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Saluting... just curious

MethylSilane

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Now, as to the War of 1812, I know it‘s the only war you can claim as a victory, but...
I seem to recall a few other wars that Canada could claim as victories.

For that matter, I can‘t think of any defeats we‘ve suffered either.
 

Michael Dorosh

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I think the case has been effectively made that the Americans have never lost a war.

In fact, it hasn‘t been often in the 20th century that they lost a major battle. I can think of only one in Africa in WW II - that being Kasserine Pass. After that, the US Army was undefeated in Africa, Italy and NW Europe (though there were some long drawn out battles, Anzio and the Ardennes coming to mind).

In the Pacific, Bataan and Wake Island were significant losses; after Midway, the US Army seems to have been in one successful campaign after another - Guadalcanal (after the Marines took the brunt of the fighting :) ), and other notable battles like Okinawa and the Phillipines.

Korea was a draw, but really a victory in that the South was kept free - look at them today.

Vietnam - the US Army was never defeated militarily (though Ia Drang wasn‘t a victory, either), but in 1973, did anyone really think that the South could really hold their own against the North? Could you not characterize "Vietnamization" as really a US withdrawal? I don‘t know, which is why I ask; would love to hear our American friend‘s take on that.
 

Michael Dorosh

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MethylSilane - Canadian defeats?

Hong Kong
Dieppe
Verrieres Ridge

Are the biggies that historians dredge up time and time again.

Canadian attacks on some of the channel ports were less than successful - I do believe one or two had to be "masked" and left in the rear of First Canadian Army to wither on the vine until May 1945. I‘m fuzzy on those, and stand to be corrected.

Walcheren Causeway is one of the Calgary Highlanders‘ proudest battle honours, yet we were never able to secure the Causeway for more than a day or so, and the Maisonneuves promptly lost the bridgehead once they relieved us. It was a tough, tough fight, and in the end, I think it safe to say we lost. British Commandos reduced Walcheren Island from the sea. Our troops fought damn hard there, though and were given a (in my opinion) not un-typically stupid and suicidal mission when there were other means available.

The first attacks of the Fifth Canadian Armoured Division in early 1944 were disastrous. The 11th Cdn Inf Bde, in its baptism of fire, performed extremely poorly. They went on to much greater glory, but they did not do well their first time at bat.

These are small examples of battalion actions; overall, we won our major battles, too.

I would say that in larger scope, the Americans, Canadians and British may have lost the Battle of Sicily - despite taking the island in 38 days, the poorly thought out invasion and operations there allowed the bulk of the German garrison to escape to the mainland to fight again - including very good units like the Hermann Goering.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Well, Canada has never won a war without American help, if you think about it. World War One, World War Two, Korea...a lot of people in this country seem to want to forget that.

Not to put down our own participation, by any means - the Americans in WW I never had any truly masterful tactical victories on the scale of Vimy, as far as I know, for example.

American participation in Korea was spotty - our troops are generally rated as more professional; certainly the Chinese saw them that way. Canadian deception plans usually involved disguising Canadian troops as Americans so that the Chinese would get careless - they regarded the Americans (generaly speaking) as lax compared to Commonwealth troops.

But the main point to remember is - we were all in it together. And wherever Canadian soldiers are buried, with the exception perhaps of Hong Kong, American soldiers are buried very close by.

Even at Dieppe, where US Rangers suffered their first fatalities.
 
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sgt.shmedly102

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I found the thread where the War of 1812 was refought; it was buried in the ‘army‘ section, not history. Now if I counld just figure out how to link it here...

Any case it‘s about half way down on page four of Army topics.

As for Vietnam, I do think it‘s safe to say that Vietnamization was an American withdrawl. When one considers we originally went in there to help the Vietnamese fight their own war, not do it for them, then Vietnamization was supposed to achive what American intervention was intended to be. And seriously, if after over a decade of American assistance they still couldn‘t defend their country, they deserved to lose.

The thing about Vietnam is that it was a terribly complicated situation that few people understand (I don‘t pretend to understand all of it), but everyone likes to point to it and say, "ha ha America, you lost." We decided to leave because in the end, it wasn‘t that important to us. But to say we are beaten is to display an ignorance of the actual events.
 

