The Minute Book
Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Royal Canadian Navy (1962)
Topic: RCN

HMCS Bonaventure
Click for larger image. Image published in Jane's Fighting Ships 1967-68.

Royal Canadian Navy Report Busy and Eventful Year (1962)

The Shawanigan Standard, 19 Dec 1962

The Navy's Year — International exercises, training, cruises, operational patrols --- and a sprinkling of those unscheduled activities that befall ships at sea — made 1962 a busy and eventful year for ships of the Royal Canadian Navy. It was a year, too, in which there was tangible evidence of progress, both in the building of new ships and re-equipping of those already in service.

One of 1962's dramatic events was the search for and rescue of survivors from an airliner that ditched in the North Atlantic. HMCS Bonaventure, en route to Rotterdam, backtracked 350 miles to join in the operation. By helicopter, medical aid was given to survivors picked up by a Swiss freighter, and the more seriously injured were transferred to the Bonaventure for treatment in the carrier's hospital.

All told ships of the RCN spent more than 7,000 days at sea and logged more than 1,200,000 nautical miles. Their travels took them to the Great lakes, and to Southeast Asia, to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, to Hawaii and Hudson Bay.

Of the nine international exercises in which Canadian warships too part, three stood out: Dawn Breeze Seven, a NATO exercise off Gibraltar involving units of four countries; Sharp Squall Six, a five-country NATO exercise in the eastern Atlantic, and Jet 62, a Commonwealth exercise in the Indian Ocean. In Jet 62, destroyer escorts from Canada worked with naval units from Australia, Britain, India, Malaya and New Zealand; and en route they had the benefit of practice with ships, aircraft and submarines of the Unites States Navy.

Informally and formally, the navy served Canada also in an ambassadorial capacity. Ships of the RCN were conspicuously present at the opening of Canadian trade fairs in the capitals of Nigeria and Ghana, and at Independence Day celebrations in Jamaica and Trinidad.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 24 March 2014

Gas at Langemarck; a letter home
Topic: CEF

Must Fight Hun With Own Weapons, Says Canadian

Only Way to Beat Him Is To Use Gas, Asserts a Hero of Langemark

(Special to the Gazette)

The Montreal Gazette, 21 May 1915

Halifax, N.S., May 29—James W. Johnstone, a Halifax boy, and great grandson of Hon. J.W. Johnstone, the Conservative leader in Nova Scotia in the early days of Joe Howe, is at the front as a private in the Second Battalion. In a letter received today, dated May 5, written after the battle of Langemarck, Private Johnstone describes the battle. He says:

2nd Canadian Infantry Battalion

Battle Honours:

Ypres 1915 '17, Gravenstafel, St. Julien, Festubert 1915, Mount Sorrel, Somme 1916, Pozières, Flers-Courcelette, Ancre Heights, Arras 1917 '18, Vimy 1917, Arleux, Scarpe 1917 '18, Hill 70, Passchendaele, Amiens, Drocourt-Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders 1915-18

Perpetuated by:

The Governor General's Foot Guards

"We are now back from the fighting line, about 15 miles, to rest and reorganize. We have nearly 700 casualties in our battalion alone, not enough remaining to make two full companies, even with a draft of ninety new men, and nearly all the Canadian battalions have about the same number of casualties as ours. Everyone behaved splendidly and did what was required of them in spite of the fact that it was really the very first time they had done any serious fighting. For two days we got a merciless shell-fire, I don't know how I escaped for men on either side of me got struck by shrapnel. A Jack Johnson exploded just outside our trench and covered us with the parapet it blew in, so it required some little digging to get out. Those gas shells the Germans use are awful things. The gas affects the eyes and throat and one has not even a fighting chance against them. The only way for the British to do is to fight the Hun with his own weapons.

"The say that there were nearly 100,000 Germans opposed to use but we held the lines until reinforcements came up. Our company, old No. 3 company, was in the trench holding it while the rest retired. Our major was the last man to leave the trench, and as we passed him he told everyone to keep low and run for it. How I got through I don't know. Two bullets went through the pack I was carrying and later I was struck on the side. The iron entrenching tool I was carrying saved me. The bullet glanced off, denting the tool and stunning me for a bit."

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 14 March 2014 7:11 PM EDT
Sunday, 23 March 2014

Why men go AWL (1944)
Topic: Discipline


Infantrymen of Lieutenant D.S. Barrie's platoon of The Highland Light Infantry of Canada relaxing during a rest period, France, 20 June 1944. Location: France. Date: June 20, 1944. Photographer: Ken Bell. Mikan Number: 3205673. From the Library and Arcives Canada virtual exhibit "Faces of War."

Have you thought much about why your men go AWL?

Canadian Army Training Memorandum, No 39, June 1944

Whether you have or haven't, you should be interested in the survey of the causes of AWL and desertions, made by the Research and Information Section, NDHQ.

Based on replies in Morale Reports from officers of 200 units, the survey finds that most AWL occurs at the end of ordinary week-end leave, furlough, or special leave, (agricultural, industrial, etc). Desertion is mainly a "prolonged delay in return".

In order of frequency of specification, the principal causes of absenteeism are:

(a)     Failure of the leave system to meet individual requirements.
(b)     Dislike of the Army.
(c)     Trouble at home.
(d)     Exacting and monotonous duties.
(e)     Unattractive, lonely and isolated surroundings.
(f)     Homesickness.
(g)     Family influence.
(h)     Hope for discharge and higher wages outside.
(i)     Waiting around for postings.
(j)     Dissatisfaction with Corps.
(k)     "Atlantic" Fever (Fear of going overseas).
(l)     Ignorance.
(m)     Faulty Esprit de Corps and Poor Leadership.
(n)     Women.
(o)     Drunkenness.

It is pointed out that men seldom pack up with the intention of leaving their unit for an unwarranted length of time. Usually it is after they have gone on leave that they are tempted to prolong the holiday for a little, and sometimes for an indefinite period. Rare leaves, compassionate circumstances, travelling time, unfair and arbitrary restrictions, and inconvenient train schedules only add to this temptation.

Ignorance of the compassionate leave privileges available is one of the prime reasons for absenteeism. All offrs should see that their men understand these privileges, so that when they have just reason for desiring leave this may be granted.

Since much AWL is minor and unpremeditated most offrs contributing to the survey naturally tended to concentrate their attention on those who habitually go "on the loose". It was found that these were of 4 main types:

(a)     Irresponsible and undisciplined individuals who find it difficult or impossible to conform; they may be products of faulty social teaching or persons whose civilian record does not bear examination.

(b)     NRMA soldiers, among whom are many "reluctant patriots".

(c)     "Homesick boys".

(d)     Soldiers who are below average mentally or who are emotionally unstable.

While it is generally the individual and his own reasoning that results in his going AWL, it is interesting to note that tps at different levels of trg exhibit certain characteristics peculiar to themselves and to the role they are playing. For example, it is found that in Corps Training Centres and in Operational Units the chief cause of illegal absenteeism is lack of Leaves; in Infantry Regiments and Trained Soldiers Units, Trouble at Home and Family Influence; in Basic Training Centres, Lack of Discipline and Homesickness; in HWE and RCA, Boring and Exacting Duties; and also in RCA, the generally isolated and miserable locations.

