Tag Archives: Legion Magazine

Inside Afghanistan: Politics, war and buzkashi

From the Legion Magazine.


Best-Selling 5-Volume Set
Front lines
Inside Afghanistan: Politics, war and buzkashi

Inside Afghanistan:
Politics, war and buzkashi

Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne

Few can claim a national game as violent or influential as Afghanistan has in buzkashi.

The country in which Canadian soldiers fought for 13 years is home to a deceptively complex society. And buzkashi (pronounced ‘BOO-skeh-shee’), which dates to the times of Genghis Khan, is a deceptively complex game that over the centuries has become woven into the fabric of Afghanistan’s warrior culture, its politics and power.

READ MORE

2019 Wall Calendars
Military Milestones
The sinking of U-211

The sinking of U-211

The crew of German submarine U-211 was very lucky under the captainship of Korvettenkapitän Karl Hause, who took command after it had been commissioned in March 1942. It would eventually be a member of eight different wolf packs wreaking havoc in the North Atlantic.

On its first patrol in August 1942, U-211 torpedoed and damaged three ships, and on its second, as part of wolf pack Raufbold, was credited with sinking the British destroyer HMS Firedrake, which was escorting a convoy in the mid-Atlantic.

The luck carried on even on the third and fourth patrols in 1943, when it was attacked, first by an American B-24 Liberator, which dropped six depth charges, and three months later by a Royal Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, which dropped three depth charges. Both times the U-boat was repaired and shortly returned to service.

But its luck ran out on the fifth patrol west of Portugal.

Canadian Flying Officer Donald F. McRae of 179 Squadron, flying a Vickers Wellington, was escorting a convoy east of the Azores when radar picked up the U-boat. The aircraft had been fitted with 120-million candlepower Leigh Lights. After flying close to the target, and at a altitude of only 100 feet, the lights were turned on, allowing dead accuracy for the depth charges.

U-211 sank. All 54 aboard, including Hause, 27, died.

U-boats suffered the highest casualty rate of all German forces during the Second World War. Of nearly 1,200 submarines produced by Germany, nearly 800 were lost, along with 28,000 submariners, while 5,000 were taken prisoner—a casualty rate of more than 75 per cent. Half were taken out by Allied aircraft.

More than 36,000 Allied sailors, soldiers and aircrew, along with 36,000 merchant sailors, lost their lives in the war. Canadian losses were about 2,000 members of the Royal Canadian Navy, 1,600 merchant seamen and more than 700 aircrew.

This Week in History
This week in History

November 14, 1981

Canadarm, the Canadian-made robotic arm, performs flawlessly in testing on Space Shuttle Columbia.

READ MORE

Medipac Travel Insurance

Inside Afghanistan: Remember the Afghan translator

From the Legion Magazine.


Best-Selling 5-Volume Set
Front lines
Inside Afghanistan: Remember the Afghan translator

Inside Afghanistan:
Remember the Afghan translator 

Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne

The night letters started arriving at his parents’ home in Afghanistan’s Helmand province soon after Ahmad Sajad Kazimi took a job translating for Canadian and other NATO forces fighting the war on terror.

“Tell your son to quit his job and stop working for coalition forces,” one said. “Otherwise we kill your son because he is co-operating with the Infidels!”

“You AHMAD SAJAD, son of Mohammad Wali, resident of Helmand province,” began another, “we found out that you are working as a linguist with Foreigners in KANDAHAR province. We won’t hesitate in
killing your family.

READ MORE

2019 Wall Calendars
Leonard Cohen recites In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields
Written by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae | Recited by Leonard Cohen
Presented by Legion Magazine

In this time of remembrance, we share this special tribute to Canada’s fallen soldiers. Here is the late Leonard Cohen’s stirring reading of John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields,” accompanied by poignant imagery from the First World War.

Legion Magazine presents you the poetry of John McCrae, the voice of Leonard Cohen, and the message of remembrance in Canada.

Please share with #LestWeForget #RemembranceDay #InFlandersFields #LeonardCohen

Military Milestones
The last spike

Donald A. Smith drives the last spike to complete the Canadian Pacific Railway in Craigallachie, B.C., on Nov. 7, 1885. [LAC/ C-003693]

November 7, 1885
CPR reaches completion

The dream of an iron road running from sea to sea was realized at 9:22 a.m. on Nov. 7, 1885, when financier Donald Smith drove the final spike connecting the east and west arms of the Canadian Pacific Railway at Craigellachie, B.C., in a pass through the Rocky Mountains west of Revelstoke.

For British Columbians, it was high time, since a transcontinental railway, the inducement to become the westernmost province, was promised in 1871. When the troubled project was not complete by the original deadline of 1881, and with some B.C. politicians threatening to secede, the CPR took over the troubled project and completed it in just five years.

There were actually four last spikes. A ceremonial silver spike never made it to the ceremony, so the spike that was used was identical to the other iron spikes used in construction of the rail line. It was badly bent when pounded, and another was substituted, then taken away to deter memento collectors. The fourth, another iron spike, was left in place. The bent spike was eventually donated to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, and is on long-term loan to the Canadian Museum of Immigration in Halifax, displayed as a tribute to the immigrant railway workers who built the line.

