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On This Date

On This Date – September 2010

1 SEPTEMBER 1939 The Second World War begins as German forces sweep into Poland with the power of the “lightning war,” better known as the blitzkrieg. 2 SEPTEMBER 1918 In France, throughout September and October, the Canadian Corps breaks through the Hindenburg Line, pushing the German army back from east of Arras to Cambrai and beyond. 3 SEPTEMBER 1943 The Allies invade mainland Italy by crossing the Strait of Messina and landing near the town of Reggio di Calabria. 4 SEPTEMBER 1939 Pilot Officer S.R. Henderson, a Canadian serving in No. 206 Squadron, Royal Air Force, becomes the first Canadian to participate in an operational sortie during the Second World War when he serves as the lead navigator in a bomber force attacking German warships. 5 SEPTEMBER 1979 ...
On This Date

On This Date – August 2010

1 AUGUST 1957 As the Cold War continues, Canada and the U.S. agree to pool operational control of  air defences. This leads to the creation of the North American Air Defence Command (Norad), later renamed North American Aerospace Defence Command. 2 AUGUST 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait. Canada responds quickly by sending a naval task group. 3 AUGUST 1978 The Queen opens the 11th Commonwealth Games in Edmonton. 4 AUGUST 1910 The former Royal Navy cruiser Rainbow is commissioned at Portsmouth, England, becoming the first ship of the Canadian navy. 4-5 AUGUST 1914 Britain sends ultimatum to Germany, demanding it withdraw its forces from neutral Belgium. The ultimatum, which expires at midnight Aug. 4, goes unanswered and Britain declares war on Germany. 6 AUGUST 1942...
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On This Date – July 2010

1 JULY 1916 The Anglo-French Somme offensive begins astride the Somme River in Picardy, France. The Newfoundland Regiment, attached to the 29th British Division, is decimated at Beaumont-Hamel. 2 JULY 1940 His Majesty’s Canadian Ship St. Laurent rescues 860 survivors of the torpedoed liner Arandora Star. It is one of the largest single rescue operations of the Second World War. 3 JULY 1944 A German convoy off St. Malo, France, is attacked by four Canadian Motor Torpedo Boats of the 65th Flotilla. MTBs 735, 736 and 748 torpedo two merchant ships and hit the minesweeper M-133 with gunfire. 4 JULY 1944 Under Operation Windsor, four Canadian battalions assault German strongpoints on Carpiquet airfield, west of Caen, France. 5/6 JULY 1944 As part of Escort Gro...
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On This Date – June 2010

1 JUNE, 1876 The Royal Military College opens at Kingston, Ont. 2 JUNE 1916 The 3rd Canadian Division is mauled by a German attack in the Ypres Salient. 3 JUNE 1989 Toronto’s Skydome is opened. 4 JUNE 1944 The Canadian and American First Special Service Force leads American troops into Rome. 5 JUNE 1944 Stormy weather forces the Allies to postpone the massive invasion of Normandy. 6 JUNE 1944 Operation Neptune—the assault phase of Operation Overlord—begins in the early hours. Allied paratroopers, including approximately 450 Canadians, jump from aircraft or land in gliders behind German coastal defences. By evening, the Canadians, who landed on Juno Beach, are further inland than any other allied force. Approximately 14,500 Canadians are landed on the beach by the...
On This Date

On This Date – May 2010

MAY 1, 1945 As part of the Pacific Fleet, His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Uganda and elements of Task Force 57 place themselves to intercept Japanese air strikes headed for the island of Okinawa south of Japan. Uganda, along with other cruisers and battleships, bombards air bases on the Shakashima Islands and comes under attack by two kamikazes. Two support British aircraft cruisers are hit. MAY 2, 1945 The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps begins transporting relief supplies by truck convoy to the hungry people of the western Netherlands. MAY 3, 1917 Robert Grierson Combe earns the Victoria Cross during action south of Acheville, France. A lieutenant with the 27th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Combe is instrumental in heading up the capture of 250 yards of trench in which 80 ...
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