Corps Training Centres and Trained Soldier Units are chiefly subject to the demoralizing effects of waiting around for postings and "Atlantic" fever. Most affected by corps reallocations are Basic and Corps Training Centres.

Now, what solutions can be tried to remedy these problems? Recommendations offered by the survey are:

(i)     The unit leave system revised to provide a more equitable distribution of leave privileges.

(ii)     Rotation of personnel and of units engaged in monotonous work.

(iii)     Inculcation of respect for mil law and duty from the recruit level on, which also implies full realization of what is constituted in them.

(iv)     Stem and impartial handling of offenders.

(v)     Close co-operation of mil and civil authorities in dealing with desertion.

(vi)     Combining furlough and special leaves in certain cases where men are stationed great distances from home.

(vii)     A good extra-curricular program -sports, movies, etc.

These are only recommendations, but remember that well disciplined soldiers, who are kept busy with good interesting trg programmes are NOT likely to go AWL. Think this over and then survey your situation.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 22 March 2014

Cowan's Six Tips on Etiquette
Topic: Officers

Major General James Cowan's Six Tips on Etiquette

In March 2014, Major General James Cowan, General Officer Commanding 3 UK Division, issued a letter to his formation on his opinion and expectations of his officers in their messes. In his comments, he reflects back on traditional practices that would have been in place in his early carreer, but have since been eroded by changing social habits. Maj-Gen Cowan directs a return to traditional expectations with his Six Rules of Etiquette. Perhaps more changes will follow as his staff and subordinate commanders latch onto this trend as way to remain in the General's good graces.


"Quite a few officers in the divisional mess seem to be under the impression that they can eat their food with their hands. The practice of serving rolls and sandwiches in the mess is to stop. A gentleman or lady always uses a knife and fork."

Dinner party

"A good party relies on good conversation. This requires you to come prepared to be free, funny and entertaining.Thank you letters are an art form not a chore. It is generally considered better manners if the spouse is the person who writes."

Knife and fork

"The fork always goes in the left hand and the knife in the right. Holding either like a pen is unacceptable, as are stabbing techniques. The knife and fork should remain in the bottom third of the plate and never be laid down in the top half."


"Ten years ago, officers would stand up when the commanding officer walked into the room. This doesn’t happen any more. I expect a junior officer to make an effort at conversation. Start by introducing yourself and talk on any civilised subject outside work."

Successful marriage

"I recently went to a Burns night, spoilt only by a curious decision to sit husbands next to wives. The secret of a successful marriage is never to sit next to your spouse at dinner, except when dining alone at home. It displays a marked degree of insecurity."


"In common with officialdom the world over, military writers love to use pompous words over simpler language. Combined with underlining and italics, the wanton use of capitals, abbreviations and acronyms assaults the eye and leaves the reader exhausted."

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 5 March 2014 9:59 PM EST
Friday, 21 March 2014

JFC Fuller, On Instructing the Soldier
Topic: Drill and Training

J.F.C. Fuller, On Instructing the Soldier

Maj.-Gen. John Frederick Charles Fuller,
(1 September 1878 – 10 February 1966)

Brevet Colonel J.F.C. Fuller, D.S.O., "Moral, Instruction and Leadership," Journal of the Royal United Services Institution, Vol. LXV, February to November, 1920

Instruction is like a map which the instructor opens and explains. He points out the short cuts and the good roads, but the actual movement over the ground itself must be left to the instructed; to drag a man across it would be a deplorable waste of time.

There are three main ways of instructing a man:—

(1)     By interesting him in his work, that is by increasing his knowledge, for knowledge creates interest, and when a man is interested the effort of learning is reduced to a minimum. To be interesting an instructor must be skilful, and as a magnifying glass concentrates rays of light, so must he be able to concentrate the attention of his men. This can only be done if he continually varies his subjects, makes the men run through them at maximum speed, and so gives no time for their thoughts to wander.

(2)     By repeating a subject again and again until it sinks into a man and becomes part of him. This method is not so good as the- first, but with some men it is necessary; at best it is most tiring for the instructor, who should, however, guard against turning himself into a human gramophone, for even repetition requires skill and individuality.

(3)     By terrorizing. This is a bad way and it should never be used unless (1) and (2) have failed. It is bad because it creates fear. — We do not want fear, we want courage. If a man will not learn by the first two methods, there is nothing for it but to teach him by the third; for it is better to be hated and followed than to be despised and abandoned. It is better than nothing, for it maintains unity of action.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 21 March 2014 12:03 AM EDT
Thursday, 20 March 2014

'Split personality' hampering Forces
Topic: Canadian Army

The Heller Antitank Missile, the AVRO Arrow fighter, The Bra d'Or hydrofoil and the Bobcat armoured personnal carrier: all Canadian miltary programs that were cancelled.

'Split personality' hampering Forces, say generals

The Montreal Gazette, 16 April 1980
By Jo Ann Gosselin, for Southam News

Ottawa — Canada's security as a nation and the development of the country's high-technology industrial base are restricted by the split personality of her military force, say three former chiefs of defence.

Generals J.A. Dextraze, F.R. Sharpe and J.V. Allard told a meeting of the Air Industries Association of Canada that the problem lies in equipping and sustaining a capable fighting force whose strongest international identity is that of a peacekeeper.

Allard, who was Chief of Defence Staff from 1966 to 1969, said much of the problem was due to a difference in approach between those in the military who sought equipment to support NATO and NORAD forces and those in government who accepted roles on behalf of the military where such equipment was unnecessary.

Until the division between 'warrior' and 'peacekeeper' forces was resolved, Allard said, it was futile for Canada to attempt to define defence policy or issue a white paper on it.

He traced the problem back to the post-Korean War period when Canada's military found itself with obsolete Second World War equipment and a defence budget with little, if any, growth.

With three services clamoring for re-equipment funds, defence chiefs had to struggle to fit requirements into the money available.

Ottawa, Allard says, decided not only to reduce manpower levels to help trim costs, but also to abandon Canadian military-industrial programs — including the AVRO Arrow and the Bobcat personnel carrier.

The scrambling to cover all remaining bases has meant the military has been unable to put a sound, long-term planning program into effect, Allard said.

Sharpe, defence chief from 1969 to 1972, suggested that not few of the firms represented at the meeting would prosper if they had to depend on the Canadian military market.

Limited purchases by the Canadian military had forced industry to seek international markets and other applications of advanced technology for domestic use.

He said that in order to maximize defence spending in Canadian industry, government and the military must co-operate in the formulation of defence policy.

Share said this initial input from all three areas would stop the tug-of-war for benefits and performance that hamper most military purchasing.

Dextraze, head of the military from 1972 to 1977, said good planning depended on a stable budget and that many of the problems were due to fluctuations in fundss promised and funds available.

