Heroes And Villains

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Heroes and Villains: Smith & 26th Panzers

HERO: PRIVATE ERNEST ALVIA (SMOKEY) SMITH Having crossed Italy’s Savio River on the night of Oct. 21-22, 1944, the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada’s ‘C’ Company and newly formed tank-hunting platoon cut the Cesena–Ravenna road alongside a badly damaged church. The force numbered just 50 men. Twenty were tank hunters, heavily armed with four PIAT (Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank) launchers. Among these...
  • Norman Schwarzkopf and Saddam Hussein

    July 17, 2018 by Mark Zuehlke
    When placed in command, take charge.” This was more than just a catchy quote by General Norman Schwarzkopf. The four-star general was 56 when United States President George H.W. Bush appointed him to command the multinational coalition responding to Iraq’s forced annexation of Kuwait in...
  • Alfred Booker and John O’Neill

    May 1, 2018 by Mark Zuehlke
    On the morning of June 2, 1866, Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Booker led about 850 Canadians, mostly men of the 13th Battalion (today’s Royal Hamilton Light Infantry) and Toronto’s Queen’s Own Rifles, from the village of Ridgeway in Canada West toward a Fenian force that had seized...
  • Major John Russell & Radovan Karadžić

    March 1, 2018 by Mark Zuehlke
    On Dec. 24, 1993, Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the United Nations Protection Force’s director of political affairs in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, summoned his new military aide, Canadian Major John Russell, to his office. “John, we’re going to break the siege,” the diplomat declared. “I want you to...
  • St. Laurent and Kim Il-Sung

    January 2, 2018 by Mark Zuehlke
    On Aug. 7, 1950, Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent addressed the nation by radio. The subject was North Korea’s attack on South Korea and the response by the United Nations and Canada. “Our objective is not to make war. We are…doing our best to prevent...
  • On July 10, 1943, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division—about 18,000 men—stormed ashore in Sicily as part of Operation Husky and filed into the island’s mountainous heart. The division had been the first Canadians to deploy to Britain in December 1939. Now they marched to battle....
  • Heroes and Villains: Franz Ferdinand & Gavrilo Princip

    September 1, 2017 by Mark Zuehlke
    Down there, they will throw bombs at us,” Archduke Franz Ferdinand joked as he set out from Vienna, Austria, to the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. As inspector general of Austria-Hungary’s armed forces, Ferdinand ostensibly travelled to observe army manoeuvres but also to showcase his wife publicly...
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