Author Topic: sometimes more things have happened in our military history  (Read 101509 times)

Croghan27

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sometimes more things have happened in our military history
« on: March 04, 2007, 08:08:00 AM »
Sometimes more things have happened in our militrary history than can be fit into the 1" square on my Legion Calender.

So I shall post them here .... if anyone objects or finds it distasteful , let me know and I shall discontinue the practice.

Most of them will come from the Legion Magazine that is available on line.

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March 4, 1943: While escorting convoy KMS-10 to the Mediterranean during the buildup for the invasion of Sicily, Escort Group C-1, including His Majesty's Canadian ships St. Croix and Shediac, detects an enemy submarine off Portugal. After a two-hour depth charge attack, the escorts succeed in sinking U-87.

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March 3, 1915: General Edwin Alderson’s 1st Canadian Division takes over 6,400 yards of front line near Fleurbaix, France, as part of Lieutenant-General Henry Rawlinson’s 4th British Army Corps.

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March 5-7, 1960: Using a North Star aircraft, the Royal Canadian Air Force flies medical personnel and 6,647 pounds of medical equipment to earthquake-ravaged Morocco.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

lagatta

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sometimes more things have happened in our military history
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2007, 09:07:29 AM »
I don't find it distasteful at all, but why is it in banter?

Though perhaps other historical dates could be in the offing from the ranks of bread and rosers. For example, these social history dates from an institution I know well, the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam: http://iisg.nl/today/en/03.php
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Croghan27

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sometimes more things have happened in our military history
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2007, 01:15:38 PM »
Quote from: lagatta
I don't find it distasteful at all, but why is it in banter?

Though perhaps other historical dates could be in the offing from the ranks of bread and rosers. For example, these social history dates from an institution I know well, the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam: http://iisg.nl/today/en/03.php


Isn't that interesting - today is the day for "Seducing the Irish".

It is in 'banter' because I am not trying to make a statment - just put in short reminders of "on this date" we did something and usually someone died - this is as philosophic as I intend to get.

I have also posted some thoughts on Why The Maritimes Should or Not Remain in Canada in the front page section. It is not a formal historical view, but comes from conversations with the last of the generations from the turn of the century in (mostly) New Brunswick.

Mr. Harper likes to characterize his opposition as a "cut and run" bunch, while pretenting he is a model of consistancy. (Why else never apologize?) He does have something of a point - not in the expression, that is designed to be offensive, but in the idea of military withdrawal.

I find the nebulous bunch that he identifies as his opposition just does not care for military endevours. Yes, sometimes you have to say: "Oh shit, we have to do it again." And as Canadians we do it quite well. So we ended up in several World Wars, some UN backed 'actions' and Bosnia with NATO.

The idea of imposing our will by force is distasteful. As is having our will imposed apparently, why else would it take guns and drums and drums and guns to do it? So sorry Taliban, but WDF are you doing hosting Osama to train people to blow up our neighbours and friends in their homes? Yet for Canadians to stay for years when the immediate danger of that is past, when Osama and his minions have moved on (Pakistan is next?) makes us nervous. Certainly there are ways to keeps Osama in his place (and out of ours) without Tanks?

All that begs the question of our troops. I here want to say something maudlin, but that is neither appropriate nor correct. They are our sons and brothers and the kid down the street and the nerdy fellow from night school and yes, the bully from grade 9. They are you and me and like all the rest of us Canadians - only they are willing to die for what may be our sins.

A deep distrust for the John Wayne wars of our southern neighbours who saw lights at the ends of tunnels in Vietnam, invaded Grenada for some unfathomable reason and condemn their Iraq involvement not because it was wrong, but because they are losing, is something they have to live (and die) with. They are on the vanguard of our certainities and to flip it over, our uncertainities.

and damn it they are good at it; and damn it they are being blown up and dying at it and damn it ..... bless 'em for it.

