Thursday, June 21, 2012

Church History, part 1

There're a lot of references to the church in our culture, but most people don't get where they come from, so I'm doing some posts on church history. It's going to start with the Apostles and the gospels. I'm going to call the apostles who wrote books of the Bible "saint" because the books are sometimes called the same thing as the author's name and it gets confusing really easily. The gospels are starting out because they give accounts of what happened during Jesus' life, which is important to know about. Also, I'm only going to write about the apostles who wrote books of the Bible right now, but might do the others later. (Polycarp is talked about at the bottom because he's a pretty neat person who was taught by an apostle. He's a really early Christian.)


The gospel of Matthew was written pretty recently after Jesus' death, rising, and going up into heaven. It was written from about the year 40. Jesus' crucifixion was about the year 30-34. It's the first of the four gospels and one of the three synoptic gospels. Matthew goes from Jesus' birth to His rising back into heaven. It also is the first book in the New Testament.

When it was written, the Christians were being persecuted in Jerusalem and some left. They had been hearing St. Matthew teach, but since he was in Jerusalem and they weren't, they needed some way of studying the Bible. So, St. Matthew wrote down what he had been teaching and circulated the writings.

An early manuscript from the Bible. It shows 2 Corinthians 11:33-12:9 and is one of the oldest New Testament papyrus manuscripts.

St. Matthew was one of the twelve apostles. He was a tax collector before following Jesus. Tax collectors were generally disliked because they could take however much money from people as they wanted. They were hired by bidding for an amount of money they'd collect and then would have to collect that money and give it to the government. St. Matthew was probably one of the more educated apostles because he'd have to know math, Arameic, Greek, rhetoric, and had to be comfortable in different cultures. He was born in Galilee and died near Hierapolis or Ethiopia.

The gospel of Mark was written around the year 70. It's the second of the gospels. St. Mark wrote about Jesus' baptism through the Resurrection. Also, on Easter day when the entire account of the crucifixion and Resurrection is read, Mark's account is by far the longest. (And just for a nerdy thing that probably won't ever come in useful, in Mark 14:50-52, that was most likely St. Mark.)

St. Mark is Barnabas' cousin. (Barnabas shows up in Acts during the conflict between St. Mark, Barnabas, and St. Paul over a mission's trip.) When Jesus said that His body and blood were food and drink, lots of the disciples left, and St. Mark went with them. St. Peter talked to him, though, and St. Mark came back. He founded the church in Africa. Some of the liturgy the church there uses goes all the way back to him.

The gospel of Luke is the third gospel. It goes from Jesus' birth all the way to His Resurrection. Some of the parables are only found in Luke (like the one about the good Samaritan). It was probably written after Mark was and from about 75-84 (people say that it was written between 75-100, but St. Luke died near 84, so couldn't have written it after he died). Luke is the gospel with the most literary Greek.

St. Luke was a physician who lived in Antioch in Syria. He wrote Luke and Acts. He was probably an eyewitness of Jesus' life because he uses first person in his writings.

The gospel of John was written around 90 A.D. It begins with John the Baptist affirming Jesus and ends with the Resurrection. The very first verse in John uses a vague word. The English is "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John uses a confusing Greek word, logos, which everybody defines differently. Logos is used in John to describe God.

St. John is the brother of James (they're the sons of Zebedee). He lived longer than any of the other apostles and was the only other one other than Judas Iscariot who wasn't martyred. (Judas Iscariot killed himself after betraying Jesus.) He saw the Transfiguration. St. John taught Polycarp, who was an early martyr.

(Polycarp was arrested, but when the people came to arrest him, he got some food for them and prayed while they ate. He was put into a gladiator ring and the lions didn't attack him. Then, he was burned at the stake and the fire didn't burn him like fire burns people at the stake. It baked him like bread. Then he was stabbed. To Roman Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican churches he's a saint, too.)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

WWII Tank comparisons

Greetings everyone!

It's been a while since "Kate" or I have posted anything, and I feel that you may wish to have the pleasure of reading another post. :D

I've been doing quite a bit of reading, lately, and could certainly pontificate about Montgomery or Rommel quite a bit.

