Punch, 3 January 1917. ©Chinook Multimedia Inc

"The White House Mystery."


Britain repeatedly urged the United States to come to the aid of the Allies. President Woodrow Wilson hesitated because American popular opinion opposed participation.

Canada; An Illustrated Weekly Journal, 7 September 1918. ©Chinook Multimedia Inc

"Canadians Climbing the Side of a Sunken Road on a Tank," n.d.


The year 1917 marked the beginning of the end of the First World War. First, a communist revolution in Russia led to the overthrow of the Czar in March and the establishment of a communist government by October. Russia then withdrew from the war and signed the peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918. Next, in April 1917, the United States finally ended its isolation and declared war on Germany because American ships were being sunk by German U-boats. The United States possessed an economy strengthened by the European war and a powerful military that had escaped the ravages of three years of trench warfare. The entry of the United States into the war would turn the tide of the conflict.

City of Edmonton Archives (Loyal Edmonton Regiment Collection, A98-96, Box 4).

Tank Rumbles over the Dusty, Cratered Landscape, n.d.


By the spring of 1917 as well, German and Allied commanders began to experiment with new tactics and weapons to overcome the deadlock of the trenches. The British and Germans tested lightning assaults that were accompanied by intense artillery barrages. Both forces recognized the need to mount quick surprise attacks. Further, the British army had developed the tank, and both sides now realized that the airplane could be used for much more than reconnaissance. By bombing and strafing enemy targets, the airplane could greatly aid ground operations.


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