Day: September 22, 2021

Canada bids farewell to its first female general
Defence Today, Front Lines

Canada bids farewell to its first female general

Family, friends, commanders and colleagues gathered in Ottawa this week to bid a final farewell to Sheila Anne Hellstrom, a Royal Canadian Air Force veteran and the first woman to reach the rank of brigadier-general in the Canadian Armed Forces. Hellstrom was known for her confidence, compassion and fortitude in a male-dominated profession where women had long been relegated to secondary roles. She mentored women, opened doors for them, and oversaw sweeping changes in the roles they would assume both inside and outside the military ranks. A native of Lunenburg, N.S., she died last Dec. 7. She was 85.   Judy Harper, now a retired navy captain, first met Hellstrom in 1980, when Harper was a newly minted major under the combined services of the day and Hellstrom—a lieutena...
Surrender at Calais
Military History, Military Milestones

Surrender at Calais

After D-Day, the First Canadian Army began the job of clearing the French coast along the English Channel. It was a hard slog. The beaches were crowded with obstacles and mines. The shore bristled with barbed wire and the whole coastline was studded with concrete bunkers and machine-gun nests. Towns and cities were fortified and equipped with heavy guns. It was known as the Atlantic Wall. The Germans had installed 42 heavy guns around Calais that constantly threatened Allied ships and five batteries capable of firing across the Channel to the Port of Dover. The Germans had flooded the land, and “prepared for a siege in order to deny the Allies the use of these valuable prizes as long as possible,” wrote Major W.H.V. Matthews, commanding officer of the Canadian Scottish Regiment. ...

Sign up today for a FREE download of Canada’s War Stories

Free e-book

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