Category Archives: Legion Magazine

Spitfire documentary soars with nostalgia ūüá¨ūüáß

From the Legion Magazine.


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Spitfire documentary soars with nostalgia

Spitfire documentary soars with nostalgia

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

For its aerial cinematography alone, airplane geeks and war history buffs alike will love the new documentary Spitfire: The Plane That Saved the World.

Under the image direction of renowned aviation photographer John Dibbs, the aerial footage‚ÄĒset against dramatic cloudscapes, the pastoral English countryside, the English Channel and, of course, the white cliffs of Dover‚ÄĒis beyond compare.

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Canada and the Second World War: The Battles

August 12-21, 1944
Battle of the Falaise Pocket

In August 1944, the fortunes of war opened an opportunity for the Allies to break out of Normandy, hastening the end of the conflict.

The Germans had severely depleted their reserves by the time Caen, France, was liberated by the Allies in July 1944, and Allied aircraft were preventing the movement of supplies and reinforcements.

Then the Americans blew a hole in the German lines and began an eastward advance through Brittany. Hitler ordered an ill-conceived counteroffensive. When it failed, German troops began fleeing eastward, and the Allies planned to use a pincer movement to ensnare them.

The 12th British Corps and First Canadian Army, along with the First Polish Armored Division, began hard-fought battles that pressed German troops southward, while the Americans kept up the eastward pressure.

Fighting was ferocious as trapped troops fought desperately to escape. The Canadians and Poles fought equally hard to contain them. It took two days and heavy casualties for the 2nd Canadian Division to clear SS troops from Falaise. The Poles suffered 2,300 casualties holding Hill 262. Although some Germans did manage to escape through a gap in the Allied front, they had to abandon their tanks, guns and vehicles.

The Falaise Gap was closed on Aug. 21. Nearly half of the 100,000 fleeing Germans were captured, while 10,000 to 15,000 were killed. The First Canadian Army suffered 18,444 casualties, including 5,021 deaths, in the Normandy campaign, and the Allied air forces saw 2,800 aircrew downed.

Paris was liberated on Aug. 25, but it took a few more weeks to free the rest of the country.

A grand hotel

A grand hotel

Story by Don Gillmor

Three of the Ch√Ęteau‚Äôs most famous guests, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and William Lyon Mackenzie King arrived in August 1943¬†to discuss the Allied invasion and defeat of Nazi Germany and Japan.

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This week in history
This Week in History

August 17, 1943

Sicily is conquered.

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Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Get a FREE ‚Äď WW I Armistice Pin (1918-2018)

From the Legion Magazine.


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Special offer just for you!
Dear  MICHAEL K BARBOUR  Barbour,

2018 marks the anniversary of the First World War’s final year. Legion Magazine Shop is offering all customers a FREE Armistice pin to honour the service and sacrifice made by those who fought, 100 years ago. Minimum purchase of $30 before shipping and taxes.

Offer expires August 31, 2018.

Please have a look at the latest Legion Magazine SHOP items below that may be of interest to you.

WW I Collection - Deluxe Edition!
Lest We Forget Tribute Poster!
Canada and the Great War: The Battles
First World War Centenary Mailing Labels (Version 2)

Canada‚Äôs Final 100 Days of the First World War

From the Legion Magazine.


WW I Collection Deluxe Edition
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European Union re-evaluates defence capabilities

European Union re-evaluates defence capabilities

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

Canada has reaffirmed its support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) while the European Union weighs its limited options after United States President Donald Trump launched double-barreled criticisms of both the 69-year-old alliance and the EU.

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The March to Victory: Canada’s Final 100 Days of the Great War
First World War Centenary Mailing Labels (Version 2)

August 8, 1918
Canada’s Hundred Days

The Hundred Days Offensive, the Allied advance from Amiens to Mons that ended the First World War, began with a move familiar to Canadians: deking out the opponent.

By the summer of 1918, Canadians had the reputation as the best attack troops on the Western Front, and were chosen to spearhead the offensive. But they were carefully observed by the Germans, who believed their movement heralded major offensives.

So, some Canadian troops were shifted to Ypres, Belgium, while the bulk of the force was secretly amassed 180 kilometres south, near Amiens. On Aug. 8, the Canadians joined the British, Australians and French in a successful surprise attack that not only broke German lines, but spirits as well. German General Erich Ludendorff called it ‚Äúthe black day of the German Army.‚ÄĚ

In three days, the Canadians advanced 20 kilometres, liberating two dozen villages and towns and capturing about 9,000 prisoners, at a cost of nearly 12,000 casualties.

