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Inside Afghanistan: Politics, war and buzkashi

Few can claim a national game as violent or influential as Afghanistan has in buzkashi. The country in which Canadian soldiers fought for 13 years is home to a deceptively complex society. And buzkashi (pronounced ‘BOO-skeh-shee’), which dates to the times of Genghis Khan, is a deceptively complex game that over the centuries has...
  • Click here to read Part 1 of this two-part series. In March 2002, on a mountain near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border known as the Whale’s Back, a company from the vaunted U.S. 10th Mountain Division joined 400 Canadian troops and a handful of U.S. Navy Seals on an...
  • Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, the soldiers used to sing. Trouble is, in more recent times, the “kit bag” is the trouble. Relatively stable over centuries of warfare, soldiers’ loads have increased significantly in the past three decades, due largely to...
  • Blooming dandelions: Taking strength from adversity

    April 25, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Researcher Sarah Dentry-Travis made an interesting discovery while on two polar treks alongside some of Canada’s wounded warriors: great adversity can bring out the best in the most unexpected people. “You have people who have PTSD, who have extreme physical injuries, and people talk about...
  • High-tech exhibit brings War of 1812 brig to life

    April 18, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Back in 2001, marine archeologist Ken Cassavoy got an intriguing phone call from a friend and colleague who had just been for a stroll along Southampton Beach on Lake Huron. Duncan McCallum had stumbled upon the blackened ribs of what turned out to be a...
  • Know your enemy: Meet the crew of U-210

    April 11, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    The senior surviving officer from U-210, a German U-boat sunk by HMCS Assiniboine in 1942, was despised by crewmates and Allied interrogators alike, a “fanatical Nazi” whose hubris quickly evaporated in a storm of fear and protest the moment his pasty epidermis hit the icy...
  • The Yankees were thinking of coming!

    April 4, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Less than a century after the Americans were defeated in the War of 1812, the U.S. Naval War College, Class of 1894, came up with a hypothetical plan to give it another try—by invading Halifax and destroying Pictou County’s coal mines. In the paper Attack...
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