Van Arty Association and RUSI Van Members News Oct 6 2015
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.
NOABC Speaker Program - Wednesday October 28th
Mr John Swann will give a talk on the `San Jose` and the hunt for its Treasures.
World War 2 - 1940
John Thompson Strategic analyst quotes from his book “Spirit Over Steel”
Oct 1st: The Germans and Finns agree to closer ties and to swap arms for nickel.
Essential Reading: Hitler was a lousy economist but Germany’s war effort was sustained somehow… and it is clear that loot, robbery and ‘reparations’ played a major role in the Reich’s finances. Part of the process is well charted in Nazi Looting: The Plunder of Dutch Jewry During the Second World War and Gerard Aalders, Arnold Pomerans and Erica Pomerans did a superlative job in assessing one aspect of the financing of the Nazi War Machine.
Oct 2nd: Chamberlain resigns his seat in the war-cabinet and Churchill promotes more Labour figures to it. Vichy France starts to register French Jews.
Oct 4th: Hitler and Mussolini meet, Hitler tells Mussolini not to pursue any new campaigns and offers to help in Africa (an offer Benito turns down). Sir Charles Portal becomes the new Chief of Air Staff.
Oct 5th: The US calls up some Naval Reserves to help man an expanding fleet. The Japanese government warns of a potential war between Japan and the United States if the US doesn’t let the Axis have its way. As Shakespeare put it, glory can be the bubble reputation in the cannon’s mouth. Helmut Wick has just had Oak Leaves appended to his Knights Cross and today has become the youngest major in the Luftwaffe, a result of his recent 40th kill as a fighter pilot. He is outstripping his peers Galland and Mölders. However, on November 28th, he will come off second best against an RAF Spitfire over the English Channel and will not survive the experience.
Oct 6th: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em: Antonescu solves his problems with the turbulent Romanian Fascists of the Iron Guard by assuming command of the organization.
Bond of Strangers – The Operation Husky Story
Announcing the BC Premiere of the Max Fraser Film at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver,
on Sunday, 1 November 2015 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (PST)
Join filmmaker Max Fraser, author Mark Zuehlke and special guests for a one-time-only event this fall to honour Canadian veterans of WW2 and help reclaim lost history. Both the film and the book deal with Operation Husky, the 1943 invasion of Sicily, and the emotional 70th anniversary pilgrimage that took place in July 2013. The Seaforths were heavily involved in this WW2 campaign and in the 70th anniversary events in Sicily. The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, Vancouver's Infantry Regiment, are helping present this event; a group rate is offered to members of the regimental family, Canadian Forces and affiliated groups. For information contact Rod Hoffmeister at 604-240-2285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filmmaker Fraser is the son of a WW2 veteran of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment who served in Sicily and Italy, a largely-forgotten campaign where Canadian soldiers waged their first major battles, earning a formidable reputation. Fraser's new one-hour documentary is called "Bond of Strangers - The Operation Husky Story." It's the emotional story of ten Canadians who literally went the distance for remembrance, walking 300km over 20 days in Sicily in 2013 on the 70th anniversary of the invasion. They form a special bond through their journey together, and with the local people whose memories of that dark time run deep. Author Mark Zuehlke recently was honoured by the Governor General with the Pierre Berton Award for popular history for his Canadian Battle Series. He is one of the ten marchers in OpHusky2013 and his new book is based on that gruelling experience. "Through Blood and Sweat, A Remembrance Trek Across Sicily's World War Two Battlegrounds" is a contemplative look at the culture of remembrance and the experience of war.
DVDs and books will be available for sale following the event. Click the following for a preview of the film: https://vimeo.com/140252405
To order tickets use Promo code: agira at: http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/ophusky-remembrance-film-book-event-vancouver-tickets-18675185984?aff=esfb&utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-source=fb&utm-term=homepage
But the plan laid out in a military briefing note written for then chief of the defence staff. Gen Tom Lawson goes further. It suggests military officials from both countries were seeking to align some forces in a permanent and formal arrangement. A source familiar with the planning told CBC News the CAN-US IF, as it's called, would be scaled in proportion to the conflict it was being deployed to. Such a force could feature just ships, or ships and planes, or some combination of all military forces including ground troops and special operation soldiers.
