Author Topic: Canada’s Forgotten Warriors  (Read 1192 times)

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Offline George Wallace

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Canada’s Forgotten Warriors
« on: June 12, 2017, 09:19:57 »
Seems that throughout our history, we have had numerous occasions to accidentally, or conveniently, overlook and forget significant events of our military history.  Here is one example, one that many often ridicule as being the "Beer and Bratwurst" warriors or some other such derogatory, in some cases familiar, term:

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

From the Globe and Mail.  11 Nov 2015


Quote
Canada’s forgotten Cold Warriors
PAUL MANSON

Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015 6:00AM EST
Last updated Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015 6:29PM EST

The federal election campaign, coupled with recent compelling reporting in The Globe and Mail about Canada’s military veterans, has stimulated welcome – and much needed – discussion about our veterans and the ways in which they are treated.

But references in two recent and otherwise thoughtful articles follow a disturbing pattern. One article, which included tallies from Veterans Affairs Canada, referred to “685,300 Canadian veterans: 75,900 from the Second World War, 9,100 from the Korean War and 600,300 from subsequent peacekeeping missions and conflicts, including at least 40,000 younger Afghanistan war vets.” Another opinion article took up the same theme, referring to Canadian casualties in the First and Second World Wars, Korea, Afghanistan and “numerous United Nations peacekeeping assignments.”

Stunningly absent from both accounts is even the slightest mention of what was by far Canada’s most important military activity since 1945: Our contribution to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) in the Cold War, from 1950 to 1990. It was a massive commitment. Several hundred thousand Canadian military members served in the vital cause of deterring Soviet aggression, thereby joining Canada’s allies in preventing the outbreak of a third world war and the nuclear holocaust that would have ensued.

And our Canadian soldiers, sailors and air officers were good. At one point, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, an American, told me, “You Canadians set the standard in NATO.” We were well trained, well equipped and superbly motivated. In spite of unique organizational challenges, we earned great respect from our allies. Our small but powerful mechanized brigade in West Germany was an elite force, given the toughest assignments. Our air force, both in NORAD and in Europe, won numerous competitions, especially with the Canadian-built and powered F-86 Sabre, considered the world’s best fighter in the 1950s. At sea, our navy showed that it was a quality force. On several occasions, a Canadian was chosen to command NATO’s Standing Naval Force Atlantic.

Canada and Canadians paid a heavy price for all this. To put it concisely, our Cold War operations resulted in more fatalities due to military service than in the Korean War, the Balkan conflicts, the Gulf Wars, Afghanistan and peacekeeping – combined. For aircrew deaths alone, the number was 926.

Why has this been forgotten, to the extent that Cold War veterans apparently don’t seem to deserve even a passing mention these days?

Some possible reasons come to mind. Much of this happened a relatively long time ago, much of it far from home – in the north, at sea, in Europe. And news media coverage was much less intensive in the days before real-time TV reporting and embedded journalists. For example, whenever a Canadian airman was killed in Europe (as more than 100 were), he was invariably buried in a small military cemetery in Choloy-Ménillot, France; no ramp ceremony, no funerary procession along the Highway of Heroes, no headlines.

Then there is the mythology that has arisen to the effect that peacekeeping has been the principal occupation of Canada’s military since the Second World War. Our Blue Beret peacekeepers did wonderful work back when there were real opportunities for keeping conflicting armies apart, but the reason they were so effective is that they had the skills and credibility that come from having been trained for modern heavy warfare.

Another explanation for the public silence regarding Canada’s NATO and NORAD veterans is that there has emerged a troubling tendency on the part of some in this country to look upon those who did not fight in a shooting war as second-class veterans.

My entire career was encompassed by the Cold War years, including 10 years with my family in France and Germany. The Cold War, however, was not a shooting war. I have told Canadians on many occasions that my greatest pride in having served is that, from the end of the Korean War until I retired 37 years later, not a single shot was fired in combat by the Canadian military.

Our job was deterrence, and deterrence worked. We trained for war so that we wouldn’t have to fight a war.

It’s a shame that the story has been largely forgotten. On this Remembrance Day, my earnest hope is that Canadians, when they pause to commemorate the many sacrifices that our veterans have made through the years, will give a moment to those whose service as Cold Warriors, although unheralded, really made a difference. Lest we forget.

More on LINK, including links in published text to other information.

Lest we forget.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 09:27:56 by George Wallace »
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Offline Chispa

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Re: Canada’s Forgotten Warriors
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 21:32:34 »
Seems that throughout our history, we have had numerous occasions to accidentally, or conveniently, overlook and forget significant events of our military history. 

Lest we forget.


Mr. Wallace, from what is posted...ici...although on Cold War, no mention of Canada's first O.S. contribution during SSAW, etc. Their sacrifice constantly "skirted" a forgotten footnote in Canadian history, for the exception, IMO, of ca 4% of Canadians that are aware of this event in "Canada at War" accounts.

Just my thoughts....'Je me souviens'.


C.U.