The railway is part of Canada’s national identity. For decades, it was the only way for passengers to travel across the country’s vast distances. It was vital for delivering settlers and materials to build towns and supply the businesses and industry that provided jobs and helped populate the provinces.

The federal government was able to move 3,000 troops west during the Riel Rebellion in less than a month. Troops were moved east to Halifax en route to Europe during the First World War and Second World War, and west from Halifax when they returned home.

Today the CPR owns about 20,000 kilometres of track, but no longer reaches the East Coast. More than $280 billion in goods are moved by rail annually, as well as 75 million passengers, most on commuter rail lines.

Arbor

Inside Afghanistan: Life and the art of the barter

From the Legion Magazine.


Best-Selling 5-Volume Set
Front lines
Inside Afghanistan: Life and the art of the barter

Inside Afghanistan: Life and the art of the barter

Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne

Over the course of three Canadian army tours in their parched and war-ravaged homeland, Alex Watson came to know and respect the long-suffering Afghan people for their courage, resilience, devotion and unfailing courtesy. As a CiMiC (civilian-military co-operation) officer and later as a company commander attached to an Afghan National Army battalion, Watson became intimately acquainted with the citizens and culture Canadian troops were sent to protect.

READ MORE

2019 Wall Calendars
Juno Beach Centre launches dog tag campaign

Juno Beach Centre launches dog tag campaign

The Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer, France, has launched a fundraising campaign featuring dog tags to commemorate the 5,500 Canadians killed in action during the Battle of Normandy in 1944. The money will support commemoration and educational activities as the centre marks the 75th anniversary of the landing in 2019.

READ MORE

Military Milestones
WW II Collection now available for only $49.99!

October 31, 1944
Clearing the Scheldt

Overnight on Oct. 31, 1944, Canadian troops fought to establish a foothold on Walcheren Island, the last obstacle to opening the port of Antwerp, Belgium, to Allied shipping.

The Allied invasion moved so quickly that by September, supplies had become a problem. What could be delivered through Allied-held ports or by air was insufficient to support an invasion of Germany.

Antwerp, about 100 kilometres inland on the Scheldt River, was in Allied hands and could handle 1,000 ships at a time, but the Germans commanded the river approaches in the Netherlands. The First Canadian Army was tasked with liberating the Scheldt, supported by British and Polish troops.

The gruelling campaign began on Oct. 2 to clear the Breskens Pocket and Leopold Canal and secure the islands on the river delta. At month’s end, the final task was to capture Walcheren Island, accessible only over a long and well-defended causeway where an anti-tank gun fired at troops trying to cross on foot.

In the late evening of Oct. 31, the Black Watch and Calgary Highlanders tried to cross, but were driven back with heavy casualties. In their second foray, the Highlanders inched across, overtook a German roadblock and established a bridgehead.

Troops fanned out from the foothold. When all officers of one company were killed or wounded, staff officer Major George Hees (later Minister of Veterans Affairs) volunteered to take over, staying in place even after being wounded in the arm. “It took a lot of guts for a guy who had never been in action to go into a hell-hole like that one,” the Highlanders’ commander Lieutenant-Colonel Ross Ellis said later.

Sergeant Emile Laloge earned the Distinguished Conduct Medal for picking up German grenades and throwing them back and taking over weapons of wounded and dead comrades and turning them on the enemy.

When two Le Régiment de Maisonneuve platoons took over the bridgehead, “It was like entering a giant blast furnace stoked with fireworks,” wrote one commander quoted on canadiansoldiers.com. Zigzagging forward, his platoon came under fire of a 20-millimetre gun and took shelter in a ditch, where “we shivered from cold and exhaustion, in waist-deep water.” Private J.C. Carrière earned the Military Medal by taking out the gun with an infantry anti-tank weapon.

Learning that no relief would come, the platoon had to retreat. “It was…every man for himself…in broad daylight, along the railroad bank from which the enemy could lob grenades and snipers, across the open field, had a clear view of moving targets,” wrote the commander.

Continuous fierce fighting put the island into Allied hands on Nov. 8. Antwerp opened to Allied shipping on Nov. 28, after clearing of obstacles and booby traps left by the Germans.

READ MORE

Iris

Dan Aykroyd narrates Military Moments | The Fight for Italy – Released Today! 🇮🇹

From the Legion Magazine.


The Fight for Italy | Narrated by Dan Aykroyd

RELEASED TODAY!
Military Moments | The Fight for Italy
Narrated by Dan Aykroyd

2018 marks the 75th anniversary of the start of Canada’s Italian Campaign of the Second World War waged from July 10, 1943, to February 4, 1945.

By the end of the Italian Campaign, more than 92,000 Canadians had played a part. Yet it remains relatively unheralded, overshadowed by the drama of D-Day. To commemorate the sacrifice made in Italy 75 years ago, Legion Magazine and Canada’s Ultimate Story present Military Moments | The Fight for Italy. Narrated by Canadian actor, comedian, musician and filmmaker Dan Aykroyd, the video explores critical Allied victories on Sicily and the Italian mainland which set the stage for the fight that would lead to the end of the war. #LestWeForget #RemembranceDay2018

WATCH VIDEO

The Fight for Italy only $14.95!

Last chance to WIN an IPAD!

From the Legion Magazine.