Eye On Defence

Growing use of submarines

January 18, 2020 by David J. Bercuson

Whether we like it or not, many maritime countries are currently engaged in a submarine arms race that has ramped up considerably since the return of Russia to an offensive military posture at least a decade ago, the expansion and modernization of the Chinese navy, and the acquisition of modern diesel-electric submarines by nations as…


Legion clamps down on stolen valour

January 16, 2020 by Tom MacGregor

Dominion President Tom Irvine has committed the Legion to addressing the issue of stolen valour—when a member of the public wears a uniform or medals to which they are not entitled. It is not a new phenomenon. It is an offence under Sections 419 A and B of the Criminal Code of Canada. However, in today’s age…


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For better or worse, Canada had to step up in Afghanistan

January 15, 2020 by Stephen J. Thorne

There is not a lot of good that can be said about the war in Afghanistan—or any war, for that matter—but there is perhaps, some good that can be taken from it. The Washington Post’s exposé on the Afghanistan Papers provides overwhelming evidence of the war’s shortcomings, detailing a litany of mistakes, failures and lies…

Front Lines

The big raid

January 15, 2020 by Sharon Adams

Early in the First World War, the Allies used trench raids to keep the Germans nervous, the constant harassment eating away at their morale, while keeping their own troops sharp between battles. The Canadian Corps had learned a lot since their first raid in 1915, and by 1917, were the acknowledged masters of the art….


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Cutting through the paperwork

January 12, 2020 by Legion Magazine
Speaking to representatives of veterans’ groups in November, Veterans Ombudsman Craig Dalton admitted his office has had a low profile since his appointment in November 2018. That was partly his getting to know the job, but also because there was an election; he had to hold off until there was a new government in...

Pride & dignity

January 11, 2020 by Stephen J. Thorne
The Second World War is never far from the heart and mind of 97-year-old veteran Bill Anderson, whose 5th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, landed in Normandy on D-Day +6 and fought its way through Europe and into Germany. Appointed a troop commander after the lieutenant in charge was killed, the native of Saint...

Ten years of research yields results

January 10, 2020 by Sharon Adams
The 10th anniversary of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research forum provides an opportunity to look back—and to look forward. A decade ago, nobody had yet counted the number of homeless veterans or veterans’ suicides in Canada; today there are robust programs tackling both—and involving the whole of society, including government departments, civilian...

The winged ship: HMCS Bras d’Or

January 8, 2020 by Sharon Adams
NOTICE: Video component of our January/February Artifacts feature on the Hydrofoil coming soon! Browse our previous artifacts video interview series here. During the Cold War, fast and deadly Soviet nuclear-powered submarines were deployed along the North American coast, capable of launching a nuclear weapon attack practically without warning. Tasked with anti-submarine duties by the...
The Washington Post has uncovered a secret government history of the Afghanistan war said to be more revealing and more damning than the notorious Pentagon Papers that put the lie to public pronouncements on the war in Vietnam. The 6,200-word story by investigative reporter Craig Whitlock comes after three years of court battles between...

The backlash against Japanese-Canadians

January 7, 2020 by Sharon Adams
On Jan. 7, 1942, a month to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a wartime committee recommended to the Canadian government that Japanese-Canadians—even if second- or third- generation—not be allowed to volunteer for or be conscripted into the armed services, on grounds of strong public opinion against them. It was among a...

On this date: January 2020

January 2, 2020 by Legion Magazine
2 January 1942 Cabinet approves a $1-billion gift of war supplies from Canada to Britain. 3 January 1947 Prime Minister Mackenzie King becomes Canada’s first citizen in the initial citizenship ceremony after passage of the Canadian Citizenship Act.  4 January 1951 Communists occupy Seoul, South Korea, and a new UN front line is established...

Survey exposes discontent with veterans’ system

January 2, 2020 by Stephen J. Thorne
Nearly 60 per cent of respondents to an online survey conducted on behalf of Legion Magazine said the country’s veterans are poorly served by Veterans Affairs Canada. Almost 75 per cent, or 952, of 1,275 respondents to the non-scientific survey identified themselves as veterans. The survey was conducted on Twitter, Facebook and on the...

Heroes and Villains: MacGill & Messerschmitt

January 2, 2020 by Mark Zuehlke
ELIZABETH (ELSIE) MacGILL In 1939, Britain and the Commonwealth lacked a fighter plane to match the German Bf-109. In aerial combat over northwestern Europe in 1940, the 109, created by German aircraft designer Wilhelm (Willy) Messerschmitt, easily outfought existing Royal Air Force fighters. In its pursuit of a competitive fighter plane, the RAF sent...

Face to Face: Is the North Warning System obsolete?

January 2, 2020 by Legion Magazine
ANDREA CHARRON is associate professor and director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba. The North Warning System (NWS) is a series of ground-based, unmanned (but contractor-maintained), short- and long-range radar stations arrayed from Alaska to Greenland.  The system has always suffered from an identity crisis. Its ability...

Box of memories

December 22, 2019 by Sharon Adams
  In early March, a large number of military artifacts from a little-known Canadian engagement was nearly lost to history. A boxful of photos and documents, leftovers from an estate sale, ended up donated to a Goodwill store in Port Colborne, Ont., which recognized its historic importance and turned it over to the Niagara...

Huge Boston Christmas tree an annual gift from Nova Scotia

December 18, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
  Long before Nova Scotia and three other provinces formed the confederation that jump-started Canada, trade and relations along the Atlantic coast were conducted largely on a north-south, not east-west, basis. Family and cultural ties between Nova Scotia and New England, for example, were strong, and remain so. To this day, you’d swear by...

Japan advances on Hong Kong

December 18, 2019 by Sharon Adams
In late 1941, Japan began its war against the West, attacking the American base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, invading Malaya the next day, and marching on Hong Kong. Canada had dispatched the Winnipeg Grenadiers and Royal Rifles from Quebec City to join 14,000 Allied defence troops in the Hong Kong garrison....
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