NEW! Canadian Military History Trivia Challenge

Month: September 2001

O Canada

A Killer Named Hazel

Survivors work in teams to salvage valuables from a destroyed house. About half an hour before midnight, Marion Sherman was awakened by a strange noise coming from the Humber, a docile river which ran a few hundred yards from their farmhouse near Toronto. She asked her husband, Cliff, to take a look out their bedroom window. Reluctantly, Cliff climbed out of bed and looked. To his amazement, he saw an eight-foot wall of water coming straight at the house. Within seconds, the home was engulfed in ice-cold river water. The Shermans attempted to escape out their back door only to find their house surrounded by chest-deep water. Forced back inside, Cliff climbed on an upright piano and ...

Remembering Beaumont Hamel

by Victoria Fulford A view of the Beaumont Hamel monument from the trenches preserved at the memorial park. They came from across the sea. The first Newfoundland detachment of two infantry companies sailed from their native land in October of 1914, outfitted with khaki wool that would identify them as soldiers and the navy blue leg coverings, or puttees, that would mark them as the famous first 500 Newfoundlanders to enlist. They were also known as the Blue Puttees of the Newfoundland Regiment. As the war machine shifted into high gear, future contingents from the colony would be supplied with the standard issue khaki puttees similar to those o...

War Connections

by Don Smith   I was 12 when I heard the news of the Allied victory in August 1945. The war was finally over and like a lot of people I greeted that major development with a wild cheer. Most of us understood that many, many people had fought and died in the war, but we had no way of knowing how the fighting had really affected the men and women who served. Several members of my family, including my father, volunteered to serve. I remember being heartbroken when Dad was assigned to spend long periods of time away from our home in Winnipeg. He served with the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps and was stationed mostly at Camp Borden in Ontario. Fortunately for us, ...

Close Call In Croatia

by Paul Gélinas   There are many incidents that occur during a United Nations peacekeeping tour that go by unreported. One such event happened in 1993 when our platoon-size UN patrol arrived in the village of Okucani, roughly 120 kilometres southeast of Zagreb, Croatia. At the time, I was a sergeant in the reserves, serving with 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. It was May 28th and extremely hot; there was no wind and the sun was blazing down on us without mercy. We were heading north--en route to our camp at Daruvar--when our young platoon commander decided we should stop in the village for a short break. Little did we know how close we would come that afte...
O Canada

Captured In Stone

Federal Sculptor Maurice Joanisse translates a concept into a finished sculpture. "One of the best things about this job is helping to show the history of the country so people realize what we have here," says Maurice Joanisse, Canada's current official sculptor. As he speaks, on the second-floor gallery above the entrance to the House of Commons, one of an unending flow of school groups chatter noisily below. Looking up from their vantage point, the huge, vaulted space is alive with stonework tracing the story of Canada from the arrival of the Vikings through the expulsion of the Acadians and beyond. The series of bas-relief carvings is where Joanisse began his 22-year apprenticeship in...
Defence Today

Defence Requires Flexible Planning

by David J. Bercuson PHOTO: M.CPL. ROBERT BOTTRILL, CANADIAN FORCES COMBAT CAMERA Lieutenant-Colonel Simon Hetherington (centre) discusses the work of the Provincial Reconstruction Team with rural leaders west of Kandahar. Prussian General Helmuth von Moltke once declared: "no plan survives first contact with the enemy." And yet the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence have devoted a considerable chunk of time over the past decade or so trying to come up with plans for the future of Canada's military. Some of those plans had a relatively short shelf-life, others are still relevant. But it is probably not unfair to say that much of the...

Sign up today for a FREE download of Canada’s War Stories

Free e-book

An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.