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Canadian History for Kids: Canada's Hundred Days

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One and Canadian History for Kids have assembled 31 remarkable stories about incredible people, places and events which helped shape our amazing nation.

A grateful nation never forgets a hero.

The great achievements of Canadian soldiers on battlefields such as Ypres, Vimy and Passchendaele – to name just a few – ignited a sense of national pride and a confidence that Canada could stand on the world stage alone.

Our many achievements on the battlefield were capped by a three-month stretch of victories at the end of the war during what came to be known as “Canada’s Hundred Days”.

Canada’s Hundred Days was a series of assaults made along the Western Front by the Canadian Corps during the Hundred Days Offensive of World War I.

During this time, the Canadian Corps fought at Amiens, Arras, the Hindenburg Line, the Canal du Nord, Bourlon Wood, Cambrai, Denain, Valenciennes and in conclusion at Mons, on the final day of the First World War.

As the war proceeded, Canada’s victories in battles like those at Vimy Ridge, France and Passchendaele, Belgium, had earned its army the status for being the best-attacking Allied troops on the Western Front. When the Allies planned the assaults that would eventually win the war, Canada’s soldiers were given the duty of being at the lead of the attacks.
The Canadian Corps’ reputation was such that the mere presence of Canadians on a section of the front would warn the enemy that an attack was coming.

This meant that great secrecy would be involved in the activities of the Canadian Corps. A large offensive was planned in France in August 1918 and Canadian troops were shifted north to Ypres, Belgium. This made the Germans think a major attack was coming there before the Canadians secretly hurried back to the Amiens sector for the real attack.

On August 8, Canada led the way in an offensive that saw them advance 20 kilometres in three days.

This breakthrough was a remarkable development and dashed enemy morale, with the German high commander calling it “the black day of the German Army.”

With German resistance collapsing, the armistice was finally signed on November 11, 1918. Canadians fought to the very end with the war’s last Canadian combat death, Private George Lawrence Price, happening just two minutes before the fighting officially ended.

The war was finally over. The Canadian Corps’ actions from August 8 to November 11 were truly remarkable—more than 100,000 Canadians advanced 130 kilometres and captured approximately 32,000 prisoners and nearly 3,800 artillery pieces, machine guns and mortars.

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