Marti

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Well, Canada has never won a war without American help, if you think about it. World War One, World War Two, Korea...a lot of people in this country seem to want to forget that.
should the Boer War be included as a Canadian victory? our participation was the same as WWI/WW2: proportionally smaller contingent under British command.
 

onecat

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__________________________________________Well, Canada has never won a war without American help, if you think about it. World War One, World War Two, Korea...a lot of people in this country seem to want to forget that
__________________________________________

Okay a few things you need to remmber, Canada entered both WW1 and WW2 before the United States, and did not need the Help of Amercians to win. Both those wars were won but an allied effort, and not because of American‘s entry into them.

Lets take WW1, It started in 1914, not April 1917. And Canadians were at the front perfecting the tactics that won the war. Amercian troops were in France in the spring of 1918, and after the Germans had lost their stream in their great push, their entry shorten the war, but did not win it.

WW2 again started in 1939 not Dec 7 1941. Yes Amercian troops and industrial machine played a major role in the defeat of German, but so did our‘s and the of course lets not forget about the USSR. They really won the war agaist Germany. It was their man power and their country that wore out the German war machine and forced the cracks ito show in the German leadership. Japan is a different story as it was all the work efforts of United States, it was ther war to win. And Canada played a very small part in this war.

Korea again it was an amercian conflict, and Canada played a small part with only 25,000 troops.

Your statement could really applied to any nation who was an allie in those wars. I.e Could Britian of won ww1 and ww2 without Canadian help... and the answer would most likely be no they could not of won without our help or the help of the common wealth. To make a statement like that down plays our role in this century. Canada‘s problem has been that we‘ve always worked under someone else‘s rules and most this century dressed in someone else uniform.... and we get over looked by our allies because we don‘t speak up.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Okay a few things you need to remmber,
I haven‘t forgotten

Canada entered both WW1 and WW2 before the United States, and did not need the Help of Amercians to win.
Bull****. In 1917, the collapse of the Eastern Front allowed Germany to send thousands of fresh troops to the west - at a time when French divisions were mutinying, and British formations in the field were downsizing in order to keep the number of divisions constant. The German spring offensives of 1918 were a shocking blow. It is very possible that without American intervention, the western front may have collapsed, or at least extended the war into 1919.

Both those wars were won but an allied effort,
Exactly.

and not because of American‘s entry into them.
Read my post again; I said that these were all team efforts and I was not attempting to downplay the role of our military.

Lets take WW1, It started in 1914, not April 1917. And Canadians were at the front perfecting the tactics that won the war.
Canadians didn‘t fight any major battles until April 1915, if you want to get picky, and with only one division that mostly destroyed itself in rash counter-attacks (ie St. Julien, etc.) 6000 men of the 10,000 man division became casualties. Because of their bravery, the line held and a major German breakthrough was prevented (though historians will point out the Germans had not planned for a deep breakthrough during Second Ypres anyway, and would have had to stop short of their own accord even if they pushed the Canadians aside - which they weren‘t able to do). A second division didn‘t reach the front until later in the year.

Are you saying Canada won the war with just two divisions? The Third and Fourth arrived later, the Fourth in August 1916.

So yes, we got into the war in August 1914 (we had no choice, as politically we were tied to Britain), and did not have anyone in action until April (though the Patricias did see action a bit earlier as part of the British Army). That‘s nine months, and the Second Division did not arrive until September 1915, over a year after war was declared.

The Americans were able to field over 1,200,000 troops during Meuse-Argonne (with thousands others in different sectors), at a time when French troops were in disarray and reeling. The Canadian Corps amounted to about 40,000 troops.

Amercian troops were in France in the spring of 1918, and after the Germans had lost their stream in their great push, their entry shorten the war, but did not win it.
Some historians would agree, others would not. I think you can say for sure that Canadians didn‘t win the war alone, and the involvement of the US made an appreciable difference.

WW2 again started in 1939 not Dec 7 1941.
And Canadian troops did what, exactly, during this period? Spitsbergen, and faced no opposition. Oh yes, and lost 6 men when the First Division moved to Brittany briefly before being withdrawn. At the same time, the US was providing material aid to Canada and Britain clandestinely. So while Canada was far more involved (mainly through the RCAF, BCATP, and naval escort duties on the North Atlantic run), America wasn‘t exactly idle. They also started drafting soldiers in 1940 to prepare their military for war action - Canada began drafting men in 1940 and refused to let them serve in combat until January 1945 (the decision was made in Nov 44, but they didn‘t arrive in theatre until the next year).

