JUNE 1, 1943 HMCS Conestoga in Galt, Ont., is commissioned as the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service training centre. Women complete courses in physical training and navy customs and tradition. JUNE 2, 1866 The Fenian Brotherhood crosses the Niagara River and defeats Canadian volunteers at Ridgeway and Fort Erie. Another Fenian victory against outnumbered Canadians…
Canadian flyers go to war
The first tool for military aviation was the hot air balloon, first used during the French Revolutionary Wars. In the American Civil War, both sides employed observation balloons. By 1910, the airplane had proven its capability for sustained flight, and many armies investigated the utility of these machines. Italy used balloons and aircraft in a campaign in 1911-12 that ousted Turkey from Libya.READ MORE
The creeping barrage
Of the 18,000 Canadian soldiers on strength for the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915, roughly one third became casualties, including 1,672 killed in action and more than 1,000 as prisoners of war. When the Canadians were withdrawn from the front lines on May 3, four of the British divisions committed to the defence of the salient suffered even heavier casualties in futile attempts to recover ground.READ MORE
The poet and the poppy
A century ago, Canadian medical officer John McCrae saw “every horror that war had,” including the death of a close friend, and penned a poem that inspired countless acts of remembranceREAD MORE
The perplexing war with militant IslamREAD MORE
The sinking of the German submarine U-756 by HMCS Morden on Sept. 1, 1942, remained utterly unknown at the time. The only good news to drift home from distant waters in the late summer of 1942 was HMCS Oakville’s sinking of U-94 in the Caribbean. While Oakville’s hero Hal Lawrence went off on his PR jaunt, the war at sea took a decidedly sharp—and negative—turn for Canada.
As a three-year-old, I had no real comprehension of the horrific circumstances in which I lived. The hand grenade, carelessly discarded by a Nazi soldier, attracted my attention. I was playing outside my home in the Netherlands in 1944 when I saw it lying on the patio. I picked it up and studied it for a moment. With its long wooden handle and round metal top, it resembled a potato masher.
The Second World War in Europe ended officially on May 7, 1945, with the unconditional surrender of all German forces. For the First Canadian Army, however, it had ended two days earlier. On May 5, German General Johannes Blaskowitz surrendered the 120,000-strong Twenty-Fifth Army to I Canadian Corps commander Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes at Wageningen in the Netherlands. Almost simultaneously, at the German resort town of Bad Zwischenahn, II Canadian Corps’ Lieutenant- General Guy Simonds accepted General Erich von Straube’s surrender of about 93,000 troops in northwest Germany.