In fact, it now seems to me that Rommel wasn't as great a general as he is typically chalked up to be by historians. They herald him as "The greatest general Germany has ever seen." Well, that would only be partly true, because he wasn't really a great all around general. Oh, don't get me wrong, he appreciated the might of great, concentrated Panzer rushes, but he had very little concept of logistics, allied cohesion, staff work etc. In fact, if it weren't for British ineptitude, Auchinleck, Ritchie, Wavell etc. all had the opportunity to destroy the Africa Korps far before Montgomery after the Second Battle of El Alamein from the 23rd October to the 4th of November, 1942. When matched by a man who understood proper cohesion of armour and infantry, Rommel was sent reeling - and was never again granted the initiative that he so desired (and that Auchinleck and the others granted him).

 But anyway, I've selected instead to write about the comparisons of Western armour in WWII. We shall see how badly the Allies were outgunned throughout the latter years of the war by Germany. I will do it in segments, considering the number of tanks used.

Early War:

In 1939 and 1940, the British boasted the following tanks:

Matilda I, armed only with a machine gun and having a top speed of 12.9 km, saw action in France in 1940. The Matilda II, its successor, was armed only with a 2 pounder cannon and a Besa machine gun. However, its armour was up to 78 mm thick, which meant it could withstand fire from most early German tanks and even antitank guns. The Matilda II could also reach a top speed of 24 km/h.

The Light Tank Mk VI "Vickers" was the most plentiful for the British right into North Africa. "Seven Royal Armoured Corps divisional cavalry regiments, the principal armoured formations of the BEF, were each equipped with twenty-eight Mk VIs.The 1st Armoured Division, elements of which landed in France in April, was equipped with 257 tanks, of which a large number were Mk VIB and Mk VICs. The 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, which formed part of the division's 3rd Armoured Brigade, possessed by this time twenty-one Mark VI light tanks" (Wikipedia). The Vickers tank boasted only a heavy Vickers machine gun and a Besa machine gun, though its armour was up to 15 mm thick.

French tanks were typically excellent, but they were widely dispersed, poorly utilized and poorly operated. French tank doctrine suggested that they operate only in support of infantry.

Renault FT-17, was a World War I vintage tank with a 37 mm cannon or a machine gun. Its variants boasted up to 22 mm of armour. It had a top speed of about 8 km/h.

Renault R-35 had a 37 mm L/21 cannon and a 7.5 mm machine gun. It was heavily armoured with 45.7 mm of frontal armour, and it had a top speed of about 20 km/h.

The AMR 35 (Automitrailleuse de Reconnaissance Renault Modèle 35) was a light tank, developed by Renault as a support vehicle for mechanized infantry.

The Hotchkiss 35 and its variants (H-38 and H-39) was a nice tank with a 38 mm, longer cannon that was more capable of puncturing German armour. It had 45 mm armour and a top speed of 36.5 km/h on roads.

The Somua S-35 was undoubtedly France's best tank, and one of the best in the world at the time. It had such heavy armour and good armament to be comparable to even the Pz Kpfw IV, but it had only a one man turret, which was a grave defect and handicapped it effectively. Its armour was up to 55.8 mm wide! It's cannon was a 47 mm SA35 (more than 3lb shell).

And then the Char B-1, which armour was so thick (60 mm frontal armour), that it could never be penetrated by German anti-tank guns (which were only about 37 mm). The Germans could only reliably pierce it with the 8.8 cm anti-aircraft gun. 400 were available to the Army in 1940, but they were not concentrated. The Char B-1 had two cannons and two machine guns (one coaxial and one mounted). The turret cannon was a 47 mm cannon; the second cannon, mounted in the hull, was 75 mm large.

Char variants D1, D2 (Medium tanks) and 2C (another heavy tank) saw action, as well.

Poland had only three reliable tanks: the TK3 tankette, the Renault 35 and the 7TP. 135 7TPs were available in the Polish forces in 1939; while they could easily match German tanks, there simply were not enough of them. There were actually "two variants: a twin turret version and a single turret version. The twin turret version was armed with two 7.92 mm Ckm wz. 30 machine guns The two turrets were not fully traversable, and were therefore not very effective. The single turret version was armed with a modified Bofors 37 mm anti-tank gun 36 (named 37 mm Bofors wz. 37) with a Zeiss telescopic sight and a single Ckm wz. 30 machine gun.