Yes Amercian troops and industrial machine played a major role in the defeat of German,
Every Canadian armoured regiment used the Sherman tank by 1944 - guess where they were made? :D

but so did our‘s and the of course lets not forget about the USSR. They really won the war agaist Germany.
I never disputed either of these points. And again, the USSR was aided considerably by American help - GMC trucks, Sherman tanks, and lots of other goodies. The British too, got War Aid clothing from the US, Lee Enfield rifles produced in the US, etc. Again, my point was that WW II was a team effort - and that US involvement in that team was not just ‘nice to have‘ as perhaps in WW I, but a necessity.

It was their man power and their country that wore out the German war machine and forced the cracks ito show in the German leadership.
This mystifies me - which cracks are you referring to? I am rereading Matthew Cooper‘s THE GERMAN ARMY - a masterful treatise on Germany‘s wartime direction. I think the cracks were apparent from before the war - Hitler made all the decisions, period, and they were usually the wrong ones, tactically and operationally speaking.

Japan is a different story as it was all the work efforts of United States, it was ther war to win. And Canada played a very small part in this war.
I disagree - China had a large burden in fighting the Japanese, from very early on, as did the Australians and the British (in Burma). It was not just the Americans fighting the Japanese - even the USSR came onside once it was clear the Japanese were defeated and there was territory to be gained.

You are correct about our role, though - aside from the two battalions we threw away at Hong Kong (and our VC winning pilot who was killed on the same day as one of the A Bomb strikes), Canada did very little. We sent a brigade of draftees to Kiska, but the Japanese had fled before they arrived.
Korea again it was an amercian conflict, and Canada played a small part with only 25,000 troops.
What do you mean "again"?

It was NOT an "American" conflict, 17 nations fought there under the United Nations banner, albeit under US operational control. Large contingents from Britain and Australia made up the Commonwealth Division along with our 25th Brigade.

Your statement could really applied to any nation who was an allie in those wars.
Of course it could, that was the point.

I.e Could Britian of won ww1 and ww2 without Canadian help... and the answer would most likely be no they could not of won without our help or the help of the common wealth.
This is certainly true of WW II - Canada produced 60 percent of all Bren Guns, trained thousands of pilots through the BCATP, and performed the lion‘s share of escort duties in the North Atlantic. As for WW I, I think we had a profound influence on tactics (as you point out) and military science - the 40,000 troops we had in the field at any one time was only a drop in the bucket - but Canadian skill managed to multiply the force beyond what the mere numbers suggested. The Germans always braced themselves for the worst when they heard the Canadians or Australians were going into the line opposite them.

To make a statement like that down plays our role in this century.
On the contrary, it puts it into the proper perspective - and doesn‘t allow anyone to downplay the vital role the Americans played in both world wars - something that is popular in this country, unfortunately.

Canada‘s problem has been that we‘ve always worked under someone else‘s rules and most this century dressed in someone else uniform....
Read my book DRESSED TO KILL and you will see how non-sensical this statement is. Or check out KHAKI by Clive Law. Canadian uniforms were very distinct from the British in WW i - they were also poorly made and had to be replaced en masse, from the boots on up. In WW II Canadian uniforms were highly sought after, being well tailored, of high quality cloth, and generally smart looking.

But aside from taking your statement too literally, why would you suggest this was a "problem"? I don‘t even know if I agree - the Canadian Corps was independent in WW I - the British had wanted to split our troops up as reinforcements for British units. Our victory at Vimy was a result of us remaining independent.

McNaughton fought tooth and nail for Canadian command in WW II. In fact, Canadian independence was a giant problem in Italy, when we insisted on having our own corps headquarters there when none was required. It actually managed to sap troops needed elsewhere, and the Brits hated the Corps headquarters we imposed on them.

and we get over looked by our allies because we don‘t speak up.
I‘m not sure what this refers to. We sat up and begged for Dieppe, we had our own beach on D-Day in Normandy, we were certainly not overlooked in Hong Kong...what does this refer to?
 