The "conceptual development" of the force would include devising techniques for the management of the force, its command structure and its links back to national headquarters in both countries. It would also have to deal with some thorny questions around the use of force and varying interpretations of the laws of war.
Soldiers from Canada's elite Joint Task Force 2 counter-terrorism unit encountered difficulty in Afghanistan operating alongside US government forces who allegedly committed unlawful killings in full view of Canadian commandos. 'Close engagement with the US will enable the achievement of other [Canadian] regional strategic objectives.'– Military document. The JTF-2 soldier who raised those allegations also claimed that in January 2008 his team was sent to conduct a mission alongside an American team. He said he witnessed the US forces kill a man who was wounded and unarmed — a war crime. The soldier maintained the military did not take seriously the allegations, which led him to report the matter to the Canadian Forces ombudsman. Canadian investigators eventually cleared all Canadian soldiers of criminal wrongdoing. But, the file was handed to American forces for review. But not all experiences were so difficult. Canada worked extensively alongside US forces throughout its Afghan deployment, and of course has a long history of engagement in NORAD and NATO. Military planners advised the chief of the defence staff the proposed integrated force would help Canada "demonstrate a continuing commitment to the US" They also say "close engagement with the US will enable the achievement of other [Canadian] regional strategic objectives."
The planning work laid out a series of potential missions for Canadian troops overseas in order "to support government of Canada objectives internationally" and "under the assumption that current CAF operational commitments abroad will be maintained." The document CBC News obtained shows military planners were searching for operations and exercises on which to deploy Canadian troops in order to contribute to "international peace and security," but also to support objectives such as retaining "readiness" and to assert the military's "relevance and credibility" to Canadians. The integrated forces concept is one of several such ideas the document says the chief of the defence staff could propose "in his role as the adviser to the prime minister for employment of the nation's military."
The document also suggests engagement with the NATO Response Force and with a new arrangement led by the United Kingdom called the JEF, or Joint Expeditionary Force. To that force, the document proposes linking Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team, a company group of infantry trained in non-combatant evacuation operations, and a special operations hostage rescue (HR) capability. "A linking of DART, the NEO Coy Gp, and other Canadian HR forces to this initiative could improve our interoperability with the UK and the other involved nations as well as provide more options to the [government of Canada] to co-operate with these countries in times of international crises." A source with knowledge of the thinking inside the Defence Department as this document was written said all of these joint efforts are designed to improve relationships with allies and to promote familiarity between allied nations' militaries.
A Conservative spokesman said the party had no desire to create a new standing force, but not address whether one could nevertheless be established with units on both sides of the border trained to work with one another. "While we often work with like-minded allies like the United States, there's no desire for a standing integrated force. The Canadian Armed Forces and its personnel ultimately answer to Canada," Stephen Lecce said in an email to CBC News. military planners offered the Western Hemisphere as the central focus of the military's foreign military engagement, followed by the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the North Atlantic, the Middle East and North Africa, and finally, the rest of Africa. In each case, apart from Africa, there was a recommendation for more engagement. "The [Strategic Joint Staff] assess that the [Canadian Armed Forces] current footprint in Africa is sufficient to meet Canadian foreign policy objectives at this time," the planners wrote. The staff also recommended the military not increase the number of troops deployed on Peace Support Operations (PSOs), such as United Nations or African Union peacekeeping operations. "An ongoing mission review is occurring to validate whether CAF presence on PSOs provides desired strategic benefit to Canada." The document hints at a reset of the government's Canada First Defence Strategy. Military observers in Ottawa have long been anticipating just such a review, but none has yet been discussed by the government.
Stephen Saideman at Carleton University's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs says the military planning document suggests the Forces were planning to stay engaged globally though military to military contact in a bid to stay current with other nations' capabilities and efforts. But he expressed some confusion about the purpose of the integrated force, which he said was reminiscent of the 1st Special Service Force, the so-called Devil's Brigade, a joint Canadian-US special operations unit created during the Second World War. "It's kind of surprising the Americans would buy into this in any big way, because the Canadians are so small, they don't really add that much to what the Americans can do," Saideman said. "On the other hand, what the Canadians proved in Afghanistan on the ground in a harsh battlefield, the Canadians and the Americans are quite compatible."