Pz. Kpfw. I: The "Panzer I" was armed only with dual machine guns and had only 5 mm of armour. Compared against most of the Allied tanks of even 1939, this one was vastly inferior. It reached a maximum speed of 37 km/h.

Pz Kpfw II: This light tank "...was the workhorse of the German tank corps during the early years of World War II. Being equipped only with a 20 mm automatic cannon, Germany relied on quantity during their early campaigns. With more than 1000 Pz Kpfw IIs employed in both the Poland, France and North Africa, the Pz Kpfw II was fundamental in the early victories" (Tanks in WWII). Its armour may have gotten up to 30 mm on select tanks. It had a top speed of 40 km/h on roads.

Neubaufahrzeug: Only three were used in Norway. This thing was a heavy tank with dual turrets. The turret cannon was a 75 mm KwK L/24, and the other a 37 mm KwK L/45. It also boasted two machine guns and up to 20 mm of armour. It could reach a speed of 25 km/h.

Pz. Kpfw. 35(t) Skoda was built by Czech factories. If the Czechs had have fought the Germans in 1938, this tank could have crushed German armour. It saw action as late in the war as 1942. It mounted a 37 mm cannon and had up to 25 mm in armour (as well as two machine guns). It was an incredibly reliable tank.

Pz. Kpfw. 38 (t) Praga TNHP-S LT 38: Also a Czech tank, designed by CKD, the Panzer 38(t) was superior to Germany's own tanks of the time. It packed a 38 mm cannon, two machine guns and 25 mm of armour (later up to 50.8 mm).

The Pz Kpfw III started with a 37 mm Kw K (L/45), but eventually upgraded to as much as a 75 mm (though most common throughout 1941 and 1942 was the 50 mm cannon). It's armour ranged from 5–70 mm throughout the war. Its max speed on the road was 40 km/h.

Italian Tanks:

~~ to complete later.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Martin Luther

(Today's his death day, actually.)

The guy in the picture is Martin Luther, not to be confused with Martin Luther King or Martin Luther King, Jr. Those two were named after him.

Martin Luther was going to be a lawyer, but quit college to become a Catholic monk. He then decided that the Pope wasn't interpreting the Scriptures correctly. He was sent to Rome to deliver some letters, and was
absolutely appalled at the practice of Indulgences.

An Indulgence is the full or partial pardon of sins, which occurs when gazing on relics, paying for pieces of paper, saying the Lord's Prayer while climbing some steps, and a lot of other acts like that. Luther said that by doing those, you are depending on yourself and not on Jesus Christ to save you. He wrote 95 Thesis and hung them up on the Wittenburg Castle Church on October 31st, 1517.

He was called up before the Emperor for that, and asked to recant. Luther was prepared to give an answer, and so was allowed to come back at noon the next day. That was when he gave probably his most famous speech.

"Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the Pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen."

The Catholic church declared him a heretic. That meant that he would be arrested and killed, like many other theologians for centuries. Luther was given safe passage back to Wittenburg, but Prince Fredrick didn't trust that.

Prince Fredrick kidnapped Luther (without the afor-mentioned lawyer-turned monk-turned outlaw) knowing. He stayed in an attic in the Wartburg Castle. While there, he translated the New Testament from Koine Greek into German so that plain old people could read it. He also wrote about a gazillion theological writings.

When Luther returned secretly to Wittenburg, he wrote in a letter, "During my absence, Satan has entered my sheepfold, and committed ravages which I cannot repair by writing, but only by my personal presence and [the] Living Word [of the Bible]." For eight weeks in Lent, he preached a sermon every Sunday that affirmed that what the Bible says is true.

Even though helping in Wittenburg had worked, people outside of that town were taking his writings and teachings too far. They were actually planning to attack the Roman Catholic church. Luther managed to keep them from doing it, but pointing out that we should love our enemies, and not hurt them.

