Military Milestones

The sinking of
HMCS Esquimalt

April 17, 2019 by Sharon Adams

HMCS Esquimalt, the last Canadian warship lost to enemy action in the Second World War, went down within sight of Halifax. Although 43 of the 71 crew survived the sinking, 16 died after spending six hours in the frigid waters. That spring, the days of cocky submarine wolf pack attacks were long past. Germany had…

Front Lines

Trooper Elmer Cole spent nine hours driving a Churchill tank at Dieppe on Aug. 19, 1942, trying to hold off German forces and find a way past the obstacles inland. The stone beach was already littered with dead Canadians and disabled tanks from the King’s Own Calgary Regiment of the 1st Canadian Tank Brigade when…

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Military Milestones

Attacked from above

April 10, 2019 by Sharon Adams

April 10, 1917, a furious air battle was taking place as troops assaulted the eastern slope of Hill 145 near La Folie wood during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Despite a plague of German fighters, the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) kept observation planes aloft, taking vital photographs of the front, helping the artillery pinpoint enemy…

Front Lines

Words of war (part 2)

April 10, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne

It is a big step to take another human life. It is not to be done lightly. I know of men who have taken life needlessly in other conflicts. I can assure you they live with the mark of Cain upon them. —Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Collins, Royal Irish Regiment It was the eve of the invasion…

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Q: What made you want to study military history in the first place? A: It wasn’t my first choice. At Royal Military College of Canada, I wanted to study political science and economics, but found that economics was beyond me. (The story of my life, I fear.) So, I went into history and because...

Words of war

April 3, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead. . . . Be copy now to men of grosser blood, And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman, Whose limbs were made in England, show us here The mettle of your pasture; let...
HMCS Iroquois, a destroyer, took over on April 2, 2003, as the flagship of the multinational anti-terrorism fleet in the Persian Gulf on Operation Apollo, which was established following the terrorist attacks in the United States in September 2001. Canada was among the first to respond to the call, providing assistance in October from...

On this date: April 2019

April 1, 2019 by Legion Magazine
1 April 1999 Canada creates a third territory called Nunavut, carved out of the Northwest Territories. It covers one-fifth of Canada and Inuit make up 85 per cent of its population. 2 April 2003 HMCS Iroquois and HMCS Fredericton arrive in the Persian Gulf. They join HMCS Regina as part of a U.S.-led task force conducting in maritime surveillance....

Bionic arms

March 31, 2019 by Sharon Adams
Artificial limbs that perform like the real thing are moving from the realm of science fiction into real life, thanks to pioneering scientists and amputees—and a financial boost from the military   “It’s amazing,” says Larry Hayes-Richards as he watches the fingers flex on his bionic arm, a feat he’s achieved by just thinking about it....

The VC heroes of Hill 70

March 27, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines the verb “brain”—as in to “brain” someone—as “dash out the brains of” or “strike hard on the head.” In a particularly graphic description of his Victoria Cross-earning feats on Hill 70, the London Gazette of Nov. 8, 1917, said Robert Hanna, a company sergeant-major in the 29th Battalion (British...

RCAF welcomes the Argus

March 27, 2019 by Legion Magazine
The crew called them big birds. The 33 Argus long-range patrol aircraft, designed as submarine hunters, were bigger than the wartime planes they replaced beginning in March 1958. The plane, which had more sensors than any other at the time, was named after the hundred-eyed giant of Greek mythology. The sensors were needed to...

Unfounded sexual assault cases reopened

March 26, 2019 by Sharon Adams
As part of ongoing efforts to eradicate inappropriate sexual behaviour, the Canadian Armed Forces has established a team to conduct annual reviews of investigations of sexual assault complaints deemed unfounded by military police. In September, the CAF announced it was reopening nearly two dozen investigations after reviewing 179 cases of sexual assault reported in...

Pilot project introduces new transition program

March 25, 2019 by Sharon Adams
The Canadian Armed Forces has begun a program that will help its members make an easier transition to their life after service. The goal of the new Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group is to ensure that members leaving the service and their families receive the full range of support, compensation and benefits available. The...
 The Battle of the Atlantic was Canada’s longest campaign of the Second World War from September 3, 1939 to May 8, 1945. Legion Magazine and Canada’s Ultimate Story present Military Moments | Battle of the Atlantic. Narrated by Canadian musician and artist Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea, the video takes us back...

The toll on a sniper’s brain

March 21, 2019 by Sharon Adams
The headaches, sleep problems, visual disturbances, balance problems, dizziness, ringing in the ears and memory lapses are symptoms familiar to troops who use explosives to gain access to military targets—or blow them up to eliminate the threat from bombs or improvised explosive devices (IEDs). They call it breachers’ brain, and it has been shown to...

Provisional government declared in Saskatchewan

March 20, 2019 by Legion Magazine
In the 1880s, the Canadian Prairies were a political powder keg. Bison herds were gone, land had been signed away in treaties and indigenous peoples were starving. The Métis wanted title to their homesteads and farms, whose boundaries were ignored by government and railway surveyors. After poor harvests in 1883 and 1884, farmers were...

Eight Cantleys and one Cantlie in the First World War

March 19, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
Of 619,636 Canadians recruited during the First World War, there were 7,432 Smiths and 148 Smyths, 2,965 McDonalds and 1,646 MacDonalds, 2,342 Johnsons and 1,532 Johnstons. There were 1,797 Stewarts and 294 Stuarts, 1,220 McLeans and 310 MacLeans. There were just eight Cantleys and one Cantlie. According to their service records posted online by...
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