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Legion Magazine and Canada’s Ultimate Story present Military Moments | Battle of the Somme. Written by Don Gillmor and narrated by journalist, broadcaster, and novelist Linden MacIntyre, the video explores the devastation of the bloodiest battle of the First World War. It depicts the sacrifice from the British, French, and Canadian Expeditionary Force in the…

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Performance enhancers and war go hand in hand

June 20, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne

The use of performance-enhancing drugs has a long history in war, both as a product of state-sanctioned programs and illicit use by participants. Aggression, energy and alertness have always been critical to any warfighter, but artificial means of achieving and maintaining a state of combat readiness have evolved—or devolved, as the case may be—and possibly…

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A global arms race is simmering, only this one does not involve robots, nuclear weapons, laser beams or other futuristic gadgets. Rather, these rivals are trying to outdo one another in an age-old quest to extend the limits of the human body. Militaries around the world, Canada’s included, are testing supplements, stimulants and other performance-enhancing…

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Funds provided for repairing veterans’ graves

June 8, 2018 by Tom MacGregor

The 2018 federal budget delivered by Finance Minister Bill Morneau on Feb. 27 contains new money allocated to Veterans Affairs Canada to help with the maintenance and repair of the graves and grave markers of veterans buried in Canada. Budget documents say VAC is responsible for about 207,525 graves and headstones in Canada. These are…

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Defending Canada’s cyberspace

June 9, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
The best defence, some say, is a good offence. A contentious bill currently before Parliament is attempting to follow that, by allowing Canada’s electronic security agency to launch offensive cyber operations against foreign powers or groups considered a threat to national security. The Communications Security Establishment Act, part of Bill C-59, would allow the highly...

Resurrecting the memory of a WW II pilot

June 6, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
For years, it was my favourite photograph in the rather extensive album my father assembled chronicling his time overseas as a medical officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. The black-and-white image (ABOVE) shows a classic 1940s-era air force pilot all kitted out for operations, his goggles tilted at...

Tank piercer

June 5, 2018 by Sharon Adams
Just when the infantry needed a better anti-tank gun, the PIAT was unleashed Not all Panzer battles in the Second World War featured tanks duking it out or dodging artillery fire. Many of the big machines were destroyed by infantry. Ernest (Smokey) Smith’s Victoria Cross action at the Savio River in northern Italy in...

Not too old to serve

June 4, 2018 by Tobbias Cassie
Veterans of the First World War guarded prisoners in the Second World War “You’re too old.” Those were the words First World War veterans Clarence Wade and William Swim were confronted with when they tried to re-enlist in 1939. The former soldiers were being denied, even though both had ample wartime military experience. They...

Stopping the panzers

June 1, 2018 by Marc Milner
Canada’s role following D-Day was vital to the success of Operation Overlord The problem with the well-known story of Canada’s role in Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings in France in June 1944, is not what it says, but what it leaves out—just about everything that matters. In the long-familiar tale, the 3rd Canadian Infantry...

On this date: June 2018

June 1, 2018 by Legion Magazine
1 June 1876 The Royal Military College of Canada opens in Kingston, Ont., with a class of 18 cadets. 2 June 1916 Canadian positions are hit by German shellfire at the northern edge of Sanctuary Wood, near Ypres, Belgium. 3 June 1885 In the Battle of Loon Lake in Saskatchewan, North West Mounted Police...

Two pictures, a thousand stories and millions of lives

May 30, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. These two pictures spawned a thousand stories and to this day, some 70 years later, they speak in profound reflection to two triumphs and the prices paid. Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by Joe Rosenthal and Soviet Flag over the Reichstag by Yevgeny Khaldei are...
One of the priorities in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s October mandate letter to Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Seamus O’Regan was to eliminate the “marriage after 60” clawback clause in the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act, so that surviving spouses of veterans receive appropriate pension and health benefits. People contributing...

The short heroic life of Buzz Beurling

May 25, 2018 by Don Gillmor
George (Buzz) Beurling was credited with 31½ “kills” in the Second World War, more than any other Canadian pilot, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, Distinguished Flying Cross and two Distinguished Flying Medals. He was a gifted pilot, a superb marksman and fearless in battle. He died young, at 26. These qualities are...

Defence minister hopes to resolve class actions

May 25, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
The federal government and plaintiffs in several class-action lawsuits relating to sexual assault, racism, harassment and discrimination have agreed to set their court proceedings aside and try to talk it out. Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan made the announcement Feb. 23, saying he hoped the move would resolve the matters without a costly...

Who won the war in Europe? Historians weigh in

May 23, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
History isn’t always what we might assume it to be, and there appears to be no consensus among nations over the question of which country contributed most to the Allies’ Second World War victory in Europe. The North American public tends to assume that the United States played the greatest role in bringing about...

Preparing for a nuclear attack

May 22, 2018 by David J. Bercuson
At the end of November, an article appeared on the CBC news website announcing that the Privy Council Office—the bureaucratic arm of the federal cabinet—drafted an agreement with the Department of National Defence to open up two old Cold War-era bunkers in the National Capital Region to be used in the event Ottawa becomes...

Choose the next cover of Canada’s Ultimate Story!

May 18, 2018 by Legion Magazine
Choose the cover of the next issue of Canada’s Ultimate Story! Available by subscription and on newsstands across Canada in August 2018!...
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