Newsletter on line. This newsletter, and previous editions, are available on the RUSI Vancouver website at: http://www.rusivancouver.ca/newsletter.html
The 15 Field Officers Mess holds weekly lunches, serving a 5 course, ‘homemade’ meal for only $15- you won’t find a better meal - or a better deal, anywhere. If you are in the area on a Wednesday, drop in and join us for lunch.
Note: A contractor will be coming in to remove asbestos tiles from the bar area. This may mean that lunches might be cancelled for one Wednesday. We don’t have an exact date for the start of this project yet, so watch for notices from us.
2015 St Barbara’s Dinner
The Mess is preparing for the 2015 St Barbara’s Day dinner which will be held on Saturday, December 5th. See invitation at the end of this Newsletter.
World War 2 - 1940
John Thompson Strategic analyst quotes from his book “Spirit Over Steel”
July 29th: Another RN destroyer is sunk in the Channel as the Luftwaffe continues to come after any warships in daylight – although they lose 58 aircraft to 18 RAF losses in doing so. Adolf Galland receives the Knights Cross and becomes one of Herman Goering’s favored cadre of bright young fighter pilots – Galland will eventually have the Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds appended to his Iron Cross, be named ‘General of Fighters’ and have 104 kills. Blunt and outspoken, his relationship with Goering will get increasingly sour. He survives the war and forms fast friendships later with many erstwhile enemies.
July 31st: The British find that their fighter production is 50% above target figures and 1,200 have been made since the 1st of May; now if they can only overcome the shortage of trained pilots…
August 1940: The Battle of Britain Begins “Only the spirit of attack borne in a brave heart will bring success to any fighter aircraft, no matter how highly developed it may be.” - General Adolf Galland, Luftwaffe fighter ace.
General: The British change their codes, setting back German signals intelligence efforts: New bases for U-boats and the deployment of Condor reconnaissance aircraft in France will result in the sinking of 397,200 tons of shipping.
Aug 1st: Hitler issues Directive 17 on the Invasion of Britain, calling for a decision to be made for the attack on September 15th.
Aug 2nd: Aircraft from HMS Ark Royal hit an Italian airbase at Sardinia. Lord Beaverbrook is promoted into the British Cabinet as Minister for Aircraft Production. The Soviets arrest 43,890 “Anti-Soviet Elements” in Moldavia and their new parts of the Ukraine.
Aug 3rd: The Italians invade British Somaliland: The regional balance of forces in East Africa consists of 350,000 troops (of whom 105,000 are Italians) vs. 25,000 British troops – most of whom are African soldiers. Jan Zwartendijk, the Dutch Consul in Lithuania, is repatriated by Soviet authorities. However, in the last couple of weeks, he has pushed the limits of his powers to write up 2,400 de facto visas to the Dutch West Indies for Jewish refugees seeking to escape Europe. He has been aided by his Japanese colleague Consul Chinue Sugihara, who has issued transit visas (and will later write thousands more). Both men are later named Righteous Among the Nations.
Aug 4th: The British complete a supply convoy to Malta and pull Force H (their roving independent Mediterranean naval task force) back to Gibraltar.
CF Reservist Earns Top Honour at Bisley
David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen July 31, 2015
Sergeant Tatyana Danylyshyn, from The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s), in Victoria, BC, earned the top shot honour at the annual Bisley shooting competition held in Bisley, United Kingdom, from June 21 to July 1. Sgt Danylyshyn competed in two of the three weapons categories: service rifle and service pistol. Her top shot placing was in the service rifle category of the Army Reserve Operational Shooting Concentration. This was her third time competing in the Bisley shooting competition held at the Primary Training Centre Pirbright in Bisley. She placed second in both her previous appearances. Sgt Danylyshyn was one of 20 Canadian Armed Forces members, 10 Regular Force and 10 Reserve Force, who participated in the competition. Sgt Tatyana Danylyshyn joined the Reserve Force in 2002 as an Infantry soldier. This event was her third international competition this year. She will also represent 3rd Canadian Division at the Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration (CAFSAC) at the Connaught Ranges in Ottawa this September.
The Canadians competed against more than 700 military shooters from around the world. The Canadian contingent was extremely successful, placing in the top three of nearly all matches entered. The Canadian Armed Forces Combat Shooting Team to Bisley is selected from the winning scores at the CAFSAC held the previous year at the Connaught Ranges in Ottawa.
