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« » February 2016

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1968: Effective Date - Act of Parliament for Unification of the Canadian Armed Forces, 1952: Vincent Massey appointed first Canadian born Governor-General of Canada, 1944: The Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers is authorized, 1920: The Dominion Police & NW Mounted Police amalgamated into RCMP, 1915: VC won by Sgt Michael O'Leary, 1st Battalion, The Irish Guards (British Army), Cuinchy, France, 1910: The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada: Ullamh (Ready), 1900: Le Regiment du Saguenay: Dieu at Patrie (God and Cointry)
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1943: Germans capitulate at Stalingrad
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1917: President Wilson severs diplomatic relations between the USA and Germany
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1938: Nazis tighten grip on German Army and Foreign Ministry, Hitler takes command of the War Ministry
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1993: Army.ca comes online as the Canadian Army Home Page, 1941: Hitler turns against Russia. Nazi Germany's fate is then sealed., 1917: German response to USA breaking diplomatic relations: "The struggle is for our existance. For us there can be no retreat.", 1840: Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, inventor, born
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1961: American Military Assistance Command formed in South Vietnam, 1943: Patrolling the Western Mediterranean, HMCS LOUISBURG is sunk by a torpedo from an Italian torpedo bomber with a loss of 42 of her crew., 1922: Washington Naval Treaty limits numbers and size of major warships
» 7 - Week 6
1915: Allied financial resources to be united
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1945: THE RHINELAND, effective dates for battle honour to begin (to 10 Mar 45), 1945: THE REICHSWALD, effective dates for battle honour to begin, 1945: Operation Veritable, Canadian and British troops launch offensive near Nijmegen to capture Reichwald area, 1943: The Italian Submarine Avorio is cornered and sunk by HMCS REGINA in the Mediterranean.
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1945: CLEVE, effective dates for battle honour to begin (to 11 Feb 45), 1916: German losses over past 18 months estimated at 2,700,000. Army in the field at 3,600,000
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1945: HMCS SPIKENARD torpedoed by U-136 while enroute to Northern Ireland, 1840: Upper and Lower Canada United, 1840: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert married, 1763: The Peace of Paris ceded to Canada and Britain
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1942: HMCS Spikenard sunk by U-136, 1942: Anti-conscription riots in Montreal
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1941: Rommel arrives in Tripoli, to be followed by Afrika Corps
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2006: Friedrich Engle part of the Nazi's SS who was convicted of murdering Italians dies at 97, 1945: RAF and USAAF bombers cause firestorm in Dresden, 1945: Budapest falls to the Red Army, 1942: Formation of first RM Cdo at Deal
» 14 - Week 7
1989: Iranian theocrat Ayatollah Khomeini issued a "fatwa" agains Salman Rushdie for the publication of "Satanic Verses." Khomeini urged Muslims worldwide to assassinate Rushdie as a matter of "religious duty" for critisizing the Koran. This day marks the beginning of a rift between Western democratic values of freedom of expression and Islamic religious tenets of absolute obedience to the Koran., 1945: Royal Marines received Freedom of Deal, 1942: Formation of first Royal Marine Commando at Deal, 1939: The Bismarck is launched, 1916: Remaining classes of single men called up in Britain
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1965: New Canadian flag introduced, 1942: The Japanese capture Singapore
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1973: Havana Cuba - Canada signs anti-hijacking agreement with Cuba; each country to prosecute hijackers in the other's country, or return them to the country where the hijacking took place., 1971: 1971 FUDDLE DUDDLE DAY Ottawa Ontario - Pierre Trudeau, under opposition attack in the Commons, utters an apparently unparliamentary expression that he later describes as 'fuddle-duddle., 1945: HMCS SAINT JOHN sinks U-309 off Scotland's Northern Coast, 1945: Again in Burma, Jemadar Prakash Singh commanded a platoon of 4/13th Frontier Rifles, defending against massive Japanese attacks. Prakash Singh was wounded in both legs, and his second-in-command took over the leadership of the unit. However, he wa, 1944: VC win by Maj Charles Ferguson Hoey, 1st Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment (British Army), Maungdaw, Burma (posthumous), 1944: Major Hoey led a company of the Lincolnshire Regiment in an attack on Japanese positions in the Arakan region of Burma. The company became pinned down by fire from a Japanese strong point, whereupon Hoey went forward alone, despite having already b, 1942: Petty Officer Thomas Gould was serving as Second Coxswain aboard the submarine HMS Thrasher during a patrol off Crete, 16 February 1942. Thrasher succeeded in sinking a merchantman in a convoy, but then came under very heavy attack from escorts and, 1942: Lieutenant Roberts and Petty Officer Gould, of the submarine HMS Thrasher, won the Victoria Cross for a remarkable act of bomb disposal, 1940: Halifax Nova Scotia - RCAF's No. 110 Army Cooperation Squadron sails for Britain; first of 48 squadrons to go overseas., 1917: On the Western Front, every officer in a company of the Royal Fusiliers fell casualty during an attack near Courcelette. Nevertheless, Lance-Sergeant Palmer ignored heavy fire at point-blank range to painstakingly cut a path through entanglements o, 1597: Paris France - Troilus de Mesgouez, Marquis de La Roche c1540-1606 gets grant from Henry IV for expedition to New France
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1944: Japanese naval base at Truk, Caroline Islands, destroyed by US carrier-borne aircraft, 1944: HMCS ALGONQUIN (Destroyer) is commissioned at Glasgow, Scotland., 1939: The Royal Canadian Air Force receives its first delivery of Hawker Hurricane fighters, intended to replace severely outdated aircraft of the time. this was just intime for the begining of the 2nd world war., 1937: The destroyers HMCS FRASER and HMCS ST LAURENT were commissioned at Chatham, England., 1917: Flt. Lt. Hugh Aird of Toronto takes part in a bombing mission against the Buk bridge in Macedonia. Aird drops three 100-pound bombs on the bridge, preventing its further use by the Turks., 1775: The Queen's Rangers finish clearing a path from York (Toronto) to Lake Simcoe, which is then named Younge Street. It has taken the troops the better part of a year to complete the new road, labouring through intense cold, hilly terrain, and dense h
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1945: Canadians attack German defenders in Moyland Wood. Using self-propelled flame-throwers ("Wasps"), they gain a foothold in the forest, but advance no further., 1944: HMC Ships ATHABASKAN, HAIDA & HURON join in Operation Neptune, the Naval Phase of Operation Overlord, 1915: German submarine blockade of Britain begins, 1900: Battle of Paardeburn begins, Boer war
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1945: US troops land on Iwo Jima after 72 day bombardment, 1945: GOCH-CALCAR ROAD, effective dates for battle honour begin (to 21 Feb 45), 1942: Japanese carrier raid on Darwin, Australia, 1915: British and French bombardment of the outer forts of the Dardanelles begun, 1690: A French-Indian force of some 200 men attack the English settlement at Schenectady, New York. The assault begins at 11p.m., taking the garrison and inhabitants by surprise. After burning the settlement and massacring most of the settlers, the raider
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1959: Prime Minister John Diefenbaker announces the cancellation of the Avro Arrow project, despite claims of the Arrow being the best modern interceptor in the world. At about the same time, at Avro's headquarters in Malton, Ontario, the company announce, 1953: St. Edward's Crown adopted for all epaulettes, badges and buttons., 1944: Ferry carrying heavy water destroyed by Norwegian resistance
» 21 - Week 8
1951: A nine-man patrol from Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry comes under fire in Korea. They are the first Canadian troops to be fired upon by the enemy in this United Nations "police action". No casualties are reported., 1945: German resistance in Moyland Wood collapses after a week of fighting. The next objective for 1st Canadian Army will be the defences in the forests of the Hochwald., 1919: PPCLI presented with Wreath of Laurel by Lady Patricia Ramsey at Bramshot Camp, England, 1916: The battle of Verdun begins, 1796: John Graves Simcoe proposed the "military street'' as a strategic route to help protect Upper Canada from American invasion. We know it as the longest street in the world, Toronto's Yonge Street, whose completion was announced today in history
