Day: March 16, 2021

Adrift in the Bay of Biscay
Military History, Military Milestones

Adrift in the Bay of Biscay

  Just after 7:30 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day in 1945, survivors of the minesweeper HMCS Guysborough were in frigid Atlantic waters awaiting rescue. About half of them wouldn’t make it. Guysborough was about 300 kilometres off the coast of France in the Bay of Biscay en route from Lunenburg, N.S., to England when it was hit in the stern by an acoustic torpedo from U-868 just before 7 p.m. on March 17. The ship was disabled but did not sink. The crew gathered on the main deck, waiting for a tow. The Germans fired again. The explosion killed two crew, and the ship listed to port. Remaining crew “ran uphill and went over the rail on the starboard side,” recalled John Gleason, who shared his story with Legion Magazine in December 2013. “Nearly half of us ended up around one Car...
The new Space Jam: General calls for traffic cops in crowded orbit
Defence Today, Front Lines

The new Space Jam: General calls for traffic cops in crowded orbit

  The head of United States space operations is seeking new ways to manage the traffic jam of satellites and space junk crowding the skies over Earth—and to prevent fender-benders and extraterrestrial road rage in the process. “The space domain…has become congested, contested and competitive.” Speaking at this year’s virtual Ottawa Conference on Security and Defence, Lieutenant General Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command, said humankind is entering “a second golden age of space” but, like all things human, it brings unwanted baggage along with it. “The space domain…has become congested, contested and competitive,” said Whiting, whose command is part of a new branch of the U.S. military with its sights focused on the great beyond. He told his online audien...
A harder line against China is needed
Defence Today, Eye On Defence

A harder line against China is needed

Last October, thousands of American and Japanese troops and hundreds of naval vessels from both countries held a joint landing exercise not far from Okinawa. In recent years the annual operation, Keen Sword, has become more intense and more extensive. This time, an American Nimitz-class aircraft carrier with a strike group participated. Keen Sword is part of naval preparedness operations under “The Quad,” an informal—but growing into a stable—mini-alliance of the United States, India, Japan and Australia. It was formed to counter growing Chinese naval threats to countries on the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and China’s efforts to expand its influence to island nations scattered from the Indian Ocean to the central Pacific. The United States and Australia have long had mutu...
Was it right to commute Kurt Meyer’s death sentence for killing Canadian PoWs?
Face to Face

Was it right to commute Kurt Meyer’s death sentence for killing Canadian PoWs?

Mark Zuehlke says YES On June 7, 1944, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division started its advance inland from Juno Beach and fought against German Panzer units.  Kurt Meyer, the Standarten-führer (standard leader) of the 25th Regiment, 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjügend (Hitler Youth) Division, had a headquarters at the Abbaye d’Ardenne—about three kilometres west of Caen, France—to direct Germany’s counterattacks.  In the ensuing five-day battle, several Canadian battalions were overrun and an estimated 156 prisoners were murdered by 12th SS troops. Eighteen were killed at the Abbaye on the night of June 7 and on the following day. After a year-long investigation, Meyer was tried on five related charges before the Canadian War Crimes Commission in December 1945. First: that he ...

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