A quiet victory in the Gulf

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” with a plumb-bob and a chart of the river...
  • The Lost Leadership Cadre: Navy, Part 42

    December 25, 2010 by Marc Milner
    The small ships of the Sheep Dog Navy at war in the vile North Atlantic came to be seen as Canada’s naval war, and as the origins of the modern Canadian navy. But during the Second World War the overriding objective of the professional Royal...
  • The Accidental Enemy: Navy, Part 41

    October 22, 2010 by Marc Milner
    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 was its typical vile self, with storm-battered ships and weary men...
  • 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...
  • It was the longest and hardest battle ever fought at sea. During six protracted years, more humans, ships and materiel were lost than in all the naval campaigns of the previous 500 years combined. It was arguably also the most decisive campaign of the Second...
  • The Sheep Dog Navy: Navy, Part 39

    June 13, 2010 by Marc Milner
    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 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. But it would be at least a year—and more like two—before America’s...
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