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1945: HMCS Trentonian sunk by U-1004, 1943: HMCS Weyburn sunk by U-118, 1942: Harris appointed Commander in Chief, RAF Bomber Command, 1917: British troops succeeded in capturing a number of Turkish trenches at Sanna-i-Yat in Mesopotamia. The Turks launched a vigorous counter-attack, and managed to retake part of the position. However, Sergeant Steele of the Seaforth Highlanders, assisted by another soldier, managed to position a machine-gun in an advantageous spot. Steele then manned the gun and for several hours was able to frustrate Turkish attempts to exploit their success. When finally another Turkish attack did break through, Steele managed to rally the British troops, and led them in a successful counter-attack of their own, during which he suffered a severe wound. His gallantry and leadership was recognised by the award of the Victoria Cross., 1881: Private Osborne of the Northamptonshire Regiment, won the Victoria Cross during an action in the First Boer War, when he rescued a wounded man under very heavy fire., 1813: Battle of Ogdensburg, 1797: The last invasion of Britain; the French at Fishguard
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1951: Canadian troops with 27th British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade make first contact with enemy., 1945: Iwo Jima Japan - US Marines take Japanese island of Iwo Jima 1200 km south of Tokyo after severe fighting; a bronze statue in Arlington Cemetery showing troops raising the flag on the summit of the island is based on a famous photo., 1945: Captain Swales, South African Air Force, serving with 582 Squadron RAF, was appointed the Master Bomber to lead a raid on Pforzheim. As he circled the target, controlling the bombing runs, his Lancaster was twice attacked by German fighters. Swales chose not to take evasive action, since this would have interfered with his control of the raid. Two of the Lancaster's engines were knocked out, as well as the rear turret. Swales nevertheless continued to direct the bombing with great accuracy, and only turned for home once the raid was complete. On the way back, the badly damaged aircraft hit turbulent cloud over Belgium, and became uncontrollable. Swales ordered his crew to bail out, whilst he struggled to hold the aircraft steady. They all parachuted safely, but Swales had no opportunity to escape before the Lancaster crashed. He was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross, Bomber Command's last such decoration., 1942: Ellwood California - Japanese submarine fires on California oil refinery., 1933: Japanese occupy China North of the Great Wall, 1917: As British forces once more advanced up the Tigris towards Kut in Mesopotamia, Major Wheeler led a small party of nine Gurkhas across the river and stormed an enemy position. The Turks reacted swiftly to this incursion, and dispatched a force well armed with grenades to retake the trench. The Gurkhas met them with a bayonet charge, during which Wheeler received a severe bayonet wound to the head. Nevertheless, he remained in command and consolidated his defences, having established through his initiative a valuable bridge-head on the enemy bank. He was awarded the Victoria Cross., 1909: J. A. D. McCurdy flies the Bell designed Silver Dart at an altitude of about 10 metres for nearly one kilometre across Baddeck Bay; first airplane flight in Canada by a Canadian; first powered flight in British Empire., 1900: During the Boer War, a British colonel fell wounded in the open. Boer snipers kept his body under close watch, and drove back any attempts to reach him. The colonel himself sustained a further eight wounds. Private Curtis of the East Surrey Regiment nevertheless was determined to rescue him. After several aborted attempts, Curtis managed to reach the colonel, and proceeded to dress his wounds, all the time under constant fire. The colonel insisted that he be left, since the risks of carrying him were so high. Curtis ignored him, and managed to carry him back to the British lines, helped by another man who succeeded in coming to his aid. Curtis was awarded the Victoria Cross., 1858: At Sultanpore in India, Lieutenant Innes of the Bengal Engineers rode ahead of the advancing British troops to drive the enemy away from an artillery piece. He then charged a second gun, which was being more resolutely manned and was well placed to maul the advancing troops. Innes killed a gunner and captured the gun, which he then defended until reinforcements arrived. He received the Victoria Cross, as did Major Gough, decorated for a series of actions over the previous months, culminating in a skirmish on 23 February when he saved the life of a fellow officer., 1852: Capetown South Africa - British troopship HMS Birkenhead sinks off South Africa, killing 420., 1836: Texas - General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna with several thousand Mexican troops starts siege of Alamo mission held by 145 Texans under Colonel Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett; siege ends March 6 with all the Texans killed., 1815: Sir George Prevost, commanding British forces in Canada, submits a progress report to the British government on the Lachine Canal project.