On¬†Sept. 2, the Canadians breached the Drocourt-Qu√©ant Line, near Arras, France, part of the 80 kilometres of fortified trenches making up the Hindenburg Line. Lieutenant-General Arthur Currie called it ‚Äúone of the finest feats in our history.‚ÄĚ

The main Hindenburg Line, protected by the Canal du Nord, was the next target, breached in a combined offensive on Sept. 27. Canadians shortly captured Bourlon Wood, which protected Cambrai, an important railway and supply hub.

After fierce fighting, Cambrai was liberated on Oct. 11. Though Canadian units fought through to the bitter end, the four divisions last attacked together that day at nearby Canal de la Sensée.

The Canadian success is credited to solid, sometimes audacious, planning, mobile infantry aided by rolling artillery barrages, support from the air force, and superb logistics, particularly from the engineers. Their surreptitious, night-built bridges permitted surprise troop movement, and tramways ensured fast delivery of battlefield supplies.

A series of running battles in the final month of the war saw the Germans retreat about 70 kilometres across France to Mons, Belgium, which Canadian troops liberated in the early hours of Nov. 11.

Canadians played a significant role in the ending of the First World War, but at a cost. In Canada’s Hundred Days, the 100,000 men of the Canadian Corps put the boots to about 50 German divisions, but suffered 45,835 casualties. The last, Private George Lawrence Price, was killed just minutes before the Armistice came into effect.

Four soldiers, four battles

Four soldiers, four battles

Story by Tim Cook

In the final 100 days of the First World War, Canada was called again and again to lead the offensive at Amiens, Arras, the Drocourt-Quéant Line and the Canal du Nord.

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This week in history
This Week in History

August 9, 1945

Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray leads an air attack against Japanese vessels in Onagawa Bay. Gray’s plane is damaged by heavy anti-aircraft fire, but he still scores a direct hit, sinking a Japanese destroyer. Gray is killed in the action and receives a posthumous Victoria Cross.

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Medipac Travel Insurance

Final day to subscribe!

From the Legion Magazine.


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The March to Victory: Canada’s Final 100 Days of the Great War

Today is the¬†FINAL DAY¬†to subscribe in order to get…
The March to Victory: Canada’s Final 100 Days of the Great War

The next issue in the award-winning series¬†Canada‚Äôs Ultimate Story¬†is¬†The March to Victory: Canada‚Äôs Final 100 days of the Great War.¬†From¬†Aug. 8 to Nov. 11, 1918‚ÄĒthe Canadian Corps fought several great battles before Germany surrendered, ending ‚Äúthe war to end war.‚ÄĚ It was arguably the greatest success in our military history.

Written by award-winning historian and Canadian author J.L. Granatstein, this special issue includes rare photographs, detailed accounts and action-packed battle maps! To witness what those brave Canadians experienced, pick up a copy of The March to Victory: Canada’s Final 100 days of the Great War on newsstands across Canada on Aug. 8 or by subscribing to Canada’s Ultimate Story today! Plus, you will be entered into a contest to win an Apple iPad!

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Get a FREE ‚Äď WW I Armistice Pin (1918-2018)

From the Legion Magazine.


Get a FREE PIN with your next purchase!

Special offer just for you!
Dear  MICHAEL K BARBOUR  Barbour,

2018 marks the anniversary of the First World War’s final year. Legion Magazine Shop is offering all customers a FREE Armistice pin to honour the service and sacrifice made by those who fought, 100 years ago. Minimum purchase of $30 before shipping and taxes.

Offer expires August 31, 2018.

Please have a look at the latest Legion Magazine SHOP items below that may be of interest to you.

WW I Collection - Deluxe Edition!
Lest We Forget Tribute Poster!
Canada and the Great War: The Battles

Winston wets his whistle: Churchill‚Äôs indulgences

From the Legion Magazine.


Best-Selling 5-Volume Set!
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Winston wets his whistle: Churchill’s indulgences

Winston wets his whistle:
Churchill’s indulgences

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

In December 1941, just days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, United States president Franklin Delano Roosevelt informed his First Lady that a guest, or guests, would be coming to stay at the White House.¬†‚ÄúI must have a tumbler of sherry in my room before breakfast,‚ÄĚ Churchill told the butler upon arriving at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, ‚Äúa couple of glasses of scotch and soda before lunch and French champagne, and 90-year-old brandy before I go to sleep at night.‚ÄĚ

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The Victoria Cross | Bound Book

August 4, 1944
Bazalgette’s last mission

Born in Calgary in the final weeks of the First World War, Ian Willoughby Bazalgette served just shy of two years in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, but he packed in a lot of experience, racking up 58 missions before his 26th birthday.