Big Bangs Over the White Cliffs of Dover
Restored First World War anti-aircraft gun, rushed into service in 1915 to counter new threat of aerial bombing from Zeppelins, to be heard again at Dover Castle. Maey Kennedy 31 Jul 2015
A booming noise that was once painfully familiar will be heard again this weekend from high on the white cliffs of Dover: the sound of a British 3-inch First World War anti-aircraft gun, now one of only six surviving in the world and the only one restored to firing condition. The gun has been installed on a reconstructed timber platform just below the officer’s mess at Dover Castle and will be fired again by volunteer gun crews this weekend. It has been sited beside a battery first built in the 19th century, and repeatedly upgraded as a fire command post right to the end of the Second World War because of its panoramic view over the harbour and the Channel.
In late 1914, the spotters keeping 24-hour watch – the command post was equipped with bunk beds, and originally had gas lamps and a cooking stove – would have gazed out through the long narrow windows, and seen the nature of war change forever. Production of the gun was rushed when it was realised that the war would see a terrifying new threat, against which Britain had virtually no defences: bombs falling from the air from planes and Zeppelins easily crossing the 21-mile stretch of the Channel from the continent – the airships had a top speed of more than 80mph, and could carry up to two tons of bombs. Dover was their first target. A blue plaque in the town far below records the site of the first aerial bomb attack on the UK. The bomb was dropped by a seaplane on 21 December 1914, and although nobody was killed, a gardener cutting evergreen branches for Christmas decorations was blown out of his tree. A map on display in the new exhibition in the command post shows the town splattered with scores of red dots, each marking a bomb that fell over the years that followed
By 1915, the first anti-aircraft guns were installed, eventually ringing the town, with a searchlight mounted on the great medieval tower of the castle. They proved their worth on 9 August 1915, when an identical gun to the newly installed one hit a Zeppelin in the night sky, which managed to limp back to the Belgian coast and land in the sea. Paul Pattison, an English Heritage historian, regards the 3-inch anti-aircraft gun, designed so that its cruciform platform could fold up and have wheels attached for towing, as an admirably simple and effective design, which with modifications remained in service well into the Second World War. It was finally declared obsolete in 1946, but even then many were sold around the world. “It’s a very good bit of kit. There’s absolutely nothing surplus or fancy in it,” he said. “It has been made to do one job and it did that very well.”
He has been scouring the world for parts, and finally tracked down the vital missing telescopic sights, originally mounted on a rocking bar over the top of the weapon, on a gun salvaged from the Sinai desert and now in a museum in Haifa, Israel. The museum, understandably, wanted to keep them, but the parts are now being recreated to be attached to the Dover gun. The gun was part of a mass of obsolete military equipment salvaged by English Heritage from the old army ranges at Shoeburyness. It was first restored, though not to firing condition, in the early 90s, and spent years installed at Pendennis Castle, originally a Tudor fortress in Cornwall. Volunteer gun crews have been specially trained to fire the gun daily until at least October. “It should be audible all over Dover, and probably much further on a still day,” Pattison said, adding wistfully: “We’re not allowed to fire it with a full charge – there was some concern that we might actually bring the entire cliff face down.”
North Shore Cadets Excel in Training
NORTH SHORE NEWS JULY 29, 2015
Two North Shore cadets received accolades while attending the Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre earlier this month. During the first intake of general training, West Vancouver's Jonathan Keyton earned honours as the best cadet in 12 Platoon, and North Vancouver's Robert Wharton earned honours as the best marksman. Both Keyton and Wharton are members of 2573 6th Field Engineer Squadron, North Vancouver.
They were among 165 cadets to attend the Army Cadet training course, which introduces the cadets to communal living and sees them participate in an overnight field training exercise, challenge the mini confidence course, improve their accuracy with the air rifle, take part in a biathlon, learn orienteering and receive information on more senior courses that will be available to them in the future.
Bytown Days in Ottawa
The guns were out Saturday afternoon as a troupe of 19th-century British military re-enactors fired numerous booming rounds from their muskets down at the Ottawa Locks.
The 100th Regiment Historical Society’s soldiers were only firing blanks, of course, but that didn’t make it any less startling for the swaths of spectators when the first loud blast cut through the air on a warm and sunny day that saw large crowds of locals and tourists out during the weekend’s Bytown Days. “It’s invigorating,” said Braeden Praill, 19, the regiment’s acting corporal. “It’s louder than you would think, but not as much kick. You don’t really expect it. It’s fun to shoot.” Praill said a lifelong interest in history and theatre coupled with some experience in artillery training prompted him to join the re-enactment troupe last year. But it’s not all guns and glory.
“Training is the biggest part. For the first year, that’s pretty much all we did,” said Max Cronkite, 19. “We want to look good and to be historically accurate.” Practice takes up several hours per week with the group and at home, with the mock soldiers working on their foot drills, poring over manuscripts, practising gun safety, polishing their shoes and maintaining their muskets, among other duties, the members explained. Cronkite said the battle re-enactments are where things get really fun. “Just being in that moment where you have a whole line of guys firing at the same time, there’s a cannon to the side of us — it’s a lot
The group currently has nine members, and they’re always looking for more. Sinka said he’s also hoping to fill out the lineup of drummers. Two new recruits were warming up their drumming hands Saturday hoping to be ready for some of the group’s upcoming exhibitions.
