Military History

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The sinking of
HMCS Esquimalt

HMCS Esquimalt, the last Canadian warship lost to enemy action in the Second World War, went down within sight of Halifax. Although 43 of the 71 crew survived the sinking, 16 died after spending six hours in the frigid waters. That spring, the days of cocky submarine wolf pack attacks were long past. Germany...
  • The Battle For Xanten: Army, Part 46

    May 1, 2003 by Terry Copp
    A Canadian armoured vehicle approaches the entrance to Xanten, Germany, in March 1945. Visitors who make the journey to the Canadian military cemetery at Groesbeek in the Netherlands seldom go on to explore the battlefields of the Rhineland. But those who do are invariably struck...
  • Arthur Nantel

    March 1, 2003 by Jennifer Morse
    Arthur Nantel’s war art captures life as a PoW during World War I. Christmas Eve in Geissen Camp. Arthur Nantel began his career as a commercial artist in his home town of Montreal, and although he had no formal training he spent a lifetime earning...
  • A Question Of Command: Army, Part 45

    March 1, 2003 by Terry Copp
    Major Fred Tilston earned the Victoria Cross for leading an attack on March 1, 1945. Blockbuster, one of the largest and most costly operations carried out by 1st Canadian Army during World War II, has always provoked bitter comments from veterans who served at the...
  • Rowley Walter Murphy

    January 1, 2003 by Jennifer Morse
    Seamen on Jetty Being Instructed on Bends and Hitches. Rowley Walter Murphy was a precise artist. Every painting was carefully rendered and demonstrated his love affair with ships and Canada’s World War II navy, and each painting was one more opportunity to explore the moods...
  • Operation Blockbuster Begins: Army, Part 44

    January 1, 2003 by Terry Copp
    Allied military vehicles negotiate a rubble-filled street in Calcar, Germany, on Feb. 28, 1945. When Operation Veritable began on Feb. 8, 1945, Lieutenant-General Harry Crerar predicted that if weather conditions were poor a series of set-piece operations would be required to reach Xanten, Germany, located...
  • Clearing Moyland Wood: Army, Part 43

    November 1, 2002 by Terry Copp
    Private Eddie Gagne of Le Regiment de Maisonneuve sips tea outside a castle at Moyland, Germany, in February 1945 Operation Veritable, which began on Feb. 8, 1945, was supposed to be the northern area of a vast pincer movement intended to destroy enemy forces west...