"Oh Lord, please don't let me be missunderstood" - I do not glorify war - it is the ultimate in distasteful. Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Croghan27

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sometimes more things have happened in our military history
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2007, 05:09:49 PM »
March
Sir Julian ByngMarch 1917: Training and preparations are well underway for the Canadian Corps assault against Vimy Ridge, France. Under the command of Sir Julian Byng, the Canadian divisions rehearse their roles with precision on mocked-up versions of the battlefield. To increase chances of success, a detailed artillery program is planned with particular emphasis on effective counter-battery fire. Engineers build plank roads and railways to move vast quantities of supplies and ammunition into forward dumping areas, while tunnelling companies excavate miles of underground passageways that offer protected approaches for assault troops and safe routes through which to evacuate casualties.


March 1, 1945: The 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade launches an attack on enemy positions on the Hochwald Forest defence line covering Xanten, the last German bastion west of the Rhine. Major F.A. Tilston of the Essex Scottish Regiment leads his company across 500 yards of flat, open country to capture fiercely defended positions. Although wounded three times, the major continues to inspire and command his men throughout the action which earns him the Victoria Cross.


March 4, 1943: While escorting convoy KMS-10 to the Mediterranean during the buildup for the invasion of Sicily, Escort Group C-1, including His Majesty's Canadian ships St. Croix and Shediac, detects an enemy submarine off Portugal. After a two-hour depth charge attack, the escorts succeed in sinking U-87.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

lagatta

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sometimes more things have happened in our military history
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2007, 07:53:03 PM »
I love these little stories and I try to imagine how the people involved were thinking and feeling. Whether military, agricultural, labour, economic etc history. I have done many "life history" interviews as a history student.

Croghan, here is a story you might find interesting; An insult to our war dead - not that I'm taking the Russian side against Estonia, or denying the dubious character of that "liberation", but I don't think German war graves should be disturbed either, for that matter. I have visited many Allied and Axis war graves in Normandy, Belgium and the Netherlands, and as the writer says, they are lovingly tended by trusts and the local people.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Croghan27

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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2007, 02:25:05 AM »
Thanks for that, lagatta.

It was quite a surprise to me to find that; "the words that yer liable to read in the Bible, they ain't necessarily so.." - and icons sometimes have feet of clay. (How's that for throwing up metaphores?  :D )

About 1952 a large sailing ship arrived in Saint John, N.B. It was a beautiful craft -  build for and owned by the King of Greece (Prince Phillips's relatives) in 1904, it had mahogany decks and the rail totally around it that was solid maple. I swam out to it once and admired its' beauty.

It had come from Latvia carrying refugees from the communist tyranny - and they were fetted all over the country. (Given the time, another example of Soviet rapaciousness.)

Some contrary journalist looked into the poor 'refugees' background and found they had been members of a ruling class in the Baltics and large supporters of Germany when invaded. The Germans made them their strong allies when they controlled the country. That was all lost in the propaganda for the refugees. (How else could they come up with such a marvelous craft?)

The Russians, if nothing else, were intent on leveling the class structure, and these were the bunch that lost in the dislocation.

It was rather a shock and a major learning experience to me to see this.

When all is said and done, I am one of the: "oh shit, we have to do it again" militarists - but always with the view of the people involved.

A friend of mine and I, in the mid-60s used to go to several bars in Saint John and just sit down and buy some older gentlemen a beer. SJ is the oldest city in Canada and they are not hard to find. We would listen to their stories, and some were amazing. I met Lord Mountbaten's batman who was present at the Division of India/Pakistan and some of the stories he heard were nightmare material. (He also had 'come out of the closet' and I had to fend off his advances.)   :wink:  

Yes, remember, with all these 'elements of the 4th Mechiniszed Division today did such and such' are not toys on a board - they are people.

I am glad you wrote, sometimes I fear these posting may offend someone - I have known more dedicated pacificsts than I, that are offended by less.

Yours:

Rod
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Holly Stick

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sometimes more things have happened in our military history
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2007, 03:32:48 AM »
Quote
...Mr. Harper likes to characterize his opposition as a "cut and run" bunch, while pretenting he is a model of consistancy. (Why else never apologize?) He does have something of a point - not in the expression, that is designed to be offensive, but in the idea of military withdrawal...

The Duke of Wellington was good at the strategic retreat.  Going straight forward is not always the best choice.  (Time for bed, now that I'm going all military zen.)
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

Croghan27

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sometimes more things have happened in our military history
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2007, 02:53:24 AM »
March 1916: Captain A.M. Plunkett’s Dumbells begin entertaining soldiers of 3rd Canadian Div. Plunkett, of Orillia, Ont., founded the Dumbells with his two brothers Albert and Morley. The troupe, which was comprised entirely of soldiers, performed comic sketches dealing with various aspects of army life.