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1991: Iraq - Saddam Hussein refuses Allied ultimatum to leave Kuwait; US and Allies begin ground war assault on Iraqi troops, 1991: Canada's "Desert Cats" fighter squadron, stationed in Qatar, makes its first ground attack sorties against Iraqi targets, 1965: Operation Rolling Thunder, sustained American bombing of North Vietnam, begins, 1944: HMCS WASKESIU picks upa Submarine in the early morning. After 2 hours of depth charging, the contact was lost. At 0530, she regains the contact and blankets the U-Boat with everything from 4" HE shells to 20 mm Oerlikon and Bren Gun Fire. As the da, 1944: Bomber Command attacked Schweinfurt, the main German industrial centre for ball-bearing production, perceived as a bottle-neck industry which could seriously affect armaments production. 734 aircraft took part, following a USAAF raid the previous day. The RAF tried a new tactic, dispatching the force in two waves separated by two hours, in the hope that the Germans would exhaust their night-fighters against the first wave, leaving a clear run for the second. This apparently worked, since of the 33 aircraft lost, only four from the second wave were thought to have fallen to fighter attack. The bombing, however, proved relatively ineffective, with many aircraft dropping short., 1940: Germans revise plan for attack to West to include panzer assault through Ardennes, 1917: Washington DC - German plan to get Mexican help in WW I exposed by US Naval intelligence; Zimmerman telegram, 1915: Armentières France - Canadian Corps takes over 6.5 km section of trench line near Armentières., 1901: Corporal Clements of Rimington's Guides suffered a bullet in the lungs during a skirmish with Boers. Lying alone, the Boers called on him to surrender, but he instead chose to fight on, and killed three of his opponents at close range. The others promptly chose to surrender to him instead. Clements survived his wound and received the Victoria Cross., 1900: In South Africa, Sergeant Firth of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment twice braved enemy fire to rescue wounded men. He was badly wounded in the face on the second occasion. Elsewhere, near Colenso, Lieutenant Inkson of the Royal Army Medical Corps also rescued a wounded man, carrying a maimed fellow officer to safety for some 400 yards through heavy fire. Inkson and Firth each received the Victoria Cross., 1838: Battle of Fighting Island. A force of 2,000 Canadian Militia and British regulars cross the frozen Detroit River in order to dislodge 150 ill-equipped republicans of William Lyon Mackenie's "Patriot Army of the North-West". After a brief exchange of fire, the rebels flee over the ice to the American side of the border., 1303: Battle of Roslin Glen, Scottish victory in the bloodiest battle ever fought in Scotland.
