, the Afrikaners made a stand at Paardeberg, a point on the Modder River some 130 km from Bloemfontein.

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    Canada and the Battle of Passchendaele

    The Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was fought during the First World War from 31 July to 10 November 1917. The battle took place on the Ypres salient on the Western Front, in Belgium, where German and Allied armies had been deadlocked for three years. On 31 July, the British began a new offensive, attempting to break through German lines by capturing a ridge near the ruined village of Passchendaele. After British, Australian and New Zealand troops launched failed assaults, the Canadian Corps joined the battle on 26 October. The Canadians captured the ridge on 6 November, despite heavy rain and shelling that turned the battlefield into a quagmire. Nearly 16,000 Canadians were killed or wounded. The Battle of Passchendaele did nothing to help the Allied effort and became a symbol of the senseless slaughter of the First World War.

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    Battle of Plattsburgh

    The Battle of Plattsburgh (also known as the Battle of Lake Champlain) was a joint land and naval invasion of upper New York State and the last major British operation of the War of 1812 (not including the battles after the Treaty of Ghent), and is largely remembered as a debacle.

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    Battle of Queenston Heights

    The Battle of Queenston Heights was fought during the War of 1812 on 13 October 1812. One of the most famous battles of the war, the Battle of Queenston Heights was the struggle for a portion of the Niagara escarpment overlooking Queenston, where more than 1,000 American soldiers crossed into Upper Canada. Part of the American force reached the top, circled the British artillery position and forced the British from the Heights. General Isaac Brock, one of the most respected British military leaders of his day, was killed leading a counter-attack. Mohawk chiefs John Norton and John Brant and about 80 Haudenosaunee and Delaware warriors held back the Americans for hours — long enough for reinforcements to arrive so that the British could retain the crucial outpost.

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    Battle of Queenston Heights National Historic Site of Canada

    The Battle of Queenston Heights National Historic Site commemorates a battle fought on 13 October 1812, when the British army and Canadian militia, assisted by First Nations allies, defeated an invading American army on the Niagara Escarpment overlooking the village of Queenston.

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  • Article

    Battle of Restigouche

    After the fall of Québec in 1759, an urgent appeal was sent to France for 4000 troops and food supplies. Not until Apr 19 did 5 merchant ships and a frigate leave Bordeaux with 400 troops and some supplies.

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    Battle of Ridgeway

    The Battle of Ridgeway is also known as the Battle of Lime Ridge or Limestone Ridge. It was fought on the morning of 2 June 1866, near the village of Ridgeway and the town of Fort Erie in Canada West (present-day Ontario). Around 850 Canadian soldiers clashed with 750 to 800 Fenians — Irish American insurgents who had crossed the Niagara River from Buffalo, New York. It was the first industrial-era battle to be fought exclusively by Canadian troops and led entirely by Canadian officers. It was the last battle fought in Ontario against a foreign invasion force. The battlefield was designated a National Historic Site in 1921.

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  • Article

    Battle of St-Charles

    On the morning of 25 November 1837, 2 days after Francis Gore's defeat at the Battle of St-Denis and the retreat to Sorel, the troops of Colonel Wetherall (about 350 men) left St-Hilaire and marched on the camp at St-Charles, Manoir Debartzch and its surrounding entrenchments, south of the village.

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