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Month: May 2004

O Canada

A Forgotten Disaster

Clockwise from top: The Empress of Ireland plies the waters of the St. Lawrence in the early 1900s; the government steamer Lady Grey (foreground) sits in a dry dock at Levis, Que., in 1915; the damaged bow of the Storstad. Fourteen minutes. That was all the time it took the elegant Empress of Ireland, pride of the Canadian Pacific’s North Atlantic passenger fleet, to go from sailing serenely down the calm waters of the St. Lawrence River to lying on the river bottom, taking more than 1,000 souls with her in Canada’s worst marine disaster. Yet the story of her sinking, which rivals the Titanic a...

Turning To World War I: Army, Part 52

From top: Bell tents and men fill a field at Camp Valcartier, Que., in 1914; A march-past is organized at Camp Borden, Ont., in July 1916; (Inset) Sir Sam Hughes (right) visits Camp Valcartier in September 1914. Most of the world remembers World War I as a futile struggle when naive young men, raised to believe in abstractions like honour, duty and manliness, were slaughtered in pointless battles planned by incompetent generals. English-speaking Canadians, while generally accepting this view, have supplemented it with the memory of a war in which their soldiers won great victories and forged a new nati...

The Original Rainbow Warrior: Navy, Part 3

From top: (Inset) Commander Walter Hose on the deck of HMCS Rainbow; HMCS Rainbow set off in August 1914 to find German cruisers along the American west coast; Canada’s first submarines, CC.1 and CC.2 were purchased by the Province of British Columbia in 1914. Ninety years ago this August the world slipped into the Great War: An unprecedented four-year slaughter that left 20 million dead, empires in ruins and much of the world map redrawn. It is generally admitted that Canada came of age during that bitter conflict, at an appalling butcher’s bill: 61,326 dead on active service from a mobilized ...
Air Force

The Birth Of Missile Defence: Air Force, Part 3

From top: A Canadian soldier stands guard over debris from a V-2 rocket that fell near the docks in Antwerp, Belgium; A member of the French resistance examines a damaged V-1 rocket near Foucarmont, France, in 1944 In November 1939, British authorities acquired a summary of German technical developments so broad in scope and detailed in nature that their first impression was that it was a hoax. The so-called Oslo Report gained credibility as more items appeared, including differing types of radars and a deadly radio-controlled glider bomb. Among its most intriguing references was mention of ...
Defence Today

Eye On Defence: Missile Defence And Canada

by David J. Bercuson William Lyon Mackenzie King The argument as to whether or not Canada ought to participate in the United States Ballistic Missile Defense System may never be decided on the actual merits of the case. Certain elements in Canada see too much political capital to be gained from the issue to ever allow its underlying realities to be dispassionately debated (The Missile Defence Debate, March/April). Yet the startling revelation early this year of a global black market in nuclear weapons technology ought to be the one fact that makes Canadian assent an open and shut case. The public side of the story f...
Defence Today

Military Pins Hopes On Policy Review

by Ray Dick Top: Retired lieutenant-general Romeo Dallaire chairs a panel discussion on multilateralism and the Canadian Forces with (from left) analysts Sean Maloney, Ann Fitz-Gerald and David Malone. Below (from left): Defence Minister David Pratt speaks to the Conference of Defence Associations as the Legion’s National Defence Committee Chairman Lou Cuppens looks on; Canadian Press defence writer Stephen Thorne speaks on his coverage of Canadian troops in Afghanistan. The country’s top military leaders say the ...

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