Front Lines

Storied Lee-Enfield rifle heads into retirement

September 20, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne

  For 12 years now, Eena Kooneeliusie, a private in 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (1CRPG), has been packing her cherished Lee-Enfield .303 service rifle as she did her part in asserting the country’s sovereignty in the High Arctic. It has served her well. While she has never had to defend herself during patrols of…

O Canada

Dallaire’s nightmare

September 19, 2017 by Don Gillmor

I too was a commander who set out on what I thought was an exciting adventure,” Romeo Dallaire writes in Waiting for First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD, “only to bear witness to the most terrible horrors on earth.” It is a familiar story, one first heard in modern times in the Boer War, and given full flower…


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Eye On Defence

A defence policy and a step backward

September 11, 2017 by David J. Bercuson

It is difficult trying to figure out where the federal Liberal government stands on national defence and national security issues. On June 6, 2017, the government released Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy, which is the first true white paper on defence since 1994. (Peter MacKay’s 2008 Canada First Defence Strategy was more of a…


Cure or curse?

September 6, 2017 by Sharon Adams

Canadian Airborne Regiment veteran Dave Bona woke up with the same question every morning for more than 20 years: “Is today the day I’m going to kill myself?” He joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1984, served in Cyprus in 1988-89 and the First Gulf War in 1990-91. But he was never the same…


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Hornets, Super Hornets and Lightnings

September 13, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
It seemed like an idea right out of left field at the time. Critics have been questioning the wisdom of the proposed purchase of 18 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets ever since the government announced last November that it would explore the option as a stopgap until it makes a final decision on new fighters....

Airman on set

September 7, 2017 by Hugh A. Halliday
The film Captains of the Clouds often runs on TV movie channels. It is a favourite of those who like aviation movies. Where else can you find Billy Bishop playing himself? In 1940-41, the United States was neutral, but Hollywood was anti-Nazi and pro-British. Britain, with Canada, established cordial relations with the American film...

High Arctic research supports sovereignty

September 6, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
  Scientists at the Department of National Defence have been at work in the Canadian Arctic developing new tools to help assert the country’s polar sovereignty. Their expedition to Nunavut, part of a project called the Canadian Arctic Underwater Sentinel Experiment, or CAUSE, has been testing new technologies at a remote military station on...

On this date: September 2017

September 5, 2017 by Legion Magazine
1 September 1985 Canada provides aid to the United Nations multinational force supervising security provisions of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Illustrations by Sharif Tarabay 2 September 1918 Six Canadians earn the Victoria Cross for heroic actions throughout France. 3 September 1939 The Battle of the Atlantic, the longest battle of the Second World War,...

Heroes and Villains: Franz Ferdinand & Gavrilo Princip

September 1, 2017 by Mark Zuehlke
Down there, they will throw bombs at us,” Archduke Franz Ferdinand joked as he set out from Vienna, Austria, to the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. As inspector general of Austria-Hungary’s armed forces, Ferdinand ostensibly travelled to observe army manoeuvres but also to showcase his wife publicly in a quasi-royal role. Sophie Chotek’s lack of direct...

103 days in Hades

September 1, 2017 by Jonathan F. Vance
Passchendaele is a lovely name—whether in Flemish or French, it rolls lyrically off the tongue, conjuring images of a sylvan glade, lush with greenery and sprinkled with wildflowers. Or that’s how it should be. Instead, a misfortune of geography turned Passchendaele into a synonym for pointless slaughter.    During the First World War, it...
Twenty-five men were executed during the First World War. Twenty-two men faced the firing squad for the crime of desertion, two for murder and one for cowardice. Whether these executions should have taken place has been fiercely debated for decades. While our modern sensibilities likely find these executions wrong, it is important to examine...

A big step

September 1, 2017 by Legion Magazine
Strong, secure, engaged. The title of the newly released white paper by the Department of National Defence is a reflection of Canada itself. The new defence policy is a must-read for anyone who wants to know what Canada’s military is doing today—combat, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, disaster relief—and what it plans to do over the...
Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne Almost 650 athletes, nearly 100 coaches and hundreds of volunteers gathered under the Prairie sun at Brandon’s brand-new athletics facility Aug. 11-13 for the 41st Royal Canadian Legion National Track and Field Championships. It is the only meet of its kind for under-18s and under-16s in Canada,...

Sword rattling won’t change Canada’s defence policy

August 30, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a message that Canada will not be browbeaten when he reasserted his position Aug. 23 that the country will act in its own best interests on the issues of troops for Afghanistan and continental missile defence. U.S. President Donald Trump announced last week that he would boost troop levels...

Contest winner travels to Ottawa for Canada’s biggest party ever

August 25, 2017 by Stephanie Slegtenhorst
It was the biggest party of the year, and Barron McKay of Cache Creek, B.C., was the lucky winner of Legion Magazine’s contest to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in the nation’s capital. Sponsored by Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the four-day visit included round-trip airfare and three-night accommodation in the heart of downtown Ottawa. Accompanying McKay...

The soulless gaze of haters

August 23, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
Back in 1994, I spent a month in South Africa writing features for The Canadian Press (CP) during the campaign leading to the country’s first democratic elections. I saw South Africa from every perspective I could—black, white, Coloured. I regularly visited and ate in the home of my fixer Noah Makone in Soweto and...

The club no one hopes to join

August 22, 2017 by Sharon Adams
  Fighter pilot Captain Brian Bews was rehearsing for an air show in Lethbridge, Alta., on July 24, 2010, when one engine of his CF-18 Hornet died. He ejected only 90 metres from the ground; two seconds later, his jet was a fireball and he was floating to earth. Bews had just become eligible...
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