Luther actually married a nun. Katharina von Bora and eleven others escaped from a nunnery in herring barrels. They moved into a former monestary, which was a gift from John the Steadfast. The two had six children, and were very poor. A few of the children died during their childhood.

He also wrote two catechisms, established a new church denomination, and made a new order of service (now called the Divine Service). The service was conducted in German so that everybody could participate. Luther wrote several hymns, and translated the Bible from Greek and Latin into German.

At the end of his life, he was extremely sick. Luther went to settle a dispute, and apparently died on the way home. Maybe the dispute was too noisy and it was just too much for him. He was buried in the same church he had been hidden in.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why Field Marshal Law Montgomery was much greater than Patton.

Greetings all, and my sincerest apologies about the length between posts. I simply haven't had the time to maintain this blog, but here I am, at last! :D

I'm going to initiate my return with a very controversial topic - many believe that George S. Patton was the greatest American tank commander, and even general, of all time. These individuals also tend to frown on the caution displayed by his English counterpart, rival and superior, General Montgomery.

Here are some basic points I am going to offer:

1. Patton was a contemptible man who instigated strife among his fellow commanders and the Allied High Command.

2. Patton didn't seem to believe in a "grand alliance." Or, if he did, he attempted to belittle International efforts. He hated the English, detested the Arabs, scorned the Russians, beleaguered the French etc.

3. Patton was disloyal to his wife... It almost seems that he dated his niece, Jean Gordon. She certainly became too close to him.

4. Patton was a reckless general, and he seemed to hold the belief that the war was designed for his further gains and glory (charge around Messina and the Waters' incident come to mind)

5. Patton was a vulgar man who luxuriated while seeming to ignore the needs of his soldiers (slapping several men who suffered from battle exhaustion, preferring petrol over food rations, drawing a revolver in a hospital etc.)

6. Patton, "Talked too much." He couldn't keep secrets and thence was not privy to certain information or developments in Allied High Command (Eisenhower never informed him about Ultra, and he was not privy to much of the planning regarding Overlord).

7. Patton was too impetuous to be a great soldier, and he directly disobeyed orders from his superiors.

That's all for the moment. I'll let you readers consider that and wait anxiously for the next part. ; )

Friday, December 17, 2010

Medieval England

Since Agent hasn't posted yet, and there hasn't been a new post for eight months, here's one! It's actually a link to something interesting that ya'll probably didn't know.

Go here for it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Karl Marx

Karl Heinrich Marx lived from May 5, 1818 to March 14, 1883. He was a philosopher, political economist, sociologist, political theorist, revolutionary, and a humanist. Mr. Marx is often known as the father of communism. He was a political activist. He also analysed history.

He wrote in The Communist Manifesto,

"The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable."

Not many people knew about Mr. Marx during his lifetime. Soon after he died, all the ideas he had gave a real influence on workers' movements. His influence was given extra force when the Marxist Bolsheviks had victory in the Russian October Revolution. Few parts of the world weren't touched by Marxain ideas during the 1800's.

He was the third child out of seven children. Karl Marx’s family was Jewish. They lived in Trier, which is in the Kingdom of Prussia’s Province of the Lower Rhine.

Karl Marx’s father (Heinrich, 1777 through 1838) was in a long line of rabbis, and then converted to Christianity—even though he tended to be a diest. The older Mr. Marx also admired Englightenment people, like Rousseau and Voltaire. He was actually born Hershel Mordechai. When the Prussian athorities banned him from practicing law as a Jew, he joined the Lutheran denomination. The official denomination of the Prussian state was actually Lutheren.

Karl Marxs mother was Henrietta (1788 through 1863). Sophie, Hermann, Henriette, Louise, Emilie, and Caroline

He was a homeschooler until he was thirteen. He graduated from the Trier Gymnasium and enrolled in the University of Bonn (1835). Karl Marx was seventeen when he began studying law. He joined the Trier Tavern Club, a drinking society and served as its president for a while. Mr. Marx’s grades dropped during his time in the Club. He was really interested in literature and phylosiphy, but his father disaproved of it. The older Mr. Marx thought that his son couldn’t support himself highly enough.

