Month: September 2017

10 Celebrities Who Served in the Second World War [Part 1]
Blog, enLISTED

10 Celebrities Who Served in the Second World War [Part 1]

Bob Barker Before solidifying his legacy as the host of “The Price is Right”, Bob Barker served in the United States Navy as a fighter pilot. He enlisted after attending Drury College on a basketball scholarship, but the war ended before he was assigned to a sea-going mission. Mel Brooks It’s hard to think that famous funnyman Mel Brooks was a battle-hardened veteran of the Second World War. Brooks was drafted while studying psychology at Brooklyn College and served as a corporal in the 1104 Engineer Combat Battalion, 78th Infantry Division, defusing land mines. James Doohan Famous for his role as the chief engineer of the starship Enterprise, James Doohan enlisted in the Royal Canadian Artillery and was a member of the 14th Field Battery, 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. Doohan wa...
New exhibit spans five conflicts
Front Lines

New exhibit spans five conflicts

Walk into the new permanent gallery at the Canadian War Museum and the first thing you’ll see are two harbingers of change—a section of the Berlin Wall and a case filled with captured AK-47 rifles. Unfortunately, the change these artifacts represent isn’t the one many would have hoped for when the Cold War came crumbling to an end with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and, ultimately, the Soviet Union. It was there, behind the Iron Curtain, where Soviet general Mikhail Kalashnikov invented the AK at the outset of East-West hostilities, but the Cold War proved to be only the weapon’s adolescence. The AK came of age in the aftermath of communism’s dominance in Russia and Eastern Europe, when the light, simple, unfailingly reliable yet notoriously inaccurate rifle became the chosen we...
War on two wheels
Artifacts

War on two wheels

FIRST WORLD WAR Only a handful of motorcycles went across when the Canadians embarked for Europe, but by war’s end, thousands had been put to good use. Linemen used them to check telegraph wires, officers as transport, infantry for scouting. Their riders delivered medical supplies and evacuated the wounded. A few had sidecars fitted with guns. But their biggest role was ferrying messages to and from headquarters, to distant units in England, and to battalions and batteries at the front. Dispatch riders (DRs) even delivered carrier pigeons in wicker baskets strapped to their backs. Wherever Canadian troops went, so went motorcycles—even to Vladivostok, on Russia’s Pacific coast. On the Western Front, DRs became adept at adjusting their speed according to intervals between shell bu...
The Wounded
Invictus Games

The Wounded

Essay and photography by Stephen J. Thorne They have been the forgotten heroes of wars from time immemorial, all but invisible as they swim the seas and scale the mountains that their wounds, physical and psychological, have laid before them. It’s the war dead who get the attention. And rightly so, the wounded will say. Most don’t seek sympathy or accolades in their sacrifice and struggles, triumphs and defeats. They emerge from the shadows to demand what is due, and recede again. “With regard to my stories,” wrote one soldier, who politely declined to participate in this project, “I’d prefer to keep them in my head. It’s nothing against you or the public, but I would rather be the quiet professional and put the war behind me.” Many say they have changed, that their ordeals hav...
Storied Lee-Enfield rifle heads into retirement
Front Lines

Storied Lee-Enfield rifle heads into retirement

  For 12 years now, Eena Kooneeliusie, a private in 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (1CRPG), has been packing her cherished Lee-Enfield .303 service rifle as she did her part in asserting the country’s sovereignty in the High Arctic. It has served her well. While she has never had to defend herself during patrols of her native Nunavut, she has hunted life-sustaining seals and caribou with what for all intents and purposes is a museum piece, albeit a mighty handy—and effective—one. “It’s good,” Kooneeliusie said last week at an annual international shooting competition in Ottawa, where the Lee-Enfield was making what is likely to be its final appearance. “It’s kinda light, not too long, not too heavy.” The Lee-Enfield, with its smooth bolt action, 10-round magazine and sto...
Dallaire’s nightmare
O Canada

Dallaire’s nightmare

I too was a commander who set out on what I thought was an exciting adventure,” Romeo Dallaire writes in Waiting for First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD, “only to bear witness to the most terrible horrors on earth.” It is a familiar story, one first heard in modern times in the Boer War, and given full flower in the slaughter of the First World War. A soldier goes to a foreign land with a sense of duty and adventure and finds himself in a hell he was unable to imagine. The exciting adventure for Dallaire was a peacekeeping mission in Rwanda in 1994, where 800,000 people were eventually slaughtered. He described this in Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. What he didn’t describe was the effect it had on him. “PTSD,” he writes in his new book, “which wa...

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