Front Lines

The mighty word on D-Day

May 23, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne

The American employed soaring oratory in calling D-Day troops to “the Great Crusade.” The Brit summoned the words of a 17th-century soldier-poet as he urged the “team” on in their “great and righteous cause.” The Canadian, on the other hand, reminded his troops of the “knowledge and experience bought and paid for” by brothers-in-arms who…

Military Milestones

Queen Victoria and the growth of Canada

May 23, 2019 by Sharon Adams

May 24 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, during whose 63-year reign Canada moved from colony to confederation—mostly peacefully, thanks in large part to her. Perhaps she was predisposed to fondness for the colony, as her father, Edward, Duke of Kent lived in Canada in the 1790s, eventually becoming commander-in-chief of…

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Was D-Day perfectly timed?

May 17, 2019 by Legion Magazine

  On the eve of the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, prepared two statements about Operation Overlord, the assault on Fortress Europe. Despite the horrendous weather, Eisenhower gave the go-ahead, delaying the landings for one day. We know the eventual result, but it is worth remembering…

Front Lines

For whom the ship’s bell tolls

May 15, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne

Ships’ bells mark the watch, sound alarms, send signals, declare a ship’s presence in foggy weather and even serve as baptismal fonts. Usually engraved, the ship’s bell is often the primary identifying element of an historic wreck, as was the bronze bell from HMS Erebus, explorer John Franklin’s vessel that was found after 168 years…

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Eisenhower & Rommel

May 25, 2019 by Mark Zuehlke
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER In the end, everything depended on the weather. On the evening of June 3, 1944—with 150,000 men, nearly 12,000 aircraft and almost 7,000 sea vessels awaiting his command—Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower had to measure the reliability of his chief meteorologist. The Normandy invasion was to have launched on...

Attacks in the Saint Lawrence

May 15, 2019 by Sharon Adams
The Second World War came home to Canada with a U-boat attack in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in the spring of 1942, bringing the naval conflict to Canada’s inland waters. Between 1942 and 1944, 23 ships were sunk by German submarines and hundreds of lives were lost. Kapitänleutnant Karl Thurmann had dispatched five...

When Winnipeg erupted

May 15, 2019 by Valerie Knowles
In Germany I fed on grass and rats. I would prefer going back to eating grass than give up the freedom for which I fought so hard and suffered so much.”       This outburst, voiced by a First World War veteran in Western Labour News, captures all too well the disillusion and...

Concerns raised over Pension for Life plan

May 11, 2019 by Sharon Adams
The Royal Canadian Legion is among veterans advocates concerned about the financial effects of Veterans Affairs Canada’s new Pension for Life and other changes to benefits that kicked in April 1. “Our understanding was that Pension for Life would offer a better and substantially more simplified suite of benefits and would not result in...

Fix it and fast

May 10, 2019 by Legion Magazine
None of this should have happened, and it should have been fixed years ago. Late last year, Veterans Affairs Canada revealed that some veterans received lower disability pension payments than they should have, owing to an accounting error made by VAC between 2003 and 2010. The error affected some 270,000 veterans, RCMP members and...

Firefight in Kandahar

May 8, 2019 by Sharon Adams
For weeks in April 2011, Kandahar in Afghanistan had endured an increasing number of Taliban attacks. On May 7, the city of a million descended into chaos. Somewhere between 60 and 100 insurgents and 20 suicide bombers attacked multiple targets, including the governor’s compound, Afghan army headquarters, three police stations, the mayor’s office, two...

‘And all who sail in her. . . .’

May 8, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
There was a bit of a row across the pond recently after the Scottish Maritime Museum decided to adopt gender-neutral signage for its vessels. Museum director David Mann told The Guardian newspaper the decision to drop “she” for “it” when referencing ships was made after two signs were vandalized, presumably by folks opposed to...

New warships will confront growing naval threats

May 6, 2019 by David J. Bercuson
In early February, the federal government finally announced that it has chosen a British warship design, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, to replace the current fleet of Halifax-class frigates and the now-defunct fleet of Iroquois-class destroyers. Fifteen of these ships will be built in Halifax in accordance with the $60-billion Canadian Surface Combatant...

War Museum opens Wounded exhibition

May 3, 2019 by Tom MacGregor
A powerful exhibition of stark black-and-white images of wounded soldiers opened on Feb. 15 at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. The Wounded is a collaboration between the museum and Legion Magazine to present photos and profiles by Stephen J. Thorne. Many of the men and women depicted in the series attended a press...
HomeEquity Bank has joined The Royal Canadian Legion Member Benefits Package (MBP), which means more variety and choice for members and their families. HomeEquity Bank, provider of the CHIP Reverse Mortgage, is a federally regulated Canadian bank that allows Canadian homeowners who are 55 or over to access up to 55 percent of the...

A feather in your cap

May 1, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
Celebrated officers wore the feathered crowns of egrets. British infantrymen wear “hackles.” Italian shock troops, known as Bersaglieri, rather flamboyantly sport the feathers of a particular wood grouse known as a capercaillie. Military tradition has spawned a bizarre menagerie of headgear, both for dress occasions and battle. The practice is virtually as old as...

Canadians take Fresnoy

May 1, 2019 by Sharon Adams
After taking Vimy Ridge in early April 1917, Canadian Corps’ success in France continued with an attack on the Arleux Loop on April 28-29 that drove the Germans to Fresnoy-en-Gohelle. General Sir Douglas Haig then had two objectives: to secure a more defensible position and draw German attention away from the Aisne sector, where...

May/June 2019 issue – Now available!

May 1, 2019 by Legion Magazine
The May/June 2019 issue of Legion Magazine is out today! Look for it on newsstands or check your mailbox if you subscribe already. HOW D-DAY CHANGED THE WORLD Life as we know it began on June 6, 1944 UNSUNG VALOUR IN NORMANDY Seven soldiers who made little-known contributions to the Allied invasion of France BRIDGES OVER...
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