Military History

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Canadian flyers go to war

Canada’s air force was born in fits and starts The first tool for military aviation was the hot air balloon, first used during the French Revolutionary Wars. In the American Civil War, both sides employed observation balloons. By 1910, the airplane had proven its capability for sustained flight, and many armies investigated the utility...
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    The creeping barrage

    June 4, 2015 by Terry Copp
    Of the 18,000 Canadian soldiers on strength for the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915, roughly one third became casualties, including 1,672 killed in action and more than 1,000 as prisoners of war. When the Canadians were withdrawn from the front lines on May...
  • Members of the Chaudiere Regiment approach Bernières-sur-Mer, France, in a landing craft on D-Day. [LAC/PA-131498]

    On This Date: June 2015

    June 1, 2015 by Legion Magazine
    JUNE 1, 1943 HMCS Conestoga in Galt, Ont., is commissioned as the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service training centre. Women complete courses in physical training and navy customs and tradition. JUNE 2, 1866 The Fenian Brotherhood crosses the Niagara River and defeats Canadian volunteers at...
  • Navy personnel aboard HMCS St. Croix man a 4-inch gun on a cold day in March 1941. [DND/LAC/PA-105295]

    Surrounded by the wolf pack

    May 24, 2015 by Marc Milner
    The sinking of the German submarine U-756 by HMCS Morden on Sept. 1, 1942, remained utterly unknown at the time. The only good news to drift home from distant waters in the late summer of 1942 was HMCS Oakville’s sinking of U-94 in the Caribbean....
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    The poet and the poppy

    May 18, 2015 by Dianne Graves
    Book and cigar in hand, John McCrae relaxes at the holiday home of friends at Kennebunkport, Maine, where he spent a vacation in September 1903. Guelph Civic Museum/M1968X.436.3 A century ago, Canadian medical officer John McCrae saw “every horror that war had,” including the death...
  • Celebrating the return of Queen Wilhelmina, Canadian troops and Dutch groups parade past the Royal Palace and Dam Square in Amsterdam on June 28, 1945. B.J. Gloster/DND/LAC/PA-166390 Author Andrew Iarocci says YES. Author J.L. Granatstein says NO. Iarocci is an assistant professor of history at Western University in London, Ont., and is...
  • A soldier with the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders distributes candy to citizens in the eastern Netherlands town of Bathmen on April 9, 1945. [LAC/PA-137908]

    Canada’s gift of liberty

    May 10, 2015 by Gerard Triesman
    As a three-year-old, I had no real comprehension of the horrific circumstances in which I lived. The hand grenade, carelessly discarded by a Nazi soldier, attracted my attention. I was playing outside my home in the Netherlands in 1944 when I saw it lying on...
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