Night terrors

In moonless nights, silent as clouds, Zeppelins floated over Britain, the original stealth bombers, raining destruction on military targets and unsuspecting civilians. They flew so high it took planes of the day an hour to climb to their height, and when they got there, their bullets just poked holes in the air bags. Initially,...
  • Hong Kong craftsmen

    December 6, 2016 by Sharon Adams
    PoWs turned scraps into works of art Few artifacts survive to remind us of the fate of Canadians who fought in the Battle of Hong Kong, the then British colony that surrendered to the Japanese on Christmas Day, 1941, after a fierce, 17-day battle. The...
  • The housewife

    October 1, 2016 by Sharon Adams
    Sewing kits were a surprisingly versatile tool for soldiers in the field At fleet school they said, ‘If we wanted you to have a wife, we’d issue you with one,’” recalls navy veteran Jim Ross. “And then they did.” In his six months at Canadian...
  • Blue puttees

    August 1, 2016 by Sharon Adams
    Puttees provided ankle support and stopped muck, debris and critters from getting into the boots   Newfoundland’s governor answered Britain’s call to arms in August 1914 with a promise: the dominion would raise a regiment, enlisting the first 500 soldiers within a month. But with...
  • The Carley float

    July 13, 2016 by Sharon Adams
    Many sailors owed their lives to this durable, quick-launching raft The corvette HMCS Louisburg was on escort duty off the coast of North Africa when she was hit by a torpedo dropped from an Italian plane at sunset on Feb. 6, 1943. In minutes, Able...
  • The aircrew boot

    April 5, 2016 by Sharon Adams
    It concealed escape tools and was designed to transform into an ordinary shoe When Erin Napier is asked about her favourite item in the collection of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ont., the curator produces a pair of well-worn leather boots, originally property...
  • The Ross rifle

    February 16, 2016 by Sharon Adams
      This Canadian-made First World War weapon was loathed by infantry and loved by snipers   At the end of the Boer War, Canada couldn’t persuade arms-strapped Britain to supply it with Lee-Enfield rifles, or even a licence to manufacture them. How was this fledgling...
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