Reginald Wise: Saviour of Easter Sunday, 1945

From the Legion Magazine.

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Front lines
Reginald Wise: Saviour of Easter Sunday, 1945

Reginald Wise:
Saviour of Easter Sunday, 1945

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

Reginal Wise, the 94-year old former sniper who grew up in London and would eventually settle in British Columbia, was 100 yards back down the line doing his best to suppress the German fire when a messenger arrived, summoning him forward.

Wise and the rest of his Royal Marine commandos were advancing on a German position in Northern Italy when a landmine took out a track on their lead tank and everything ground to a halt.

Almost immediately, a German MG-42 or MG-08 machine gun, firing up to 20 rounds a second, had pinned down the British troops.


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Sir Arthur Currie, a national hero

Sir Arthur Currie, the first Canadian soldier to command the Canadian Corps during the First World War, died a national hero Nov. 30, 1933, aged 58.

Respected for his military acumen, he perfected battle strategies and honed his men into elite assault troops whose string of victories during Canada’s Hundred Days played no small part in winning the war. But he made political enemies who assaulted and tarnished his reputation.

A militia officer before the war, Currie began his military career as commander of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, which fought in the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915, Canada’s first major engagement. His talent noted, he rose to commander of the 1st Canadian Division in 1915. He helped plan the Canadian attack on Vimy Ridge, where the British and French armies had previously lost thousands in unsuccessful assaults.

Part of the strategy was to ensure every soldier knew his task. Ordinary troops were supplied with maps and photographs of objectives. The plan was carefully co-ordinated, a 100-yard advance every three minutes behind a rolling barrage, a moving curtain of artillery fire.

With victory came a new sense of nationhood, both for those at the front and those on the home front.


Military Milestones
On this date: November

November 30, 2000

Space Shuttle Endeavour launches with Canadian astronaut
Marc Garneau aboard, on his third and final space flight.


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