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« » March 2017 - Week 11

Sunday

5
1995: Canadian Airborne Regiment officially disbanded at laying-up of the colors ceremony at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa; 660 paratroopers dismissed., 1967: Georges-Philias Vanier 1888-1967 dies at age 78; soldier, Royal 22ème Regiment; Canada's 19th Governor-General 1959-67, and the first French Canadian to hold the position., 1945: Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung of the 2nd Gurkha Rifles successfully hunted down a Japanese sniper who had kept his section under fire at Snowdon East in Burma. He then went forward alone and killed the defenders in four enemy positions, including a machine-gun team in a bunker. Supported now by three other Gurkhas, he defended the captured bunker against a Japanese counter-attack, driving the enemy back with very heavy losses. He was awarded the Victoria Cross., 1943: RAF bombing raid on Essen marks beginning of the Battle of the Ruhr, 1936: Spitfire fighter plane unveiled for the first time.

Monday

6
1945: VEEN, effective dates for battle honour begin (to 10 Mar 45), 1945: Allied tanks and infantry, led by US First Army, drive into Cologne, 1944: US bombers start daylight raids on Berlin from bases in Britain, 1944: After over 30 hours of hunting, U-744 is finally sunk when forced to the surface by the combined efforts of HMC Ships CHAUDIERE, GATINEAU, ST. CATHERINE'S, CHILLIWACK and FENNEL as well as HMS ICARUS and HMS KENILWORTH CASTLE., 1916: During fierce fighting near the formidable Hohenzollern Redoubt on the Western Front, a shell blast severed the leg of Corporal Cotter, East Kent Regiment, just below the knee. He was also wounded in both arms. Despite his appalling injuries, Cotter managed to make his way to a large crater some fifty yards distant occupied by men from his battalion, and took charge of them, organising the successful defence of the crater against a German counter-attack. For two hours he controlled the defenders' fire, changed their positions to deal better with fresh attacks, and only allowed his wounds to receive the most improvised of dressings. It was fourteen hours before he could be safely evacuated to a dressing station, and he soon afterwards died of his wounds. He was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross., 1902: Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service was established., 1858: Lance-Corporal Goat of the 9th Lancers won the Victoria Cross for his persistent efforts to recover the body of an officer killed in combat during the Indian Mutiny. To do so, Goat had to dismount and work under enemy fire to hoist the body over his horse. His first attempt had to be abandoned due to the approach of enemy cavalry, but he finally succeeded in retrieving the body for proper burial., 1836: Mexican General Santa Anna and his large army slaughter Davy Crockett and rest of 189 Texas volunteers after 13 day siege. General Sam Houston and his Texans capture Santa Anna 46 days later, with battle cry, Remember the Alamo., 1831: Albany New York - Born on this date Philip Henry Sheridan, General, Union Army, US Civil War.

Tuesday

7
1968: Canadian External Affairs Minister Paul Martin says Canada to participate with US in developing airborne radar system to replace DEW Line., 1945: Remagen Germany - US 9th Armored Division captures key bridge over the Rhine at Remagen, helps shorten the War., 1945: In the frigid waters of the Irish Sea, U-1302 cannot withstand the continual pounding of coordinated attacks from HMC Ships LA HULLOISE, STRATHADAM and THETFORD MINES, and eventually sinks., 1945: Cologne Germany - Allied forces cross the Rhine River south of Cologne, and take the city., 1941: British troops invade Abyssinia., 1918: British forces intervened in the Russian Civil War and began naval operations against Red revolutionaries in the Murmansk and Archangel areas., 1917: A river crossing operation in Mesopotamia involving the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment came under very heavy fire, and the first two boats were lost with their occupants. The third boat was also raked by fire, and every man aboard killed or wounded, save only Private White, a signaller. Unable to control the boat on his own, he improvised a towing line from a supply of field telephone cable he was carrying, then dived overboard, and slowly towed the heavy pontoon back to shore despite a continuing barrage of fire, saving the lives of all the wounded aboard, as well as a large quantity of equipment. White was awarded the Victoria Cross., 1900: Canadians engage Boers in artillery fight at Poplar Grove., 1866: Canada puts 10,000 militia on alert after Fenians hold meeting in New York and threaten invasion; as precaution against anticipated attacks on St. Patrick's Day., 1862: Les Voltigeurs de Quebec: Force a superbe, Mercy a foible (Violence to the strong, mercy to the weak), 1793: France declares war on Spain during the French Revolution., 1719: Louisbourg Nova Scotia - Michel-Philippe Isabeau starts to build Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island; engineer under director of fortifications Jean-François de Verville, who recommended the site in 1716. The fortress takes 25 years to build; here's a picture of the completed work, with the town and harbour in the foreground.

Wednesday

8
1945: XANTEN, effective dates for battle honour begin (to 9 Mar 45), 1940: HMCS ASSINIBOINE, and the cruiser HMS DUNEDIN capture the German merchantman Hanover in the Caribbean. Hanover will later be repaired and outfitted as the Royal Navy's first auxiliary aircraft carrier HMS AUDACITY.

Thursday

9
1945: Incendiary raid on Tokyo kills 84,000

Friday

10
1944: HMC ships ST. LAURENT, SWANSEA and OWEN SOUND, in consort with HMS FORRESTOR, pool their resources to hunt down and sink U-845 in the North Atlantic., 1915: Battle of Neuve-Chapelle begins

Saturday

11
537: The Goths lay siege to Rome, 1941: Roosevelt signs lend-lease agreement, 1938: German troops mass on Austrian border