Rally the Nation
Britain Enters the War When Britain declared war on August 5, 1914, Canada,
as a British colony, was automatically considered to be at war as well. Canadian
troops had recently assisted Britain fighting The Boer War (1899 to 1902). Newfoundland,
which did not join Confederation until 1949, provided troops as well.
Britain stepped into the war when Germany marched into Belgium in August, 1914.
The invasion was an attempt by Germany to make a hard, quick hit on the flank
of the French army which was effectively fortified along the French border to
the south of Belgium. With Russia soon to attack on the Eastern Front, and concerned
about the resources a long war would take, Germany needed to make a decisive
assault. Germany feared that fighting battles on both the Eastern and Western
front would exhaust its resources.
the Germans moved through Belgium they drove terrified refugees ahead of them,
killed thousands of suspected saboteurs and burned villages. News of these actions,
amplified by the press, roused anger in Britain, which was also concerned that
an invasion into Belgium would leave the English Channel and valuable Belgium
shipping ports open to the German army. That would put the advancing troops too
close to the United Kingdom for comfort. While Germany had had a professionally
trained and conscripted army for years, Britain, like Canada, had only a small
army of volunteers to lend to the fight. It depended on Canada, Newfoundland,
New Zealand, Australia and South Africa to do their part. And, Canada rose to