“Ahead of her, as she drove through the water, rolled the smoke-screen, her cloak of invisibility, wrapped about her by the small craft. The north-east wind moved the volume of it shoreward ahead of the ships; beyond it, the distant town and its defenders were unsuspicious; and it was not till Vindictive was close upon the Mole that the wind lulled and came away again from the south-west, sweeping back the smoke-screen and laying her bare to the eyes that looked seaward. There was a moment immediately afterward when it seemed to those in the ships as if the dim coast and the hidden harbour exploded into light. A star shell soared aloft, then a score of star shells; the wavering beams of the searchlights swung around and settled to a glare; the wildfire of gun flashes leaped against the sky; strings of luminous green beads shot aloft, hung and sank; and the darkness of the night was supplanted by the nightmare daylight of battle fires.” 
When the war broke out in August 1914, Canada only held 16,796 rifles on hand.  As Canadians rushed to recruiting stations in staggering numbers to enlist, the Department of Militia and Defence was confronted with the overwhelming challenge of training new recruits without a sufficient amount of rifles. In response, CEF units in Canada were often issued with obsolete weapons.