NEW! Canadian Military History Trivia Challenge

Day: July 1, 2004

Defence Today

Eye On Defence: The Era Of the Tank Fades

by David J. Bercuson PHOTO: PfC Andrew Hillegass, courtesy of u.s. army The Canadian Forces has chosen a modified version of the Stryker armoured vehicle used by the United States Army. There has probably been more kerfuffle, more public debate, and more hand-wringing within the army over last fall’s announcement that the Land Force is to acquire the new Stryker Mobile Gun System mounting a 105 millimetre cannon than on any other recent procurement decision. The government announced that, in effect, 60 of these vehicles would replace the older Leopard tanks acquired in the 1970s but recently upgraded with new turrets and modern fire control systems. The Mobile Gun System consists of a high velocity, direct fire, 105-mm gun m...
Defence Today

Ontario Field Of Honour Dedicated In Brampton

by Ray Dick photo: Ray dick Veterans Affairs Minister John McCallum places a wreath. A cold rain dampened enthusiasm and kept many of the expected spectators away from Brampton’s Meadowvale Cemetery on the Sunday afternoon of May 2. But the show went on regardless as a section of the cemetery was dedicated as the Last Post Fund Ontario Field of Honour, a hallowed burial ground for veterans and eligible civilians. “This dedication ceremony honours all Canadian veterans, including those who fought and those who have stood ready to fight...,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Evelyn Kelly who as president of the board of directors of the Ontario Branch of the Last Post Fund stood under an umbrella to welcome veterans, serving military members and other dignitaries to the event. ...
Defence Today

Old Military Base Gets New Life At Historic Toronto Site

by Ray Dick photo: national defence The new Denison Armoury at CFB Downsview is a two-year-old $40 million structure housing Land Forces Central Area and the support group for reserve and cadet units in the Toronto area. The Downsview Lands, a 600-acre parcel of land in the heart of Toronto that once bustled with activity in supplying the manpower and implements for war and peace, is now changing dramatically as work is well underway in the development of Canada’s first self-supporting national urban park. This is part of the high ground that in early days before industrialization, expansion and the demands of war provided a perfect view of the Toronto harbour. Indian tribes roamed the area, settlers tilled the land and...
Defence Today

Sweeping Changes For Modern Veterans Promised

Photo: Tom MacGregor Veterans Affairs Minister John McCallum. Modern-day Canadian Forces members are set to see radical changes to the support system available to them once they return to civilian life. In the spirit of the Veterans Charter established at the end of WW II, the federal government recently announced its intention to reform the current programs and services for those leaving the forces. The May announcement followed closely on the heels of documents released by the Veterans Affairs Canada-Canadian Forces Advisory Council, which indicated the urgent need for improvement. Veterans Affairs Minister John McCallum was joined by National Defence Minister David Pratt at an Ottawa press conference. “When one mill...
Defence Today

Duty And Death In Afghanistan

by Stephen J. Thorne Photo: Stephen J. Thorne, CP Warrant Officer Rob Cushman, Sergeant Dave Dunn, Master Corporal Renell Mayer and M.Cpl. Aaron Wall survey Kabul from a mountainside. My translator was an 18-year-old kid named Sohrab Shaheed. I called him Manilay, a name he reserved for his closest friends and relatives. His uncle had given him the name. It meant ‘the accepted one.’ ‘Shaheed’ meant ‘martyr for the cause of Islam.’ Manilay was a good Muslim—devout and peaceful. But he was no martyr, not in the sense that we have come to understand the word, at least. A student in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, Manilay had high hopes of following in his brother and sister’s footsteps and becoming a doctor. He was taking...
Pilgrimages

From Books To Battlefields

photos by Dan Black Royal Military College officer cadets (from left) Michael St. Pierre, Neil Pettitt, Andre Gascon and Karla Lyster emerge from a pillbox that has fallen from its wartime position overlooking the beach at Puys. France. Step beyond the lines you’ve read and venture onto the fields or beaches. Feel the ground beneath your feet and take a deep breath. Look around; orient yourself to the complexities of the ground and try to figure out what was at stake. Now listen to the people who not only teach military history, but know what works and what doesn’t from a tactical point of view. It’s the perfect learning opportunity if you’re interested in Canada’s military past, especially if you’re studying to be an officer in the Canadian Forces. Take th...

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