Canada History

Canada History   timelines 
AskAHistorian    blog 




Prehistory | 2 Worlds Meet | New France | England Arrives | Clash of Empires | Revolution | British America | Reform/Revolt | Responsible Government | Confederation | Nation Building | Laurier | The Great War | Roaring 20's | Great Depression | WWII | The Peace | Cold War | Trudeau | PC's in Power | Modern Canada

Golden Summer | European Powder Keg | Sarajavo | Canada Goes to War | Building an Army | Union Government | Nationalism | Women Get the Vote | Conscription Act | The Home Front | Victory | Aftermath

On September 20th, 1918 Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff, informed the leaders of Germany and the Kaiser that the German Army was dissolving and that a peace must be arranged immediately in order to avoid a complete collapse of Western front. The Swiss government, acting as a go between, informed President Wilson and the US that Germany was prepared to accept a cessation of hostilities based upon Wilson's 14 points.

Wilson began to negotiate with the German's in the name of the allies and over the course of the next 5 weeks the terms were clarified and an armistice became a real possibility but on October 24th Ludendorff and many other German leaders realized that the abdication of the Kaiser was a non-negotiable demand of the Entente and they quickly reversed their support for the armistice and pushed for a continuation of the war. The process had gone too far in Germany at this point with most believing that it had to happen and refusing to continue the fight.

On October 29th the German sailors of the Grand Fleet, based at Wilhelmshaven, revolted and their actions quickly spread across the country. With the Russian Revolution fresh in the minds of the German leadership, they quickly agreed to restart negotiations with he Entente and accept the abdication of the Kaiser in order to end the war.

On November 9th a German delegation crossed the lines to negotiate the armistice treaty with the Entente authorities and with revolution threatening to break out again all over German, finally signed at 5 AM on November 11th. The harsh treatment of the Germans and the internal politics of the process was to do much to add to the myth spun by the Nazis when they later claimed that the war could have continued and proper peace completed if the army had not been betrayed.

November 11, 1918 at 11:00 AM, brought the end of the Great War. After more then 4 years of slaughter, destruction, struggle and sacrifice, the German Empire had finally reached the end of it's endurance. The allies were close to end of their willpower to continue, with the exception of the newly arriving Americans, and it was only with the perceivable, slow, and steady collapse of the German armies that the allies were able to take hope and continue.

Victory meant that the French, British, Canadians, Italians and the rest of the allies could now dictate terms to the defeated powers. It also meant the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the temporary check of German expansionary ambitions and complete chaos in Russia and the rise of the spectre of communism.

Canada had suffered more then 66,655 killed,  172,000 wounded, and was a divided nation with French and English both harbouring feelings of resentment over the conscription issue. The war had claimed 8,538,315 killed, 21,219,452 wounded and 7,750,919 captured or missing and this did not included the millions of civilian causalities.