World War I

World War I was nasty. War, not necessity, tends to be the mother of invention. New weapons emerged.

  1. Flame throwers: These weren't used that much but were brutal in their effect. They could throw fire as much as 100 feet. This made them impractical in the confines of the trenches, but could still be devastating under the right circumstances.
  2. Airplanes: These started out as observational vehicles but quickly took on a deadly character as a few pilots brought up pistols to shoot each other.
    • There were "aces" in this war: If you shot down at least five enemy planes, you were considered an ace. Three of the top ten aces were Canadian. The top three pilots were:
      • Manfred von Richthofen (80)
      • Rene Fonck (75)
      • Billy Bishop (72)
  3. Poison gas: Apparently gas was first used by the French, but seems to have been perfected by the Germans. The Second Battle of Ypres seems to have been the first major use of gas, and the first time the Canadians faced it.
    • Originally sent to the enemy by the Germans using a complex series of pipes. This was replaced by shells where gas was lobbed at the enemy.
    • In this case of chlorine gas, death was nearly instantaneous with some sources saying you had one four breaths before you were dead.
    • The only initial defense for the gas was to take cover (the gas didn't always go into low lying areas) or to cover your mouth with a rag soaked in a mild acid that would neutralize the gas.
      • What acid do you find close to the battle field? Uric acid.

Problems emerged. Number one was trench foot which was a number of debilitating diseases that affected the soldiers' feet due to their constant standing on cold ground and generally in puddles.

The Communist Revolution of 1917 took Russia out of the war early as they signed a separate peace treaty (Brest-Litovsk). This deepened the suspicion of Communism in Canadian minds.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.