Day: June 9, 2021

Crushing the Kriegsmarine
News

Crushing the Kriegsmarine

While Allied troops were fighting to secure the Normandy beachhead on June 9, 1944, Canadian air and naval forces helped destroy what was left of the German surface fleet By June 1944, Hitler’s Kriegsmarine was a shadow of its former self.  Its mighty battleships had all been sunk or bottled-up in distant ports and the U-boat fleet, once so menacing to Allied communications, had been reduced to a mere nuisance by overwhelming air and naval superiority. But the Kriegsmarine was a proud service, and as soon as it learned of the Normandy landings, it threw what resources it had left into the fray.  On the morning of June 6, as Allied troops were pouring ashore in northern France, German Admiral Theodor Krancke ordered the three destroyers of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla, the most powerful ...
The sinking of U-94
Defence Today, Front Lines

The sinking of U-94

The sinking of U-94 by an American aircraft and HMCS Oakville off Cuba on the night of Aug. 27-28, 1942, brought to a dramatic end the submarine’s relatively long and eventful service in the Kriegsmarine. Commissioned in August 1940, U-94 had sunk 26 Allied ships in two years, totalling 141,852 gross register tons, under the successive command of two Knight’s Cross recipients, Kapitänleutnant Herbert Kuppisch and Oberleutnant zur See Otto Ites. But a year before the tide of battle shifted in the U-boat war, the interrogations of U-94’s 26 survivors told other stories—of joyful encounters with porpoises the crew at first mistook for torpedoes; gifts of music and money from German corporations; and near-fatal sabotage engineered by Polish slaves during a refit.   The 29-sh...
Canadians in the Huaylas
Military History, Military Milestones

Canadians in the Huaylas

On the last day of May 1970, a massive 7.9 magnitude earthquake devastated the Santa Valley (Callejón de Huaylas) in Peru, releasing a deadly mudslide that thundered through villages at 160 kilometres per hour. Boulders as big as houses smashed adobe homes as a 20-metre wave of mud, debris and glacier ice swept away trees and buildings and all life before it. The towns of Yungay and Ranrahirca were flattened and 18,000 people were killed. Nearly 67,000 people died and 800,000 were left homeless throughout the region. On June 6, Canada dispatched six aircraft to help in the relief effort. It took them two days to make the 6,000-kilometre journey to Peru. When they arrived there was only one airfield open, and it was located so precariously that in the first week four helicopters and o...

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