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Month: November 2019

Assault pioneers make a comeback in Canada
Front Lines

Assault pioneers make a comeback in Canada

An age-old military tradition has returned to the Canadian Army just a few years after it was abandoned. Assault pioneers—long-known as the bearded, leather-aproned, axe-bearing innovators whose jobs originated with the Roman legions—are making a comeback, albeit with some modern twists. Attached to infantry units, they have typically been responsible for manual labour and light engineering work such as road-clearing (hence, the axe) and specialized explosives work, making way for assault troops to proceed with their lethal tasks. Usually about 10 men strong, they are the MacGyvers of the infantry units, coming up with novel solutions to unique problems or obstructions that usually impede the progress of the main body of troops. The British army’s Royal Pioneer Corps define...
Military justice system remains intact
Eye On Defence

Military justice system remains intact

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a 5-2 judgment that Canada’s military justice system does not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, especially with respect to trial by jury. The case arose out of a guilty verdict in the court martial of Master Corporal Raphael Beaudry, who was charged in December 2014 with sexual assault causing bodily harm. Beaudry appealed the verdict to the Court Martial Appeals Court, which found that serving members of the military should have the right under the Charter to elect trial by jury, as is the case with civilian prosecutions, instead of appearing in front of a court martial panel consisting of a military judge and five members of the armed forces. The case had the potential to throw the military justice system into...
Last soldier standing
Military History, Podcasts

Last soldier standing

More than a million Canadians served in the Second World War. Just 41,100 of them remained as of March 31, 2018, according to Veterans Affairs Canada. They averaged 93 years old. Some 25,000 Canadians served in Korea. As of the same date, 7,200 remained, and their average age was 86. The following veterans were the last survivors of Canada’s previous wars: Canadian-born Sir Provo William Parry Wallis was a junior officer in the Royal Navy during the War of 1812. He died on Feb. 13, 1892, just short of his 101st birthday. He served as temporary captain of HMS Shannon for six days as it escorted the captu-red USS Chesapeake to Halifax Harbour, after his captain was badly wounded and first lieute-nant killed in one of the war’s most memorable confrontations. Eventually promoted A...
Indigenous War Heroes
Military History

Indigenous War Heroes

Their ancestors fought beside the British in the Seven Years War and the American Revolution in the 1700s and in the War of 1812. In 1885, they navigated Africa’s Nile River on a British military rescue mission and volunteered for Canada’s first international expeditionary force at the dawn of the 20th century, fighting with the British in the Boer War in South Africa. But when Great Britain called for aid during the First World War, the support of Indigenous Peoples—First Nations, Inuit and Métis—initially caught the Canadian government off guard. Status Indians were “wards of the government and did not have the rights or responsibilities of citizenship,” wrote historian James Dempsey, who is of Kainai (formerly Blood) First Nation ancestry, in Aboriginal Soldiers in the First World W...
The Nov/Dec 2019 issue is on newsstands across Canada!
News

The Nov/Dec 2019 issue is on newsstands across Canada!

Our best-selling November/December 2019 issue of Legion Magazine is out today! Look for it on newsstands or check your mailbox if you subscribe already.  LAST SOLDIER STANDING “They should commemorate all of them, instead of just one,” said the last surviving veteran of the First World War CHOPPER MISSION A day in the life of Canada’s CH-146 Griffon fleet INDIGENOUS WAR HEROES Brothers-in-arms in the trenches, First Nations, Métis and Inuit volunteers also fought for their home and native land A TOUR TO REMEMBER Pilgrims visit world war battlefields where forefathers fought and memorials where their sacrifice is honoured THE ART OF RECRUITMENT Posters were an effective way to encourage enlistment MANAGING CANADA’S WARTIME IMAGE Eighty years ago, the fledgling Na...
George Pearkes and the Battle of Passchendaele
Military Milestones

George Pearkes and the Battle of Passchendaele

In 1917, the British wanted to destroy U-boat bases on the Belgian coast before the Germans could mount a blockade that would cripple Allied efforts. Capturing the ridge at Passchendaele, the highest point in the area, would give them an advantage. The Canadian Corps, which had fought in a dozen battles after its success capturing Vimy Ridge in April, was ordered in October 1917 to help capture the ridge at Passchendaele. The objections of their commander, Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie, were ignored. Months of fighting and unrelenting rain had turned the area into a muddy bog in which men and horses drowned. The stench of unburied bodies seemed to underscore the futility of the task. He estimated 16,000 Canadian lives would be lost in the attempt; the total was 15,654. Curr...

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