Sunday, September 23, 2018

Canada's Hundred Days

It was a free Great War living history weekend at Toronto's historic Fort York during the September 22-23, 2018 reenactment and displays showcasing Canada's contribution to World War I. The military displays also included current Canadian Forces personnel from the 32 Signals Regiment with some period communications devices, which included a lot of small mirrors. Free admission to the fort and the displays were partly funded by Veterans Affairs Canada. My favorite display was of the field hospital where nurses also had a cat with two jobs - mouser and comfort kitty.
Victory in the trenches
An ambulance returns with the wounded

The friends of Fort York said "Discover the remarkable Canadian contribution made in the final days of the First World War. Take in the martial sights and sounds of 100 years ago through military displays and real-time demonstrations of drill and tactics by accurately uniformed First World War re-enactment units. Sample authentic foods from the front line and the home front. Watch ten short films from Toronto's Great War Attic and learn about the amazing contributions made by all Canadians to what they called The War to End All Wars."
Canada's Hundred Days was named for the period from August 8 - November 11 of 1918 where the Canadian Corps successfully attacked the German army, suffering heavy casualties during the assault against the Hindenberg Line. Veterans Affairs Canada says of the fighting; "Between August 26 and September 2, in hard continuous fighting, the Canadian Corps launched a succession of attacks that broke through the German defences, including breaching the infamous Drocourt-Queant Line, in front of the Canal du Nord, part of the main Hindenburg Line. The rapid movement from the Somme caught the Germans by surprise, but nevertheless the fighting was most intense and the Canadians suffered 11,400 casualties. Currie regarded the breaching of the line as "one of the finest feats in our history.""

Canada then breached the Hindenburg Line on September 27, following the war's largest one day bombardment, crossed the canal breaching three lines of enemy defences and captured Bourlon Wood and later Cambrai and Canal de la Sensee. The long war to end all wars finally came to an end with an armistice and the Canadians helped to occupy Europe before the troops returned home in 1919.

See more of the demonstrations after the jump.

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