“I just aged out of cadets, so I’ve been looking into something military-related, and I’m not sure if I want to go into the reserves yet, and I found the Regiment and thought it was pretty cool,” said Jennifer Lucas, 19. “I love music, I love history — this is a perfect fit,” said Jason Beaulac, 36. Praill said the musket drills and battle re-enactments have given him a sense of what it was like to be a British soldier in the era surrounding the War of 1812. “It took a lot to stand in that line, if you ask me,” he said. “They were braver than most.”
New Staff to Support Veterans in Western Canada
July 29, 2015 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Veterans Affairs Canada.
Today James Bezan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Selkirk–Interlake, on behalf of the Honourable Erin O’Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs, confirmed the Government of Canada’s commitment to providing service excellence for Veterans.
MP Bezan announced a total of 30 new hires by the end of March 2016 in Western Canada, including 20 in case management and 10 in disability benefits processing. These new hires will reduce Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC) case manager ratio to no more than 30 individuals for every case manager. Case managers will have more time to address the complex needs of Veterans. The additional disability benefits staff will, amongst other duties, increase capacity to support Veterans by assisting with their applications, more adjudicators will render decisions, and more staff will process payments. This means Veterans will have faster access to disability benefits as well as health care funding and mental health treatment.
The Government of Canada places the highest priority on service excellence and continues to ensure Veterans and their families have the support and services they need, when they need them.
This announcement builds on Minister O’Toole’s recent announcement that VAC will hire a total of 146 new staff, including 34 case managers and 52 disability benefits staff, in Atlantic Canada.
Veterans Affairs Canada will hire 101 disability benefits staff and 167 new case managers across Canada to provide direct service to Veterans and their families.
VAC will have a total of 309 new hires across Canada by 2020.
Veterans Affairs Canada provides disability benefits totalling about $2 billion a year to approximately 180,000 individuals, including Veterans, CAF serving personnel, former and serving RCMP, and surviving family members.
Abbotsford Airshow 2015
Are you planning to go to the Abbotsford Airshow on the 7-9 August? If you are a Veteran(does not include other family members) or Active Military Family member, your General Admission ticket is Free (proof must be shown).
This offer applies only to the Admission ticket.
Ian Newby is taking some of his vehicles to the Abbotsford Airshow this weekend and is looking for more drivers. The vehicles being taken range from M35 2 ½ T Diesel (with manual transmission) down to jeeps. Drivers get into the show free. Contact me for more information.
HEROES’ OPENING WEEKEND - SAT, AUG 22 & SUN, AUG 23 - 11am- Late
NEW this year – includes a free guest!
FREE gate admission for First Responders and a guest. Promotion is to honor those who put their life on the line by actively responding to the front line emergencies occurring out in our communities. Valid for regular member police (City and RCMP), ambulance workers, firefighters, military & veterans, search & rescue and coast guard, plus one guest. Proof of membership must be produced at the gates. Guest does not require ID.
Who is it?
Last Week: Well, no luck on IDs for these two. Other pictures from the same series (camera roll) show the Regt at an Artillery firing range. We couldn’t determine the location of that training area either but clues in the pictures put the year at 1955. Either these two OCdts didn’t stay round the Regt very long or they were attending the Officer Program at UBC and went to other units (or Reg Force) after graduation.
This Week: This week we venture into a realm heretofore not entered, that of the rail buff. Our photo is of a rail entity. I say “entity”, as it isn’t clear to the lay person if this is a powered unit or a car. It obviously isn’t the express to Tinkerville, nor is it the street car that ran up Dunbar in distant, less noisy times. It is, however, connected to our usual weekly military topic, and, as such, is an object whose identity is known to your erudite author (well, I’ve got the book, and you probably don’t, so that makes my more erudite than you on this particular topic, possibly), and maybe to some of you geekier types.
So, for this week’s Anorak of the Month prize, which is a free visit to the Museum of the 15th Field Regiment, RCA, can you answer this skill-testing question: “What is this thing, and what is its connection to things military”. The answer, “A large, khaki thing” is not acceptable.
Send your answers to the formerly khaki-clad editor, or to the mufti-wearing (but once also khaki-clad) author, John Redmond (email@example.com).
From the ‘Punitentary’
When you lose something, why do you always find it in the last place you look? Because you stop looking as soon as you find it.
Murphy’s other Laws
Expertise in one field does not necessarily carry over into another, although experts often believe that - and the narrower their field of knowledge the more likely they are to think so.
Leadership, without bravery, is called management. Bravery, without leadership, is called soldiering. Anon.