After Mr. Marx began law school, his father made him go to a far more school-enclined and serious Friedrich-Wihelms universitat in Berlin. While there, Mr. Marx wrote a lot of poems and essays about life. He used the theological language that he had picked up from his deistic, liberal father (like “the Deity,”) but also used atheistic philosophies of the Young Hegelians—who were very active in Berlin at the time.

In 1841, he wrote a thesis called The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosphy of Nature and earned a doctorate. He had to submit it to the University of Jena. Mr. Marx was warned that because he was a Young Hegelain radical and was known as one amoung the faculty, the thesis would have a bad reception in Berlin.

When Europe began to have a lot of revolutions, Mr. Marx was arrested and banned from Belgium. A radical movement had taken power from King Louis-Philipe in France. They asked Mr. Marx to go back to Paris.

Mr. Marx witnessed the June Days uprising first hand.

When the uprising collapsed in 1849, he went back to Cologne. Mr. Marx started the Neue Rheinische Zeitung.

While the newspaper was still around, Mr. Marx was put on trial twice because of a press misdemeanor. Then, he was charged with a suggestion of an armed rebellion. He was aquitted both times. Eventually, the paper was suppressed.

Mr. Marx went back to Paris, but had to move to London. in May 1849.

He stayed there for the rest of his life.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Canada's Dismal State Leading to World War II

World War II ignited spontaneously. A very short arms race was engaged in slightly before Poland was invaded, but the only nations actually ready for a conflict of scale were Germany, Italy and Japan. Even the mighty Imperial Great Britain was caught off guard and with a poorly equipped Air Force, slightly obsolescant technology on its Naval Fleet and an expeditionaty force that likely wasn't ready for such a conflict (such as the latest asdic on its battleships). (This said, if the French had been able to stand, the English Expeditionary Army, almost 200,000 strong) was strong enough to halt the German Blitzkireg in its tracks, if circumstances had been slightly different...)However, unlike the mighty UK, France, Netherlands, China, Poland, Norway, Denmark, USA, USSR and Canada were all caught entirely off guard and with little power of significance, initially.

Canada, throughout the war, fought in various compaigns, including even establishing its own Beachhead at D-Day, campaigning through Normandy and the Scheldt, Holland, Belgium, Italy, escorting and providing the entire brunt of anti U-boat war in the West-Atlantic for many years and aiding and supplementing fighting in the Pacific and in the bombing campaigns. It may be of great dismay that even though Canada fought so bravely, it spent its first years mobilising, such was its disrepair.

The Royal Canadian Navy was in a very pitiful state at the start of the war - it relied on a top heavy Corvette fleet. Before these Corvettes could be utilized in the heavy Atlantic Squalls, they had to be modified en masse so that they wouldn't pitch excessively and threaten to topple over, because they were top heavy. Yet, the Canadian Government ordered eighty-some of these ships throughout the course of the war. If you analyze this source:, you will see that only five of these Flower Class Corvettes were Commissioned by 1940. In essence, Canada's Navy was dependant upon six destroyers, all of which were River Class, five Flower Class Corvettes and a handful of minesweepers and a few other small ships (including dependancy on armed yachts). As of 1939, the RCN consisted of only 191 officers and 1,799 ratings.Furthermore, the asdic and radar utilized by the Navy was severely obsolete until 1944, during which Canada was finally able to equip most of its fleet with the top of the line English asdic. The Hedgehog and Squid equipment were introduced into the Canadian Navy long after the English had adapted it. Now considering that the Canadian Royal Navy was being depended upon to provide escort for every convoy in the West Atlantic, including down to the Bahamas, after the United States joined the war and sent most of its operational fleet to the Pacific, this is a sad revelation.

