Canadian Military History Gateway
Subject > Weapons, Equipment and Fortifications > Weapons
A list of Canadian vessels that participated in the Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in World War II: Royal Class frigates, corvettes, Bangor minesweepers, wooden minesweepers, armed yachts, auxiliaries, and Fairmile motor launches.
Veterans Affairs Canada
Iron carriages were introduced in the British artillery in 1810. They were to be placed ‘in such parts of fortifications as are least exposed to the enemy’s fire’ as it was feared they would shatter if hit by enemy artillery. The examples seen in this photograph are found at the Fortifications of Quebec National Historic Site.
A list of ships lost in the Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Listed beside each ship is the number of lives lost (where known), the date the vessel sunk, and the U-boat that was responsible.
The Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which saw German U-boats penetrate the Cabot Strait and the Strait of Belle Isle to sink 23 ships between 1942 and 1944, marked the only time since the War of 1812 that enemy warships inflicted death within Canada's inland waters. The battle advanced to within 300 kilometres of Québec City. A war that pervaded people's lives but was still somehow remote, had become immediate, threatening, and very real. This site outlines the story of this battle.
This painting shows an encounter on 11 June 1792 between native canoes and the Spanish navy schooners Sutil and Mexicana. Mount Baker can be seen in the background. On this date in Guemes Channel (near present day Anacortes, Washington), a Spanish expedition paused to make astronomical observations that would correctly fix their longitude. Their mission was to chart the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and search for the Northwest Passage. The painting is the work of José Cardero, the expedition's official artist. (Museo Naval, Madrid)
Despite having won a battle outside the city in April 1760, the French army was unable to retake Quebec. General Murray, commanding the British defenders, refused to give up. A siege began for control of the city, but a British fleet arrived with more men, ending the contest.
Mortars were designed to shoot an exploding shell at a very high angle, 45 degrees or more. They were used in the siege and defence of fortifications. An explosive shell was fired up into the air and arced downwards to drop within the enemy defences. When the shell's fuse burned down, it exploded. These projectiles are the 'bombs bursting in air' mentioned in the American national anthem, where they were being fired from a British fleet attacking Baltimore.
This section illustrates a selection of firearms and bladed weapons used by British and Canadian military units during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The names of troops raised by the French Ministry of Marine often confuse people. There were separate units of Compagnies franches de la Marine to serve aboard warships. These troops had nothing to do with the Compagnies franches found in Canada.
A new rifling system was developed at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield, consisting of five deep grooves that could withstand the intense heat generated by the cordite. The result was the .303 Lee-Enfield Mark I rifle, introduced to the Canadian Army in 1896.
Canadian War Museum