March 1, 1917: Fourth Canadian Div. launches a gas raid against German positions on Vimy Ridge. Aggressive trench raiding had become an increasingly common, if not reckless, activity in the Canadian Corps. During this aborted attack, many Canadian soldiers became victims of their own gas when retaliatory German artillery fire ruptured gas cylinders in the Canadian lines.

March 4, 1885: The first contingent of returning Nile voyageurs arrives in Halifax. Taken into service in the autumn of 1884 to guide a British expeditionary force up the Nile River, the Canadian boatmen played a crucial role in navigating the infamous Nile cataracts, thereby assisting in the effort to relieve a besieged British Army garrison at Khartoum, Sudan
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Croghan27

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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2007, 06:26:46 AM »
Apparently 10 March is a busy day in Military history. On the days I post nothing, it does not mean that nothing happened, ask the poor sailors bobbing up and down in the corks called Corvettes all across the North Atlantic, or the individuals freezing, knee deep in trench mud somewhere in France.

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March 10, 1966: French President Charles de Gaulle announces France's intent to partially withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This decision directly affects the Royal Canadian Air Force units stationed in France. With April 1, 1967, slated as the deadline for withdrawal, Canada is required to relinquish its airbases at Marville and the air divisional headquarters at Metz.

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March 10, 1944: A Sunderland aircraft from 422 Squadron attacks and destroys U-boat U-625. The submarine takes more than two hours to sink, during which time the aircraft keeps a watchful eye. While abandoning their boat, German sailors send a signal to the aircraft stating: “Fine Bombisch!”

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March 10, 1944: After a five-hour chase in the mid-Atlantic, His Majesty's Canadian Ship St. Laurent, HMCS Swansea and a British destroyer force U-845 to surface. A running gunfight ends when the U-boat is sunk by a depth charge pattern fired by St. Laurent. At the time, the escorts are protecting convoy SC-154 which is delivering supplies to Britain during the buildup for the Normandy invasion.


The Legion Magazine (the source of these posts) is, at heart a 'company issue' publication - I have noticed that if you go by it, Canada won the war almost all by itself. There were defeats and set backs - they only go to highlight the successful operations.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

lagatta

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sometimes more things have happened in our military history
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2007, 07:43:51 AM »
At least it is an antidote to all those USian films where none of the other allies play any role - or the "Great Escape" - there were no US Prisoners of War in that particular Stalag - there were some Canadians, including a fellow my uncle knew, who was extremely traumatised as a survivor - remember that most of the escapees were shot afterwards by the Gestapo, a violation of the rules of war.

I'm listening to the radio this morning and they are reading old newspapers from this date and thereabouts in the leadup to the Second World War. The Anschluss actually took place on the 12th of March 1938. On Radio-Canada they are reading touristic blurbs from the era, telling potential tourists - remember that we were dealing with a much smaller and more "exclusive" group back then - not to worry, that all was fine in that part of the world from a travel and tourism standpoint.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Holly Stick

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sometimes more things have happened in our military history
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2007, 01:20:33 PM »
My mother was in the Canadian Women's Army Corps during WWII.  One of my cousins got her to apply for a pension.  I understand that the reason she got the pension was that she had travelled from PEI to Halifax as a member of CWAC, and this placed her in danger of attack by submarine.

Was it here or elsewhere that someone wrote veterans can get pensions and other benefits, but they have to ask for them; the government does not search the veterans out.  Mum's CWAC pension continued until she started to receive the Old Age pension; and she gets veterans' benefits like help to pay for medical equipment.
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

Croghan27

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sometimes more things have happened in our military history
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2007, 02:06:38 PM »
Yo Holly:

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I understand that the reason she got the pension was that she had travelled from PEI to Halifax as a member of CWAC, and this placed her in danger of attack by submarine.

