Navy

The overzealous skipper

When Nicholas Monserrat titled his classic account of the Battle of the Atlantic The Cruel Sea, it was no accident. Nearly half of the Royal Canadian Navy vessels lost in the Second World War succumbed to marine accidents. Patrol boat HMCS Adversus ran aground; destroyer HMCS Skeena dragged its anchor and stranded on the island...
  • War comes to Sydney Harbour

    March 17, 2020 by Tom MacGregor
    Deserted and covered with graffiti for decades, the old concrete gun battery at Chapel Point in North Sydney on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island was restored last summer as part of a local project to create a 48.5-hectare park devoted to Canada’s military history. The...
  • The sinking of SS Athenia

    August 30, 2019 by Francis M. Carroll
    Britain declared war on Germany at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3, 1939. At just after 7 o’clock that evening, Captain James Cook of the passenger liner SS Athenia joined his first-class guests for dinner. While the ship had actually gotten underway two days earlier—en route from...
  • A quiet victory in the Gulf

    May 17, 2017 by Marc Milner
    When Canada declared war on Germany in September 1939, the most immediate threat to the country was an attack on its shipping. That fear was so palpable that when periscopes were soon “sighted” in the St. Lawrence River, no one was surprised. A “submarine diviner”...
  • Remembrance

    November 1, 2016 by Fraser McKee
    On Remembrance Day or, for a naval veteran, Battle of the Atlantic Sunday in May, I am called upon to recall those fellow Canadians who gave their lives for us. At naval events the ships that were lost are frequently read out, but I have...
  • Sinking the Bismarck

    May 1, 2016 by Marc Milner
    A handful of Canadians played modest roles in the historic demise of the Nazi battleship 75 years ago On May 21, 1941, the most powerful warship in Europe disappeared from her anchorage in Bergen, Norway. The British, anxiously watching and waiting, could surmise where the brand new 50,000-tonne...
  • Attack on convoy SC-107

    November 24, 2015 by Marc Milner
    For a British-bound fleet and its under-equipped escort, early November 1942 brought pure carnage September and October 1942 were frustrating months for Germany’s mid-Atlantic U-boats. German Admiral Karl Dönitz’s staff attributed this to three factors: fair weather that made attacking difficult; a large number of...
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