He too called for firm direction. There was often too much talk and not enough action.

He did not absolver the military, however. There were times, he said, systems were developed when no one knew to what use they would be put. The hydrofoil Bras d'Or was one example.

Dextraze said it was important that the military have the best tools to do the job and that if security of the country meant anything to Canadians it was time to face facts and screw up the necessary courage to get the job done.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Annual Militia Report (1907)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Annual Militia Report Down (1907)

Reference Made to St. John Building
Weak Points of the Ross Rifle Discussed

The St John Sun, 22 March 1907

(Special to the Sun)

Ottawa, March 21.#8212;The annual report of the militia department was brought down today. The report notes the transfer of Halifax and Esquimalt to Canada's defence. Scarcity of funds prevented militia expansion in the Canadian Northwest.

Recruiting was difficult owning to the demand for labor in Canada and enlisting for the Canadian permanent force was carried on in Great Britain. A Canadian army pay corps was organized. The branch companies and medical corps were organized into field ambulances and medical corps.

Mobilization and defence of Canada have been carefully studied. Military surveying has been done at Niagara peninsula and the country below the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers in Ontario.

There is a deficiency of subalterns and section commanders.

The condition of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery has not been satisfactory and steps will be taken to improve it.

The permanent force now numbers 3,055.

The enlargement of the present building at St. John will be a great boom for the proper housing of the increasing equipment.

Field batteries are now all armed with 12-pounder guns and the obsolete 9-pounder will be called in and not re-issued.

As the 12-pounder is being replaced in other armories with a quick firing weapon, a supply of the new 18-pounder quick firing guns adopted by the British service has been ordered from England and delivery is expected shortly.

In field defences outside Halifax and Esquimalt by the autumn of 1908 modern 7 ½ inch and 6-inch breech-loaders and 12 and 6-pounder quick firing Hotchkiss guns will be placed throughout Canada.

The weak points of the Ross rifle have been ascertained and good progress made toward remedying them. A rifle with improvements in sights, barrels, butt plates, magazine feed and extractor will shortly be submitted to the government by the manufacturers.

During the year the militia gave aid to the civil authorities at Winnipeg, Kingston, Hamilton and Buckingham. Militia expenditure amounted to $5,594,009, which was $1,644,167 greater than the year before.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Social Side of Warrior Training
Topic: Officers

The Social Side of Warrior Training

A Rumor of War, Philip Caputo, 1977

A Rumor of WarNot all the training dealt in lethal practicalities. In those pre-Vietnam days, the course proceeded leisurely, with plenty of time devoted to the ceremonial side of military life. We learned to put on reviews, the proper way to flourish a sword, how to behave at social functions; in brief, all that spit-and-polish nonsense which is totally divorced from the messy realities of twentieth-century warfare.

In spite of its uselessness, I cannot say that I found it unattractive. The romantic in me responded to the pageantry of a parade, to the tribal ritualism of ceremonies that marked anniversaries or comradeships formed long ago on distant battlefields. In the summer it was Mess Night, which had obscure and ancient origins in the British Army. To the roll of a solitary drum, officers in dress whites filed into the mess. Lit only by candles, it looked as dim and secretive as the dining hall in a monastery. Silver trophies from our ancestors, the Royal Marines, and other English regiments gleamed in a corner case. To THE U.S. MARINE CORPS, read the inscription on one, FROM THE 1ST BATTALION, ROYAL WELCH FUSILEERS. PEKING 1900. Toasts were made, and wineglasses raised, lowered, raised again, like chalices at some strange Mass.

In the winter it was the Marine Corps birthday ball, which commemorated the Corps' nativity in a Philadelphia tavern on November 10, 1775. The observance of this rite was the cause of my first offense against the Uniform Code of Military Justice. I went AWOL from the Quantico Naval Hospital, where I was recovering from mononucleosis, to attend the celebration. I thought it would be a night of beer-swilling camaraderie, something like the gatherings of Beowulf's warriors in the mead hall, and I was determined not to spend it in the aseptic confines of the isolation ward.

Earlier that day, two classmates had smuggled my dress blues and a bottle of Jack Daniel's into my room. After eight o'clock bedcheck, I made a dummy out of my baggy pajamas. stuffed it under the covers, put on my blues, wrapped the whisky in a paper bag, and walked freely past the guards. A short taxi ride through the town of Quantico—a few bars, half a dozen laundromats, and twice that many uniform shops fronting the brown Potomac—brought me to Little Hall, where the party was being held.

I walked inside and into the nineteenth century. Junior officers wore white gloves and Prussian-blue, Prussian-collared tunics. Majors and colonels whom I was accustomed to seeing in functional khakis strutted around in waist-length dinner jackets with shoulder boards that advertised their rank in gold and red. A couple of generals swooped toward the bar, capes billowing behind them. Off to one side. Like a row of cardinals perched on a branch, scarlet-clad bandsmen sat stiffly on a row of folding chairs. Through all this military plumage, wives and girl friends glided with a rustle of expensive gowns. "Good evenin', majuh," one of these creatures said in her honey soft, flirtatious-but- chaste, Tidewater-aristocracy accent. "It's sooo nahce to see you again, suh. It cuhtainly is a luhvly pahty…" A full-dress ball. I could not make up my mind what it looked like—a scene from The Student Prince, a costume party, or the senior prom at a military academy.

I felt disappointment. The atmosphere was more one of a debutante cotillion than of Beowulf's mead hall. And perhaps because there was so much brass around, including the Marine Corps commandant, General Wallace Greene, everyone behaved. The band stuck to a vapid repertoire of Broadway musical scores, and General Greene made a slightly slurred speech which drew some polite applause.

Inconsequential though the ball was, that night in November 1964 holds a special significance for me. I see the hall, crowded with officers in baroque uniforms, filled with fashionably dressed women. Some are dancing; some are filing past a buffet, spearing hors d'oeuvres with toothpicks; some, holding drinks, are engaged in light conversation; all are without forebodings of what awaits them: fear, disfigurement, sudden death, the pain of long separation, widowhood. And I feel that I am looking at a period piece, a tableau of that innocent time before Vietnam.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 17 March 2014

Priority on New Medal Ribbons (1945)
Topic: Medals
1939-1945 Star Atlantic Star Air Crew Europe Star Africa Star Pacific Star Burma Star
Italy Star France and Germany Star Defence Medal Canadian Volunteer Service Medal 1939-1945 War Medal

First Priority on New Ribbons Given Soldiers Heading Home; Theatre Entry All That's Needed

The Maple Leaf; 18 July 1945

London—First priority on the issue of the new campaign stars, just authorized for the Canadian forces, will go to personnel proceeding to Canada for employment with the Pacific force, repatriation or discharge personnel.

