Wednesday, July 25, 2018 (Richmond/Ottawa, ON)

Today we're visiting another museum...and Steve is really looking forward to this one! Andrew and Sherry graciously allowed us to borrow their car and go by ourselves. So we were on the road into Ottawa around 9:30...after the morning rush hour.

We arrived at the Canadian War Museum in the pouring rain...another good museum day! The museum is exceptional...I was even impressed! But it is Steve's "thing" and, as usual, he took an exceptional number of pictures! So if war museums make your eyes glaze over, you may want to skip this blog...just a warning LOL!

To view the extensive collection of military vehicles and artillery, click on this album..."Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, ON" It's amazing!

The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history and one of the world’s most respected museums for the study and understanding of armed conflict. 
The Museum traces its origins back to 1880, when it consisted primarily of a collection of militia artifacts. The Museum opened at its new location on the LeBreton Flats site in downtown Ottawa on May 8, 2005. Its opening not only marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe (V-E Day) but also the 125th anniversary of the Museum itself. Since its opening in 2005, the Museum has welcomed approximately 500,000 visitors every year.
The Museum’s exhibition galleries and public programs have been designed to emphasize the human experience of war. The Canadian Experience Galleries present the military history of Canada from earliest times to present day, as well as Canada’s history of honouring and remembrance. Each gallery highlights defining moments in Canada’s military history and the ways in which past events have shaped the nation.
The Museum’s collections are among the finest military holdings in the world, including rare vehicles, artillery, uniforms, medals, personal memoirs and 14,000 works in the Beaverbrook Collection of War Art. In total, the collection comprises more than 3 million artifacts, specimens, works of art, written documents and sound and visual recordings.

As with yesterday's museum visits, I'm going to pass this over to Steve now....

Keep Your Head Down! 
The threat of snipers was ever-present. George F. Roberts, a Canadian serving with the South African Constabulary, placed this Stetson hat on an ant-hill to draw the attention of a Boer sniper. The bullet hole speaks to the sniper's accuracy.
12-pounder Leliefontein Gun
This is the No. 5 Gun used by "D" Battery, Roayl Canadian Field Artillery, at Leliefontein. The 12-pounder breech-loading gun had a range of 4,000 metres. Firing shrapnel and high explosive shells, it could cause significant damage to troops caught in the open.
The War's Legacy
The South African War was the first time that Canada provided an official military contingent for an international crisis. More than 7,300 Canadians served and 267 died.
The South African War was controversial. Canada had supported the Empire and earned international respect, but had the war set a terrible precedent by involving Canadians in British colonial conflicts? What would happen the next time Britain went to war?
A World War Unleashed Why did the assassination of an unpopular Austrian archduke in June 1914 cause a world war?Europe was a powder keg. Mutual grievances, opposing alliances, and secret treaties divided the heavily armed great powers. After the assassination of Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand, countries rushed to settle old scores or to support allies. By early August 1914, most of Europe was at war. The Entente Powers of Britain, France, and Russia stood against the central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey. The rest of the world was dragged into a war that killed nine million and destroyed empires.

Canada at War
When Britain declared war, Canada as part of the Empire was automatically at war as well. However, it was up to Canada to decide how it would support the war effort.

The 18-Pounder
This was the most common gun used by Canadians and British artillery batteries. Guns like this fired an estimated 100 million shells during the war, an average of 43 rounds per minute from 1914 to 1918.
Shell: 18.5 lbs.
Range: 5500 meters

Good Luck Charms
Many soldiers facing the uncertainty of the war turned to superstition and good luck charms. 
Private John William Steele's pocket bible and mirror saved his life when he was shot in the chest. Steele gave them to his brother-in-law, Private Wilbert Russell Willan, to keep him safe. Willan survived the war, but Steele was killed on 9 April 1917, the first day of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
German maschinengewehr 08 (MG-08) Machine Gun
The MG-08, the German Army's standard machine gun, could fire 450 rounds a minute up to a range of 1,800 metres. German machine gun crews, in protected positions and supporting one another, killed hundreds of thousands during the war.
Water kept the MG-08 from overheating during sustained fire. Armoured protection and a shield kept the water jacket from being punctured by enemy fire.