Gryphon

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Korea again it was an amercian conflict, and Canada played a small part with only 25,000 troops.
I have to tell you that while this may be true, the Americans were getting their asses whipped in Korea before the Canadian contingent showed up, and with our superior knowledge, we helped keep the Koreans at bay
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Going back to the saluting thing:

Saluting began in the 15th C. or earlier. A soldier would raise their right arm to show that they were not baring any weaponry (namely swords). It then evolved to the hand touching the headdress, palms out, then to what we have now.

Also, handshakes were given with the left hand with in a regiment as a show of trust. By offering your left hand, you were not protected with your sheild, and you let yourself be open to attacks.
 

Michael OLeary

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...the Americans were getting their asses whipped in Korea before the Canadian contingent showed up, and with our superior knowledge, we helped keep the Koreans at bay
...
On June 25, 1950, seven North Korean assault Divisions, plus sundry other elements, invaded South Korea. As of 1 July 1950, the US had a total of 485 personnel in Korea. (NK forces totalled 150,000-200,000)

By the time the South Koreans and the US Forces deployed from Japan had established the Pusan perimeter at the end of July 1950, US forces in country totaled only about 50,000 personnel.

By September that year, UN Forces were pushing the North Koreans back to the north and even by the end of 1950, the US still had only 160,000 troops in Korea.

By mid-1951 the US had over 200,0o0 troops in Korera and peaked at about 175,000 at the Armistice, 31 July 1953.

The US also suffered 109,958 casualties diuring the Korean War, including 27,704 deaths.

The PPCLI arrived in Korea in February 1951, with the remainder of 25 Brigade deployed in-country through Pusan in May of the same year (gievn the rotation schedule, Canada probably had few more than 8000 personnel in country at a time, compared to the US‘ 229,000 in June 1951.

Canadian stats were as follows:
REMEMBER
Korea
26,791 Canadians served
516 died and 1,558 were wounded
33 were taken prisoner of war
- Royal Canadian Legion, Poppy Campaign Information card, Sources; DND, VAC, March 1992
I don‘t think it was so much the Canadian effort single-handedly tipping the scale as the build-up of forces from all Commonwealth and UN coutries that participated.

http://www.kvacanada.com/cdnforces_army.htm http://www.tcsaz.com/koreanwar/timeline.html
http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/documents/237ADM.htm
http://onwar.com/aced/chrono/c1900s/yr50/fkorean1950.htm
http://canadaonline.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vac-acc.gc.ca%2Fgeneral%2Fsub.cfm%2Fhistory%2FKoreaWar%2Fvalour
 

Michael Dorosh

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Well, done Michael!

Let‘s hope our friend actually reads some of the sources. As in WW I, Canadian involvement was slow in Korea too - by the spring of 1951, we had a single battalion in the line (once again, PPCLI beat the rest of the Canadian Army to the draw), the full brigade wasn‘t in action until after almost a full year had passed. Meanwhile, as pointed out, the Americans were doing quite well for themselves, with Inchon and the drive all the way to the Yalu. If it wasn‘t for McArthur‘s stupidity, who knows what might have happened at that point had he not provoked the Chinese.
 

Gryphon

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Alright, so my information was a bit biased (i got it from my grade 11 history text book.. it‘s canadian. so sue me)

However, we can‘t disregard Canada‘s participation in the 2nd world war

First, there was hill 127. This was a stratigic hill that the Germans had occupied, and seeing that it was smack dab in the middle of plains, the germans had a grand killing time, whenever someone tried to take the hill. The Yanks tried to take it, without success. The brits tried to take the hill, and got slaughtered. So, they decided to give it to the Canucks. Well, the Canadians rehersed a battle for a few weeks, and then when the timing was perfect, they attacked the hill. After alot of casualties, the germans finally surrendered, and the Canadians gained what neither the Brits, nor the Americans could take.

Then there‘s Dieppe. A tragedy, right? WRONG! true, a lot of Canadian soldiers gave their lives in the attack gone awry, but without Dieppe, a lot of historians, and mil. stratagists said that Normandie would have not been a success, as the Allied forces did not know what to expect. It also boostered Hitler‘s ego, in thinking that there won‘t be any attack on the coast of Normandy, as the conditions were similar to Dieppe.

