Life on the line

The Second World War put 750,000 Canadians into khaki uniforms. Men from all parts of the country suddenly found themselves living in barracks and learning how to be soldiers. The transition was not easy and everyone had to learn to march, shoot and fight. The tens of thousands who saw action had to adjust...
  • Fiasco in Siberia

    February 23, 2019 by J.L. Granatstein
    It was all Sir Robert Borden’s doing. The prime minister was in England in July 1918 attending the Prime Ministers’ Committee when the British government asked if Canada might supply troops for a Siberian force that could help prevent a 60,000-strong force of Czech fighters,...
  • Motorcycle messengers

    December 8, 2018 by Sharon Adams
    Dispatch riders had doubly dangerous duties during the Second World War   One shell fell behind him, and when a second exploded just ahead, dispatch rider Gordon Edward Allen knew German gunners were homing in on him. “They can hear that stupid bike of yours,”...
  • The race to Cambrai

    September 13, 2018 by Andrew Iarocci
    In September 1918, German-occupied Cambrai was on the verge of falling. But could the Canadians reach the town in time to save it?   A century ago, the provincial town of Cambrai, France, was a focal point of major military operations on the Western Front....
  • Not too old to serve

    June 4, 2018 by Tobbias Cassie
    Veterans of the First World War guarded prisoners in the Second World War “You’re too old.” Those were the words First World War veterans Clarence Wade and William Swim were confronted with when they tried to re-enlist in 1939. The former soldiers were being denied,...
  • Trench life

    April 6, 2018 by J.L. Granatstein
    The Great War took more than 600,000 Canadians from all parts of the country and put them in uniform. The transition from civilian to soldier was not easy, and everyone had to learn much about military procedures and culture—uniforms, ranks, insignia, rations, weaponry, terminology—and, most...
  • Charge of the cavalry

    March 27, 2018 by John Boileau
    For thousands of years, men on horseback were an essential part of warfare. Mounted soldiers—cavalry—were scouts, reserves or attack forces, used when speed, shock action or long distances were involved. The cavalry was a proven and necessary component of most armies.    The face of warfare...
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