Front Lines is a weekly podcast produced by Legion Magazine, Canada’s leading military history publication. Join writer Stephen J. Thorne each week for fascinating stories and compelling commentary on Canada’s rich military past and present.
The Sinking of U-94
The sinking of U-94 by an American aircraft and HMCS Oakville off Cuba on the night of Aug. 27-28, 1942, brought to a dramatic end the submarine’s relatively long and eventful service in the Kriegsmarine.
Commissioned in August 1940, U-94 had sunk 26 Allied ships in two years, totalling 141,852 gross register tons, under the successive command of two Knight’s Cross recipients, Kapitänleutnant Herbert Kuppisch and Oberleutnant zur See Otto Ites.
Afghanistan veteran recounts brutal battle
The last thing Corporal Sean Teal said to Warrant Officer Rick Nolan was: “Do you want a Life Saver?”
Before Nolan could reply, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) fired by a Taliban fighter struck the windshield of their G-Wagon and killed him. Teal, driving in the seat right next to him, was concussed but functional.
“All of a sudden, wham, there was this huge flash and I was smashed back in my seat,” Teal recalled in an interview with Legion Magazine. “Everything just went black. All you could smell was burning plastic and burning hair and it was like there was no air...
Diver discovers suspected wreckage of Halifax Explosion
Tufts Cove is a shallow, innocuous little inlet nestled at the back end of Halifax Harbour on the Dartmouth side between a power station and the abandoned military neighbourhood of Shannon Park.
Because of its proximity to the 56-year-old generating plant and what was once housing for Cold War-era sailors and their families, the cove is fenced off, blocking access to both the water and land. No one ever goes there, anyway; they have no reason to..
The graveyard of empires
The graveyard of empires appears to have claimed another victim. But why couldn’t a high-powered coalition that included the United States, United Kingdom and Canada defeat a radically fundamentalist group of murderous zealots?
Many said from the beginning that the post-9/11 invaders of Afghanistan were doomed to follow the Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, Britons (three times) and Soviets—none of whom managed a permanent presence or far-reaching impact in the parched and willfully independent land of deserts, mountains and open plains...
Bleeding us dry
Osama bin Laden had more in mind than inflicting incidental death and mayhem when he dispatched 19 al-Qaida terrorists to strike at the heart of American economic and military might two decades ago.
With hatred rooted in real and perceived abuse and exploitation, he aimed to lure the West, specifically the United States, into a protracted and costly war of attrition on home soil, where devout jihadists would be motivated and readily available...
Games of war
It’s snowing as I write this—heavily. They tell us to expect 40 centimetres in Ottawa. It’s one of those storms that I remember as a kid, before the responsibility of shoveling—or much responsibility at all—was foisted upon me.
In those days, winter storms were somehow always big and what excited me most then, and what I remember with great fondness and no small amount of awe now, is that they meant a new round of war play—new forts, tunnels, trenches, bunkers, and epic snowball fights....