Gallery 1 - Wars on Our Soil, earliest times to 1885
A View of the Taking of Quebec, courtesy of Library and Archives Canada, C-139911
Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0M8
Tel. (819) 776-8652
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Clash of Empires and The Battle of the Plains of Abraham


Artifacts from the Seven Years' War

French Mortar | French Officer's Sword | British Sergeant's Sword | French Infantry Musket | French Bayonet | French Civilian Musket | British Musket | British Bayonet

French Mortar, CWM 19430003-001
French Mortar
Mortar, 32.5-centimetre
CWM 19430003-001

This mortar formed part of the defences of Louisbourg during the British siege of 1758. Made of cast iron, it could propel a 60-kilogram shell for up to four kilometres. Exploding mortar shells could shatter ships and buildings. Flying shell fragments could kill or wound anyone standing nearby.
French Officer's Sword, IL 2004009-001
French Officer's Sword
French Hanger
IL 2004009-001

This sword belonged to Lieutenant Pierre Raby of the Régiment de Guyenne, which served at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Officers like Raby often preferred short, light swords which would not become entangled in the branches and brush of Canada's forests.
British Sergeant's Sword, CWM 19720103-006
British Sergeant's Sword
Broadsword, Highland Basket-Hilted, Pattern 1740
CWM 19720103-006

Sergeant James Thompson of Fraser's Highlanders carried this claymore (broadsword) at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Scottish claymores are deadly weapons that can inflict horrifying wounds or kill with a single blow.
French Infantry Musket, CWM 20020045-449
French Infantry Musket
Musket, Infantry, Model 1754
CWM 20020045-449

Many French regulars at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham were armed with Model 1754 muskets. French and British military muskets weighed about four kilograms. A trained soldier could fire two to three shots per minute. A well-aimed shot could hit a person at 50 metres. Armies advanced to close range before opening fire.
French Bayonet, CWM 19840363-002
French Bayonet
Socket Bayonet for Infantry Musket, Model 1754
CWM 19840363-002

Bayonets turned muskets into spears. Fastened to the muzzle end of a musket by a locking ring, they provided soldiers with a close-combat weapon.
French Civilian Musket, CWM 19770352-002
French Civilian Musket
CWM 19770352-002

The Canadian militia and First Peoples often brought their hunting weapons to the battlefield. Hunting weapons were lighter than military firearms, but more fragile. This one weighs about three kilograms.
British Musket, CWM 19920116-104
British Musket
Long Land Musket, Pattern 1742
CWM 19920116-104

British soldiers at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham carried Long Land Pattern Muskets.Regulars fought in close formation to compensate for the short range and inaccuracy of their weapons. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder and fired simultaneously. Most musket balls missed their targets. Yet a single volley from disciplined troops could shatter an enemy army.
British Bayonet, CWM 19820611-010
British Bayonet
Bayonet, Land Pattern
CWM 19820611-010

Faced with a bayonet charge, a shaken army would flee before the bayonets came close enough to hurt them. A resolute army would open fire and shoot down their opponents.