Military History

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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...
  • Heroes and Villains: MacGill & Messerschmitt

    January 2, 2020 by Mark Zuehlke
    ELIZABETH (ELSIE) MacGILL In 1939, Britain and the Commonwealth lacked a fighter plane to match the German Bf-109. In aerial combat over northwestern Europe in 1940, the 109, created by German aircraft designer Wilhelm (Willy) Messerschmitt, easily outfought existing Royal Air Force fighters. In its...
  • Face to Face: Is the North Warning System obsolete?

    January 2, 2020 by Legion Magazine
    ANDREA CHARRON is associate professor and director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba. The North Warning System (NWS) is a series of ground-based, unmanned (but contractor-maintained), short- and long-range radar stations arrayed from Alaska to Greenland.  The system...
  • Box of memories

    December 22, 2019 by Sharon Adams
      In early March, a large number of military artifacts from a little-known Canadian engagement was nearly lost to history. A boxful of photos and documents, leftovers from an estate sale, ended up donated to a Goodwill store in Port Colborne, Ont., which recognized its...
  • Japan advances on Hong Kong

    December 18, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    In late 1941, Japan began its war against the West, attacking the American base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, invading Malaya the next day, and marching on Hong Kong. Canada had dispatched the Winnipeg Grenadiers and Royal Rifles from Quebec City to join...
  • The death of a poet and fighter pilot

    December 11, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    On Dec. 11, 1941, a 19-year-old pilot died in England. He had been in service only 10 weeks, had seen combat only once, and as far as anyone knows, inflicted no damage on the enemy. But he will never be forgotten as long as there...
  • Crossing the Moro River

    December 4, 2019 by Sharon Adams
    In the winter of 1943, the Allies in Italy had pushed the Germans north to a defensive line stretching from Naples to Ortona, from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Adriatic. The Germans were dug in along the Moro River south of Ortona. On Dec. 4,...
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