Front Lines

A new study says Adolf Hitler would have won the Battle of Britain in the Second World War had he started three weeks earlier and focused on airfields rather than shifting his bombing campaign to London and other cities. Using a computer model, six mathematicians at the University of York in England have recalculated the…

Military Milestones

Roberta Bondar studies the human body in space

January 22, 2020 by Sharon Adams

On Jan. 22, 1992, Roberta Bondar became the first neurologist—and coincidentally, Canada’s first woman—in space, joining the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery on an eight-day mission. While orbiting, she and the other astronauts conducted more than 40 experiments in the Spacelab on the first International Microgravity Laboratory mission, working 12-hour shifts to get all…

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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…

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The winged ship: HMCS Bras d’Or

January 20, 2020 by Sharon Adams
Legion Magazine sat down with Lt. (N) Jason Delaney, Naval Historian at the Directorate of History and Heritage for the Department of National Defence, to discuss Canada’s hydrofoil project of the 1960s – HMCS Bras d’Or. During sea trials in 1969, the vessel exceeded 63 knots (117 km/h; 72 mph), making her the fastest...

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...

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...

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...

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 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...
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