A Symbol of Victory

Canadian infantry captured this German 77 millimetre field gun during the attack on Vimy Ridge. As the Canadians closed in on the artillery piece, German gunners destroyed the gun before it was captured. They exploded a shell in the muzzle, but were killed before they could escape.

Lewis Machine Gun
The Lewis machine gun was one of the most important weapons of the war. Able to fire hundreds of bullets a minute, the Lewis was the infantry's primary light machine gun and increased the firepower of a platoon.

Here you take a walk through an example of a battlefield with half buried weapons and bodies...

RCAF Pilot
No. 1 Fighter Squadron was the only RCAF squadron to participate in the Battle of Britain. Canadian pilots, wearing uniforms like this one, destroyed more than 70 enemy aircraft between late August and October 1940. The squadron lost 16 aircraft and three pilots (10 others were wounded) during the battle.

German Naval Mine
Naval mines are explosive devices designed to sink ships. A German U-Boat positioned this mine off Halifax. The mine floated under the surface, anchored to a weight at the bottom. A ship striking one of the four "horns" triggered the mine. A mine like this could produce tremendous damage because the water amplified the blast of 85 kilograms of explosives, and would have ripped out the unprotected hull of most Canadian ships.

Depth Charge...

The Air War
The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) became the world's fourth largest by 1945, enlisting more that 250,000 Canadian men and women. Thousands more Canadians served with Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF). More than 17,000 Canadian air force personnel perished during the war.

This Sherman tank survived fighting through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.
The Governor General's Foot Guards received 69 tanks before their July 1944 arrival in France. This was the only one not put out of action by war's end, although it was struck several times by enemy fire. The dent caused by one hit can be seen on the tank's side. Because of its record, in 1946 Forceful III was one of the few tanks brought back to Canada. After plans to display it in Ottawa fell through, it was moved to Borden, Ontario. In 1985, the regiment brought the tank back to Ottawa and put it on display outside the Cartier Square Drill Hall. It remained there until its donation to the Canadian War Museum in 2004.

By 1945, over one million men and women had served in Canada's armed forces, from a population of just 11 million. 42,000 died; 54,400 were wounded. Even so, Canadians were fortunate the war was not ought on their soil. Worldwide, over 55 million died, the majority of them civilians.

Naval Gun Turret
Canadian warships used guns like these during the Korean War and for many years afterwards. Neither of the 4-inch barrels in this turret, produced by Sorel Industries in Quebec, was ever installed on a warship. But the turret itself was mounted on the frigate HMCS Victoriaville.

M3 Half-Track
Armed with heavy machine guns, armoured half-tracks like this one helped repel a Chinese attack against the headquarters of 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry during the April 1951 battle at Kap'yong.
Lieutenant-Colonel Jim Stone, 2 PPCLI's commanding officer, recalled driving off the attack: "We held fire until [they] broke through the trees...and then twelve machine-guns cut loose together....The enemy never had a chance."
The Iron Curtain...
Russian weapons...

The Birth of Peacekeeping
Lester B. Pearson's suggestion that impartial military observers could help restore peace during the 1956 Suez Crisis marked the onset of modern peacekeeping.
It was a novel idea for a dangerous time. A French, British, and Israeli attack on Egypt, which was attempting to seize control of the Suez Canal, had badly divided NATO, just as the Soviet Union's brutal suppression of a Hungarian uprising had pointed to the need for greater Western solidarity. The UN appeared helpless in the face of a major regional war. The uN appeared helpless in the face of a major regional war. Pearson's suggestion that an impartial multi-national force might allow the British and French to withdraw while also supervising a ceasefire between Egyptians and Israelis led to the first real peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Emergency Force, or UNEF.
Canadian Prime Minister 1963-1968...

