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...
  • The Accidental Enemy: Navy, Part 41

    October 22, 2010 by Marc Milner
    Ship’s company aboard HMCS Windflower, 1940. PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA104397 The winter of 1941-42 is usually treated by historians as a quiet one on the North Atlantic Run, but it is doubtful anyone guarding the convoy routes saw it that way. The North Atlantic...
  • A Royal Review

    September 21, 2010 by Tom MacGregor
    Rear-Admiral Paul Maddison could not help noticing it as an echo from the darkest days of the Second World War. There, after all, was Halifax’s Bedford Basin, filled with warships ready for whatever task may fall to them. Behind him were 28 ships from Canada and...
  • Complex And Troubled Years: Navy, Part 40

    August 18, 2010 by Marc Milner
    HMCS Assiniboine off Iceland, 1942. PHOTO: GERALD T. RICHARDSON, LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA105817 The war at sea in 1942 pulled Canada’s small-ship navy in several directions simultaneously. The importance of the Royal Canadian Navy’s contribution to transatlantic convoy operations east of Newfoundland was confirmed in...
  • Survivors of two merchant ships crowd the decks of a rescue trawler at St. John’s, Nfld., April 1943. PHOTO: GERALD M. MOSES, LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA153052 It was the longest and hardest battle ever fought at sea. During six protracted years, more humans, ships and materiel...
  • The Sheep Dog Navy: Navy, Part 39

    June 13, 2010 by Marc Milner
    HMCS Arrowhead off Nova Scotia, 1942. PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA136840 Going To War With What You’ve Got American entry into the war in December 1941 promised eventual allied victory: Churchill claimed he slept well for the first night in years when he heard of...
  • The Three Princes: Navy, Part 38

    April 17, 2010 by Marc Milner
    HMCS Prince Robert, April 1941. PHOTO: DND/LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA151740 The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, turned a European conflict into a global war. Once again the British Columbia coastline was largely undefended, and the province’s citizens clamoured for action. In...

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