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Month: March 2013

Breakthrough To Falaise: Mistakes On The Road To Success: Army, Part 105

Breakthrough To Falaise: Mistakes On The Road To Success: Army, Part 105

The second phase of Operation Totalize, which began on the afternoon of Aug. 8, 1944, was intended to bring 4th Canadian and 1st Polish Armoured divisions to the high ground overlooking the town of Falaise in Normandy. The divisions were to advance together on either side of the Caen-Falaise highway, employing tank-infantry battle groups supported by their own self-propelled guns and the medium artillery regiments. Today, visitors to the Canadian military cemetery north of Cintheaux find themselves in the middle of one of the main battlefields. The village of Cauvicourt, a key German position in the Polish division’s sector, is visible to the southeast. Cintheaux, a stone-walled Normandy village, was strongly defended in 1944, and it was understood that unless this bottleneck could ...

Veterans Identification Cards Gain Support

The Royal Canadian Legion is strongly supporting a special report by Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent calling on the federal government to issue national identification cards for all veterans. “The Veterans Ombudsman proposes the issuance of a national veterans identification card as a means of facilitating the department’s efforts to establish contact and proactively communicate with veterans. The requirement to renew the cards on a periodic basis enables Veterans Affairs Canada to maintain contact with veterans and inform them of changes to programs and services,” says the report to Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney, released Dec. 11. Titled Honouring And Connecting With Canada’s Veterans: A National Veterans Identification Card, the report says, “There is no official card issue...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – Oct. 19, 1916 Camp Hughes, Manitoba

Dear Mother, Well Musie, old Camp Hughes has got to be cleared by Oct. 26th and we are going to Winnipeg Saturday or Monday. Saturday, I believe. We are going to be in the Foley Larsen Building. I would have phoned you today only I can’t say much over the phone as it is too close to the orderly room. I got the parcel on Monday night. Burton and I soon demolished the contents as that lunch Ada brought up on Sunday took the cookhouse fever away. Gee, I won’t be sorry to get out of camp as it sure is no place for a white man these days. I am in a hell of a way here. I am in the pay office here and the paymaster wants me to stay. Gunning won’t transfer me unless I throw up my stripes. If it wasn’t for Fred I wouldn’t mind but I won’t lose my stripes and separate from Fred for the sake...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – Oct. 17, 1916 Camp Hughes, Manitoba

Dear Mother, Ada left all the stuff with us that she brought, so I have been living rather high (for Camp Hughes) since Sunday. The goodies are all gone now so I guess it is back to the mulligan for me tomorrow. I stood it all summer so guess that I can stand it again. I sent down a bunch of views of camp with Ada. What do you think of them? You will be able to show people now what the camp looks like. Say isn’t this a dandy day? Gee but it is some miserable up here with the snow. No parades today so that helped matters some. Eddie O’Neil came into camp this morning. Some fine day for a starter. I don’t know for sure but it will be Nov. 2nd when we leave here. That is not a rumour but an unofficial statement direct from headquarters. I would ask you to keep it mum though as we ...
This Week In Military History

These Are The Results For The Week Of March 25 – March 31

03/25/1952 The Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry is surrounded as the Chinese raid Hill 132. The Canadians provide strong resistance and hang on to the position until the Chinese withdraw. 03/25/1958 The CF-105 Avro Arrow flies for the first time at Malton, Ont. Planned to replace the aging CF-100, the Arrow is the most advanced interceptor of the period. 03/26/1885 Métis insurgents under Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont meet and defeat a column of North West Mounted Police and Prince Albert volunteers near Duck Lake, Sask. 03/26/1945 For American troops, fighting ends on Iwo Jima. 03/27/1916 Third British Division launches an attack against St-Eloi south of Ypres, Belgium, by exploding a series of mines under German lines. 03/27/1933 Japan decides to leav...
Shaped By Crisis: Building New Corvettes: Navy, Part 56

Shaped By Crisis: Building New Corvettes: Navy, Part 56

The operational crisis of 1942 shaped the nature of the Royal Canadian Navy’s escort fleet for the balance of the war. If the RCN and the minister of defence for naval services had had their way in early 1942, all emergency war construction would be frigates. The minister, Angus L. Macdonald, considered the whole corvette class of vessels obsolete, while the professional navy remained focused on acquiring proper warships for the postwar fleet. But Canada continued to build corvettes, and fully one third of the RCN’s corvette total was added to the fleet after 1942. Why build “obsolete” ships? The answer is twofold, and both paths led to more corvettes. The first was that Canada had significant reserve shipbuilding capacity, especially on the Great Lakes, for small warships. In the g...

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