Ho ho ho .... I am not sure the Northumberland Strait is deep enough for a submarine, but more power to her.  :lol:  

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Was it here or elsewhere that someone wrote veterans can get pensions and other benefits, but they have to ask for them; the government does not search the veterans out. Mum's

I am not sure of that, Holly - I plan to ventue out to my neighbourhood branch later today,   :toast   and will ask. I did look about the magazine, back issues and all and found:

"
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Veterans have a right to be fully informed of all programs and benefits to which they are eligible"
was in a Veteran's 'Bill of Rights' that is proposed. So if they have to specifically ask fo it, there may be a need.

Here is something interesting ... in a comparison of how the Veterans of Canada, New Zealand and Austrialia treat their Vet's:
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The DVA has a staff of nearly 2,600 and its budget is a massive Aus$10.8 billion dollars. By comparison, observes Harrington, "The defence budget is $20 billion. The DVA spends more than the federal department of education spends, more than defence materiel spends. It's a big program."


I think they are involved in more things than what we see as traditional veteran's matters.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Croghan27

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sometimes more things have happened in our military history
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2007, 07:32:50 PM »
Today seems to be another day without spectacular occurances in our military history. During WWI preparations were going on in preparation for the big assault on Vimy Ridge.

The French and British had tried to 'take the ridge' in years past. encarta says:
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The Hindenburg Line, as the German position was called, stretched from Arras south to near Soissons.

When the offensive ended in early May in bloody disaster, it caused the ranks of the French army to mutiny. Whole regiments refused orders to advance or to head for the front. On May 15 the French government dismissed Nivelle and replaced him with Pétain, who set about to restore discipline. France suppressed details about the mutiny at the time, but later estimates suggest that 49 soldiers convicted of mutiny were executed.

General Bing, by now with Arthur Curry as his Chief of Staff and tactician as part of the general Third Battle of Ypres, (the Canadians) made some surprising advances ... as surprising to the Allies as to the oppositon:
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General Julian Byng's Third Army, having been allotted more than 300 tanks of an improved design, launched a dawn surprise attack with no advance bombing. The large initial British gains were so unexpected that Allied reserves were not available for the follow-through, and German counterattacks recovered most of the lost ground.

I'll end this lead up to Vimy with brief blurbs on the three Battles for Ypres - note they all end the same way.

First Battle of Ypres October - November 1914:
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The battle resulted in fixed military positions, initiating the long period of trench warfare on the western front. Allied casualties totaled more than 100,000; German casualties were more than 130,000.

Second Battle of Ypres April - May 1915:
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a stalemate had been reached, and the Germans brought the battle to an end. German casualties totaled about 35,000 officers and men; Allied casualties were about 60,000.[/u]

Third Battle of Ypres: July - Novemeber, 1917 (the Passendale campaign)
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At this point the Allied command halted the offensive. Allied troops had pushed the German lines back only 8 km (5 mi); each side suffered some 250,000 casualties[/u]

Have a good day.   :D
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Holly Stick

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sometimes more things have happened in our military history
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2007, 07:59:31 PM »
Here's one for today: William George Barker died on March 12, 1930.

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Lieutenant-Colonel William George Barker, VC, DSO and Bar, MC and Two Bars (3 November 1894 – 12 March 1930) was a Canadian First World War fighter ace and Victoria Cross winner...

...Barker returned to Canada in May 1919 as the most decorated Canadian soldier of the war, with the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the Military Cross and two Bars, the French Croix de guerre and two Italian Silver Medals for Valour. He was also mentioned in dispatches three times. No one in Canadian military history has matched his record of decorations awarded and hence he is the most decorated soldier in Canadian history...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_George_Barker

(Wow, I just looked at wiki for this date, and he was the first military Canadian I saw.)

ETA be sure to read the whole link; there's lots to his story.
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

Croghan27

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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2007, 09:40:15 PM »
Thank for that Holly .. I saw several links to him and just glossed them over .... I especially liked the:

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An attempt was made to make him an instructor but, by deliberately violating rules against stunt flying, he managed to get transferred back to France.


I have never met a Victoria Cross winner , but have an American Medal of Honour recipient and he claimed that he is not alone in feeling that there were many, many braver things that went on that were not recognized by an award of some sort ..... they just happened to be in the right place at the right time.....

It may also be true of William Barker, but he definitely contrived to be in the right place.... just waiting for the right time.

A very impressive man.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

 

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