NEW! Canadian Military History Trivia Challenge

Day: May 1, 2016

Our back pages: 1946-1960

Our back pages: 1946-1960

Resettlement and a larger magazine Third in a six-part series looking back at 90 years of  The Legionary and Legion Magazine After the Second World War, The Legionary became an important vehicle for communicating news of benefits available to returning veterans. Still, the Legion had problems putting forth its positions and increasing membership since not all Legionnaires were Legionary subscribers. Shortly after the war ended, the magazine began carrying a regular feature called “The Legionary’s 100 per cent Honour Roll,” listing the branches that subscribed for all their paid-up members. The magazine emphasized the resettlement benefits, such as grants for continued education and housing available through the Veterans Land Administration, which helped veterans build their ...

Is it combat or not? It doesn’t matter. It’s war.

What is happening right now in Iraq is politically unclear. The main questions involve whether Canada is at war (officially, not), whether Canadian troops are on a combat mission (officially, denied) and, more importantly, whether the huge multi-pronged alliance campaign (of which Canada is a part, undeniably) will actually succeed in destroying the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This is really a debate about the role politics plays in our foreign military missions. To be sure, our troops are not in Iraq as principal combatants. We will have approximately 800 soldiers there, working along with other coalition forces, to train, advise and assist the Iraqi security forces in developing their military skills so they can deal with the threat. Still that does not mean our t...
Heroes and Villains: Bethune and Franco
Heroes And Villains

Heroes and Villains: Bethune and Franco

On Feb. 8, 1937, some 150,000 Spanish civilians fled Málaga and General Francisco Franco’s closing Nationalist forces. Confined to a narrow coastal road, the refugees soon met Canadian doctor Norman Bethune   Norman Bethune, the 46-year-old former chief of thoracic surgery at Montreal’s Sacré-Cœur Hospital, arrived in Spain on Nov. 3, 1936, as the head of a medical unit dispatched by the Canadian Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy. Bethune was convinced that international fascism sought to dominate the world. “They’ve begun in Germany, in Japan, now in Spain and they’re coming out in the open everywhere. If we don’t stop them in Spain while we can, they’ll turn the world into a slaughterhouse,” he predicted. After touring the battlefront, Bethune realized that many of the ...
Sinking the Bismarck

Sinking the Bismarck

A handful of Canadians played modest roles in the historic demise of the Nazi battleship 75 years ago On May 21, 1941, the most powerful warship in Europe disappeared from her anchorage in Bergen, Norway. The British, anxiously watching and waiting, could surmise where the brand new 50,000-tonne battleship Bismarck was going: to the broad reaches of the North Atlantic Ocean and the convoy lanes that sustained Britain herself. Over the next seven days, one of the great dramas of the Second World War played out until, on May 27, Bismarck was cornered and sunk.  No Canadian warships were directly involved in the Bismarck episode. At that stage of the war, the Royal Canadian Navy lacked the fleet-class destroyers and cruisers needed for such perilous work. While Bismarck was loose on the...

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