NEW! Canadian Military History Trivia Challenge

Month: November 2019

Rainbow veterans seeking recognition
News

Rainbow veterans seeking recognition

The Rainbow Veterans of Canada (RVC) is a new veterans group looking at providing support for those who suffered discrimination in the Canadian Armed Forces because of their sexual orientation. “We want to work with other veterans groups. We want to belong to the veteran community,” said Diane Pitre, president of the group which represents those who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S) and who suffered discrimination while in the military. From the 1950s to the 1990s, the federal government had a policy of removing gay people from positions in the CAF, the RCMP and the public service. Often referred to as the gay purge, it was a product of the Cold War when the conventional thinking was that such people could easily be blackmailed by enemy fo...
War graves commission launches virtual tours of remote sites
Front Lines

War graves commission launches virtual tours of remote sites

Private Donald Alexander Pollock never made it overseas after the 24-year-old farm boy from Kramer, Sask., signed up with the Saskatchewan Regiment, on July 5, 1918. “Canada Only” is written in red ink on his brief service record, which states the five-foot, six-and-a-half-inch, 127-pound soldier was discharged in December 1918 “in consequence of having died.” Pollock, a chronic asthmatic, had contracted Spanish flu, brought it home to his remote Saskatchewan homestead, and passed it on to his twin brother Alexander. The two died the same day—Nov. 15, 1918. They are buried side-by-side in a secluded spot on the old family homestead, Pollock under the familiar grey headstone administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission; his brother memorialized by a private marker. Fin...
The sinking of <em> U-536 </em>
Military Milestones

The sinking of U-536

In an irony of war, a German U-boat meant to harry the eastern coast of Canada came to its bitter end in the mid-Atlantic, its surviving crew rescued by Canadian sailors. U-536 was commanded by Kapitänleutnant Rolf Shauenburg, who had joined the navy in 1934, and was already an officer when war was declared. He had served aboard a German destroyer that sank nine vessels at the beginning of the war. The young officer became a prisoner of war, escaped and was recaptured. After his release was negotiated, he returned to Germany, served on minesweepers, then was given command of a U-boat in January 1943. In the fall, U-536 was sent close to the East Coast to rescue German prisoners planning a mass escape from a PoW camp in Bowmanville, Ont. They had been provided with Canadian money, hid...
Afghanistan museum to be located in Calgary
News

Afghanistan museum to be located in Calgary

The Military Museums in Calgary—the country’s second largest military museum—is poised to get a lot larger with an expansion including a new museum devoted to the war in Afghanistan.  “We’ve been honoured [to have been chosen] to be the permanent home of the Afghanistan legacy exhibit,” said director Doug Stinson. “There’s a lot of stuff that came back from our time in Afghanistan that’s sitting in warehouses or travelling,” he said. Those artifacts will serve as the cornerstone of exhibits honouring the more than 40,000 Canadians who served and the 158 soldiers and seven civilians who died in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014. But during fundraising and planning for the expansion, which is expected to be about 3,000 square metres and cost about $50 million, it’s business as usual f...
Navy apologizes for delayed release of health study
News

Navy apologizes for delayed release of health study

The Royal Canadian Navy has apologized for a five-year delay in releasing its study on the health of 56 navy crew who survived a 2004 fire aboard HMCS Chicoutimi. Chicoutimi is one of four retired diesel-electric submarines Canada bought from Britain in the late 1990s. The submarines needed extensive repair and retrofitting. Chicoutimi was the last to join the Canadian fleet on Oct. 2, 2004. On Oct 5, running on the surface with upper and lower hatches open during repair work, a massive wave dumped seawater into the boat at about 11 a.m. Two hours later, an electrical fire broke out and, in seconds, thick black smoke spread through the decks. Nine of the crew suffered smoke inhalation, three severely. They were about 200 kilometres off the Irish coast and high seas prevented an immed...
Montreal is captured by the Americans
Military Milestones

Montreal is captured by the Americans

On Nov. 13, 1775, Montreal was captured, without a fight, by American revolutionaries. The American Revolution, the revolt by American Patriots in the British colonies on the Eastern Seaboard which began in April 1775, naturally boiled over from the Thirteen Colonies to British colonies in Canada. The rebels formed what was called the Continental Army and launched a campaign to entice Canadians, particularly Québécois, to join them. They found some support in Montreal, where American sympathizers also resented British taxes, and were unhappy with the Quebec Act of 1774 which guaranteed religious freedom and restored French civil law, to the chagrin of the Protestants. The day the act came into effect, a bust of the king was vandalized to read “the pope of Canada” and “the English ...

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