This policy is due, in some degree, to the fact that the material for the new ribbons is in short supply for the time being. For instance, stocks now in hand at CRU in England would provide for distribution, in accordance with the authorized scale of 1 ¼ inches per medal, of 13,000 of the 1939-45 Stars, 28,000 Italy Stars and 56,000 France and Germany Stars. However, as the stocks are issued to formations in bulk, experience has shown the numbers actually supplied would be considerably reduced and would be reduced even further if issues of more than one ribbon to any individuals were made. It should be noted that these figures are for UK releases only and do not include issues to First Canadian Army which are to be made to the extent possible from these supplies of ribbon provided to it on the continent. Even there they have such a small supply, as yet, that the issue must be controlled and is being made only to those proceeding to the UK for onward movement to Canada.

Canadian Military Headquarters has been advised from Canada that supplies of ribbon for the 1939-45 Star, Italy Star and France and Germany Star will not be available in bulk from there until September.

Order of Precedence

The new decorations take precedence over the Canadian Volunteer Service medal and are to be worn in the following order: 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Africa Star, Pacific Star, Burma Star, Italy Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal.

Eligible to wear the decorations subject to the proper qualifications are all officers and other ranks, male and female, of the Canadian Armed Forces, and Canadians of both sexes who are officers of other ranks in the armed forces of the United Kingdom, Colonies or any part of the British Commonwealth. Also eligible will be accredited Canadian war Correspondents, members of the Canadian Red Cross, St Johns Ambulance Society and voluntary aid detachments serving in theatres of operation provided they are fulltime uniformed workers.

To qualify for an award of the 1949-45 Star an individual must have an aggregate of six months (180 days) operational service in the army or two months (60 days) in the RCAF. Exceptions to this rule are made for those who took part in the Dieppe, Sicily or Spitzbergen operations, for those who won an honor, decoration or mention for service in an operational Theatre, and those who died on service or were evacuated as a result of wounds or sickness arising out of service.

Generally speaking, a man must first qualify for the 1939-45 Star before becoming eligible for the Pacific, Burma, Italy or France and Germany Stars. After this qualification of six months operational service, with the exceptions noted above, he becomes immediately eligible for the other awards. However, those whose only operational service has been in Italy or Northwest Europe during the last six months of operations there, could not give the required six months service for the 1939-45 Star, and thus could not qualify for the Italy or France and Germany Stars.

This would mean they would have no star to show they had served in Italy or Northwest Europe. To meet these circumstances individuals who entered in to operational service in Italy or France, etc., during the last six months of the campaign in Europe, and by May 8, 1945, had not aggregated six months operational service, will qualify only for Italy or France and Germany Star.

For the Atlantic Star, qualifications for Canadians are the same as for the Royal navy which stipulate 180 days service afloat in home waters, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, or with convoys to North Russia. RCAF air crew will be eligible if they have taken part in operations against the enemy at sea within the areas qualifying naval personnel.

The Air Crew Europe Star, instituted for Operations flying over Europe and the United Kingdom, calls for a time qualification of 61 days service in air crew so employed between September 3, 1939, and June 5, 1944.

As the Africa Star which now may be worn along with the 1939-45 Star, will be granted for service in North Africa from the date of entry of Italy into the war on June 10, 1940, up to the date of cessation of operations against the enemy in North Africa May 12, 1943.

The Pacific Star is for operational service in the Pacific Theatre. Canadians who served in Hong Kong in December, 1941, will qualify for this award. The Burma Star goes for operational service in the Burma campaign which is still proceeding.

The Italy Star has been instituted for entry into operational service on land in Italy or Sicily at any time during the campaign there from the capture of Pantellaria on June 11, 1943, to May 8, 1945.

Entry into Area

The France and Germany Star has been instituted for service in France, Belgium, Holland or Germany and to qualify for this star an individual must have entered one of these countries on operational service between June 6, 1944, and May 8, 1945.

The Defence Medal, as far as Canadians are largely concerned, will be granted to those with one year non-operational service in Britain. If service was with mine and bomb disposal units of the forces then the time qualification is three months.

All Ranks who consider themselves eligible for any of the new awards will make application for authority to wear the appropriate ribbons on a form supplied. Following certification by the OC of the unit of the accuracy of the claims made, entitlement will be published in unit Part II Orders which will then be the authority to wear the ribbons.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 16 March 2014

Canadian Solution Too Expensive (1963)
Topic: Militaria

Canada To Buy US Armored Troop Carrier

The Montreal Gazette; 6 December 1963

Ottawa—(DJ)—Canada will buy the United States M113 armored personnel carrier for its army brigade in Europe tather than the Canadian built Bobcat, Defence Minister Hellyer said.

An order will be placed as soon as possible for some 500 M113 vehicles with FMC Corp. in California, it is understood. At a price of $28,000 per vehicle this represents a total value of $14,000,000.

Mr. Hellyer said that parts of the M113 are already being manufactured by Canadian subcontractors and further subcontracting in Canada pf a variety of equipment can be anticipated.

The Canadian army has been evaluating the Bobcat, built by Hawker Siddeley Canada Ltd. It had placed orders for 20 prototype Bobcats It is understood that the price tag on each of these Bobcats was $55,000.


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 15 March 2014

RCRI Sword; Infantry Pattern 1897
Topic: The RCR

Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry Sword

The sword pictured above is a recent acquisition to the Rogue's collection of regimental militaria related to The Royal Canadian Regiment. An 1897 Infantry pattern sword, this example was manufactured by "MOLE" of Birmingham, one of the leading sword makers to the Empire in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Maker: Robt. Mole & Son Birmingham — maker to the War and India Offices. Robert Mole traded from 24-34 Granville Street, Birmingham between 1895 - 1926

While the handguard has some wear, the blade is in surpringly good condition. The scabbard, sadly has seen better days.

We can narrow the date of the sword to an even closer range than the years Mole manufactured swords. To start with, the most obvious indicator of period: the Royal Cypher. Marked with Queen Victoria's "VR" cypher certainly means this sword was produced no later than 1901.

Additionally, on the sword's handguard are the initials "R.C.R.I." The Royal Canadian Regiment was designated the "Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry" between 1 April, 1899, and 1 November, 1901. Beneath the unit marking are the numerals "40" shown over "30" which possibly means sword #4 out of a set of 30 that were issued.

This sword would have been issued to the Regiment some time after 1 April 1899. During this period the Regiment maintained five company stations (Fredericton, St Jean, Toronto, London and Quebec City). These companies were unlikely to need any quantity of swords, the Permanent Force officers probably either owning their own swords or using company stores.

But there is another possibility. It was during this period that the 2nd and 3rd (Special Service) Battalions of the Regiment were raised, the former for service in South Africa, the latter to garrison Halifax.

Of these, was one unit more likely to require a set of 30 new swords? The 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, heroes of Paardeberg, were formed with an establishment of 41 officers. The 3rd (Special Service) Battalion, however, had an establishment of 29 officers. (With the Regimental Sergeant-Major requiring one for full dress, a complement of 30 swords would have been required.)

