Military History

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An unaffordable loss

The sinking of HMCS Ottawa triggered a shift in the navy’s priorities The battle for convoy ON-127 was effectively over on Sept. 13, 1942, when HMCS Ottawa made contact in poor visibility with the relief destroyers about 400 miles east of Newfoundland. The RCN’s official history recorded Lieutenant Tom Pullen’s memory of that moment. “All was tranquil,” recalled Pullen. “The sea lay calm beneath a starry sky and the familiar swishing sounds of our bow wave fell gently away from the shoulders of the...
  • An officer with the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve examines the papers of a Japanese-Canadian fisherman in Steveston, B.C., in December 1941. DND/LAC/PA-170503   Author J.L. Granatstein says YES. Author Pamela Sugiman says NO. Granatstein has written dozens of books, including Who Killed Canadian History? and Canada’s Army: Waging War...
  • Kisses and hugs are shared by Canadian military personnel in Ottawa on hearing of Japan’s surrender in August 1945. [LAC/C-003226]

    Victory over Japan

    July 1, 2015 by Mark Zuehlke
    Canada’s Pacific War contributions may have been relatively minor, but our sacrifices were no less vital   On Aug. 9, 1945, some 700 prisoners of war—including 166 Canadians—were working as slave labourers in the Omine coal mine on Japan’s Kyushu Island. The mine was situated...
  • Coventry, in Britain’s West Midlands, is a smoking ruin following an air raid on Nov. 14, 1940. The attack by more than 500 Luftwaffe bombers left an estimated 568 dead. [Imperial War Museum/SG 14861]

    Battle of Britain in pictures

    July 1, 2015 by Legion Magazine
    The skies over the English Channel were grey on July 10, 1940, and laden with the shadow of war. The air battle between Germany’s Luftwaffe and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber and Coastal Commands began on this day with raids on convoys in...
  • Street scene with Canadian soldiers and French civilians. [LAC/PA-162665]

    On This Date: July 2015

    July 1, 2015 by Legion Magazine
    JULY 1, 1934 Commodore Percy W. Nelles becomes the first Canadian-born Chief of the Naval Staff. JULY 2, 1885 The Northwest Rebellion ends with the surrender of Big Bear, and with it, the nomadic life of the...
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    Canadian flyers go to war

    June 4, 2015 by Hugh A. Halliday
    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...
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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...
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