.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 21:40:26 by Chispa »
History is not like playing horseshoes where close enough counts; those that have done the proper legwork have a responsibility to insure a detailed accurate account. Canada at War Blog  http://wp.me/55eja

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Canada’s Forgotten Warriors
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2017, 22:24:15 »
Chispa,

Thank you for that. Twenty years ago a number of us were able to get the centenary recognized and even to get our official fatal casualty count upgraded to just under 300. It took a lot of work and it was frustrating.

We (not the same we) still have not been able to get the last Canadians who died on Canadian soil battling foreign invaders recognized.

Offline FSTO

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Re: Canada’s Forgotten Warriors
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2017, 23:03:26 »
During the Veterans Week Speaking tour last year, I made a point of mentioning to my audience the contributions and sacrifices of the CAF during the Cold War. To a person, nobody had any idea of what we were doing during those years.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Canada’s Forgotten Warriors
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2017, 16:45:27 »
Chispa

The title of this Thread is "Canada's Forgotten Warriors".  I posted an article on the Cold War Warriors as ONE such example, to start off
 the thread.  It is NOT the only one.  If you have other examples to post; please feel free to post them
DISCLAIMER: The opinions and arguments of George Wallace posted on this Site are solely those of George Wallace and not the opinion of Army.ca and are posted for information purposes only.
Unless so stated, they are reflective of my opinion -- and my opinion only, a right that I enjoy along with every other Canadian citizen.

Offline Chispa

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Re: Canada’s Forgotten Warriors
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2017, 21:36:40 »
Chispa

The title of this Thread is "Canada's Forgotten Warriors".  I posted an article on the Cold War Warriors as ONE such example, to start off
 the thread.  It is NOT the only one.  If you have other examples to post; please feel free to post them

Hi, slightly confused...yes I'm aware of the title as your intentions...commenting, Globe, they mention F & SWW...SSAW omitted from the narrative.

I'm in full agreement with your comment..."Seems that throughout our history, we have had numerous occasions to accidentally, or conveniently, overlook and forget significant events of our military history."

There are many factors, in Canada, that influence why our veterans are forgotten, which includes our civil and military history, aka, DHH, & DHH 2.
Take the environmental, influential, psychological factors. One is the influence of popular media, I wonder what's the % today, some years ago 90% were clueless on Canada at War History, although surprisingly that same number could answer questions concerning USA WWI & II, Korea and Nam, etc.

Read this from the Ottawa Citizen in 2008....https://www.pressreader.com/canada/ottawa-citizen/20081017/281629596094952

We Canadians should take example from USA, on Military history and remembrance, etc.....


Canada's Forgotten Warriors.....

The Canadian “Army Nursing Sister’s” in the Second South Africana’ War, 1899-1902.

Canada’s contribution to the “Second South African War,” (know by many other names) is a forgotten footnote in Canadian Historical accounts, owing to the stigma surrounding the war. Their endeavours to persevere swept under the rug, as the lumps are hidden under a sofa in the lounge room, between the Senate and House of Commons in the Parliament Buildings. The Second Anglo Boer War 110th anniversary in commemoration of service and sacrifice was “skirted,” while big wigs at veteran’s affaires Canada stated “a somewhat sensitive war.” In the mergance of war, imagrents, Canadien aka French, and English were against this Imperial conflict, on the other side of the world. Sir Wilfrid Laurier dragged his heels, as Robert L. Borden Minister of Militia and Defence argued with other cabinet members, MPs, against setting a president of Imperial overseas service every time Britannia demanded. Owing to British pressure, Canada indebted to Briton, Imperial war mongering by profiteers, MPs with agendas, Yellow journalism played out in the press columns. This prompted, circa 7,000 individuals too enlist for military and civilian Imperial overseas service. They were misinformed on the veracity, without control over the aftermath that unfold post war, when Canada’s contribution was over, with all military contingents back home, and shouldn’t be held accountable.

Je me souviens.

C.U.

.

 
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 22:05:27 by Chispa »
History is not like playing horseshoes where close enough counts; those that have done the proper legwork have a responsibility to insure a detailed accurate account. Canada at War Blog  http://wp.me/55eja

Offline Chispa

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Re: Canada’s Forgotten Warriors
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2017, 21:54:06 »
Chispa,

Thank you for that. Twenty years ago a number of us were able to get the centenary recognized and even to get our official fatal casualty count upgraded to just under 300. It took a lot of work and it was frustrating.

We (not the same we) still have not been able to get the last Canadians who died on Canadian soil battling foreign invaders recognized.

SSAW is always my pleasure...frustrating and then some.

I have some questions????

Now concerning a forgotten warrior...RCFA E Battery Major G. Hunter Ogilvie, you have a photo of him?
Was E Battery the only ones wearing a feather on their Hats?



Canada’s forgotten battle in Yugoslavia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnoZ0lo2YOc


C.U.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 22:21:21 by Chispa »
History is not like playing horseshoes where close enough counts; those that have done the proper legwork have a responsibility to insure a detailed accurate account. Canada at War Blog  http://wp.me/55eja