Winston Churchill: ruffian or hero?

Doesn't matter. He was a very useful guy to have around when the chips were down

Winston Churchill: ruffian or hero?When Winston Churchill died in 1965, it marked the end of an era. Already a shade past his 90th birthday, he was the last survivor of the Second World War’s top political leadership. And given his youthful participation in a cavalry charge at the 1898 Battle of Omdurman, it was as if a relic from…

It’s time to commemorate Winston Churchill in Calgary

Churchill’s leadership contributed to a freer, more flourishing world

It’s time to commemorate Winston Churchill in CalgaryA statue of famed wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill will soon grace downtown Calgary, a gift from The Sir Winston Churchill Society of Calgary. In partnership with the province, the Churchill statue will be unveiled next spring on the south lawn of McDougall Centre, the provincial government’s southern Alberta home base. It will join another…

Hollywood icons and the Second World War

Some Hollywood legends actually participated in the reality of war, rather than merely on celluloid

Hollywood icons and the Second World WarIf you’re like me, the most vivid combat images you have of the Second World War come from Hollywood movies. Whether it was John Wayne on Iwo Jima or Errol Flynn in Burma, heroism was very much the order of the day. And Americans were invariably at the centre of the action. Naturally, the historical…

How to maximize the meaning in our lives

There’s nothing more significant than living with meaning

How to maximize the meaning in our livesThere’s nothing more significant than living with meaning. This is the concept pondered by the Jewish psychiatrist Viktor Frankl as he struggled to remain alive for three years in Nazi concentration camps. Frankl established the groundwork for his psychological theory on the importance of finding meaning in life before he was sent to Auschwitz. He…

War and brutality go hand in hand

Combat naturally leads to behaviours that would be deemed shocking in normal life

War and brutality go hand in handAntony Beevor is a prolific English military historian, most famous for the bestseller Stalingrad. First published in the late 1990s, the book’s narrative covers the period between the June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union and the conclusion of the Battle of Stalingrad in February 1943. That battle is often described as the Second…

Attlee and Churchill: bound together in war and peace

Churchill said history would be good to him, as he'd write it himself. But ostentation wasn’t Attlee's style

Attlee and Churchill: bound together in war and peaceFor the longest time, Clement Attlee lived in Winston Churchill’s shadow. Where Churchill was flamboyant, charismatic and eloquent, Attlee was reticent, dull and rhetorically challenged. Churchill was larger than life and Attlee was the little man who seemed to blend into the woodwork. After becoming leader of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party in 1935, Attlee…

Clearing the fog, and friction, of war

Public statements disclosing our intentions not to engage in an actual war were stupid

Clearing the fog, and friction, of warWhat if the following occurred at a Prime Ministerial news conference? Reporter #1: Prime Minister, there are reports that most or all of our ships at CFB Esquimalt on the west coast have left port. Can you tell me where they’re headed? PM Trudeau: This is a normal military action. Ships must leave port regularly…

Fall of Singapore shattered assumptions of British superiority

The shock waves of the defeat extended beyond the physical events

Fall of Singapore shattered assumptions of British superiorityOn Feb. 15, 1942, Singapore – the so-called Gibraltar of the East – fell to a numerically smaller Japanese force. Four days later, the port of Darwin in northern Australia was bombed by over 260 Japanese aircraft. To put it mildly, Allied prospects in the Second World War’s Asia-Pacific Theatre weren’t looking too auspicious. The…

Second World War attack helped shape Bell Island’s history

It was the only domestic location where Canadians lost their lives during the global conflict

Second World War attack helped shape Bell Island’s historyTroy Media publisher Doug Firby was part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting last May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they made an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and sense of community. Bell Island is a little…

Canadians fighting behind enemy lines – Remembrance Day

Secret agents Raymond LaBrosse and Lucien Dumais rescued hundreds of downed airmen from German-occupied France

Canadians fighting behind enemy lines – Remembrance DayIt was a moonless night on January 29, 1944. It was drizzling. Sixteen airmen and two M.I.9 secret agents cautiously descended the steep cliffs near the village of Plouha on the Brittany Coast of France in fear of being caught, executed, or worse, tortured. The enemy patrolled the beach below. Thanks to Canadian M.I.9 agents…
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