Waterloo at War

The Waterloo at War website is an online portal to the past. There you will find archival records, photographs, and written documents pertaining to Waterloo County, Ontario and the 118th Overseas Battalion, one of the local units raised during the First World War. The website is a collaborative effort between the Mennonite Archive of Ontario, University of […]

‘Deep Map’: 100th Anniversary of the Second Battle of Ypres

This week marks the 100th Anniversary of what Canadians know as the Second Battle of Ypres. On the afternoon of 22 April 1915, the forward elements of 1st  Canadian Division were still preparing their shallow trenches in the farmland just north of Ypres, Belgium. At 5:00 PM, reports began of a greenish yellow cloud drifting […]

The Air Photo Finding Aid

  The Second World War Canadian Army Air Photo Collection can be searched using keywords as well as dates. Previously, the photos were only searchable by location, and one of the most frequent requests we received was for a search format which allowed for dates. For example, if you would like to search for images of […]

Second World War Canadian Army Air Photos – By Rebekah Petzold

The First Canadian Army Air Photo collection was brought to the Laurier Center for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS) in 1985. Originally being used for the Air Photo Interpretation Section of the First Canadian Army during the Normandy Campaign and Northwest Europe in 1944-45, it was transported after the war to the air photo […]

Benzedrine Sulphate used in War Operations – by Brook Durham

The mechanized nature of warfare during the Second World War tested the limits of human endurance. Physical exhaustion had always concerned military commanders, but technological advances in the 1930s and 1940s created new possibilities for conducting operations across great distances, at any time of the day, including night warfare. Mechanized vehicles in the army, navy […]

Bayonet Training and Application – by Ben Toews

In the decades prior to the outbreak of the First World War, weapons technology underwent an upgrade. The introduction of machine guns and quick-fire artillery significantly changed the dynamics of waging war. Despite the lethality of the new firepower, however, a strong belief in the bayonet as an essential component for victory remained in Commonwealth […]

The Military Industrial Paperwork Complex

Ronnie Shephard’s career in operational research stretched from the Second World War to the 1990s. During this time he worked for many different government, corporate, and educational institutions, from the wartime Army Operational Research Group to the Royal Military College of Science to subsidiaries of BAE Systems. A great deal of Shephard’s work was designed […]

Panzers and the Western Allies

To this day, German Panzers of the Second World War enjoy a fearsome reputation and enduring mythology. Much of this has to do with notions of the perceived superiority of German armour over British and American tanks, ideas that took root during post-war military and historical collaboration between the Western Allies and the former Wehrmacht […]

Decoding Flying Neurosis in the Mediterranean

During the Second World War, many aircrew fell victim to what medical personnel termed ‘flying neurosis,’ a psychological/emotional reaction to stress analogous to ‘battle exhaustion’ suffered by ground troops. Today, this is referred to as an Operational Stress Injury (OSI). In 1945, the Operational Research Section of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces issued A Statistical Analysis […]

Desertion in the 118th Battalion

The Laurier Military History Archive holds the original papers of Lieutenant Colonel William Merton Overton Lochead, Commanding Officer of the 118th (North Waterloo) Overseas Battalion. This battalion was comprised primarily of Canadians of German descent and suffered from a high level of desertion during its year in Canada. Our collection documents the establishment, recruiting and […]