The Royal Canadian Air force was in equal terms of grim repair. "In a grim report to the incoming Liberal Government, McNaughton warned that Canada had not a single anti-aircraft gun... Canada had only 25 obsolete operational aircraft, and not a single bomb." * (Military history of Canada)"September 1, 1939, the RCAF had a total strength of 4,000 personnel (400 officers and 3,600 airmen) of whom three-quarters were in the Regular component and the remainder in the Auxiliary. There were eight Regular squadrons comprised of two general purpose, two general reconnaissance, one fighter, one bomber, one torpedo- bomber, and one army co-operation. The Auxiliary Force consisted of 12 squadrons including four fighter, four bomber, two army co-operation, and two coast artillery co-operation."The RCAF had a total of 270 Aircraft of 20 assorted types. In the last days of August, when the situation in Europe was becoming extremely critical, the Regular squadrons began moving to their "war stations." When, on September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, Canada placed her armed forces on active service. Nine days later Canada declared war on Germany." ** (Airforce)In contrast, the French Air force contained the excellent Morane-Saulnier MS-406, the Bloch MB 170 bomber and the Dewoitine D.520 fighter plane."...only nineteen (19) Hurricanes and and ten (10) Fairey Battle light bombers could be considered front line aircraft." *** ( The Air Force 2) After the Battle of Britain, the Fairey Battle was considered obsolescant, once called "a monster that lumbers - it doesn't fly". (Suddenly a Spy)

The Army, to touch briefly on it, was also in atrocious condition. When it began mobilizing in the late 1930s, it was quite clear that the Depression had taken its toll. The Officers were trained in Canada Military College before being sent to learn of strategy in England, but this training proved to often be inadequate when regarding artillery, armoured and infantry coordination.Many of the soldiers dug out old World War I relics for uniform and weaponry; Lewis guns, Ross Rifles, Lee-Enfield No. 1 and other World War 1 relics were much evident in the original militia formations.Canada mobilized the Canadian Active Service Force, a corps of a mere two divisions."The Permanent Active Militia (or Permanent Force (PF), Canada's full time army) had just 4,261 officers and men, while the Non-Permanent Active Militia (Canada's reserve force) numbered 51,000 partially trained and ill-equipped soldiers. Modern equipment was scarce all around. Attempts to modernize had begun in 1936 but equipment procurement was slow and the government was unwilling to expend money to equip the new tank battalions introduced that year." ***** (Mobilization of Armed Forces)Modern weaponry, such as the Bren Gun, were slow in coming; in fact, the Bren Gun scandal made Mackenzie and Parliament considerably reluctant to arm its army with modern weapons. Its armoured Divisions were initially few and poorly equipped until 1940-41, after which it was manufacturing some excellent vehicles, such as the Ram Tank, which was never used as the useless Sherman was utilized in most Allies Divisions.

Why was Canada so unprepared in the first place? It largely disarmed during the Depression, due to financial difficulties. It only had a handful of regular (active) Regiments, which still possessed aged weapons. Budget cuts nearly crippled the RCAF, which possessed a smattering of obsolescent biplanes and even less of the Hurricane Mk. 1, Fairey Battles or Bristol Blenheim bombers.

As aforementioned, the Canadian Navy was limited to six River Class destroyers (two arrived in 1939 and 1940), a handful of top heavy Flower Class Corvettes (The Flower Class Corvette was an inadequate ship for the Atlantic. It rolled and pitched so often that everything got wet. Crew morale was often extremely low, as even rations were 'salty and soggy'. Furthermore, there were so few of these Corvettes that only one or two could be in port for relief at any one time - the rest had to be perpetually active in ever-harrowing convoys.) It was so desperate that it employed Armed Yachts - what purpose does an Armed Yacht serve, may I ask?

And while the Navy was scrambling during the war, the German U-boaters were jubilant with two 'Happy Times' in the Atlantic, in which hundreds of thousands of tonnes were lost each time. The U-boats preyed right up to the Coast of the US and Canada, and even into the Gulf of Mexico, St. Lawrence and the Bay of Fundy. It was the Royal Canadian Navy that was responsible for much of the convoy duty in the Eastern Atlantic, as the USA, when it joined the war, sent most of its fleet to the Pacific. So that's a second reflection on the state of Canadian Armed Forces.