Sweden’s Archer Self Propelled Artillery Project
Sep 29, 2015 by Defense Industry Daily staffBAE Systems delivered the first serial production Archer artillery systems to the Swedish Armed Forces last week, following delivery of pre-serial systems in September 2013 and an initial batch of 24 Archers in 2007.
BAE Systems Bofors’ Archer is a light, air-portable, and highly automated 155/52 light mobile artillery system. Archer began as a Swedish project, administered by their FMV procurement agency. Funding was provided for system development and some initial production, but the project’s future had been shadowed by anemic Swedish defense budgets. In May 2007, however, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Norway’s FLO procurement agency, which evolved into a joint production venture. Just as initial production moved the Archer system from concept to imminent reality, however, Norway left the program. Why?
The Archer system mounts BAE Systems’ FH77-B05 155mm/ 52 caliber cannon on a modified Volvo commercial A30E 6×6 all-terrain articulated truck, which has been militarized to add armor and NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) protection. Road speed is up to 70 km/h, with a cruising range of up to 500 km. The entire system weighs 33.1t / 36.5 tons. Automation ensures that the crew can fire the gun within 20 seconds of arriving in position, and without leaving the cabin. The magazine holds 21 shells, which can all be fired in an intensive 3.5 minute volley that includes multiple simultaneous impact targeting for groupings of up to 6 shells. Continuous fire is only 54 rounds in 35 minutes, and is regulated by barrel temperatures and reloading speed. The system can hit targets with great accuracy at ranges up to 50 km/ 31 miles, using rocket-boosted Excalibur GPS-guided shells. Conventional 155mm fire can reach to 40 km/ 24.85 miles, and Bofors and Nexter’s BONUS anti-tank shells can reach to 35 km/ 21.75 miles.
Ammunition resupply involves an armored truck or other vehicle equipped with a modified standard container. Full reloading takes about 10 minutes using integrated lifting equipment, and it’s the only time the crew needs to be outside the system.
Under the Swedish-Norwegian co-development agreement, Archer will use Kongsberg’s popular M151 Protector remote-controlled weapon/ surveillance turret for close-in self defense. This continues in force despite Norway’s withdrawal from the program. System Design and Development was scheduled to continue until 2009-2010, at which point the Swedish and Norwegian governments had an option to buy up to 24 Archers each at a pre-set price. That option was exercised in March 2010, with delivery supposed to take place from October 2011 – 2013, but the 1st delivery didn’t arrive until September 2013. After Norway’s withdrawal, production deliveries won’t begin until 2016. Even late as it was, that 2013 delivery was an important milestone for the Archer project. The big break will come at the end of testing and acceptance, whereupon the Archer will become a proven competitor in the light-to-medium mobile artillery market.
15 Fd Regimental Museum Activities
The 15th Field Artillery Museum and Archives were the result of the late HLCol "Vic" Stevenson's initiative. Vic had saved the routine orders and printed material from his time in the regiment. He started the museum in the mid-1970s with a display, mainly about Yorke Island's fortifications, in the small room that is now the communications store room. In 1983 the museum was incorporated and it became one of the Department of National Defence's accredited, military museums. It was relocated to two rooms with an office on the north side of the parade square. Like most small museums with little funds, the 15th Field Artillery Regiment's Museum has depended on donated artifacts and publications. Some items, such as the 40-mm. Bofors anti-aircraft gun and the folding bicycle designed for 1944's D-Day were particularly valuable acquisitions. The museum is also the custodian of the restored, historic military vehicles and the 25-pounder gun on the armoury floor. The gun and the vehicles have appeared at commemorative events and in patriotic parades. The dependence on voluntary donations has resulted in a heterogeneous collection of items, some unrelated to the artillery or even the Canadian Army. The challenge was to produce a coherent display from this odd assortment of objects. With the aid of professional exhibit designers and conservation experts, Vic began that task. The job was still incomplete when he died in May 2010. Fortunately, friends and associates who had assisted with the museum took over its management so that Vic Stevenson's legacy would not be lost. In 2011 the museum society edited and published Vic's manuscript history of the Bessborough Armoury.
