Warfare Most Foul

August 11, 2020 by Tim Cook

From the first velvety phut of the shell burst to those corpse-like breaths that a man inhaled almost unawares,” wrote Private John Lynch of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. “It lingered about out of control. “When he fired it, a man released an evil force that became free to bite friend or foe til such…

Home Front

The last of the biplanes

August 7, 2020 by Graham Chandler

It was 1939 and the Canadian Car and Foundry Company’s (Can-Car) new FDB-1 fighter-bomber had just demonstrated that it could out-climb a Hurricane or Spitfire.  After flying it, an RCAF test pilot extolled its dogfighting agilities, which he said would also challenge that of contemporary fighters. Aeronautical engineer Michael Gregor had earlier convinced Can-Car’s Montreal…


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Front Lines

Forty-four per cent of respondents to a recent British survey had no idea what the Battle of Britain was. A third of those aged 18-24 did know what it was, but another 30 per cent admitted they had no idea about the 1940 air battle that saved the islands from Nazi occupation. Two-thirds of millennials who responded…

Military Milestones

The Canadian Corps reunites for a big bash

August 6, 2020 by Sharon Adams

On the weekend of Aug. 4, 1934, more than 90,000 veterans—from every corner of Canada and some from Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States—converged on Toronto for a massive Canadian Corps reunion. The event coincided with the 20th anniversary of the start of the First World War and against the backdrop of summer…


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Protected: Spitfire restoration

August 11, 2020 by Stephen J. Thorne
There is no excerpt because this is a protected...

Protected: A Dane with the CEF

August 11, 2020 by Sharon Adams
There is no excerpt because this is a protected...

Ammo Fire

August 5, 2020 by John Boileau
When the Second World War broke out, residents of Halifax and Dartmouth—carrying vivid memories of the disastrous explosion of 1917—were understandably nervous. And the danger this time was even greater than it had been a generation earlier. The same enemy was much stronger and his reach—particularly by sea—was much longer. Unprecedented wartime expansion of...

On this date: August 2020

August 5, 2020 by Legion Magazine
1 August 1957 Canada and the United States form the North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) to integrate air defences. 2 August 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait. Canada contributed 4,500 military personnel to the 1991 Gulf War. 3 August 1981 Egypt and Israel sign a peace treaty, the Sinai is returned to Egypt and a...

MILITARY HEALTH MATTERS: Checking on your buddies

August 5, 2020 by Sharon Adams
When this column was written, the world was still in lockdown, practising social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine. Who knows when social distancing can end, or whether we’ll be in and out of lockdown a number of times as the virus peaks and wanes and peaks again. These measures are tough enough on those who...
 This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, which took place from July to October 1940. Our new Military Moment and the next issue of Canada’s Ultimate Story explore the Canadians who took part in the furious air defence of Britain against the German Luftwaffe. As Winston Churchill later proclaimed...
Months before it entered the Second World War in December 1941, the United States invested heavily in the Allied cause by instituting the US$50.1-billion Lend-Lease policy, providing food and war materiel to Britain and other friendly nations. Worth nearly US$600 billion in today’s currency, the measures under what was formally known as An Act...

Treachery on Anticosti Island

July 29, 2020 by Sharon Adams
The submarine attacks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during the Second World War were the stuff of nightmares. How much worse would it have been if Germany had established a toehold off the coast of Quebec? That may be just what they tried to do in 1937 in an attempt to buy Anticosti...

The fighting after Hill 70

July 21, 2020 by Sharon Adams
The Battle for Hill 70 was an important victory for the Canadian Corps in August 1917, though it did not achieve its ultimate objective. The Canadians had been ordered to capture the German stronghold at Lens, a French coal-mining centre. But first, Hill 70 had to be taken. Taking the high ground, noted Brigadier-General...

Remembering the chaos of liberated Europe

July 21, 2020 by Stephen J. Thorne
Pierre Gauthier landed on D-Day with his Régiment de la Chaudière and fought through France, Belgium and into the Netherlands before a second wound ended his war. His regiment lost 58 men killed on June 6, 1944, and 248 before the fighting ended 11 months later, but among the most unsettling images that remain...

O CANADA: Overweight span

July 17, 2020 by Don Gillmor
Overweight span When they started building the Pont de Québec spanning the Saint Lawrence River in 1905, there was a sense of pride. Designed mainly for rail traffic, it was going to be the biggest cantilever bridge in the world, longer than the Forth Bridge in Scotland. But on Aug. 29, 1907, a riveter...

ARTIFACTS: Cool idea?

July 17, 2020 by Sharon Adams
Aircraft carriers were a great innovation in protecting convoys out of range of land airbases during the Second World War. But aluminum and steel were in great demand. Could another material be used? Geoffrey Pyke, a researcher with Britain’s Combined Operations Headquarters, knew how difficult it is to destroy an iceberg, and he wondered:...

A soldier, a war bride, and a son

July 15, 2020 by Stephen J. Thorne
There’s something about authority that rubs Creagens the wrong way, for better or for worse. This story begins with Harry Edward Creagen, a native Irishman who fought with the 35th Battalion, 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, during the First World War. He was captured by German forces during the Battle of Sanctuary Wood near Ypres,...
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