Day: November 20, 2020

Gunners on ice
Military History

Gunners on ice

As the war on the Western Front ended, the Allies took on the Red Army on its own turf It was all Winston Churchill’s fault. In 1918, he was Minister of Munitions in Prime Minister Lloyd George’s Liberal government. In 1919, he became Secretary of State for War. During this period, he was determined to smash the Marxist Bolshevik government in Russia. He pressed for Allied troops to be used to support the “Whites” (anti-communist forces) against Vladimir Lenin’s Red Army, which was directed by the energetic, innovative Leon Trotsky. British troops had first been sent to northern Russia in March 1918 to help keep the country in the war and to safeguard Allied supplies stockpiled at Archangel and Murmansk. German troops in Finland, some feared, might seize them after the Bolshe...
Fighting Words
Humour Hunt

Fighting Words

The First World War has been over for more than a century, but it still echoes today, even in the language. The thousands of Canadian soldiers who went overseas in 1914-18 brought home words and phrases we still use. Soldiers in the trenches were plagued by lice, which were known as “chats.” The men would gather in quiet times to pick the lice out of their garments and pass the time of day with their buddies. They called it “chatting” and we still chat today, although without the pesky insects. The concept of three on a match being bad luck also came from the trenches. Soldiers believed that the lit match applied to one cigarette might draw the eye of a sniper. The second light would give him a chance to zero in and the third light, Bang! Very bad luck. The word strafe—to machine-gun...
Interactive maps now telling Canada’s military history
News

Interactive maps now telling Canada’s military history

Canadians interested in military history will soon have a new—and free—interactive tool for researching the Canadian Army’s Italian Campaign during the Second World War. Several years ago, the Canadian Research and Mapping Association (CRMA) set out to create an interactive website—www.project44.ca—to collect digitally preserved maps, aerial imagery, photographs and war diaries tracing the progress of the Canadian Army during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. “We wanted people to be able to visualize what was happening,” said Drew Hannen, vice president of the association. “The platform is great to give context to what happened and where it happened.” The website’s first project was “The Road to Liberation,” which was launched on the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019. Click on the...