Military Milestones

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Forming the Canadian Airborne Regiment

With the formation of the Canadian Airborne Regiment on April 8, 1968, the Chief of the Defence Staff General Jean Victor Allard achieved his dream of a flexible immediate response force. He intended it to be quite different. “This regiment would not reflect the identity of a Victorian-era regiment because its members would serve...
  • How to beat the bomber

    February 19, 2020 by Sharon Adams
    Ten years ago on Feb. 19, an improvised explosive device was found under a major road in Afghanistan. The device was placed about 10 metres down a small culvert—out of reach of equipment, impossible to shield. A robot couldn’t finish the job. There was nothing...
  • The last of the U-boats is scuttled

    February 12, 2020 by Sharon Adams
    On Feb. 12, 1946, U-3514 was sunk off the coast of Northern Ireland in Operation Deadlight, meant to ensure elimination of the German submarine fleet after the war. The sub was sunk at 10:04 a.m. by ship guns and depth charges, the last of 116...
  • The Victoria Cross is established

    February 5, 2020 by Sharon Adams
    In the mid-1800s, the highest British military honours were almost exclusively awarded to senior officers under the observant eye of generals. But generals rarely make it to the front lines, where the heroism of brave junior officers and enlisted men mostly went unrecognized except among...
  • Secret deliveries

    January 29, 2020 by Sharon Adams
    In June 1943, a German agent penetrated a network in France set up to bring large numbers of escaped Allied airmen back to Britain. A new one was urgently needed. MI9, the British military intelligence department, entrusted the task, code-named Operation Bonaparte, to a pair...
  • Roberta Bondar studies the human body in space

    January 22, 2020 by Sharon Adams
    On Jan. 22, 1992, Roberta Bondar became the first neurologist—and coincidentally, Canada’s first woman—in space, joining the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery on an eight-day mission. While orbiting, she and the other astronauts conducted more than 40 experiments in the Spacelab on the first...
  • The backlash against Japanese-Canadians

    January 7, 2020 by Sharon Adams
    On Jan. 7, 1942, a month to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a wartime committee recommended to the Canadian government that Japanese-Canadians—even if second- or third- generation—not be allowed to volunteer for or be conscripted into the armed services, on grounds of...
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