There is, therefore, an excellent possibility that this sword was issued to the 3rd (Special Service) Battalion for it's garrison duties in Halifax during the years 1900-1902.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 15 March 2014 12:12 AM EDT
Friday, 14 March 2014

The Qualities Of A Good Officer
Topic: Officers

The Qualities Of A Good Officer

Field Marshal William Joseph "Bill" Slim,
1st Viscount Slim,
(6 August 1891 – 14 December 1970)

Canadian Army Journal, Vol 5, No 6, September 1951
Speech by Field Marshal Sir William Slim, GCB, GBE, DSO, MC, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, at the Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, on 15 December 1949

Officer Cadets of The Royal Military Academy. Many of you become officers today; all of you will become officers in the near future. That means that your Sovereign has selected you to lead your fellow countrymen in battle, and than that there is no greater honour that your King and Country can do you. In return for that honour, when you go from here, you will maintain those standards of conduct which have always been the glory of the officers of the British Army. You will show the qualities of leadership which are particularly required of you at a time like this. Remember, the be-all and end-all of an officer is to be a leader. The qualities that distinguish an officer from other men are courage, initiative, will-power and knowledge. To take these qualities in turn. The kind of courage required is the courage that endures. Anybody can be brave for a little while, but the officer goes on being brave when others falter. He has a moral courage which makes him do his duty - do what is right without any thought of the consequences to himself. Initiative means that you don't sit down and wait for something to happen. If, in war, you wait for something to happen it will happen all right and it will be damned unpleasant when it does. Initiative, for the officer, means that he thinks ahead, that he is always two or three jumps ahead of the men he leads and of the enemy. Keep your brains bright and flexible. Will-power means that you will force through what you consider it to be your duty to do, against not only the opposition of the King's enemies, but against the opposition of well-meaning friends and of all the doubts and difficulties of men and nature which will assail you. Knowledge means that you have no business to be an officer unless you know how to do the job in hand better than those you lead. When you leave here you won't have finished learning. You will never finish learning. The officer is always learning. If you have these qualities of courage, initiative, will-power and knowledge you will be a leader, but you won't necessarily be a good leader, or a leader for good, and you won't have that grip you must have on men when things go wrong. When a man's heart sinks into his empty belly with fear; when ammunition doesn't come through; when there are no rations, and your air force is being shot out of the skies; when the enemy is beating the living daylight out of you - then you will want one other quality, and unless you have got it you will not be a leader. That quality is self-sacrifice, and as far as you are concerned it means simply this, that you will put first the honour and the interest of your King and Country, that next you will put the safety, the well-being and the security of the men under your command; and that last, and last all the time, you will put your own interest, your own safety and your own comfort. Then you will be a good officer. I would like you to carry away from this Parade one thought, and that is this. In the British Army there are no good battalions and no bad battalions, no good regiments and no bad regiments. There are only good and bad officers. See to it that you are good officers. And good luck to you.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 13 March 2014

Sieges and Trenches
Topic: Military Theory

The Siege of Burgos [1812], by François Joseph Heim, 1813

Sieges and Trenches

From: The Military Guide for Young Officers, by Thomas Simes, Esq., Philadelphia, 1776



From: The Military Guide for Young Officers, by Thomas Simes, Esq., Philadelphia, 1776


View, of a place to besiege it, it is said to be taken when the General, accompanied by the engineers, reconnoitres it, that it, rides round the place, observing the situation of it, with the nature of the country about it; as hills, valleys, rivers, marshes, woods, hedges, &c. thereby to judge of the most convenientplace for opening the trenches, and carrying on the approaches; to find out proper places for encamping the army, for the lines of circumvallation and couter-vallation, and for the park of artillery.

Approaches, are the trenches, places of arms, lodgements, sap, gallery, and all works, whereby the besiegers advance towards a place besieged.

This is the most difficult part of a siege ; and where most lives are loft. The ground is disputed inch by inch, and neither gained or maintained without the loss of men ; it is of the utmost importance to make your approaches with great caution, and to secure them as much as possible, that you may not throw the lives of your soldiers. The besieged neglect nothing to hinder the approaches; the be- away The fiegers do every thing to carry and on this depends ; them on the taking or defence of the place.

The trenches bing carried to their glacis, you attack and make yourself master of their covered way, make a lodgment on the counterscarp, and a breach by the sap, or by mines with several chambers, which blow up their intrenchments and fougades, or small mines, if they have any.

You cover yourselves with barrels, sacks, fascines, or gabions; and, if these are wanting, you sink a trench.

You open the counterscarp by saps to make yourself master of it; but, before you open it, you must mine the flanks that defend it. The belt attack of the place is the face of the bastion, when by its regularity it permits a regular approach and attacks according to art: if the place be irregular, you must not observe regular approaches, but proceed according to the irregularity of it ; observing to humour the ground, which permits you to attack it in such a manner at one place as would be useless or dangerous in another; so that the engineer who directs the attack ought exactly to know the part he would attack, its proportions, its force, and solidity in the most geometrical manner.

Siege. To besiege a place, is to surround it with an army, and approach it, by passages made in the ground, so as to be covered against the fire of the the place.

When an army can approach an so near the place as the covert-way, without breaking ground, under favour of some hollow roads, rising grounds, or cavities, and there begin their work, it is called accelerating the siege; but when they can approach the town so near as to take it without making any considerable works, the siege is called an attack.

To raise a Siege, to give over the attack of a place, quit the works thrown up against it, and the posts taken about it. If there be no reason to fear a sally from the place, the siege may be raised in the daytime. Artillery and ammunition must have a strong rear-guard and face the besiegers, lest they should attempt to charge the rear; if there be any fear of an enemy in front, this order must be altered discretionally, as safety, and the nature of the country, will allow. To make, or form a siege, there must be an army sufficient to furnish five or six reliefs for the trenches; pioneers, guards, convoys, escorts, &c., an artillery, magazines furnished with a sufficient quantity of warlike stores, of all forts, and an infirmary with physicians, surgeons, &c.

To turn a siege into a blockade, to give over the attack, and endeavour to take it by famine: for which which purpose, all the avenues, gates and streams leading into the place, are so well guarded, that no succour can get to its relief

Trench, or lines of approach and attack, a way hollowed in the earth, in form of a fosse, having a parapet towards the place be- sieged, when the earth can be removed; or else it is an elevation of fascines, gabions, wool-packs and such other things, tor covering the men as cannot fly into pieces or splinters. This is to be done when the ground is rocky; but when the earth is good, the trench is carried on with less trouble, and' the engineers demand only a provision of spades, axes, to shovels, make it and pickaxes, to make it two fathoms wide. The greatest fault a trench can have, is to be enfiladed: to prevent which, they are ordinarily carried on with turnings and elbows. As the trenches are never carried on but in the night-time, therefore the ground should be viewed and observed very nicely in the day. On the angles or sides of the there should be lodgements, or epaulements, in form of traverses the better to hinder the sallies of the garrison, to favour the advancement of the the trenches, and to sustain the workmen. These lodgements are small trenches, fronting the places besieged, and joining the trench at one end.

The platforms for the batteries are made behind the trenches; the first at a good distance, to be used only against sallies of the garrison. As the approaches advance, the batteries are brought nearer, to ruin the defences of the place, and dismount the artillery of the besieged. The batteries for the breaches are made when the trenches are advanced near the covert-way.

