The two world wars exacted a heavy toll on Canada. The Great War, 1914-1918, culminated
in the death of more than 12 million individuals. Canada alone lost almost 60,000 men and
women, with approximately another 172,000 suffering wounds. This "war to end all war"
destroyed four great empires. After the armistice, signed at Compiègne on November 11,
1918, the treaties reached at Versailles, St. Germain, Neuilly, and Sèvres radically altered
the face of Europe.
The Second World War witnessed the amazing growth of Canada's armed forces from fewer
than 9,000 regulars to in excess of one million under arms. The direct cost to Canada of
prosecuting the war approached $22 billion. WWII left more than 42,000 Canadians dead, over
54,000 wounded, and almost 9,000 having been prisoners of war. Too many returned home
permanently shattered by what they had seen and experienced overseas. And in the end, the
formation of the United Nations appears to be about the only positive result.