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 In 1989, Serbian president Slobodan Milošević repealed constitutional autonomy of the province of Kosovo; Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians, who had long suffered persecution by...
  • The sinking of U-536

    November 20, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    In an irony of war, a German U-boat meant to harry the eastern coast of Canada came to its bitter end in the mid-Atlantic, its surviving crew rescued by Canadian sailors. U-536 was commanded by Kapitänleutnant Rolf Shauenburg, who had joined the navy in 1934,...
  • Montreal is captured by the Americans

    November 14, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    On Nov. 13, 1775, Montreal was captured, without a fight, by American revolutionaries. The American Revolution, the revolt by American Patriots in the British colonies on the Eastern Seaboard which began in April 1775, naturally boiled over from the Thirteen Colonies to British colonies in...
  • George Pearkes and the Battle of Passchendaele

    November 7, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    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...
  • 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...
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