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Remembrance Day

 
 
James
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      11-11-2005
Its rememberance day in Canada today...

What Should We Remember?
Formal records tell us about the size and strength of armies, military
strategy, and the outcome of battles. Such information is vital, yet to
fully appreciate military history we must try to understand the human face
of war. Loss of comrades, extreme living conditions, intense training, fear,
as well as mental, spiritual and physical hardship helps illuminate what the
individual sailor, soldier and airman experienced in battle.

The First World War 1914-1918
In the First World War, the Canadians' first major battle occurred at Ypres,
France, on April 22, 1915, where the Germans used poison gas. As
approximately 150 tonnes of chlorine gas drifted over the trenches, Canadian
troops held their line and stopped the German advance in spite of enormous
casualties. Within 48 hours at Ypres and St. Julien, a third of the
Canadians were killed. One of those who survived described the aftermath of
a dreaded gas attack:

The room was filled with dying and badly wounded men; trampled straw and
dirty dressings lay about in pools of blood. The air, rank with the fumes of
gas, was thick with the dust of flying plaster and broken brick, and
stifling with the smoke from the burning thatch. 6

Using outdated 19th century military strategy, Allied generals believed that
sending wave after wave of infantry would eventually overwhelm the enemy.
Soaring casualty rates proved that soldiers attacking with rifles and
bayonets were no match for German machine guns. Each side dug in and soon
the western front became a patchwork of trenches in France and Belgium
stretching from Switzerland to the North Sea.

In April 1917, the Canadians helped turn the tide of battle when they won a
major victory at Vimy Ridge. This triumph came at high cost: more than ten
thousand casualties in six days. Even with this victory, the war continued
for more than a year. Finally, on November 11, 1918, the Armistice was
signed and the Canadians took part in the triumphant entry into Mons,
Belgium. Throughout this conflict, Canadians proved that they could pull
their weight, and by their effort earned for Canada a new place among the
nations of the world.

The Second World War 1939-1945
During the Second World War, Canadians fought valiantly on battlefronts
around the world. More than one million men and women enlisted in the navy,
the army and the air force. They were prepared to face any ordeal for the
sake of freedom. When the war was over, more than 42,000 had given their
lives. On the home front as well, Canadians were active as munitions
workers, as civil defence workers, as members of voluntary service
organizations, and as ordinary citizens doing their part for the war effort.


The Dieppe Raid, August 1942. (National Archives of Canada C-14160)

In December 1941, Canadian soldiers were participants in the unsuccessful
defence of Hong Kong against the Japanese; 493 were wounded and 557 were
killed in battle or at the hands of the Japanese as prisoners-of-war (POWs).
The situation faced by the Canadian POWs was horrible; they laboured long
hours and were given very little to eat. The daily diet was rice - a handful
for each prisoner. Occasionally, a concoction of scavenged potato peelings,
carrot tops and buttercups was brewed. The effect was obvious:

Sidney Skelton watched the 900-calorie-a-day diet shrink his body from 145
to 89 pounds. And whenever a group of prisoners could bribe a guard into
giving them a piece of bread, they used a ruler to ensure everyone got an
equal share.7

Canadians played a leading role on the European front. On August 19, 1942,
Canadians attacked the French port of Dieppe. Canadians made up almost 90
per cent of the assault force. The raid was a disaster. Out of a force of
4,963 Canadians, 3,367 were killed, wounded, or became POWs. Lucien Dumais
was there and described the beach upon landing:


Soldier of the 1st RCR awaiting medical aid after night patrol, June
1952. (National Archives of Canada PA 128860)
The beach was a shambles, and a lot of our men from the second wave were
lying there either wounded or dead. Some of the wounded were swimming out to
meet our flotilla and the sea was red with their blood. Some sank and
disappeared. We stood by as they died, powerless to help; we were there to
fight, not to pick up the drowning and the wounded. But the whole operation
was beginning to look like a disaster.8

Canadians played an essential role as the war continued. They participated
in the conquest of Sicily in 1943, and defeated the Nazis in Italy despite
fierce resistance especially at Ortona and Rimini. On June 6, 1944, D-Day,
Canadians were in the front lines of the Allied forces who landed on the
coast of Normandy. All three Canadian services (Navy, Army, and Air Force)
shared in the assault. In Normandy, the fighting was fierce, and the losses
were heavy. Approximately 14,000 Canadians landed on Juno Beach and suffered
1,074 casualties (including 359 fatalities).

Canadians encountered fierce resistance from the German occupiers as they
fought through Northwest Europe, particularly at Caen and Falaise, France,
as well as the formidable task of clearing the English Channel ports in
France and Belgium. They also saved the Allied advance from stalling by
defeating the Nazis in the Scheldt estuary of Belgium and Holland - intense
fighting over flooded terrain.