If two attacks, there must be lines of communication, or boyaus, between the two, with places of arms, at convenient distances. The trenches should be six or seven feet high, with the parapet, which should be five foot thick, and have banquets for the soldiers to mount upon.

Returns of a Trench, are the elbows and turnings, which form the lines of the approach, and made as near as can be parallel to the defence of the place, to prevent their being enfiladed.

To mount the trenches, is to mount guard in the trenches; to relieve the trenches, is to relieve the guards of the trenches, to dismount the trenches, is to come off guard from the trenches; to cleanse or scour the trenches, is to make a vigorous sally is upon the guard of the trenches, force to give way, and quit their ground, drive away the workmen, break down the parapet, fill up the trench, and nail their cannon.

Counter-trenches, are trenches made against the besiegers, which consequently have their parapet: turned against the enemy's approaches, and are enfiladed from several parts of the place, oil purpose to render them useless to the enemy, if they should chance to become masters of them; but they should not to be enfiladed, or commanded by any height in the enemy's possession.

To open trenches, is the first breaking of ground by the besiegers, to carry on their approaches towards a place. The difference between opening and carrying on the trenches is, that the first is only the beginning of the trench; which is always turned towards the besiegers. It is begun by a small fosse, which the pioneers make in the night on their knees, generally a musquet-shot from the place, or half a cannon-shot, and sometimes without the reach of cannon-ball, especially if there be no hollow or rising grounds to favour them, or if the garrison be strong, and their artillery well served. This small fosse is afterwards enlarged by the next pioneers which come behind them, who dig it deeper by degrees, till it be about four yards broad, and four or five feet deep, especially if they be near the place; to the end, the earth is taken out of it, may be thrown before them, to form a parapet, and cover them from the fire of the besieged. The place where the trenches are opened, is called the end of the trench.

Returns of a Trench, the turnings and windings which form the lines of the trench, and are as near as they can be made parallel to the place attacked, to shun being enfiladed. These returns, when followed, make a long way from the end of the, trench to the head, which going the straight way is very short, but then the men are exposed; yet, upon a sally, the courageous never consider the danger; but getting over the trench with such as will follow them, take the shortest way to repulse the enemy, and cut off their retreat, if possible.

Sap, a trench, or an approach made under cover, of ten or twelve feet broad, when the besiegers come near the place, and their fire grows so dangerous, as not to be approached uncovered.

Works, generally denote the fortifications about the body of a place; as by out-works are meant those without the the first inclosure. This word is used to signify the approaches of the besiegers, and the several lines, trenches, &c. made round a place, an army, &c for its security.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Canadian Forces Austerity Measures
Topic: Cold War

Canadian Army Journal, Vol. XIV, No. 4, Fall 1960

All Canadian Forces To Feel Some Effect of Austerity Program

The Montreal Gazette, 21 August 1962

Ottawa—(CP)—The Canadian defence buildup announced 11 months ago as part of NATO's response to the Berlin crisis will be only partially implemented because of the government's austerity program, officials said yesterday.

The planned manpower increase in the Army to 59,000 from 48,000 will be halted at the current level of about 52,000 men.

Other belt-tightening measures in the defence department:

1. Disbandment of the four CF-100 jet night fighter squadrons in Europe beginning early next year.

2. Disbandment of the Navy's Banshee jet fighter squadron next month. This squadron, when not at seas aboard the carrier Bonaventure, formed art of the North American Air Defence Command, the planes were armed with Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

3. Disbandment of the radar unit which controlled operations of the planes of the RCAF Air Division in Europe. This job will be taken over by other NATO radars.

4. Disbandment of the North Star transport squadron at St. Hubert, Que.

5. Cancellation or deferment of construction of some gap-filler radars in Canada. Role of these radars is detection of low-flying planes.

6. Reduction of postings and travel in the three services.

7. At least temporary deferment of purchase of three submarines from Britain because Britain so far has not agreed to place and order for equipment in Canada. Canada tries hard to sell the Bobcat armoured personnel carrier to the British Army but the British government announced last week it will go ahead with production of its own carrier, the Trojan.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Duke and His Soldiers
Topic: British Army

The Duke and His Soldiers

The Duke, by Philip Guedalla, 1931 (Wordsworth Military Library Edition 1997)

Portrait of Duke of Wellington, by George Dawe

Few themes, indeed, moved [Wellington] to eloquence except the imperfections of his human instruments. But there his language often verged on the sublime. Unwearying himself, he was unmerciful in his comments upon lack of energy in others; and exasperation frequently betrayed him into unpardonable generalisations. A fixed belief that insufficient inducements were offered to recruits had led him to the conclusion that " none but the worst description of men enter the regular service"; and from this premise he proceeded to the gravest disparagements of the men under his command. "The scum of the earth," he termed them, "the mere scum of the earth… The English soldiers are fellows who have all enlisted for drink — that is the plain fact—they have all enlisted for drink." This tone became habitual with him in later years, as a congenial antidote to the prevailing cant. For Wellington could not bear his hearers to be romantic about soldiers—" people talk of their enlisting from their fine military feeling—all stuff—no such thing. Some of our men enlist from having got bastard children—some for minor offences—many more for drink; but you can hardly conceive such a set brought together, and it really is wonderful that we should have made them the fine fellows they are." They were fine fellows, then. He was prepared to admit as much; and for seven years in the Peninsula he toiled to make them so. Seven volumes of General Orders, drafted in his own handwriting and traced endlessly across the paper with " the short glazed pens " from Tabart's in New Bond Street, testify to his parental care. Crime is duly present; the crackle of illicit pig-shooting is heard; bee-hives are purloined; and the misdeeds peculiar to military operations in wine-producing countries stalk through his pages. But camp-kettles, shirts, and brushes haunted him; his dreams were full of army biscuit; and his housekeeping anxieties arc in strange contrast with the grave ablatives absolute of Ceasar or Napoleon's baroque eloquence. Supply was still the burden of his severely humdrum song. He still insisted that "it is very necessary to attend to all this detail, and to trace a biscuit from Lisbon into the man's mouth on the frontier, and to provide for its removal from place to place, by land or by water, or no military operations can be carried on, and the troops must starve." Even his strategy was dominated by the practical consideration that "a soldier with a musket could not fight without ammunition, and that in two hours he can expend all he can carry."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 10 March 2014

Expanding Wolseley Barracks (1940)
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

This aerial photo, dates 1942, shows the new "H-hutments." Source: Western University online aerial photo archive: Western Libraries Map and Data CentreCity of London Aerial Photographs – 1942.

5 Hutments in Program

Building Expansion is Announced by No. 1 Military District

The Windsor Daily Star; 6 December 1940

London, Ont., Sept. 6.—A building program to take care of the expansion of No. 1 District Depot was announced Thursday (i.e., 5 Dec 1940) at district military headquarters. Five large frame hutments to house about 500 troops will be erected in carling heights as soon as materials arrive.

