Words of war (part 2)

An item from the Legion Magazine.

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Military Milestones
attacked from above

Attacked from above

Story by Sharon Adams

April 10, 1917, a furious air battle was taking place as troops assaulted the eastern slope of Hill 145 near La Folie wood during the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Despite a plague of German fighters, the Royal Flying Corps kept its observation planes aloft, taking vital photographs of the front, helping the artillery pinpoint enemy guns that were dug in and camouflaged, and reporting on enemy strength, position and movement.


Words of war

Words of war (part 2)

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

It was the eve of the invasion of Iraq—March 19, 2003—and Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Collins was speaking to his troops of the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment, at their staging point in Kuwait.

Born in Belfast and a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Collins delivered one of history’s most poignant and elegant battle speeches, all of it off the top of his head.

It has been compared to the Agincourt address in which Shakespeare’s Henry V urges his legions “once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.”

That Collins’ words survived at all is thanks to the shorthand of a single journalist, Sarah Oliver of The London Daily Mail on Sunday. There is no recording or film of his address.


Vimy Ridge - Must Read Pick of the Month
This week in history
This week in history

April 9-12, 1917

In driving wind, snow and sleet, the Canadian Corps launches its attack against German defences at Vimy Ridge. All four divisions of the corps fight together for the first time and capture the ridge.


Legion Magazine

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