The Second Battle of Ypres

The Second Battle
of Ypres
April – May, 1915
As It Began
• This was the first major battle for the Canadians
• This was also the first time Chlorine gas was
used on the Western Front.
•No one knew or understood what
chemical weapons could do.
The Structure
• British troops were to the right of the
• Algerian and French troops were to the
• The gas attack first hit the Algerians who,
not knowing what it was, fled the field.
Chlorine Gas
• 57,350 canisters (160 tons) of chlorine gas
was released by the Germans
• The gas is an acid that eats away at the
lining of the eyes, nose, throat, ears, and
skin of its victim.
Canada’s Response
• Seeing the four mile gap left in the line by
the fleeing soldiers, the Canadians thinned
their own line to cover the gap.
• They, too were hit with gas, but these men
did not retreat. Rather, they soaked their
handkerchiefs in urine, wrapped them
around their noses and mouths, and held
the line.
• Canadian troops earned four Victoria Crosses
that day
• 59,000 allied casualties
• 6,000 Canadian dead,
missing or wounded
• The Canadian reputation as a
tough fighting force was born
• John McRae wrote the very famous poem, “In
Flanders Fields”
Ypres Remembers
• Today a memorial
marks the spot of
Canada’s amazing
Additional Stories
• Ross Rifle Scandal
• Uniforms and Boots
Crucified Canadian Soldier (Canada’s Galgotha)
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