Face to Face

Face to Face

With hindsight, qualified by the modern moral temperament, the deliberate destruction by Canadian troops of much of Friesoythe on April 13-14, 1945, is indefensible. Ostensibly, Major-General Christopher Vokes’ exact orders were: “Burn the fucking town!” The order arose from his understanding that Argyll and Sutherland Highlander commander Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Wigle had been killed by...
  •   Canada is already among the world’s top military spenders. The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies confirms that in 2016, Canadian military spending was, in absolute terms, sixth highest in NATO—exceeded only by the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy. Globally, Canada...
  • On Sept. 29, 1941, Lieutenant-General Andrew McNaughton described the more than 124,000 Canadians in Britain as “a dagger pointed at the heart of Berlin.” It was, however, a dagger increasingly dulled by inaction. Knowing this, McNaughton attained authorization from Ottawa to commit troops to “minor”...
  • Twenty-five men were executed during the First World War. Twenty-two men faced the firing squad for the crime of desertion, two for murder and one for cowardice. Whether these executions should have taken place has been fiercely debated for decades. While our modern sensibilities likely...
  • Those Newfoundlanders who voted for Confederation in the 1948 referendums did so for pragmatic, unsentimental reasons. The country, especially that part of it beyond the Avalon Peninsula, was indigent, isolated, poverty-stricken, dependent on the whims of a fickle fishing industry. Most of these people had never been...
  • Should Canada send ground troops into Syria?

    March 1, 2017 by Legion Magazine
    On its Global Affairs website, the Government of Canada describes the conflict in Syria as “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.” It quotes UN figures: 13.5 million people inside Syria in urgent need of help; more than a quarter-million dead, hundreds of thousands...
  • Face to Face

    January 3, 2017 by Legion Magazine
    Sometimes political leaders do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s 1963 non-decision on arming U.S. Bomarc air defence missiles stationed on Canadian soil with nuclear warheads was a case study in how not to govern. It flew in the face...
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