First World War 1914-1918
In early 1915, the Canadians joined the British in the trenches of France and Belgium. Canadians participated in battles on the Western Front.
The Canadian Artillery directed bombardments against trenches, machine gun deployments, and dugouts. LCol A. G. L. McNaughton led in the development of counter-battery techniques to target enemy guns.
In 1916, Canada had four divisions with hundreds of guns. BGen E. W. B. "Dinky" Morrison commanded the Artillery. The main field guns included the QF 13 Pounder with the RCHA, and the QF 18 Pounder and the 4.5 Inch Howitzer with the RCA.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge, from 9 to 12 April 1917, set a new standard for artillery support to deal with strong enemy positions and counterattacks. The creeping barrage also evolved to protect advancing troops. These developments helped Canadians win the battle, which had eluded the British and the French.
In the spring of 1918, the Germans made one last effort to break the stalemate in Europe. After some initial success, the Spring Offensive began to falter against Allied resistance.
During the Last Hundred Days, the Allies were on the offensive to defeat Germany and end the war. Canadian Gunners operated field guns, horse artillery and anti-aircraft guns. The fighting stopped with the defeat of Germany and the Armistice of 11 November 1918.
During WW1, Canadian Gunners supported the infantry at all costs. From 1914 to1918, more than 600,000 Canadians joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Over 60,000 gave their lives and 170,000 were wounded. Of these, 2,565 Gunners died and 8,066 were among the wounded.
Three Canadian field batteries supported anti-communist forces in North Russia and Siberia (1918-1919). Canada also placed Garrison Artillery on the Island of St. Lucia in the British West Indies (1915-1919).