His flying career began in 1942, with No. 115 Squadron, where he flew 13 missions laying mines in the North Sea before transferring to a Lancaster bomber. He displayed ‚Äúgreat courage and determination in the face of the enemy,‚ÄĚ says the citation for his 1943 Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded after 10 harrowing missions against heavily defended targets, and surviving a crash landing.

After completing his first tour of 28 operations, he served briefly as a flight instructor before being recruited to fly for the No. 8 Pathfinder Force Group, including service during the D-Day Campaign (Click here).

Squadron Leader Bazalgette’s final mission, on Aug. 4, 1944, was to mark the positions of V-1 rocket storage caves at Trossy Saint-Maximin in France for the main bomber force.

His Lancaster heavily damaged and set ablaze by anti-aircraft fire and the bomb aimer badly wounded, Bazalgette kept the burning plane aloft and accurately marked the target. The inner port engine failed and Bazalgette ordered the crew to bail out, then attempted to save two wounded crew members by landing the crippled aircraft. He managed to avoid a village and landed the plane, but it exploded, killing all three aboard.

He was posthumously awarded the¬†Victoria Cross¬†(Click here). The citation reads: ‚ÄúAs the deputy ‚Äúmaster bomber‚ÄĚ had already been shot down, the success of the attack depended on Squadron-Leader Bazalgette, and this he knew. Despite the appalling conditions in his burning aircraft, he pressed on gallantly‚Ķ. That the attack was successful was due to his magnificent effort.‚ÄĚ

A junior high school in Calgary, a mountain in Jasper National Park and memorial gardens in New Malden, Surrey, England, have been named after him. The colours and markings of his aircraft have been painted on a reconstructed Avro Lancaster at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alta., south of Calgary.

This week in history
This Week in History

August 4, 1914

Canada declares war on Germany.

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Iris Vision Care

See The World Press Photo Of The Year

From the Legion Magazine.


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Photographs document the true agents of change‚ÄĒthe people
Photographs document the true agents of change‚ÄĒthe people
Photographs document the true agents of change‚ÄĒthe people

Photographs document the true agents of change‚ÄĒthe people

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

It’s telling that the finalists for the most prestigious prize in photojournalism were all connected to some form of conflict, yet the principal subjects in all six photographs were civilians.

For the first time in its 61-year history, the esteemed World Press Photo (WPP) competition this year announced nominees for its grand prize before declaring the Photo of the Year.

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Watercolour Prints starting at $34.99!

Memorials unveiled 
This week marks the anniversary of two memorials in Europe that have attracted tens of thousands of Canadians over the decades since they were built.

 

The Menin Gate (Click here) in Ypres, Belgium, has been a destination for pilgrims of remembrance since it was inaugurated on July 24, 1927.

 

Hundreds of thousands of men passed through the Menin Gate on their way to five major First World War offensives fought on the Ypres Salient. After the war, it was turned into a memorial to the 200,000 Commonwealth soldiers killed nearby. The Menin Gate bears the name of more than 54,000 who have no known grave, including 6,940 Canadians.

 

Traffic through the gate is stopped for a Last Post ceremony held every evening at 8 p.m. Since 1928, the daily ceremony has been interrupted only during the German occupation of the Second World War, when it was observed instead in England.

 

It bears two inscriptions. One dedicates the memorial to the ‚Äúarmies of the British Empire who stood here from 1914 to 1918.‚ÄĚ A second reads, ‚ÄúHere are recorded names of officers and men who fell in Ypres Salient but to whom the fortune of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrades in death.‚ÄĚ


Canadian pilgrims have flocked to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial (Click here) in France since it was unveiled by King Edward VIII on July 26, 1936. More than 100,000 attended the event, including 6,000 veterans who travelled from Canada.

France ceded the adjacent land to Canada in 1922. It took 11 years to complete the memorial, which stands on the highest point of Vimy Ridge, seized by the four Canadian divisions attacking together for the first time in a fierce battle April 9-12, 1917.

 

Twenty symbolic figures grace the memorial, including the figure of Canada Bereft mourning her fallen sons (Click here). Carved into the walls are names of 11,285 Canadian soldiers killed in France who have no known graves.

 

Its inscription reads: ‚ÄúTo the valour of their countrymen in the Great War and in memory of their sixty thousand dead this monument is raised by the people of Canada.‚ÄĚ

The long wait for peace

The long wait for peace

Story by Sharon Adams

The world awaits¬†a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, 65 years after an armistice ceased the fighting between military forces. The Korean War went into hiatus with the signing of an armistice on July¬†27, 1953. But a peace treaty was never signed‚ÄĒthe war did not officially end.

#KoreanWar65 #LestWeForget

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This week in history
This Week in History

July 26, 1936

King Edward VIII unveils the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France.

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Hearing Life Advantage