Use of Buildings

Three of the H-shaped buildings will be used as dormitories, another will provide mess hall facilities and the fifth will be used by officers and to house quartermasters’ stores.

At present the district depot personnel is spread from Wolseley Barracks to the Royal School Building and with an overflow under canvas.

Erection of these buildings will release the Royal School building for instructional purposes, for which it was originally built. The gymnasium, which has served as a storeroom for clothing since the start of the war will also be returned to its original use.

Adequate Facilities

With the new set-up the district depot will have adequate facilities for receiving reinforcements, outfitting them and giving them their first training. Proper room for lectures and instruction and recreational facilities will also be available.

Construction of the buildings is under the direction of Lieut.-Col. W.M. Veitch district engineer officer, of the Royal Canadian Engineers.

All work will be done on the day labor basis, with laborers being hired through the local employment office. All materials are purchased through the minister of munitions and supply.

The hutments are to be of the standard northern construction, according to specifications prepared at Ottawa.

Colonel Veitch also states that work on the buildings at militia trainee centres at Kitchener, Woodstock and Chatham is well advanced and up to schedule.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 9 March 2014

Cruelty is Alleged
Topic: Discipline

Cruelty is Alleged

In Punishment of a Canadian Soldier at the Front

Spokane Daily News; 3 May 1900

New York, May 3:—A Special to the World from Ottawa says:

Colonel McLellan has presented in the Canadian House of Commons a petition from his constituency asking the government to inquire into the report that a soldier of the First Canadian Contingent had been punished for looting.

It appears that after a long, arduous march, and having fought in the battle of Paardeberg, the Canadians were exhausted and half starving, having subsisted on quarter rations for three weeks.

The Canadian in question, a private, driven frantic by hunger, "commandeered" a Boer farmer's chicken, which he shared with his tent companions. He was subsequently court martialed for looting, and a war correspondent reports that the British officers sentenced him to 56 days in confinement as punishment.

Bound to a Wheel

This was carried out by a species of crucifixion, the victim being bound with outstretched arms and legs on the wheel of a field gun carriage in the face of the blazing sun for two hours each day. The agony is said to be intense.

The minister of militia could not confirm or deny the correspondent’s dispatch.

It was shown that such a barbarous form of punishment is not provided for in the army laws of England, and the government was asked to give the house of commons the information upon the subject. The report of Colonel Otter received here does not state the kind of punishment meted out to the trooper, but adds:

"No doubt the provocation is great, considering the lack of food for the previous three weeks, yet the offence, from a military point of view, could not be palliated."

Our Little Army in the Field

"There had been an incident on the march that could have had tragic results. Two British officers had seen Private A.W. Belyea of D Company [of the Second (Special Service) Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment] grab a stray chicken that crossed his path. Looting was anathema to the army, and Belyea was court-martialled. To set an example for the troops the brigade was formed up in a hollow square to hear the verdict. For poor Belyea the ordeal was terrifying as he stood alone, head bowed, awaiting the decision of the court. The verdict was hardly in doubt, and the offence could draw the death penalty. The officers who made up the court realized the maximum punishment did not fit the crime. Belyea was confined to barracks for 56 days, a meaningless punishment on the veldt. (From a related footnote - ...Capt S.M. Rogers, who commanded D Company, told his men, "Now listen, boys, it wasn‘t for stealing the chicken that [Belyea] was going to be hung, it was for getting caught at it, so watch yourself.")" - Brian A. Reid, Our Little Army in the Field; The Canadians in South Africa 1899-1902, 1996

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 8 March 2014

Rogers' Rangers at Trois-Rivieres
Topic: The Field of Battle

Tresrevere (sic), i.e., Trois-Rivieres

From: The Military Guide for Young Officers, by Thomas Simes, Esq., Philadelphia, 1776


From: The Military Guide for Young Officers, by Thomas Simes, Esq., Philadelphia, 1776

Tresrevere, a fortified town between Montreal and Quebec, stands about 200 miles from Crown Point, on the north side of the river St. Lawrence. Opposite to this place was a village in which 300 armed Indians had taken up their residence; these General Amherst was desirous to cut off, and therefore issued the following order to that famous partisan Major Rogers; who accomplished his purpose by means so very different to common practice, that I cannot avoid paying a compliment to his abilities for carrying on a war against this barbarous people; of which art we were totally ignorant when General Braddock, at the beginning of our late dispute with the French, lead his troops to unthought of destruction.

Order from Sir Jeffrey Amherst to Major Rogers:

"You are this night to set out with the detachment as ordered yesterday (viz. Of two hundred men) and proceed to Missisquery Bay, from whence you will march and attack the enemy's settlements on the south-side of the river St. Lawrence, in such a manner as you shall judge most effectual to disgrace the enemy, and for the success and honour of his Majesty's arms.

"Remember the barbarities that have been committed by the enemy's Indian scoundrels, on every occasion where they had and opportunity of showing their infamous cruelties on the King's subjects; which they have done without mercy; take your revenge; but do not forget that though those villains have dastardly and promiscuously murdered the women and children of all ages , it is my orders that no women of children be killed or hurt.

"When you have executed your intended service, you will return with your detachment to camp, or to join me wherever the army may be.

"Yours, &c.
"Jeff. Amhrest.

"Camp at Crown-Point,
September 13, 1759."

Pursuant to the above orders. The Major set out with 200 men, in battoes, down Lake Champlain. The fifth day after his departure, when encamped on the eastern banks of Lake Champlain, a keg of gunpowder accidentally took fire, which wounded Captain Williams of the Royal Regiment, and several of the men, who were sent back to Crown Point with some men to row them, which reduced the part to 142, Officers included.

The Major proceeded on his journey, and landed on the 10thh at Missisquey Bay. Here he concealed his boats with provisions sufficient to carry him back to Crown Point, and left two trusty rangers to lie concealed near the boat, with orders to stay till the return of his party, unless the enemy should discover the boats; in which case they were to pursue the track of the party with all possible speed, to give the Major the earliest intelligence. The second evening after this, the two rangers overtook the party, and informed the Major that 400 French and Indians had discovered and taken possession of the boats,which they sent away with 50 men; and that the remainder were pursuing on the track of the party; but this intelligence was privately given him, so that none knew of what passed; and he immediately ordered Lieutenant McMullen, with eight men and these two rangers, to proceed to Crown Point, to inform the General of what happened, that he might send provisions to Cohoas, on Connecticut river, by which the Major proposed to return; so that the two rangers had not an opportunity inform the party that they were pursued, it being believed that they were sent not to Crown Point, but to reconnoitre some place for an attack.

The Major resolved to outmarch his pursuers, and cut off the Indian town at St. Francois, before they should overtake him; and accordingly continued his march for several days, till, on the 4th of October, at eight o'clock in the evening, he came within sight of the town, and about two hours after he took two Indians, whom he had with him, who could speak the language of the inhabitants of St. Francois, and also dressed himself in the Indian manner, and went to reconnoitre the town. He found the inhabitants in a high frolick, or dance; and at two o'clock in the morning he returned to his detachment, which he marched in about an hour to the distance only of 500 yards from the town.