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1991: During the Persian Gulf War, an Iraqi Scud missile hit a U.S. barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 28 Americans., 1945: Following fierce fighting in Holland, a platoon of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada had been reduced to just one sergeant and four men during a series of German night counter-attacks. Sergeant Cosens positioned the four riflemen to give him covering fire, then ran to a supporting tank. Standing fully exposed on the tank, he directed its fire to good effect, breaking up another attack. He than asked the tank to bulldoze a way into a German-occupied farm. Cosens went into the farm alone and killed or captured all its defenders. He then succeeded in clearing another two buildings on his own, and was killed by a sniper., 1944: Bomber Command mounted a devastating attack on Augsburg, the first occasion it had attacked that city in strength. Good weather and poor anti-aircraft defence contributed to a very concentrated attack by 594 aircraft carrying more than 2,000 tons of bombs. The raid proved somewhat controversial, given the level of destruction in the old city centre. Some 700 Germans were killed, but perhaps 90,000 rendered homeless. An important aircraft component factory was successfully damaged, as well as factories associated with the MAN engineering works, which produced U-boat engines., 1941: British troops occupied the capital Mogadishu, as Italian resistance in Somaliland collapsed., 1917: During fighting along the banks of the Tigris in Mesopotamia, troops from the South Lancashire Regiment (British Army) repeatedly attempted to advance along a gully, but suffered heavy casualties each time from a Turkish machine-gun.  Private Readitt took part in each of five attacks, and on each occasion was the only survivor.  However, the attacks slowly forced the Turks to give ground.  When the officer commanding the operation was killed, Readitt when forward once more, alone and on his own initiative.  He advanced right up to the Turkish position, and although he was unable to remain there for long, he inflicted damage with grenades.  He slowly retired, and located a good defensive position a short distance away, which he proceeded to hold on his own.  Eventually, other soldiers managed to advance and join him, and consolidate the position.  Readitt was awarded the Victoria Cross., 1870: 2nd Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (North Shore): Spem Reduxit (Hope restored), 1867: A.G.L. 'Andy' McNaughton 1867-1966, 1838: Amherstburg Ontario - Canadian militia routs American republican sympathizers on Fighting Island, in the Detroit River, 1787: 1st Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (Carleton and York), specific date of origin not known
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1971: Ottawa Ontario - Ottawa starts program to raise Francophone numbers in the Canadian Armed Forces to at least 28%., 1945: VC won by Sgt Aubrey Cosens, The Queens Own Rifles of Canada, Mooshof, Germany (posthumous), 1945: THE HOCHWALD, efective dates for battle honour begin (to 4 Mar 45), 1942: Although the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen had succeeded in escaping from Brest to Germany in the Channel Dash, they remained priority targets. Gneisenau was spotted by reconnaissance aircraft in drydock in Kiel, undergoing repairs to the damage inflicted by a mine during the dash. 49 Bomber Command Wellington, Hampden and Halifax aircraft attacked, and a direct hit was scored on the battlecruiser, in the bows, killing 116 crew and causing such severe damage that she never returned to service. Three bombers failed to return., 1916: During the continuing efforts of the Franco-British naval force at the Dardanelles to destroy the Turkish coastal defences, a small party of seamen was landed under the command of Lieutenant Commander Robinson, to demolish a battery at Kum Kale. They were met with heavy fire, and Robinson feared that the men's white uniforms made them too easy a target. He therefore ordered them to remain under cover, and went forward alone. Despite the enemy fire, he succeeded in reaching a gun whose crew had fled, and laid a demolition charge. That gun destroyed, he returned to his men, collected a further supply of explosives, and returned alone to destroy a second position. He subsequently played a leading role in four operations to clear minefields in the straits, and was awarded the Victoria Cross., 1903: The Kano-Sokoto expedition was mounted to extend British rule thoughout the northern territories of Nigeria, and in particular to suppress the slave trade. On 26 February, a small party of 45 locally recruited soldiers from the Northern Nigerian Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Wright, were attacked by no less than 3,000 tribesmen, including 1,000 cavalry. For two hours, the soldiers beat back repeated attacks, until eventually the tribesmen started to withdraw in good order. Lieutenant Wright then led his men forward in a charge, and succeeded in turning the withdrawal into a rout. He was awarded the Victoria Cross., 1852: The troopship HMS Birkenhead was en route to Cape Town when it hit an uncharted rock during the night, about 3 miles off the South African shore, near Danger Point. The ship is believed to have had 638 passengers and crew aboard including 476 soldiers from a number of different regiments of the British Army, on their way to reinforce the garrison in the Cape Colony, but also 7 women and 13 children. The rock tore open the hull, and about 100 soldiers asleep below were drowned drowned immediately. Everyone else mustered on deck, where it was clear the ship was sinking quickly. Only three lifeboats could be used; all the women and children were placed in these, with a few crew to man them.  The senior army officer aboard, Lieutenant Colonel Seton of the 74th Foot, drew the soldiers up on parade on the deck, and emphasised the need for absolute discipline if the lifeboats were not to be swamped.  Some cavalry horses aboard were freed and driven into the sea in the hope that they might be able to swim themselves ashore.  The soldiers stood firm, even as a mast crashed down around them and the ship split in two.  She sank in less than 25 minutes.  Only 193 people survived the ordeal - although the weather was excellent, sharks claimed many of the men in the water, as well as most of the horses.  The tradition of "Women and children first" is popularly ascribed to have its roots in this incident.
