‘We were greeted by German machine gun fire’: Canadian veteran recalls ‘traumatic’ D-Day battle
When Pierre Gauthier first stepped into the French city of Caen, there was little to see beyond the sad remnants of a months-long battle. The city had been flattened. Rubble, destroyed buildings and the paltry ruins of a centuries-old cathedral, with its windows blown out, were all that was left.
To the eyes of the 89-year-old former sergeant from Montreal, everything has long since changed.
“It’s surprising. It’s very surprising,” he said on Wednesday from his chateau in France. “Here is this big, huge modern city. It’s industrialized, there are beautiful factories. There wasn’t much left of the city when we destroyed it in July 1944. It was not just the city of Caen, all of these cities were badly damaged. This country has arll changed.” (National Archives of Canada)
‘I will not forget my children’s blood’: Aleppo’s female sniper vows to take her revenge
Her fame has spread throughout Aleppo. Her comrades have nicknamed her Guevara, but to many residents she is known simply as “the female sniper.”
Standing stock still, her finger suspended over the trigger, she stares through the sight of her Dragonov rifle.
Her view framed by the jagged concrete edges of the fist-sized hole cut into the wall of her hideout on one of the most dangerous front lines in Aleppo, Guevara, named after the revolutionary, watches the enemy — government soldiers — moving along the other side of the street.
“I like fighting. When I see that one of my friends in my katiba [rebel division] has been killed, I feel that I have to hold a weapon and take my revenge,” she says.
A female fighter in Syria’s conservative Muslim society is rare, often considered improper. But she commands the respect of her fellow fighters, about 30 men and boys, some as young as 16. (Narciso Contreras/The Associated Press; Abdullah al-Yassin/The Associated Press)
ANZAC Day commemorated around the world
Australians and New Zealanders commemorated ANZAC Day, honouring members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought in the 1915 campaign at Gallipoli, Turkey, during the First World War. In that campaign, 28,000 Australians and 7,500 New Zealanders were killed or wounded in battle. In the decades since the end of the First World War, ANZAC Day commemorates all who served and died in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. (Reuters;AFP/Getty Images)
Two decades of Bosnian war memories – from a photographer on the front-line
Looking from the Croatian side of the river Sava in 1992, we knew it was just a matter of time until the war would jump the river into Bosnia, just as it had, almost a year earlier, spread like a forest fire from Slovenia to Croatia. The former republics of Yugoslavia were lighting aflame like wooden sheds tipsily leaning on each other. And, once the fire started, there was no way to stop it; all we could do is watch until it burned itself out. (Photos: Zoran Bozicevic)
Photos: War letters
Brothers, Stephen and Frederic Vickers from St. Catharines were prolific letter writers during their World War two service. While Stephen an instructor stayed in Canada, stationed in Barriefield near Kingston, Ontario, Fredrick, described as a troop leader with the 15th Field Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery was stationed in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany at the end of the war. They both attended McMaster University in Hamilton where their letters are now archived. (Photos by Glenn Lowson for National Post)