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THE CANADIAN ARMADA   269

Gulf of St.. Lawrence it was to be joined by the sealing-ship Florizel with the Newfoundland Regiment on board.

In 1588, twenty years before the founding of Quebec by Champlain and three hundred and twenty-six years before the outbreak of the Great World War, King Philip II of Spain had sent "The Invincible Armada," under the Duke of Medina Sidonia, to humiliate England and bring her under the Spanish yoke. The Armada carried *8,000 men. Now from a region that in the days of King Philip was but vaguely known, from a country where at that time there was not a single white inhabitant, a new armada was about to set forth, an armada vastly stronger than Spain's one hundred and thirty ships and, counting the army being transported and the crews of the transports and accompanying warships, carrying a force nearly twice the size of the Spanish force. This armada, too, was to sail for England, but on a very different mission. The Spaniard's purpose was to devastate English homes; the purpose of the army borne by the Canadian fleet was to help guard England against a brutal foe, more brutal than the Spaniard had proved in the 16th Century. That was to be its ultimate work; the heart-desire of the Germans was to crush Great Britain, to make the Island Empire subservient to the Hohenzollern will. The battles in Belgium, France, and Russia were mere preliminaries to the greater enterprise—the destruction of the British fleet and the looting of British cities. And the men on this fleet, who in the Ypres salient were to bar the way to Calais and at the Somme and Vimy to help press back the German forces from Paris, nobly sacrificed themselves to save the Motherland. Paris once captured, the way won to the Channel ports, Great Britain would have had a bitter struggle to save her fair fields and rich cities from the looters of Antwerp and Brussels, the destroyers of Ypres and Rheims.

Gaspe Bay, apart from its natural advantages, was a suitable place for the assembling of the Canadian Armada. It was historic ground. Here the first naval battle


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