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Battle of Vimy Ridge

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was fought during the First World War from 9 to 12 April 1917. It is Canada’s most celebrated military victory — an often mythologized symbol of the birth of Canadian national pride and awareness. The battle took place on the Western Front, in northern France. The four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time, attacked the ridge from 9 to 12 April 1917 and captured it from the German army. It was the largest territorial advance of any Allied force to that point in the war — but it would mean little to the outcome of the conflict. More than 10,600 Canadians were killed and wounded in the assault. Today an iconic memorial atop the ridge honours the 11,285 Canadians killed in France throughout the war who have no known graves.

This is the full-length entry about the Battle of Vimy Ridge. For a plain-language summary, please see Battle of Vimy Ridge (Plain-Language Summary).

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12e Régiment blindé du Canada

12e Régiment blindé du Canada (12e RBC) is the junior of three regular armoured regiments in the Canadian Army. The regiment was established in 1871 as a militia infantry battalion and was converted to an armoured regiment in 1936. In 1968, the Regular Force regiment was formed, designated 12e RBC. The regiment or detached squadrons have served in peace operations and in Afghanistan. 12e RBC has been based at CFB Valcartier, Quebec, since 1968 and is part of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, 2nd Canadian Division.

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Battle of Cambrai

The Battle of Cambrai in northern France took place from 27 September to 11 October 1918, during the First World War. The battle was among the Canadian Corps' most impressive tactical victories of the war, particularly because of the Canadians' skillful use of military engineers. It was part of a series of connected battles at the start of the Hundred Days Campaign, which would lead to the defeat of Germany and the end the war.

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Battle of the Plains of Abraham

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham (13 September 1759), also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal moment in the Seven Years’ War and in the history of Canada. A British invasion force led by General James Wolfe defeated French troops under the Marquis de Montcalm, leading to the surrender of Quebec to the British. Both commanding officers died from wounds sustained during the battle. The French never recaptured Quebec and effectively lost control of New France in 1760. At the end of the war in 1763 France surrendered many of its colonial possessions — including Canada — to the British.

(This is the full-length entry about the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. For a plain-language summary, please see Battle of the Plains of Abraham (Plain-Language Summary).)

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Canada and the Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was fought during the First World War from 1 July to 18 November 1916. In the summer of 1916 the British launched the largest battle of the war on the Western Front, against German lines. The offensive was one of the bloodiest in human history. Over the course of five months, approximately 1.2 million men were killed or wounded at the Somme. The Canadian Corps (see Canadian Expeditionary Force) was involved in the final three months of fighting. On the first day of the offensive, the First Newfoundland Regiment, which was not part of the Canadian forces, was nearly annihilated at Beaumont-Hamel. The Battle of the Somme produced little gains and has long been an example of senseless slaughter and the futility of trench warfare (see also The Somme).

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War of 1812

The War of 1812 (which lasted from 1812 to 1814) was a military conflict between the United States and Great Britain. As a colony of Great Britain, Canada was swept up in the War of 1812 and was invaded a number of times by the Americans. The war was fought in Upper Canada, Lower Canada, on the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, and in the United States. The peace treaty of Ghent, which ended the war, largely returned the status quo. However, in Canada, the war contributed to a growing sense of national identity, including the idea that civilian soldiers were largely responsible for repelling the American invaders. In contrast, the First Nations allies of the British and Canadian cause suffered much because of the war; not only had they lost many warriors (including the great Tecumseh), they also lost any hope of halting American expansion in the west, and their contributions were quickly forgotten by their British and Canadian allies. Similarly, Black volunteers, including those in the Coloured Corps, received little recognition or reward for their service.

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The War of 1812 (Plain-Language Summary)

The War of 1812 was fought between Britain and the United States between 1812 and 1814. The war ended in a stalemate but had many lasting effects in Canada. It guaranteed Canada’s independence from the United States. It also gave Canadians their first experience working together as a community and helped develop a sense of nationhood.

(This article is a plain-language summary of the War of 1812. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry War of 1812.)

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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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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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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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Battle of Lake Erie (Battle of Put-in-Bay)

The Battle of Lake Erie was a naval battle fought by the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy on 10 September 1813 in western Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Also known as the Battle of Put-in-Bay, the battle was an American victory. The event was unique in naval combat history because it was fought on an inland, freshwater sea, and it marked a turning point in the affairs of the two competing powers in the continental heartland and in waters above Lake Erie. It also had an impact on First Nations, notably on the ill-fated pan-Indigenous alliance headed by the Shawnee war chief, Tecumseh.

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Battle of Beaver Dams

The Battle of Beaver Dams took place during the War of 1812. On 24 June 1813, American troops marched from Fort George and intended to surprise the British at Beaver Dams. Laura Secord, a woman living in Queenston where the Americans had temporarily lodged, learned about this plan, and set off on a journey to warn the British. When the Americans resumed their trek to Beaver Dams, they were ambushed by Kanyen'kehà:ka (Mohawk) and other Indigenous warriors. The Americans lost the battle, surrendering to British troops led by Lieutenant James FitzGibbon (also spelled Fitzgibbon). The Battle of Beaver Dams established the importance of professional soldiering, Indigenous warfare and luck involved in British victory.