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Month: October 2019

The law reaches Fort Whoop-Up
Military Milestones

The law reaches Fort Whoop-Up

  In 1873, the people of what is now southern Alberta and Saskatchewan had a serious complaint. With no police force, traders and outlaws who had fled prohibition in the United States had established a well-defended fort where they traded buffalo robes and sold U.S. whiskey, largely to First Nations people, and spread criminal chaos throughout the countryside. Even though it was in Canadian territory, an American flag was said to fly over Fort Whoop-Up, near modern-day Lethbridge. Violence and criminal activity seeped from this criminal cul-de-sac into surrounding territory. “The region of Saskatchewan is without law, order or security for life or property,” wrote the British officer sent to investigate. “Robbery and murder for years have gone unpunished…massacres are uncheck...
Bringing the navy up to date
Eye On Defence

Bringing the navy up to date

A nation’s defence policy is inextricably tied to that nation’s willingness or ability to defend its sovereignty over its lands, waters and skies. In Canada’s case, the Royal Canadian Navy must play a crucial role in knowing who is operating in Canadian waters, what their intentions are, and whether they constitute a danger to Canada or Canadians. At present, the RCN is in a prolonged state of transition from the navy of the 1990s to the navy of the 21st century, but that transition is taking too long. This is due to the inaction of the federal government (both Liberal and Conservative) to ensure a smooth transition and to put up the money to purchase the equipment necessary to do the job. What, precisely, is that job? It is two-phased. In the first instance, the navy must patrol and, ...
Docbots and drones
Military Health Matters

Docbots and drones

Military medics used to paint their helmets or wear armbands with red crosses to make themselves more visible, signalling to the enemy that they, and the soldiers they cared for, were not combatants. In a once widely respected humanitarian rule of war, they were not deliberately targeted. But they can no longer count on such principled behaviour. Today terrorists target medics as well as the wounded men and women they try to help. Wounded soldiers’ best chance at survival comes with aid in the first 30 minutes. And if they can be evacuated to a field hospital within 60 minutes, a period known as the golden hour, their chances of survival rise to as much as 97 per cent. But too often, under fire, it’s humanly impossible for help to arrive in time; nearly all Western military personnel ...
Hitler, Raeder, and the demise of the <em> Kriegsmarine </em>
Front Lines, Podcasts

Hitler, Raeder, and the demise of the Kriegsmarine

  Given his obsessive, hands-on leadership, intolerance of failure, and penchant for brutal punishment, it had to be more than a little disconcerting when an infuriated Adolf Hitler learned details of a major sea battle from a British news agency hours before his own admirals told him about it. Der Führer was so angry that he scrapped the German high-seas fleet in the midst of the Second World War. Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, who had commanded the Kriegsmarine for 14 years, would surrender his post to Admiral Karl Dönitz, head of Germany’s vaunted U-boat fleet. Caught in the middle of this uncomfortable circumstance was Vice-Admiral Theodore Krancke, naval liaison officer at Hitler’s command headquarters in 1942-43. Krancke’s account of the debacle is stored in Allied...
On this date: October 2019
On This Date

On this date: October 2019

1 October 1944 Calais, France, is occupied by the 3rd Canadian Division. 2-3 October 1944 First Canadian Army begins its hard slog to clear the Scheldt Estuary in an effort to open the port of Antwerp. 4 October 1957 The first Avro Arrow rolls out on the same day the Russians launch the satellite Sputnik. 5 October 1939 Major-General A.G.L. McNaughton is appointed head of 1st Canadian Division. 6 October 1986 The United Nations awards the people of Canada the Nansen Refugee Award for the country’s record of sheltering world refugees. 7 October 1950 The United Nations recommends “all appropriate steps be taken to ensure conditions of stability throughout Korea.” 8 October 1880 Canada’s governor general requests the British Admiralty supply a naval training vessel; HMS Chary...

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