Day: September 2, 2020

German Red Cross to continue tracking WW II disappearances
Front Lines

German Red Cross to continue tracking WW II disappearances

For many outside the battle zones of Europe, the Second World War is a matter of textbooks and faded black-and-white photographs. But for those whose roots lay in the paths of Adolf Hitler’s conquest, the war remains close, a tactile connection to tragedy and loss even 75 years and three generations removed from 85 million deaths and untold suffering. Siblings, children, grandchildren feel the pang of lost relatives many never knew. In Germany, where the war began and ended, the fate of more than a million soldiers and citizens remains unknown. Many were taken prisoner by Red Army troops, never to be seen again. This is his last proof of life, the last time he wrote to us.” In the Bavarian town of Nördlingen, Diethild Heubel clutched a yellowed, decades-old letter, neatly handwritt...
The day Canadian Corps earned seven Victoria Crosses
Military Milestones

The day Canadian Corps earned seven Victoria Crosses

On Sept. 2, 1918, Day 26 of the Hundred Days Offensive, the objective was to breach the Drocourt-Quéant Line, a heavily fortified German front stretching about 25 kilometres between the two towns in northern France. Seven members of the Canadian Corps earned the Victoria Cross that day as they overran the line across a front of six kilometres and penetrated nearly 10 kilometres into enemy-held land. Only one, Lieutenant-Colonel Cyrus Wesley Peck, had been born in Canada. Although he had been born in New Brunswick, he had been elected a member of Parliament for Skeena, B.C., while he was still serving overseas. Under heavy machine-gun and sniper fire, Peck reconnoitred an enemy position that was the source of heavy fire, reorganized his battalion, and led his men in to deal with it...
Should the James Cross kidnappers have been granted safe passage to Cuba?
Face to Face

Should the James Cross kidnappers have been granted safe passage to Cuba?

In the early morning hours of Dec. 3, 1970, dozens of police officers and heavily armed soldiers surrounded a modest dwelling in Montreal North where, for nearly two months, British diplomat James Cross had been held hostage by a gang of would-be revolutionaries who styled themselves the Liberation Cell of the Front de libération du Québec. Their situation was hopeless, but the kidnappers remained defiant. They warned the authorities via a handwritten communiqué that if the police attempted to storm the hideout with guns or tear gas, Cross would be the first to die. And they were in possession of two sawed-off .30-calibre carbines, two handguns and eight pounds of dynamite. Rather than risk Cross’s life, the authorities wisely agreed to grant the kidnappers safe passage to Cuba in exch...
Heroes and Villains: Vickers and Barrett vs Zehaf-Bibeau
Heroes And Villains, Military History

Heroes and Villains: Vickers and Barrett vs Zehaf-Bibeau

HEROES: Kevin Vickers and Curtis Barrett On Oct. 22, 2014, Parliamentary Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers heard at least a dozen gunshots outside his office adjacent to the House of Commons Hall of Honour.  Snapping a 15-round clip into his 9-millimetre Smith & Wesson pistol, the former RCMP officer of 29 years walked toward the firing. As Vickers closed on an alcove where gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was sheltering, a colleague shouted that he was right beside the gunman. Pressing up against a pillar, Vickers saw the barrel of a long gun thrusting out from the opposite side. Vickers could also hear Zehaf-Bibeau’s laboured breathing. Vickers was about to engage when four Mounties, who had deployed as an ad hoc incident active response team, advanced into the Hall of Honour in diamon...
On This Date

On this date: September 2020

1 September 1944 Dieppe, France, is liberated by 2nd Canadian Division, which had been hard-hit at the disastrous raid in August 1942. A large victory parade follows. 2 September 1945 Japan signs terms of surrender on USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, bringing an end to six years of war. 3 September 1939 England and France declare war on Germany. Within two hours, U-30 sinks SS Athenia sailing from Glasgow and Liverpool to Montreal. 4 September 1914 The Canadian military camp at Valcartier, north of Quebec City, swells with 32,000 men and 8,000 horses. 5 September 1758 A force of 1,500 British troops in nine vessels arrives in Gaspé Bay to begin raiding Acadian villages on the coast of present-day New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula. 6 September 1952 CBFT Montreal, ...
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