James explores the Boer War, Canada’s first overseas conflict. He also outlines how the conflict inspired the creation of modern Special Forces: first used by the British to take on the Nazi’s in the Second World War. As Canada’s first foreign war, the Boer War gave birth to an important legacy of international military service. Canadian soldiers have served with distinction in the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War and subsequent Peacekeeping missions around the world.
James visits the Base Borden Military Museum in Ontario, Canada: home to one of the last surviving examples of the world’s first modern tank. He explores how the challenge of overcoming static trench warfare during the First World War led to the creation of the tank, and highlights the important role tanks played in winning the war for the Allies in 1918.
Click here to find out more about visiting the Base Borden Military Museum at CFB Borden.
James demonstrates the firing capability of the extraordinary British Lee-Enfield Mark III. The most iconic rifle of the First World War, it still holds the record for fastest aimed bolt action fire: unleashing a remarkable 38 rounds in one minute on a target! He compares the Lee-Enfield to the Canadian Ross Rifle, outlining the advantages the former had over the latter, and how its legacy includes service of upgraded versions in the Second World War, Korean War and today with the Canadian Rangers.
James teams up with Second World War Polish history aficionado Simon Rees to explore the battle of Monte Cassino. Together they investigate the story of the Polish II Corps under General Anders and its part in the bloody battle for Monte Cassino fought during the Second World War over 70 years ago. It’s an epic story of survival, bravery and victory, but one that is also tempered by a sense of betrayal. Instead of gaining freedom and democracy, the Western Allies allow post-war Poland to slide into Stalin’s iron grip.
For their work on the video, James and Simon were awarded Canadian Ethnic Media Association Awards for Best Internet Video in 2015.
Much of Simon Rees’ work can be found at his website: www.historicaleye.com.
In the first video, James profiles the extraordinary story of Norman Shneidman, holocaust survivor and Jewish partisan who fought behind enemy lines following the Germany invasion of the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Later he joined the Red Army, participating in the final destruction of Hitler’s Third Reich.