A soldier and a girl fervently embrace on an otherwise empty railroad platform at night, the lamps in the background blurry, the tracks sweeping past clean and precise. A dark horse gallops along a railroad track at dusk, while a train slowly grinds toward it across a treeless expanse, steam trailing off into a cloudy sky. Both Soldier and […]
Il y a 70 ans, pendant la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, les Alliés lancèrent l’opération HUSKY (déclenchée le 9-10 juillet 1943) – l’invasion de la Sicile et l’assaut contre le « ventre mou » de l’Axe. Au sein d’une armée d’invasion en grande partie américaine et britannique, les troupes canadiennes de la 1re Division d’infanterie canadienne et de la […]
70 years ago, during the Second World War, the Allies launched Operation HUSKY (begun July 9-10, 1943) – the invasion of Sicily and the assault against the Axis’ “soft underbelly.” As part of a largely American and British invasion force, Canadian troops of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade landed at […]
Il y a 69 ans, le 6 juin 1944, les Canadiens aux côtés de tous les autres soldats, marins et aviateurs alliés participaient au Jour J, l’invasion de la Normandie en France, la première étape vers la libération de l’Europe continentale pendant la Deuxième Guerre mondiale. Le Jour J, les Canadiens effectuèrent des tâches très […]
69 years ago, on June 6, 1944 Canadians, alongside their fellow Allied soldiers, sailors, and airmen, participated in D-Day, the invasion of Normandy, France and the first step towards the liberation of continental Europe in the Second World War. Canadians performed a wide variety of tasks on D-Day. In advance of the invading force, paratroopers […]
On 4 April 1949, in the auditorium of the State Department on Washington’s Constitution Avenue, the foreign ministers of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and eight other countries signed the North Atlantic Treaty. An armed attack on one member, the treaty’s Article 5 pledged, would be an armed attack on them all.
The leading historian of the event called it a Second American Revolution, radically transforming United States foreign policy. It was no less a revolution for Canada. North America was engaging itself in the security of Europe for the long haul.
Jack Ford was a Canadian photographer during the Second World War for RCAF Squadron 414. While advancing across Western Europe, he took thousands of photographs, including Winston Churchill (with his proverbial cigar), King George VI, Nazi planes, and prisoners of war. He also captured glimmers of humanity: in one photo, a Canadian soldier dressed as Santa Claus helps a child drink from a teacup.
Mrs. Jones, of Littletown, Canada, thought her heart would stop when she answered the door and saw the telegram delivery boy. It was 1943 and Mrs. Jones’s son, Robert, was stationed overseas somewhere. She took the yellow envelope with a shaking hand. Fearing the worst, she blinked back tears and read: “Getting married. Need 60 pounds. Letter follows.” Mrs. Jones sank into a heap on the floor.
In Ottawa, a simple memorial stands in a park along the Rideau Canal. On it are the names, CDN numbers and British Regiments of the 128 men who died in Europe during the Second World War as CANLOAN soldiers. The memorial is inscribed:
“Erected by the Governments of Canada and the United Kingdom, the British Regiments, the CANLOAN Army Officers’ Association, and CANLOAN next-of-kin. Designated CANLOAN, 673 Canadian Officers volunteered for loan to the British Army and took part in the invasion and liberation of Europe 1944-45. CANLOAN total casualties were 465, of which 128 were fatal. Their fallen are honoured in this quiet place in gratitude and remembrance of the cost of liberty”.
In 1946 John Humphrey became director of the United Nations Division on Human Rights, and Eleanor Roosevelt was named the United States representative to the UN’s Commission on Human Rights.
He was an obscure Canadian law professor. She was the world’s most celebrated woman. For two years, they collaborated in the creation of one of the modern world’s great documents, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on December 10, 1948.
This week marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour, and news outlets reflected the importance of the event with stories on POWs, Japanese internment camps, and historic honours and apologies. In other news, a Canadian literary critic gets a statue in his image, the Governor General includes Canadian history in this year’s awards, and the Toronto Raptors may have a fighting chance for glory with the addition of its first Canadian. This week’s Canada Soup is all “Kumbaya” and high fives.
At 0523 hours, August 19, 1942, Captain Denis Whitaker and the men of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry listened as the hull of their flat-bottomed landing craft grated on the stone shingle of the broad beach fronting the French town of Dieppe. As the rising sun broke the horizon and revealed the outline of the town, Whitaker and his men peered over the ramp of the landing boat. They expected to see a town shattered by RAF bombs and Royal Navy shells, but to their shock they could see that even the storefront windowpanes were unbroken. Suddenly a hail of machine gun bullets peppered the side of the landing craft.