In May 1945, victory in Europe became a reality and millions celebrated V-E
Day. Still ahead lay the final encounter with Japan. Then, on August 6,
1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Three
days later, a second bomb destroyed Nagasaki. On August 14, 1945, the
Japanese accepted the Allied terms of unconditional surrender and the Second
World War was over.

The Korean War 1950-1953
The hard-fought end to the Second World War did not provide Canadian troops
with a long peace. By 1950, Canadian soldiers were mobilized on behalf of
the United Nations (UN) to defend South Korea against an invasion by North
Korea. By 1951, the People's Republic of China had joined North Korea
against the UN force. In Korea, the Canadians fought at Kapyong, at
Chail-li, in the advance across the Imjin River, and in the patrolling of
the Chorwon Plain. When the hostilities ended in 1953, Canadians stayed as
part of the peacekeeping force.

The conditions in Korea were often difficult, with harsh weather, rough
terrain, and an elusive and skillful enemy. In their own camp, they had to
deal with casualties, illness and limited medical facilities. The winter of
1951 was especially severe. They were living twenty-four hours a day in
trenches, which provided some protection but little comfort. As one soldier
recalled, the weather aggravated what was already a demoralizing experience:

Rain was running down my neck, my hands were numb, and I never seemed to be
dry. Kneeling in the snow, or advancing in the rain, my knees and the front
of my legs became wet. Then the dampness soaked right through and the skin
underneath became tender and raw. 9

Altogether, 26,791 Canadians served in the Korean War and another 7,000
served between the cease-fire and the end of 1955 when Canadian soldiers
were repatriated home. There were 1,558 casualties, 516 fatal. While
Canada's contribution formed only a small part of the total United Nations
effort, on a per-capita basis, it was larger than most of the other nations
in the UN force.

"It (Canada's participation in Korea) also marked a new stage in Canada's
development as a nation. Canadian action in Korea was followed by other
peacekeeping operations which have seen Canadian troops deployed around the
world in new efforts to promote international freedom and maintain world
peace." 10


Troops of 2nd PPCLI during patrol, March 1951. (National Archives of
Canada PA 115564)

From all of these records of wars, the observations of the individuals who
took part stand out as reminders of the true nature of conflict. Through
knowledge of the realities, we may work more diligently to prevent them from
happening again.



 
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kpg
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      11-11-2005

I recognize the sacrifice of all the men and women that have served and
died fighting for freedom throughout the world, regardless of their
nationality. But to use their sacrifice as a call to the end of war
because war is horrible is absurd. Let's call for the end of tyranny
instead. Then our brave young men and women will not have to go to war.

--
kpg USMC BSCS A+ MCP MCNGP 0x22

 
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CBIC
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      11-11-2005
James wrote:
> Its rememberance day in Canada today...

<tributes snipped>

James that was awesome. Today, in honor of Remberance Day, you are NOT an
a$$.
--
aka
Doom MCNGP #38
Is that a burdizzo in your pocket or are you just glad to see me.



 
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Kline Sphere
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      11-11-2005
> Let's call for the end of tyranny
>instead.


Exactly

Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
 
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Briscobar
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      11-11-2005
kpg <ipost@thereforeiam> rambled:
>
> I recognize the sacrifice of all the men and women that have served
> and died fighting for freedom throughout the world, regardless of
> their nationality. But to use their sacrifice as a call to the end
> of war because war is horrible is absurd. Let's call for the end of
> tyranny instead. Then our brave young men and women will not have to
> go to war.


But tyranny doesn't kill people! It's the wars these tyrannical leaders
start that kill people!

--
KB

MCNGP #26
www.mcngp.com read The Da Vinci Code in 1 hour 12 minutes.


 
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JaR
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      11-11-2005
What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends,
and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to
fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to
devastate the fair face of this beautiful world. ~Robert E. Lee


--
JaR
USArmy, BA A+ MCSA MCNGP 10110

 
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JaR
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      11-11-2005
In microsoft.public.cert.exam.mcse, CBIC spewed across the ether:

> James wrote:
>> Its rememberance day in Canada today...

> <tributes snipped>
>
> James that was awesome. Today, in honor of Remberance Day, you are NOT
> an a$$.


And you are officially removed from my bit-bucket.

--
JaR
MCNGP 10110
Remove hat to reply
I pretend to work, they pretend to pay me
 
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CBIC
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      11-11-2005

> And you are officially removed from my bit-bucket.



Hey, lets not get carried away just yet.
--
aka
Doom MCNGP #38
Is that a burdizzo in your pocket or are you just glad to see me.



 
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kpg
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      11-11-2005
JaR <(E-Mail Removed)> said something like

> # Name resolution details: file://c:\temp\177386.htm (11/11/2005
> 12:46:29 PM) # What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy
> families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has
> granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of
> love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this
> beautiful world. ~Robert E. Lee



War is hell.
 
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kpg
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      11-11-2005
Briscobar <(E-Mail Removed)> said something like

> But tyranny doesn't kill people! It's the wars these tyrannical
> leaders start that kill people!



You appeaser you.

 
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