NEW! Canadian Military History Trivia Challenge

Month: August 2021

Was the Newfoundland Regiment sacrificed at Beaumont-Hamel?
Face to Face, Military History

Was the Newfoundland Regiment sacrificed at Beaumont-Hamel?

John Boileau says YES It was a battle that should never have occurred.   There was no sound military reason for a British attack on the Somme at a location of no military importance. The British were unprepared for a massive summer assault and would have preferred to wait until the fall.  The terrain favoured the defender, who was exceptionally well-prepared.  The British soldiers were largely raw volunteers. Their artillery support was inadequate and lifted forward too soon.  The detonation of mines shortly before zero hour alerted the Germans and allowed them to man their defences. The first assault began at 7:30 a.m., when the defenders could clearly see the attackers.  There were a staggering 30,000 casualties within the opening hour, but medical facilities had been told to ant...
The eyes of war
Defence Today, Front Lines

The eyes of war

Canadian Paul J. Tomelin’s photograph of a young private waiting for medical aid after battle stands among the Korean War’s most compelling photographs. A sergeant in the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, Tomelin was deployed to the Korean Peninsula for one year in 1951-52. He managed to wrangle another six months in-country, during which he said he got some of his best images. None was better than his June 22, 1952, photograph of a bloodied and battered Private Heath Matthews of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, wounded by shrapnel and looking old beyond his 19 years. Matthews, a signaller, was standing outside a medical tent awaiting attention after a company-strength raid the night before on an enemy position near Hill 166, the dominant feature on the Ch...
Almost Calgary
Military History, Military Milestones

Almost Calgary

But for a cold winter and a cold heart, the city we know as Calgary could well have a different name, one that traces back three centuries to Canada’s original French settlers. As a teenager, Éphrem-Albert Brisebois, who was born in Canada East (Quebec), served with the Union Army during the Civil War in the United States and went on to serve as a volunteer soldier in the Papal Zouaves, the army defending territories of the Pope during the unification of Italy. Brisebois had become an experienced soldier by the time he returned to Canada in his early 20s, and Prime Minister John A. Macdonald himself appointed him as one of the nine original officers of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP). In 1874, inspector Brisebois led one of the six NWMP divisions on the gruelling 1,400-kilome...
Prisoners of Dieppe
Military History, Military Milestones

Prisoners of Dieppe

In June 1942, Canadian troops arrived for six weeks of combined operations training on the Isle of Wight in England in preparation for the raid on Dieppe, France. Among them were a dozen men from the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps, who were to deliver ammunition, help with the wounded, and transport German prisoners to ships waiting offshore. “In early June the division moved to the Isle of Wight for training, especially for sea-borne landings,” Staff Sergeant R.E. Crumb wrote in his diary, extracts of which were printed in Canada’s Craftsmen at 50! The Story of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering in the Canadian Forces by Colonel Murray C. Johnston. They could hear the fighting before they arrived. “About a dozen of us from the Ordnance workshop practiced landing with jeeps, lo...
Displaced by war: Life on the edge
Defence Today, Front Lines

Displaced by war: Life on the edge

While the world fights the coronavirus pandemic, families displaced by war in Yemen are combatting malnutrition and rampant disease, most of which has long been eradicated in the West. Recent reports from inside the embattled country say increasing numbers of children living in displaced-persons’ camps are coming down with malaria, cholera, polio and diphtheria—and often dying. In Bajil, a district in western Yemen bloated by uprooted civilians, 35-year-old Amal is among thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) struggling to support a family while a particularly brutal civil war approaches its seventh year. More than four million Yemenis have been forced to flee their homes, making the country “home” to the fourth largest internally displaced population worldwide. Amal ...
A monumental day
Blog, HISTORICPHOTOBLOG

A monumental day

The unveiling of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France on July 26, 1936, was witnessed by 3,000 veterans of the battle On July 26, 1936, 11 years and $1.5 million after construction began, 100,000 people gathered on the slopes of Vimy Ridge in France for the unveiling of one of the most striking war memorials in all of Europe. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial, designed by Toronto’s Walter Allward, stands at the crest of the ridge where some say the nation was born—an imposing memorial to more than 11,285 Canadians who died with no known grave in France during the Great War. A monument to peace, it is the centrepiece of a 91-hectare battlefield park at the site where all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force fought together for the first time—and won where other...

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