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Canadian Military History Trivia Challenge

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February 2011

Tank Shots

The year was 1916—September—and there was no denying the fear felt by those who faced them for the first time on the Somme. Big and noisy, the tank looked more like a warship than a land weapon. But while these early armoured monstrosities dealt a severe blow to German morale and proved effective in crossing trenches and wire entanglements, they were slow and prone to mechanical failure. They were also practically useless on soft cratered ground, and easily destroyed by artillery fire. But as the war progressed, so did the tank and by 1918 better tactics for coordinating their use with infantry, artillery and aircraft created better results. Ninety-three years later, modern versions of the battle tank continue to prove their mettle on the battlefield, including those deployed by Canadians in Afghanistan. The following is a pictorial salute to Canadian tanks in action. Enjoy.

Health File

Oxygen Therapy For Foot Ulcers

Canadian diabetics with non-healing foot ulcers face a double barrier in access to a healing therapy that could prevent a significant number of amputations of toes, feet and legs.

Flying Torpedoes: Air Force, Part 43

A Handley Page Hampden on a practice torpedo run off Vancouver Island, February 1943. PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA144775 Military aircraft applications evolved quickly from

An American Blunder: Navy, Part 43

Destroyers, corvettes and minesweepers are among these ships ready for duty out of Halifax, May 1942. PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA105897 On the night of

A Well-Entrenched Enemy: Army, Part 92

On June 7, 1944, D+1, the 12th SS Hitler Youth Division blocked the Canadian and British advance to Carpiquet and Caen by committing the tanks and infantry of Kurt Meyer’s 25th Panzer Grenadier Regiment to battle. It was a tactical victory with enormous operational consequences. Sepp Dietrich, the commander of 1st SS Panzer Corps, who was supposed to launch a powerful counterattack against the Allied bridgehead in Normandy with three armoured divisions, found that both 21st Panzer and 12th SS were heavily engaged and could not be withdrawn. Panzer Lehr, the third armoured division, was also being drawn into combat with British 30 Corps.

Adding Life To Your Years

Thanks to medical advances that have cut the death toll from infectious diseases, babies born in Canada today can expect to live better than 80 years—nearly 30 years longer than those born a century ago. But that medical victory has given us another battlefield: chronic disease. One-third of Canadians live with chronic health conditions, and the proportion goes up as we age, with nearly half of those 65 to 79, and 59 per cent of those 80 and older living with high blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. So years have been added to our lives, but can we add life to our extra years?

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An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.