The present museum society has about twenty members and its president is MGen [ret'd] Stuart T McDonald, CMM, CD, a former commanding officer of the regiment. Society members are entitled to a 20% discount on anything that the museum has on sale. This an all-volunteer organization that is self-financing. It also operates a lending library on military subjects. The Curator is Maj [ret'd] Peter Moogk, CD, PhD, a former member of the regiment and a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia, where he taught Canadian history for 35 years. During his eighteen years in the army reserve Peter was trained in logistics, gunnery and public affairs. The Assistant Curator is John Redmond, MEd, who has been on the staff of UBC and Kwantlen University and, coming from a gunner family, John has an extensive knowledge of military history. In 2014 he was awarded the Medal of Bravery for rescuing passengers from a burning aircraft that had crash landed on Sea Island. John has been outstanding in identifying artifacts, in conserving objects, and in bringing order to the museum's basement storage room. The scale model John made of the Point Grey coast defence battery is one of the most popular exhibits. Our Secretary-Treasurer is Susan Moogk, MA, who has been trained in museology and anthropology. Her greatest contribution has been in accessioning items in the museum collection, using the Canadian Forces electronic inventory system. Her knowledge of museum practices has been extremely helpful. Capt [ret'd] Bob Spring keeps the accounts in order and gives valuable advice on the law while LCol [ret'd] Graham Jenkins verifies the bills before countersigning the cheques.
Because the museum staff is no longer desperate to acquire and display anything that is remotely connected with war and military life, the acquisition policy is now selective - principally focused on the regiment, the artillery, and the Canadian army. Items are still accepted, not on loan, but as gifts to the museum for which a tax-deductible receipt is issued. There has been an adjustment of the displays so that they answer such basic questions as "how did the artillery originate?'" or "who were Canada's first gunners?" and "what is the history of the 15th Field Regiment?" The last question is one that only our museum will address. Short, clear texts provide new recruits as well as civilian visitors with answers to those questions. A new, large display case was custom-made for clothing items, especially hats, which attracted dust and vermin. Our next project will be to provide a visual precis on the art of gunnery and to highlight the overseas service of our personnel with the UN and NATO. A mannequin has already been dressed in an ISAF uniform to represent the role of Canadian reservists in recent operations in Afghanistan.
If you have not already done so, please drop by the museum to view its collection. It is open on Wednesdays, from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM, to coincide with the weekly lunch in the officers' mess. Admission is free. The museum is also opened for special events in the armoury, on national holidays, and, upon request, for group visits. Contact telephone numbers and e-mail addresses are posted on the museum's door.
Who is it?
Last Week: This picture was taken in the summer of 1968 when two RN Missile Destroyers, HMS Fife and HMS Glamorgan, paid an official visit to Vancouver. Here Fife (D20), the senior of the two, is seen firing a salute to Canada as she passes Brockton Point in Stanley Park with 15 Fd Regt standing by to reply.
This Week: Mess life has always been a jolly experience for one and all, with the exception of certain regiments which had the tradition of requiring those who pass the port the wrong way to exit the mess and blow their brains out with a Webley service revolver. Fortunately, that has not been the tradition in any local mess since the 1950s, when a Royal Commission on health and subaltern safety ruled against the continuation of such practices as a waste of ammunition.
Our photo this week is very much in the “who is that” vein, being one shot (sorry!) in the officers’ mess of Bessborough Armoury. The date on the slide frame is 1967, and the general dress, mess kit, patrols and black tie, of the gentlemen seems to confirm that. As with many of our photos, it comes from the extensive collection of the late Vic Stevenson, and avid photog from pimply youth.
Every one of these well-dressed chaps seems to be having a grand time, as do we who weekly attend Mrs. Lum’s Wednesday feasts. And, while some of you may recognize some of these lads, I don’t, nor do I have a record to accompany the photograph. So, can you help to identify these stalwarts of Queen and Country? Answers can be sent either to the editor, or, with suitable payment, to the author, John Redmond (email@example.com). Thank you for your help.
From the ‘Punitentary’
What is the difference between a miser and a canary? One's a little cheap and the other is a little cheeper.
Murphy’s other Laws
It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. - Ambrose Redmoon