During the early 1900s Canada was a newly developed country under British influence, lacking self identity and was ignored by the world superpowers. However, Canada began to change that by turning from isolationism to internationalism and started to grow into a respected world power. Canada became a well respected country for its involvement around the world and its influence on other countries. Also, Canada became renowned for its involvement in the Great War, World War II, the Korean War and their many peacekeeping missions. Canada’s world power first came into existence when they became involved in the Great War; this gave them recognition and with that they began to have major influences in the world. The following paragraphs will elaborate on how Canada developed its military and peace keeping abilities to gain recognition on the world’s center stage.
Canada’s first involvement in international events started with World War I, where Canadians came together for the first time as one nation. Many great battles of World War I were fought by Canadian forces which helped place Canada in the center stage of the world with the other superpowers. One of the major battles fought by Canadians is the battle of Ypres where Canadians gained their reputation as warriors as their held their line against the ferocious German gas attacks. Germans released many deadly cylinders of chlorine gas into the wind towards no-mans land causing French soldiers to gasp for air and eventually run away. However, under the odds of the gas attack Canadian troops held their ground against the Germans (Cook, 1969, pg 167). Using water soaked or even urine soaked handkerchiefs held over their mouths and noses they fended off the gas attack by the Germans. An American war correspondent wrote of this exploit, “The Canadians made a stand which was to be remembered as one of the heroic episodes of the war” (Cook, 1969, pg 167).
In addition to Ypres, another great battle fought by Canadians forces was the battle at Vimy Ridge, a German stronghold that couldn’t be captured by allied forces. Both the British and French tried to take Vimy Ridge from the Germans several times, each time a failure. The Canadians were given the job of capturing this key position from the Germans and with careful planning, training and reconnaissance that’s what they did, a feat no other country could (Ferguson, 2005, pg 274). British Prime Minister David Lloyd George wrote, “Whenever the Germans found Canadian Corps coming into the line, they prepared for the worst” (Ferguson, 2005, pg 275). This gave Canadians a sense of pride and patriotism as they won the high grounds in northern France, Vimy Ridge. A war veteran remembering Vimy Ridge wrote, “We went up Vimy Ridge as Albertans and Nova Scotians. We came down as Canadians” (Ferguson, 2005, pg 274).
Other than the war on land a great part of the war was played in the air, British air fleets consisted mostly of Canadian pilots who helped to...