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World at War – From the Front

The Great War was the first truly global conflict. Over twenty separate countries and empires fought in the conflict that cost the lives of an estimated 15 to 18 million combatants and civilians. The bulk of the Canadian force was sent to the Western Front, primarily in Flanders and France. Canadians also saw action in Macedonia, The Dardanelles, Egypt and Palestine, North-West Persia and Caspian, Murmansk, Archangel and Siberia. The war opened in August of 1914 and closed in November of 1918 but its influence can be felt today. When peace finally came three of the world's great empires--the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman-- no longer existed. The Great War changed everything. People would no longer view war as a romantic adventure. The era of Kings and empires was coming to a close. Germany and Turkey were republics and Russia was the first communist state. The nationalism that had sparked the conflagration was given legitimacy in the Treaty of Versailles and the Balkans was a patchwork of nation states. The Great War changed borders, politics, science, art and literature. It was the death of the old world and the birth of the world we know today.

The material in this and other sections is taken from the collections of University of Saskatchewan Archives and Special Collections and has been divided into six sub-categories: