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Day: July 1, 2010

Military History

Then And Now

Gas Masks: FROM HANKIES TO RESPIRATORS The worst of warfare has certainly included the possibility of gas or other lethal chemical weapons. Respirators and hoods have saved lives, but they’re hot and take some getting used to on the battlefield. Urine-soaked hankies saved some at Ypres in 1915. Guns And Rifles: FROM THE ROSS TO MODERN ASSAULT Named after its developer Sir Charles Ross, the Ross rifle performed poorly in muddy battlefield conditions during the First World War, although many believed in it as a target rifle.  It was subsequently abandoned by soldiers who preferred the British Lee-Enfield. Hunting rifles, including elephant guns, were used for sniping in the First World War until army rifles were modified. Better optics and precision parts hav...
Health

Then And Now – Medical

Bandages: From Rags to Glue Bandages and wound dressings have been around probably since the first child skinned a knee and the first cook’s hand slipped while skinning dinner. Strips of hide or absorbent plant fibres were first used to staunch bleeding and protect wounds as they healed. Some of the earliest written records describe using such material to bind up battle wounds. For millennia, strips of cloth have been used for bandages. In recent centuries armies have stockpiled clean bandages and governments have had campaigns to encourage civilian women to make and roll bandages for use at the front. People used to save rags to tend to home front boo-boos until Earle Dickson, a cotton buyer for Johnson & Johnson, invented a convenient self-adhesive bandage for his a...
On This Date

On This Date – July 2010

1 JULY 1916 The Anglo-French Somme offensive begins astride the Somme River in Picardy, France. The Newfoundland Regiment, attached to the 29th British Division, is decimated at Beaumont-Hamel. 2 JULY 1940 His Majesty’s Canadian Ship St. Laurent rescues 860 survivors of the torpedoed liner Arandora Star. It is one of the largest single rescue operations of the Second World War. 3 JULY 1944 A German convoy off St. Malo, France, is attacked by four Canadian Motor Torpedo Boats of the 65th Flotilla. MTBs 735, 736 and 748 torpedo two merchant ships and hit the minesweeper M-133 with gunfire. 4 JULY 1944 Under Operation Windsor, four Canadian battalions assault German strongpoints on Carpiquet airfield, west of Caen, France. 5/6 JULY 1944 As part of Escort Gro...
Air Force

Burma Campaign Veterans To Be Honoured

It has been 65 years since the end of the Second World War, and this year’s commemorations in Ottawa for VJ-Day (Victory over Japan Day) will include special focus on Canadian veterans of the Burma Campaign. The Royal Canadian Air Force was a major participant in the campaign. It provided two transport squadrons—435 and 436—that supplied the British 14th Army as it pushed Japanese forces out of India and Burma (now Myanmar) in 1944 and 1945. It must also be noted that a number of Canadians served with the 14th Army, including Major Charles Ferguson Hoey of Duncan, B.C., who earned the Victoria Cross posthumously for action in Burma in 1944. The RCAF’s 413 Squadron also served with distinction in the Far East, in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). As well, RCAF personnel serving with Royal A...

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