Field Artillery
Reserve artillery units used the C2 105mm Howitzer, a mobile, general-purpose weapon that is towed by a truck and has a seven-person crew. Howitzers normally fire at long range (up to 11 kilometres) against targets invisible to the naked eye ("indirect" fire), but can also be used in a "direct" fire mode against closer targets. This particular gun retired from the Canadian Forces in 1998, after firing 13,624 rounds.
Army, Navy, Air Force...

Canada helped liberate Kuwait after Iraqi forces invaded the country.
Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait on 1 August 1990. The United Nations Security Council called for Iraq's withdrawal by January 1991.
Led by the United States, a coalition that included Canada sent air, land and naval forces to the Persian Gulf. When Iraq refused to withdraw from Kuwait, the coalition launched an attack to liberate the country.
Iraq's defeat in February 1991 ended the war.

Courage under Fire
Two Canadian soldiers were seriously injured in this Iltis patrol vehicle.
In 1994, on New Year's Eve as Private Philip Badanai and Master Corporal John Tescione drove through a Serb-held town in Croatia, Serbian troops fired on them. Their vehicle was hit more than 100 times. Badanai was shot in the back, and Tescione, in the head and arms.
They managed to drive 15 kilometres to their camp, where they received medical treatment.

Ready for Patrol
This is the typical equipment Canadian soldiers wore and carried on patrol in Afghanistan. Patrols and operations could last days at a time, in heat that could exceed 50 degrees Celsius. Protective equipment, food, water, weapons, and ammunition could weigh ore than 40 kilograms. 
A Narrow Escape
In December 2005, Afghan insurgents detonated an improvised explosive device that destroyed the front of this G-Wagen. Captain Manuel Panchana-Moya, Privates Ryan Crawford and Russell Murdock, and a journalist were saved by the vehicles' protective armour.
The blast threw the vehicle's engine nearly seven metres.
An Elusive Enemy
After 2006, when NATO stopped a major Taliban offensive against Kandahar City, the Taliban and their local allies turned from conventional to guerrilla warfare.
Canadian personnel faced hit-and-run attacks, explosive traps, and ambushes. Insurgents often hid among the rural popular after an attack.
These are Taliban materials seized by Canadian soldiers during operations in Kandahar.
1) Type 69 Rocket-Propelled Grenade Launcher
2) AK 47 Assault Riffle
3) Type 53 SGM Machine Gun
Hidden Weapons
Cheaply produced and easily hidden, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) varied in size. Small devices might injure or kill a single soldier. Large bombs could destroy heavily armoured vehicles.
More Canadian soldiers were killed by IEDs than by any other means during the war.
Canadian combat engineers found these bomb materials in Afghanistan. They were used as evidence to find Taliban bomb makers.
1) Pressure-Plate Trigger
2) Portable-Radio Detonator
3) Detonator Battery Box
4) Oil Jug Filled with Homemade Explosive
5) Disarmed Pressure-Cooker Bomb
6) Bomb Fragments

About 3 hours later, I (Dianne) had had enough. There was still a lot more to see, so I left Steve to finish it up. I grabbed a coffee from the cafeteria and went out to sit in the car. An hour later, Steve finally emerged from the building....with close to 300 pictures on his camera...that he would have to edit! It is a very impressive museum and we highly recommend seeing it if you are ever in the area!

On the way home we stopped at a grocery store to pick up the fixin's for dinner tonight...I am making lasagne, Caesar salad and garlic bread for everyone. 

With the lasagne just needing to go in the oven, we took everything into the house and finished preps there. Time to eat! Left to right, around the table, Andrew, Alex (son), Sherry, Jesse (son) and Steve...


  1. Wow, what a museum. I don't think Ray could stay in there for four hours though. Thanks for the tour

  2. I could have stayed much longer in the basement which was the best part with all the vehicles, artillery and tanks but Dianne was waiting in the car so I had to rush. ☹️