Next, let me share a couple of Anecdotes and a few other follies. The Canadian Government wished for the Canadian Army to stay together - all five divisions. It refused to let them be implemented into any fighting until Italy, when it finally conceded upon pressures from Crerar and restless soldiers that had been training in England for two whole years. Well this was, indeed, a mistake, as proven later on. When the Canadian Armies hit Sicily, Italy and Normandy, their communications and tank/artillery/infantry cooperation were extremely poor. The training they received meant very little in the face of real fire; so why didn't the Canadian government allow a division at a time to gain experience in Africa? It became evident that the English 8th was far better than Rommel's Afrikaan Korps and was driving it backwards while the US and English landed armies in Tripoli and Tunisia. Why didn't the Canadian Government allow some of its divisions to gain valuable battle experience in an already determined victory?

Rather, they shocked them by plunging them straight into battle - facing fire - at drops on Sicily and into Italy, and for the rest of it, at Juno Beach. this was terrible for Canadian morale and poorly thought of by the command structure. It became evident that NCO's, regimental and even Divisional commanders were mostly inadequate. Wholescale sackings had to take place, but Canadian officers did not distinguish themselves, except for Guy Simonds and Crerar (who also narrowly escaped being sacked on one occasion). In fact, the Canadian Army was trained largely at Battalion and Regimental level. The loyalties were fierce, but when other companies were tacked on, or they had to fight as a Division, they often floundered as they weren't so fiercely loyal to their Division, and may even have dissented other Regiments of the Division, in some cases.

Another point is that throughout the war, Canada was always a step or two behind its Allies in innovation. Its planes were always inferior, its ships were always lacking the latest asdic or radar, its military the latest wireless sets or mortars. For example, the HAndley Page Halifax was kept in the RCAF as a heavy bomber until 1945! The Halifax was described as a 'metallic tinderbox' due to the placement of its engines. It was slow and it could not pull a looping dive or it would spin out of control and all hands would be lost. Of course, Canada was given the lowest priority for the greater planes (such as Liberators, Flying Fortresses, or greater Lancasters) and technologies, though it was one of the 'Big Four'. It never received the Gloster Meteor, the P51 Mustang or other great planes (it did acquire a substantial amount of Spitfires, but few of them were Mk VI's)

In fact, even though the Royal Canadian Navy was responsible for most Atlantic Convoys in '41, '42, '43 and '44, the United States exercised some command over it from a Naval base on Canadian territory! Outrageous!!! the USA hadn't a consistent ship in the area, yet it's exercising convoy command. A tremendous folly of the Canadian government.

Another Folly of the Atlantic was the mid-Ocean gap. Throughout 1941, '42 and '43, much of the mid-Atlantic wasn't covered by planes or dive bombers, which would keep U-boats submerged and incapable of grouping into 'wolf packs'. It (and England) did not utilize planes and Carriers to close this gap from their respective shores until late 1943 and 1944.A last folly that I shall discuss was the Canadian Government's sheer stupidity in the following anecdote. Leading into the Battle of Ortona, the English soldiers had been fighting at the base of Italy for sometime and were worn out. Mackenzie agreed that the 1st Canadian Division could substitute for the English, so the English gradually began to withdraw. However, for 'easier shipping purposes', it was agreed by BOTH parties that the Canadians would leave their equipment in England and the English would leave theirs in Italy. It apparently did not occur that the Canadians would then be utilizing worn out, sometimes broken and often grungy equipment that had seen much battle in lieu of its (Canadian) brand new equipment that had been left behind in England!!! eventually the First Canadian Division received some of its equipment, but it took three weeks to make the Division operational in Italy.

And, as I've mentioned, the Canadians had an excellent medium tank - the Ram Tank. The Ram Tank was better in quality than the Sherman (larger gun, thicker armour, stronger engine, wouldn't 'brew up' with a shot from a Tiger at 1,000 yards), yet the Army abandoned its Rams because England insisted that all forced standardize with the Sherman. Is that not stupidity in the entire essence? The Sherman 'brewed up' as easily one could imagine; yet because the USA could produce them faster than they were lost, they were the 'ideal tank'. Bah Also, the Ram could actually penetrate the Panzer's Armour at 200 yards, whereas the Sherman could be 150 yards away and there was no guarantee that the shell wouldn't just bounce off and into the sky.