The horrendous battle at Moreuil Wood on March 30th, 1918, was followed by an equally bloody battle a couple of miles away. See ARCHIVE #176.
I reviewed this excellent book in late 2022 on Amazon. Here is what I had to say:
“Three battles, and only one a victory
I found this a great read, describing as it does three battles that took place in Korea in April 1951.
A British brigade suffered a brutal defeat when caught off-guard by a Chinese force, while a Commonwealth brigade brought the enemy to a halt and turned it back. Canadian and Australian battalions on opposite sides of a river valley faced overwhelming odds and overcame them.
Here is Awatea, the New Zealand steamship pressed into service as an RN troopship for the Second War. She delivered Canadian troops to Hong Kong in November, 1941. She was sunk in 1942, performing a similar task for the invasion of Vichy French North Africa.
Canadian National Steamship Prince Robert, pictured in Vancouver before her conversion to armed merchant cruiser.
HMCS PRINCE ROBERT, at one time Canada’s largest warship, about the size of a cruiser.
That’s the title of a PowerPoint presentation I made to the University Women’s Club of Vancouver on April 13th this year. It was a fascinating event, with attendees that included members of the club, friends and family, Canadian army veterans, and a man born Korean during the war who is now a Canadian. Also present to my delight were family members of a veteran of the Battle of Kapyong.
I would like to think that there in spirit were a Korean veteran and friend who had just passed away, and another veteran who is still very much with us but unable to access a computer to attend the live Zoom event. He has since received a video of the presentation; no doubt I’ll hear one of these days what he thought of it!
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This photo has haunted me for years. The three young men here are first cousins. They are all Mackays. Their fathers were brothers, each of whom served in World War I’s Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). From left to right they are Thomas Colson Mackay, William Bruce Mackay, and James Birch Mackay.
As near as I can make out, the photo was probably taken in or close to 1937, perhaps at Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, where at least one of the older generation had recreational property.
The boys were all 16 or 17 years old. My guess is that the photo may have been snapped on a Friday, late in the day, after driving from Winnipeg. Quite the sharp dressers: Tom appears to sport two-toned shoes in the full-length photo, Bruce with his tie. Or, who knows, perhaps they were off to attend a local dance.
Tom, who was my half-brother, joined the RCN; Bruce (as he was known) the RCAF; and Jim the Canadian Army, so between them they covered all the bases.
It’s my intention to go deeper into the careers of each of them in future blogs and editions of Forces With History; I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
|Ukraine is crying out for help and has been for some time. Canada is taking steps that are too little, too late. The government of President Zelensky asked the western allies numerous times for more aid—not for more trainers, not for repayable loans, but for defensive weapons. Canada did supply non-lethal aid, but not until five days before Russia’s massive invasion did Canada send actual weapons in the form of rifles and machine guns. A second aircraft-load arrived just hours before Russia crossed into Ukraine. Chances are those weapons are still in a warehouse somewhere, and may in fact fall into the hands of Putin’s forces.We don’t know when the current events will run their course, or if they will lead to a permanent state of heightened tension between Russia (with China nodding approval) and the West—a new Cold War. But short and devastating or drawn-out and painful, Canada’s previous actions will have contributed nothing to forcing Putin to rethink his plans. The prime minister has been appearing in daily press conferences now that Ukraine’s plight has our attention. Perhaps when he has time the government will do something about our minuscule armed forces, whose numbers are nowhere near even the currently authorized personnel levels. It is no doubt a major challenge for the minister and senior officers to scrape up the numbers now promised to be sent to Europe. Besides the chronic shortage of personnel, there is the lack of overall spending, nowhere near our commitment to NATO. Modern ships, submarines, fighter aircraft. Next century, perhaps? Vladimir Putin can not be forgiven for his illegal and brutal assault on Ukraine. He could be forgiven for a glance our way, which would have assured him that not all members of the Western Alliance are in any way prepared to defend their friends, or for that matter their own northern regions.