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The Halifax explosion, 6 December 1917. Image courtesy Library and Archives Canada PA-166585.

  • The French cargo ship SS Mont-Blanc collides with the Norwegian relief vessel Imo in Halifax harbour, Nova Scotia. The Mont-Blanc, laden with 9,000 tons of munitions destined for the Western Front, explodes, creating one of the largest man-made explosions to date. Hundreds of people watching the catastrophe are blinded as the blast wave shatters windows. Overturned lamps and stoves ignite a multitude of fires; the ensuing shock wave shatters windows 80 kilometres away. The resultant fire cloud surges 3.6 km into the atmosphere; the city of Halifax is reduced to ruins and debris. 2,000 people are killed and 9,000 injured, 6,000 are left homeless. The Halifax Explosion
  • Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia conclude the armistice on the Eastern Front; one million German soldiers are now available to reinforce German positions on the Western Front