Think of Canada, what comes to mind? Neighbors to the north, canucks, and great jokes? Would you think about it as a war power? How about a country that once defeated the US, and also played key roles in both World Wars? Most people don't know that Canada has in fact been a warring country since the 17th century, much less that it has been in 16 wars, including the American Revolution. In the war of 1812 Canada not only turned back the US, but even posted offensives that resulted in the burning of the White House!
The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand did not stir Canada, and when Britain warned of the possibility of war Canada was caught off guard. With only 3,000 permanent soldiers Canada scrambled to assemble its forces. Within three weeks 20,000 soldiers were on their way to a state of the art training camp at Valcartier.
Valcartier was a designated training center that only had the ability to house 500 troops prior to the warning. In the three weeks of assembly, housing was built for 22,000 troops, a mile long firing range was constructed, electricity, telephone, water was all installed. The last night of construction saw storehouses, offices, and officers quarters built in record time. Quotas were set for militia forces to recruit. It was planned for 20,000 troops, but over 30,000 came. In some cases, entire battalions were sent. For nearly a month and a half the camp was chaos. Battalions were formed and dispersed, but in the end the camp built itself into a finely tuned machine.
Originally only one division was to be sent, but when time came for departure the largest military force to ever cross the Atlantic was prepared. 83,000 men boarded 31 transports and left for war. Departing was a...