Military Milestones

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Canadian pilots respond to crisis in Kosovo

On June 2, 1999, intense diplomatic negotiations began in the Balkans, bringing to an end 78 days of military bombing in Kosovo, in which Royal Canadian Air Force pilots took part. In 1989, Serbian president Slobodan Milošević repealed constitutional autonomy of the province of Kosovo; Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians, who had long suffered persecution by...
  • Battling the enemy and the weather

    March 4, 2020 by Sharon Adams
    In March 1945, after cloudy weather foiled a February bombing raid, Allied air forces zealously attacked Chemnitz, a major German industrial centre, 260 kilometres south of Berlin, close to the Austrian border. It was a rail junction with one of the largest Nazi railway repair...
  • Canadians’ baptism of fire

    February 26, 2020 by Sharon Adams
    The Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry got its first taste of battle in the Boer War on the murderous Bloody Sunday in mid-February 1900 at Paardeberg Drift, which claimed 1,300 British casualties, including 18 dead and 60 wounded Canadians. Within 10 days the regiment was...
  • 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...
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