Category Archives: Legion Magazine

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.

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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.

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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.

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Revera
Legion Magazine

ReaderPerks | Behind the Scenes!

An item from the Legion Magazine.


Behind the Scenes with J.L. Granatstein
ReaderPerks | Behind the Scenes

Q: What made you want to study military history in the first place?

A: It wasn’t my first choice. At Royal Military College of Canada, I wanted to study political science and economics, but found that economics was beyond me. (The story of my life, I fear.) So, I went into history and because I was in the army, I wrote a thesis on peacekeeping. Then I was posted to the Directorate of History at National Defence headquarters, wrote a doctoral dissertation on the Second World War, and later worked on foreign and defence policy as a professor. By the late 1980s, military history was my major focus, and since then I have since much on the world wars.

Q: What’s it like to have a career as a military historian?

A: It’s a good career—if you can find a job! There are only a few Canadian universities that do not hate the subject, but there is the Department of National Defence headquarters and the War Museum, where I had the good fortune to be the director and CEO 20 years ago. The truth is, the universities notwithstanding, there is real public interest in Canada’s military story, and if military historians can find a job and publisher, they can make a career—and a living.
Q: Why did you choose to focus so much of your work on Canada’s role in the world wars?

A: Canada’s military history is concentrated—not wholly but largely—in the world wars. This is when huge numbers served, fought and re-integrated into society. Great stories, with many remaining to be told, and it seemed natural to devote most of my research and writing here. While I have written about the battlefields, my main interest really has been on the domestic politics of war and the politics of high command.

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The March to Victory
ReaderPerks | Deal of the Month for April

*Coupons can’t be used on ReaderPerks Deal of the Month products as they are already discounted.

Behind the Scenes with J.L. Granatstein

Words of war

From the Legion Magazine.


The Beaches of Normandy
Words of war

Words of war

Story by Stephen J. Thorne
The briefest, if not the greatest, wartime speech ever was not really a speech at all. It was a one-word message written in December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge, one of the last German offensives of the Second World War.

Weather was preventing resupply drops. United States paratroopers were cold, hungry and starved for ammunition when Brigadier-General Anthony McAuliffe, acting commander of the 101st Airborne at Bastogne, Belgium, received surrender terms from his German counterpart. Not for a German surrender, mind you, but his own.

He gave the American two hours to decide.

McAuliffe’s reply, typed and centred on a full sheet, was simple and direct:

December 22, 1944

To the German Commander,

N U T S!

The American Commander.

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Military Milestones
HMCS Iroquois takes leadership of Operation Apollo

HMCS Iroquois takes leadership
of Operation Apollo

Story by Sharon Adams

HMCS Iroquois, a destroyer, took over on April 2, 2003, as the flagship of the multinational anti-terrorism fleet in the Persian Gulf on Operation Apollo, which was established following the terrorist attacks in the United States in September 2001.

Canada was among the first to respond to the call, providing assistance in October from ships already in the region, but maintained between two and five warships on station taking part in surveillance patrols and inspections. A total of 15 vessels were deployed between 2001 and December 2003.

In addition to replenishing the rest of the fleet, Canadian crews also inspected merchant ships and fishing boats operating from Pakistan and Iran, alert to prevent supplies reaching Al-Qaida and the Taliban, or terrorists escaping.

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

April 1, 1999

Canada creates a third territory called Nunavut, carved out of the Northwest Territories.
It covers one-fifth of Canada and 85 per cent of its population is Inuit.

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Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Legion Magazine