Defence Today

CP bulletin, Oct. 16, 1942: U-boat sinks <em> SS Caribou </em> in Cabot Strait
Front Lines

CP bulletin, Oct. 16, 1942: U-boat sinks SS Caribou in Cabot Strait

The original sat in a musty filing cabinet in the Halifax office of The Canadian Press for years: a sheaf of rice paper, its first page scrawled with the words “Passed by Censor 1942” across the top, just above the typed “BULLETIN.” It was dated Oct. 16 out of Sydney, N.S., the first news report of the sinking of the SS Caribou two days earlier at the hands of a German U-boat, U-69. The file had long since disappeared when I left CP in 2012. Recently, however, I found a photocopy I had made for posterity because the report, with its editor’s markups and censor’s redactions, is quite a remarkable piece of history, despite the fact it appears to be incomplete. To many Canadians and Newfoundlanders alike, the sinking and the deaths of 137 people were the clearest sign t...
Filmmaker Garth Pritchard: The good fight
Front Lines

Filmmaker Garth Pritchard: The good fight

  “F/8 and be there” has been Garth Pritchard’s camera-ready mantra over more than 50 years as a journalist, rancher and raconteur. And the robust Alberta-based filmmaker has been all over the world with Canadian troops, from Africa and Burma to Afghanistan and the Balkans. Beloved by soldiers from one end of Canada to the other, Garth made it his life’s mission to tell their stories. Now, as the outspoken 75-year-old struggles to overcome the debilitating physical legacy of that quest, the Canadian War Museum has announced it has acquired the bulk of his work, a legacy for all Canadians. The collection includes more than 400 hours of raw video footage and over 700 photographs of Canadian soldiers operating overseas—in Bosnia, Croatia, Burma, Kuwait, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Af...
Bringing the navy up to date
Eye On Defence

Bringing the navy up to date

A nation’s defence policy is inextricably tied to that nation’s willingness or ability to defend its sovereignty over its lands, waters and skies. In Canada’s case, the Royal Canadian Navy must play a crucial role in knowing who is operating in Canadian waters, what their intentions are, and whether they constitute a danger to Canada or Canadians. At present, the RCN is in a prolonged state of transition from the navy of the 1990s to the navy of the 21st century, but that transition is taking too long. This is due to the inaction of the federal government (both Liberal and Conservative) to ensure a smooth transition and to put up the money to purchase the equipment necessary to do the job. What, precisely, is that job? It is two-phased. In the first instance, the navy must patrol and, ...
Hitler, Raeder, and the demise of the <em> Kriegsmarine </em>
Front Lines

Hitler, Raeder, and the demise of the Kriegsmarine

  Given his obsessive, hands-on leadership, intolerance of failure, and penchant for brutal punishment, it had to be more than a little disconcerting when an infuriated Adolf Hitler learned details of a major sea battle from a British news agency hours before his own admirals told him about it. Der Führer was so angry that he scrapped the German high-seas fleet in the midst of the Second World War. Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, who had commanded the Kriegsmarine for 14 years, would surrender his post to Admiral Karl Dönitz, head of Germany’s vaunted U-boat fleet. Caught in the middle of this uncomfortable circumstance was Vice-Admiral Theodore Krancke, naval liaison officer at Hitler’s command headquarters in 1942-43. Krancke’s account of the debacle is stored in Allied...
The costs of war (Part 2): Military greenhouse gas emissions
Front Lines

The costs of war (Part 2): Military greenhouse gas emissions

A series of reports produced by the Costs of War Project says the American military is contributing significantly to climate change, emitting more greenhouse gases than some developed countries and compromising national security in the process. The United States Department of Defense is “the world’s largest institutional user of petroleum and correspondingly, the single largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world,” according to Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change and the Costs of War, a report by Neta C. Crawford, a co-director of the project, based at Brown University’s Watson Institute. The report estimates U.S. military greenhouse gas emissions exceeded 1.2 billion tonnes between 2001, when the war on terror began, and 2017. In 2017 alone, the Pentagon’s greenhouse gas emissio...
U.S. has spent $5.9 trillion on wars since 9/11, report says
Front Lines

U.S. has spent $5.9 trillion on wars since 9/11, report says

The United States has spent $5.9 trillion on wars that have killed 480,000 people since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, says a new report. More than 244,000 civilians have been killed in the fighting, which has created 21 million refugees and displaced persons, says the report by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs in Providence, Rhode Island. The U.S. government is conducting counterterror activities in 80 countries, it said. “Hundreds of thousands of people on all sides of the wars have died directly [as a result] of the violence—the vast majority of them civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq,” says the report, produced by The Costs of War Project. “Far more numerous are those who have died as an indirect result of the wars’ d...
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