Lastly, there‘s Normandy. Not much to say, except that Canadians were the first to land in Normandy (both in the airdrops, as well as Juno Beach had the first Contact Rep)
 

Michael Dorosh

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Alright, so my information was a bit biased (i got it from my grade 11 history text book.. it‘s canadian. so sue me)
This is probably a warning to stop here, but I‘m genuinely fascinated by some of your comments below.

However, we can‘t disregard Canada‘s participation in the 2nd world war
"We"? I don‘t see anyone here disregarding Canada‘s participation in the Second World War, or advocating same.

First, there was hill 127. This was a stratigic hill that the Germans had occupied, and seeing that it was smack dab in the middle of plains, the germans had a grand killing time, whenever someone tried to take the hill. The Yanks tried to take it, without success. The brits tried to take the hill, and got slaughtered. So, they decided to give it to the Canucks. Well, the Canadians rehersed a battle for a few weeks, and then when the timing was perfect, they attacked the hill. After alot of casualties, the germans finally surrendered, and the Canadians gained what neither the Brits, nor the Americans could take.
What on earth are you talking about here? This entire paragraph is a flight of fancy. The British and Canadians operated on their own side of the front in Normandy, the Americans in a seperate area altogether. As for weeks of rehearsals, the Normandy battle only lasted from June to the end of August 1944. Are you speaking of Verrierres Ridge? The Americans were nowhere near it. I don‘t recall reading about the British ever going anywhere near it either.

Then there‘s Dieppe. A tragedy, right? WRONG! true, a lot of Canadian soldiers gave their lives in the attack gone awry, but without Dieppe, a lot of historians, and mil. stratagists said that Normandie would have not been a success, as the Allied forces did not know what to expect.
Really? Name one.

It also boostered Hitler‘s ego, in thinking that there won‘t be any attack on the coast of Normandy, as the conditions were similar to Dieppe.
Really? If Hitler was fooled into thinking there would be no landings in Normandy, then why did he spend all those resources making extensive concrete fortifications on the Normandy coast?

Lastly, there‘s Normandy. Not much to say, except that Canadians were the first to land in Normandy (both in the airdrops, as well as Juno Beach had the first Contact Rep)
The Juno landings happened well after the Omaha landings. Juno‘s first wave came ashore at about 8 am, Omaha‘s first wave landed an hour early at about 7 am.

As for the "lessons" of the Dieppe Raid - ask yourself this. If Dieppe had never happened, would the Allies have done anything differently in Normandy? Do you really think the Allies would not have used battleship and heavy bomber support on D-Day in Normandy? Dieppe taught no lessons at all and was a complete waste. it was not a necessary precursor to the Normandy invasion; Sicily proved to be a larger invasion than Normandy (some seven divisions went ashore on the first day, as opposed to six in Normandy on D-Day), and experience was gained there, in North Africa, at Salerno and Anzio, as well as lessons drawn from operations in the Pacific and even in the First World War. Not to mention rehearsals in the UK such as Slapton Sands.

What exactly is it that the Allies learned at Dieppe, that they wouldn‘t have found out anyway?
 

Marti

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so about saluting, i read that it was a navy tradition to salute with palms down (as has been stated) but that it was standardised as such during the years of unification and remained that way afterwards. that came from the old master cadet handbook, i‘m not sure how reliable that is so can anyone confirm/deny this?
 

Jarnhamar

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Between testing stuff on our own troops to how we treated the veterans returning home to how we left people over there and tried to cover it up, i think vietnam was one of the worst black marks in our history.
 

Jarnhamar

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Our as in north america.
Yes i know canada did not send soldiers to fight (Except the 30‘000 volunteers).
I felt bad about always saying "You guys".
Don‘t wanna sound anti american, never know whos watching the internet and recording every time someone says something naughty about the U.S. Eh ;)
 

Gryphon

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Uh, Guy?

1) I never said that Hill 127 was part of Normandy. It was well after the normandy invasion. It was some hill in the middle of france.

2) Hitler did ignore the warnings of his brass. He could have reinforced Normandy with tanks and arty, however, he didn‘t, because he didn‘t believe that the Allies were going to attack there. He thought that they were going to attack much higher in the British Channel.
 
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