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1951: Canada posts army officer to staff of Supreme Allied Commander; first step in providing Canadian ground troops in Europe for NATO, 1943: British commandos raid heavy-water plant in Norway, 1942: Start of the Battle of the Java Sea; 13 US warships sunk, 2 Japanese., 1942: OPERATION BITING - BRUNEVAL - No. 12 Commando, 1900: Surrender of Cronje at Paardeburg, 1900: Nineteen years later, during the Boer War, troops from the West Yorkshire Regiment attacked up the northern slope of Terrace Hill, near Tugela in Natal. Their advance was met with a barrage of fire, and faltered. Captain Mansel-Jones braved the enemy fire to remuster his men, and, despite suffering a very serious wound, led them once more up the hill in a charge which took the Boer position. He received the Victoria Cross., 1881: During an action with Boers, Lance Corporal Farmer, a medical orderly, stood exposed to enemy fire, holding a white flag over a group of wounded men, in an effort to spare them further attack. The Boers kept up their fire, and Farmer was badly wounded in the arm holding in the flag. However, he rose again to his feet, and continued to hold high the flag with his other arm, until he was shot in that limb as well. His efforts to protect the men, at great personal risk, was recognised with the award of the Victoria Cross., 1814: Whilst British troops under Lieutenant-General Hope beseiged Bayonne, Wellington led his main force against the main French field forces in the south of France, commanded by Marshal Soult. Wellington launched his attack with 44,000 men against Soult's 36,000 men drawn up on a ridgeline at Orthes. Sir Rowland Hill led the right wing in a diversionary attack, whilst Sir William Beresford and Sir Thomas Picton led the main assaults on the left and in the centre. After initial successes, both Beresford and Picton's attacks stalled, but Wellington spotted an opening in the disjointed French lines, and himself led three battalions to exploit the weakness. The French defeat was completed by Hill, who had managed to get behind Soult and force him to run for a bridge before his escape route was totally cut. Wellington's victory secured the British presence on French soil, and opened up routes to Bordeaux, which promptly surrendered, and Toulouse.
» 28 - Week 9
1991: US and allied forces cease fire at 8 am Kuwait time, after 42 days of the Gulf War; Iraq tells its army to stop fighting., 1944: German counter-attack against Anzio beachhead, 1943: Nine Norwegian commandos sabotage German heavy water installations near Ryukan; part of German A-Bomb research, 1942: Japanese Navy sinks two more Allied ships on the second day of the Battle of Java Sea; Japanese land on the island of Java, the last Allied bastion in the Dutch East Indies., 1933: Emergency decree suspends civil liberties in Germany, 1915: Troops from Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry engage in one of the war's first trench raids. One hundred of the Patricias set out in the hours before dawn to capture and destroy a German sap trench. They suffer 20 casualties for this effort, but the enemy trench is destroyed. As the war progresses the Canadians will become particularly adept at the trench raid., 1900: Relief of Ladysmith, 1847: US defeats Mexico in battle of Sacramento., 1838: Robert Nelson 1794-1873 raids Lower Canada from Vermont with Cyrille Côté proclaims republic; stopped by militia., 1712: Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm-Grozon (de Saint-Véran) 1712-1759, 1704: Indians from Canada attack Deerfield, killing 40, and kidnapping 100., 1579: Francis Drake, on his extended raiding circumnavigation of the world in the Golden Hind, captured the Spanish Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion off the Ecuadorian coast, carrying 26 tons of silver., 1337: Sir Andrew Murray, the Guardian of Scotland, took advantage of Edward III's distraction by the French threat to his Gascon possessions, and spent the month of February eliminating English garrisons in northern Scotland. The last day of the month saw St Andrews fall after a three-week siege, which had seen its walls assailed by "Buster", a formidable siege engine.
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