History Browser

Search Results

Resource Type > Film and Video

Subject > Wars, Battles and Conflicts

1917: The Battle of Passchendaele

Type: Film and Video

On Nov. 6, 1917 Canadian troops captured Belgium's Passchendaele ridge, ending a gruelling offensive that had begun on July 31, 1917. The Battle of Passchendaele is remembered for its atrocious conditions, heavy casualties and Canadian valour. Canadians, instrumental in securing victory, earned a total of nine Victoria Crosses for their courage. In this CBC Radio documentary marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, survivors describe feeling a sense of pride at having succeeded where those before them had failed.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Battle of the Somme

Type: Film and Video

By 1916, the First World War has become a stalemate. The battlefields of Europe have been dug into 800 kilometres of trenches. Men are dying, but no ground is being won or lost. On July 1, 1916, 150,000 Allied troops - including thousands of Canadians and Newfoundlanders - go over the top in an attempt to open up the western front. The result is a bloodbath. In this clip from the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, historian Martin Gilbert describes the futility of "The Big Push."

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Remembering VE-Day 40 Years Later

Type: Film and Video

May 8, 1945, was a day to celebrate. It was VE-Day, the long-awaited moment when the Allied forces triumphed over Nazi Germany to claim victory in Europe. But the joy brought by news of peace was dampened by the memory of fallen comrades and the ongoing war in the Pacific. From the liberation of Holland through the German surrender, celebrations in Canada and the servicemen's return, CBC Archives follows Canadians as the war ends in Europe.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Remembering the Last Canadian Combat Veteran

Type: Film and Video

Clare Laking was 18 when he defied his father's wishes and left the family farm to enlist. He arrived in France just after Vimy Ridge, serving as a signaller who ran telephone wire along the trenches. Though he was wounded by a German shell, he believes he was the only farm boy from his area to return alive. Clare Laking died on Nov. 26, 2005, at age 106. He was the last of over 600,000 Canadians to fight in the Great War.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Revelry Goes Rancid in Halifax Riot

Type: Film and Video

Pubs and liquor stores across the country are locked up tight on VE-Day. As much as they'd like to celebrate with a drink, most Canadians shrug and carry on. But the sailors stationed in Halifax, and not a few civilians, decide they'd like a beer with the cheer. Keith's brewery is quickly breached and, with alcohol flowing, vandalism and looting follow. Forty years later, CBC News tells the story of what became known as the Halifax VE-Day riots.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Looting Marks VE-Day in Halifax

Type: Film and Video

May 8, 1945, was a day to celebrate. It was VE-Day, the long-awaited moment when the Allied forces triumphed over Nazi Germany to claim victory in Europe. But the joy brought by news of peace was dampened by the memory of fallen comrades and the ongoing war in the Pacific. From the liberation of Holland through the German surrender, celebrations in Canada and the servicemen's return, CBC Archives follows Canadians as the war ends in Europe.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Maple Leaf Legacy: A Global Memorial

Type: Film and Video

It began with one photograph of a tombstone, with the carved maple leaf indicating a fallen Canadian soldier of the Great War. To Steve Douglas of Kitchener, Ont., the image was more than keepsake, it was inspiration. Douglas embarked on an ambitious project to photograph and upload images of all 117,000 Canadian war graves around the world. As we hear in this clip, the photographs bring a sense of closure, described by one family as "a heart cord reattached."

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

The Italian Campaign: 60 Years Later, Smokey Returns to Italy

Type: Film and Video

A full year before the D-Day landings in Normandy, there were the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy. Canada played a major role in the Allies' first breach of Hitler's "Fortress Europe" in 1943 and 1944. Canadian soldiers defeated entrenched German forces but paid a terrible price. Seaside towns and mountain passes became places of horror: Ortona, Cassino, Rimini. But with the events of D-Day and the Allied push across Europe, the Italian Campaign became a forgotten front, a deadly sideshow that cost nearly 6,000 Canadian lives. Sixty years later, their bravery is remembered.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

VE-Day: Back on 'Civvy Street'

Type: Film and Video

They all did the same job together in Europe: working to defeat the Axis powers. Now, with the war there over, Canadian servicemen's thoughts turn to what kinds of jobs await them at home. Some will return to their prewar posts, while others will take advantage of government funding to train in new careers. On the CBC Radio program The Soldier's Return, host Royd Beamish relates the experiences of soldiers who have already returned to civilian life.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

First World War: Gas! Gas!

Type: Film and Video

Belgium's Ypres is a scene of carnage and ruin, throbbing with murderous machine gun and artillery fire and littered with unburied corpses. As if this vision of hell on earth isn't bad enough, a new innovation is turning the very air to deadly poison. In April 1915, the Germans unleash the horrific weapon of chlorine gas on Canadian troops. As we hear in this item from CBC Radio's Ideas, the new weapon is terrifying, but the Canadian line does not break.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation