Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Battle of the Atlantic 1940

By the year 1940 Germany was already causing quite a bit of havoc in the Atlantic ocean sinking any merchant ship that would be sailing towards England. Europe being under the control of the Nazis on the Western front and Russia struggling on the Eastern front it seemed as though Germany was about to have total dominance over Europe. Every ship that was sunk by the Kriegsmarine was calculated by tons. Thousands of Allied merchant ships and hundreds of battleships and destroyers of the Allied navy were sunk in the Atlantic ocean between 1940 and 1944 when Germany had control of the North and south Atlantic ocean and the Atlantic floor (with their formidable Uboats). These were terrible times to be a sailor. You would never know if you would make the journey across the Atlantic. Otto Kretschmer (U505) would surely be the most successful Uboat commandant having sunk during the battle of the Atlantic at least 266,000 tons. This would be about 40 to 45 ships sunk! Most of the battles of the year 1940 were fought in the North Atlantic. Italy entered the war in June of 1940 and was part of the European Axis being Allies with Germany so began the battle for the Mediterranean sea. The problem for England was immense! We need to be re-supplied and re-arm and be feed our friends and allies but our ships are being sunk in the Atlantic. Canada was re-supplying England and 1941 saw the United States entering the war because of the attack on Pearl Harbour. The United States were helping their Ally England in early 1941. The United States would lend Destroyers and cruisers on the basis of the Lend-lease act of 1941 and England was being supplied military ships which included destroyers and battle cruisers. England would lend-lease bases to the Americans in the Isles of the Bahamas and Jamaica. Basically England was broke because of the damage being done to their country so it lend basis to the United States during the war for any military assistance it can get! The battle was far from over and seemed as though everything was lost! Like the Battle of Britain in the air it seemed as though England would not be able to win the Battle on the sea. If the Isle of Britain is lost, we loose our diving board to Europe. Remember if we loose England how can we fight the Battle in France and else were in Europe.

The Kriegsmarine had a system of navigating underwater called a Wolfpack which was absolutely terrifying for Allied sailors. A wolfpack consisted of a group of Uboats. There was the leader and the group of Uboats who would follow from behind as a second row behind the leader you would have two Uboats and then the third row three Uboats side by side and so on! If one Uboat missed a ship with a torpedo the other one behind would most likely hit the target sinking the Allied ship in the cold Atlantic waters. Wolfpacks were usually done when more than one merchant ship would be sailing towards England. The war is not lost because the RCAF and the RAF are patrolling the North Atlantic sinking Uboats when they can, they were called the Coastal Command. The coastal command aircraft were based in Newfoundland and Nova's Scotia and in England and Scotland. Slowly but surely we are helping to turn the tide of war in 1940-1941. With the courage of the Coastal Command flying above the ocean for hours and enduring the elements they were able to help our sailors stay afloat and reach England but the course of the war was far from over in the Atlantic. When seeing the Allied Bombers in mid Atlantic and the Allied fighters when nearing the English coast flying above the sailors merchant ships made them feel very well secure and was indeed a very welcomed site knowing that their friends were there indeed to serve and to protect them on their perilous mission to help save England!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Why i love The Hawker Hurricane

Why i love The Hawker Hurricane

My love for this beautiful airplane started a long time ago! This is truly a beautiful airplane with a Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered engine armed with canons and rockets. This aircraft was a valuable aircraft in Europe, Africa and the far East. The Hawker Hurricanes were manufactured in both Great Britain and Canada in World War 2. Bagotville, Quebec was an Operational training unit during World War 2 for pilots of the Commonwealth Air Forces. I am proud to mention Bagotville because Bagotville is a city in the Province of Quebec in which i live in. This air base greeted many fliers from all over the Commonwealth. A truly remarkable aircraft the Hawker Hurricane was a great and valuable fighter to pilots of the Commonwealth during the Battle of Britain. Historically historians can say that the the Hawker Hurricane was a formidable aircraft against the Luftwaffe in August of 1939 and contributed to the victory of the Battle of Britain. This was only the first step, we saved England but now we must save Europe and the free world. I should also mention that the Luftwaffe having the Messerschmidt BF-109 fighter, the Stuka diver bomber and an amazing fleet of bombers that were also another formidable plan of attack but due to the determination of the Commonwealth pilots who were simply outnumbered by the Luftwaffe they were able to defeat the Luftwaffe in a stroke of luck and determination. I would highly recommended that you see the movie The Battle of Britain which it is a very accurate detail of how the war was fought and won but could also have been very easily lost and this would have changed the course of history. Many young people today do not realise this due to there lack of historical knowledge and then how close we came to loosing the Island of Britain and then the course of the war would have been totally different. With the constant bombardment of the Luftwaffe upon London and different British cities and military installations, the British with their stiff upper lips were able to hold a strong morale and push the enemy across the English channel back to France. Again luck was achieved on a wing and a prayer! This was only October 1940 and the war was far from over but the British, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, The Poles and the South Africans were able to say what a good show they did. Indeed you did do a very good show lads! Thank you from ourselves and our future generations because thanks to you we are living our freedom!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

WW2 hero pilot statue unveiled

I wanted to share this great article with the world today! A nice article about a New Zelander who in 1941 gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. I think this is a very nice way to show him my respect by posting this article on my blog. Another true World War 2 hero. The statue of Carlisle Everiss who was a pilot officer 41318 with the Royal New Zealand Air Force was unveiled today in the village of Cowie, Scotland on May 20, 2007. Thank you Carlisle.

WWII hero pilot statue unveiled

The memorial was erected after locals raised £12,000.A statue honouring a heroic World War II pilot who was killed in action has been unveiled in the Stirlingshire village where he died.
New Zealander Carlisle Everiss lost control of his Spitfire over Cowie in 1941 but managed to steer it towards a local wood before crashing.
The 26-year-old was pulled from the wreckage by three local residents but died after being given the last rites.
Residents in Cowie have raised £12,000 to erect a bronze bust of the pilot.
Local councillor Gerard O'Brien said: "What is being done in Cowie will echo for generations to come.
"This pilot gave his life for the village. If it were not for him, the village would have been destroyed and a lot of people would have died.
"Once in a generation a guy like this comes along. We should not forget what he did and the statue is a way of saying thank you."

Carlisle Everiss died when his Spitfire crashed near Cowie
Cllr O'Brien said he hoped the pilot would also be awarded the New Zealand award for gallantry.
Mr Everiss, who was one of a number of foreign pilots stationed at Grangemouth during the war, died after his plane crashed into railway sidings at the Cowie Colliery on 2 October 1941.
He was buried at Grandsable Cemetery near Polmont.
A plaque was put up in memory of the hero in the 1970s after local resident John Craig went to New Zealand to trace Mr Everiss' family.
A war memorial and miners' memorial were established in the village recently and prompted local businesses, the community council and local residents to raise money for a memorial to Mr Everiss.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A little about myself and why i love history!

Why do i love history?

Why do i love the past, i kind of wonder. Ever since i was a little boy i always wondered about the past. Not that i don't like the present, sure i do! I love my life, i love everything around me. How was it back then though? Have you ever wondered what life was in the 1930's, 40's, 50's 60's. I do remember the 1960's as a little boy. Probably things weren't that much different than they are today. A father had to work hard for his living and the well being of his family. The mother would be home taking care of her children and loving them. I still believe though that things were quite different than they are today! Although there were no computers and cell phones and all that modern technology people were i think generally still quite happy. Imagine myself now being in my late 40's and writing about the past. The past is like a different world now i guess to me and probably to you also? I am indeed nostalgic about the past. Canada went to war in 1914 fighting in World war 1 as it raged on in Europe and World War 2 in 1939 against Nazisms and the thread of Japanese attacks on our homeland. What did we fight for? We fought for our freedom of speech, rights to vote and have the best of lives all together in this great country of ours and the free world.

I find what we lack the most in the years we are living in now are family values. Good quality life as a family unit. Where have they gone? Why have they gone? I like to think of myself as a man trying his best for his family, his community, his country and God. But what about the family life i see around us. Were has the family life gone. Why do we need to rush so much after time and money! Is time lacking in your life? If it is slow down and take a look around you! Life is short. Say i love you to that special person. To your parents, your spouse, your family and your friends even your pets. To life itself!

