Military Milestones

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George Pearkes and the Battle of Passchendaele

In 1917, the British wanted to destroy U-boat bases on the Belgian coast before the Germans could mount a blockade that would cripple Allied efforts. Capturing the ridge at Passchendaele, the highest point in the area, would give them an advantage. The Canadian Corps, which had fought in a dozen battles after its success...
  • Spain and Britain settle a trade war

    October 30, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    Spain and Great Britain once nearly went to war over what is now a part of Canada. The Spanish were the first Europeans to explore and claim the Pacific Northwest. In 1493, Pope Alexander VI granted Spain a claim to any lands they discovered west...
  • RCAF’s first Distinguished Flying Cross

    October 24, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    On Oct. 22, 1940, Squadron Leader Ernest McNab of Saskatoon was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the first member of the Royal Canadian Air Force to be decorated (excluding those Canadians serving with the Royal Air Force). Commanding officer of Canada’s first fighter squadron, McNab...
  • A war of bread and potatoes

    October 16, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    When fighting drew near to the small village of Montigny-en-Ostrevent, France, near the end of the First World War, civilians wisely evacuated. When they returned home, many found their houses and cottages occupied by Canadian liberators—squatters who were nonetheless warmly welcomed. “We struck a fine...
  • The law reaches Fort Whoop-Up

    October 9, 2019 by Sharon Adams
      In 1873, the people of what is now southern Alberta and Saskatchewan had a serious complaint. With no police force, traders and outlaws who had fled prohibition in the United States had established a well-defended fort where they traded buffalo robes and sold U.S....
  • HMCS Iroquois damaged in Korea

    September 30, 2019 by Sharon Adams
      HMCS Iroquois was on its first tour of duty in Korea, under frequent fire as it patrolled the peninsula’s east coast, itself frequently firing on North Korean rail lines. A tunnel near Songjin on the main rail line carrying war supplies from Russia to...
  • BOMARC missiles come to Canada

    September 25, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    In 1957, the United States and Canada signed the North American Air Defence Agreement to place their air forces under joint command to facilitate defence of the entire continent from Soviet nuclear bombers. On Sept. 23, 1958, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker announced that under that...