About four o'clock the Indians broke up their dance, and retired to rest; but at break of day, when they were asleep, the Major surprized them by a vigorous attack in several parts of the town performed in every part, that the enemy had not time to recover themselves, or make any considerable resistance.

Out of 300 of the enemy, 200 were killed on the spot:, and 20 taken prisoners; the Major also retook five Englishmen who were prisoners in the town; secured what provisions was there, immediately set it on fire and this reduced it to ashes. At seven o'clock in the morning the affair was completely over, when the Major assembling his men, he found that one was killed, and six slightly wounded. After refreshing the party for an hour, the Major began his march homeward, leaving the dead to be buried by his pursuers; but was harassed on his march, and several times attacked in the rear, till, being favoured by the dusk of the evening, he formed an ambuscade upon his own track and attacked the enemy when they least expected it; after this he was suffered to continue his march without further annoyance by the enemy, and arrived safe at No. 4, with the loss of only a few men.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 8 March 2014 10:39 AM EST
Friday, 7 March 2014

Old Tanks for Canada
Topic: Canadian Army

Canada May Get 229 Old Tanks in Deal for Bases

The Day, serving eastern Connecticut; 7 September 1940

Fort George C. Meade, Md. (AP)—Army officers indicated today that 229 rusty but still trustworthy World War tanks here were slated for transfer to Canada for training purposes.

Holding somewhat the same international trade status as did 50 destroyers recently turned over to Britain, the 22 year old obsolete monsters would figure in further United States-Canadian deals for air and naval bases, these sources explained.

Only one of the 229 lined up in an overgrown field—officially listed as a "tank park"—now is in operating condition, justifying its preferred rating by uprooting trees, towing, and clearing land on the post.

Need to Be Put In Shape

But, tank experts contended the others needed little more than new spark plugs, batteries, fuel, and a healthy yank on the cranks.

Despite rusted exteriors of the 79 "heavies" (battleweight, 80,000 pounds) the interior machinery is in good condition immersed in oil and grease. The "heavies" are 34 feet long, have a maximum speed of six miles an hour, and mount five machine guns and two 2.24-inch guns firing six-pound shells.

About 154 lighter tanks of French design known as Renaults are in far worse shape. Many have turret tops off and portholes open to the weather. Their engines can—or could in 1918—turn up eight miles an hour. Armament includes a 37-millimetre or .30-calibre machine gun.

Guns for the ponderous vehicles have long been in storage and the tanks themselves have been out of service for years—since Congress ordered the army to halt expenditures for their maintenance and operation.

elipsis graphic

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 6 March 2014

Training for the Nuclear Battlefield
Topic: Cold War

They enemy they prepared for: The armies of the Warsaw Pact.
In this photo Russian T54-2 tanks advance across open ground. (Source)

Ottawa Citizen; 17 April 1956

Army Games will Stress Atomic War

More than 10,500 troops of the Canadian Army will be exercised under simulated conditions of nuclear warfare from July 26 to August 3 at Camp Gagetown, N,B., Army Headquarters announced today.

Exercise "Morning Star" will culminate a six-week training concentration for troops of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division. It will be the second peacetime divisional exercise in the history of the Canadian Army, and the first to emphasize aspects of nuclear battle as they would affect a fighting infantryman.

Director of the exercise will be Maj.-Gen. E.C. Plow, CBE, DSO, CD, General Officer Commanding Eastern Command. Deputy Director will be the General Officer Commanding 1st Canadian Infantry Division, Maj.-Gen. J.M. Rockingham, CB, CBE, DSO, CD.

The Royal Canadian Air Force will provide air support for 1st Division and for "enemy forces."

Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph; 26 July, 1956

Canadian Soldiers in Mythical Combat

Camp Gagetown, N.B. (CP)—Two groups of Canadian soldiers separated by a 10-mile neutral zone while mythical war clouds blackened overhead, declared a simulated atomic war Wednesday night in the rugged hills of this central new Brunswick training camp.

The declaration of war between more than 10,000 members of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division climaxes weeks of almost-real tension building on both sides of the neutral strip which separates the two hypothetical countries.

Both sides have simulated atomic weapons and, theoretically, if one side stages all-out atomic warfare the first day the battle could end. But this is unlikely. The exercise is not scheduled to end until Aug 2.

Almost Real

As part of the pre-war tension building the army has documented a situation that pits two small countries against each other in a bitter cold war. Apart from the fact that all soldiers belong to the same army and dead ammunition (sic) will be used the situation is remarkably real.

Soldiers and officers have been instructed against discussing manoeuvres in messes. "Spies" from the other side have been apprehended by both groups. All movements are top secret. Positions of men are guarded with amazing seriousness. Both sides are outwardly determined to win. Generally the tenseness has reached its peak.

To give this Exercise Morning Star an apparent purpose the army has given the two involved countries a bit of history—one bad, the other good. "Blueland" is a small friendly country seeking peace. "Fantasia" is run by a "slick crowd" of aggressors.

Cold War Due to Break

In theory the whole structure of New Brunswick has been changed and the Atlantic Ocean now comes to the border of the 427-square mile camp. The cold was is smoldering on the sub-continent of Atlanta, about 1000 miles from Canada where Blueland and other democratic nations are trying to get along with the aggressive Fantasians. In 1952 when Fantasia's aggressive policy reached a peak, 14 free countries, including Canada, formed a pact, the Federation of Free Countries, which means collective defence against an aggressor.

The Fantasians are the aggressor and they will be met today by troops of the FFC. Then for a week they will push and withdraw along a 20-mile front as a group of officers from the Canadian Army Staff College assess casualties and rule on eventual victory.

It's the biggest exercise of its type ever carried out in Canada, and until it ends, all personnel will live under actual wartime conditions. They will sleep near the roar of huge Sherman tanks and the screams of air force and navy jet aircraft. Helmets will be worn continuously and prisoners will be marched back behind friendly lines. "Dead" soldiers will be tagged by umpires and taken out of action.

A-Bombs Too

The exercise is under the direction of Maj.-Gen. E.C. Plow, chief of the army's eastern command. and Maj.-Gen. J.M. Rockingham, commander of the 1st Division will be assistant director. Other positions will be taken by a large group of senior officers.

Before the exercise started tents of intelligence officers hummed with activity in both camp. There were reports of small infiltrations, new positions, camp movements and light manoeuvres. Everything was filed.

When either side sets off an atomic bomb they will use an indicator of smoke and gunpowders. The smoke will mushroom to the sky and umpires will study wind conditions to see how many men die from radiation. The umpiring staff from the army college include a group of exchange officers from such countries as France, Pakistan and the United States.

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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Forays in Fiction
Martial Music
Military Medical
Military Theory
Pay; the Queen's shilling
Sam Hughes
Soldier Slang
Soldiers' Load
Staff Duties
Stolen Valour
Taking Advantage
The Field of Battle
The RCR Museum
US Armed Forces
Vimy Pilgrimage
Wolseley Barracks

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