What about spiritually? Were has it gone? It is down the drain??? It is so sad to see the state of the planet. There is indeed a global warming changing the world right now, we can tell just by the weather extremes we are living across the globe. There is also a global change. The change is out of the family, the change is out of spirituality and out of respect and values. This is my opinion and this is why i love the past. I miss the values! I really do! If we are to fight as our fathers and grandfathers did, we should fight for our rights of freedom and also for our rights of values and spirituality which is so important to us! If we have the rights for our freedom but no values in our lives and in our families and communities and in our individual spirituality i think that somewhere along in our lives we are missing the most important point of what our veterans fought for and what they fought and died for in the past conflicts were the Values for the future and this is what we lack the most of today unfortunately!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Training on a Harvard if you want to become a pilot

RCAF Flag of ww2


Before going off to war in Europe in 1939 or Asia in 1941 you needed to know how to fly an airplane if you wanted to become a pilot. This naturally was only normal for any 18 or 19 year old kid who wanted to join the RCAF. Flying an airplane for any aviation enthusiast is the greatest thrill ever. From the roar of the engine and the smell of engine fuel it is very exiting indeed. Because of the great Harvard trainer thousands of young men became pilots of bombers and fighters. Men from all over the British Commonwealth came to Canada to train under the British Commonwealth Training plan. Pilots from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, England came to Canada to train as pilots. Also came to Canada air crews such as Navigators, Radio operators, Engineers and gunners. American citizens also joined the RCAF before 1941 to fight against the Axis and were know as the Eagle Squadron and when the USA entered the War in 1941 these airmen were transferred to the United States Army Air Corps. You want to fly young man, learn to fly on the Harvard. Please see on my blog the trailer of this great training documentary of Harvard's and their students from the World War two movie starring James Cagney in Captain of the clouds. See training aircraft's such as the De Havilland Moth and the Hawker Hurricane and the Boulton Paul defiant. There are in all four videos of the training and of the airplanes. All you have to do is click on either one of them to view it. Between 1939 and 1945 over 50,000 allied airmen died for our freedom. See what kind of training these men went through. You indeed had to be very courageous and very strong to live through these tough times. You lived your life on a wing and a prayer. There were no room for mistakes. Watch your take offs, your turns your altimeter and your speed son then you will become a good pilot!

Beginnings of the Royal Canadian Air Force

The Royal Canadian Air Force was founded in 1924. The life of the RCAF is short and brief but was quite an accomplishment. In 1924 the RCAF is created and disbanded in 1968 to become the Canadian Armed Forces. The Air Force, Navy and Army are all combined as one unit. I am very proud of our armed forces and what they have accomplished as Peacekeepers and of what they are doing today in Afghanistan and around the world to promote world peace and stability! The RCAF as a unit was only 44 years old! Quite young indeed!

England being drawn into conflict with Nazi Germany Canada and other Countries of the British Commonwealth had no choice but to help another country that is under the British Crown. Canada declares war to Germany on September 3rd, 1939. With mostly planes left over from the late 1920's and 1930's Canada was very modest in it's air capabilities and had to reorganize to be able to combat the Axis in Europe. Canada being what it is organised itself quickly and was able to produce airplanes on a large scale that would have not been seen thus far in it's industrial era becoming the Fourth largest air force of the Allied Air Power.

Due to the great depression of the 1930's many people were simply out of work with no food to feed their families and many men had simply no place to go. How terrible when you are proud and young and would like to have a job to earn an honest living. I remember very well my mother telling me as a young girl in the 1930's living on a farm in St Jean Port Joli, Quebec many men would be riding on trains and even on their roof tops looking for food and work. These men would come from Montreal, Quebec City even from Ontario looking for a better life but there was not much to go on! Times were tough! In Germany Adolf Hitler was creating a War machine against the free world that their domination would fix the problems that had encounter in the 1920's and 1930's and that was a lack of work and prosperity. Hitler was a very dangerous man with many dangerous followers. Basically the world was in economical depression and so was the United States of America. This until Pearl Harbour dragged the USA into the second world war against Japan and Germany.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My tribute to the Royal Canadian Air Force 1939-1945

Per Ardua Ad Astra (Through adversity to the stars)

I would like to dedicate this blog to all our World War 1 and World war 2 veterans and also of Korea who have served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. (Please note that i have the uppermost respect for today's flyers of the Canadian Armed forces but this blog is being done on historical World War 2 basis!)

This is my way of showing them all the respect i have for our World War 2 flyboy's to them and for what they have done for our freedom.
(Please note that i also admire and respect our soldiers and sailors) I have always had a soft spot on my heart for the RCAF and the reason being for this is that i always loved aviation. There is nothing more beautiful than watching an airplane flying above in the sky! Our World War 2 airmen had the right stuff and still do! Through time i will list the achievements and sacrefice that our pilot's and air crew's have done on such famous airplanes as the Spitfire, Hawker Hurricanes the Wellington bomber and the Halifax of the RCAF.
Please return to my Blog shortly because i shall continue our travel through time and show our airmen all the respect they deserve. Please stay tuned for more! Thank you.