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Posted on May 12, 2007 in Armchair Reading

Kudos on the Vimy Ridge piece (Apr/May 2007)

By David Wright

Dear Sirs,

Many thanks for the Vimy Ridge piece (Apr/May 2007), as I would expect a noticeable percentage of your readers are (like me) Canadian. I would encourage more on Canadian Military History on occasion, as we have both triumphs like Vimy, and the Scheldte Estuary in WW2, and disasters like Dieppe that would be of interest to all readers.

An aside for Dispatches, given the mention of the death of Lord Kitchener; I currently live in the city of Kitchener in Southern Ontario, but it original name was Berlin, reflecting the predominantly German immigrants that first populated the area. The name was changed during WW1 in honour of the aforementioned Lord, and probably as much to remove the name of the ‘Hun’capital from the map in that first war of scurrilous propaganda. A
> rose by any other name, of course; Kitchener now host the largest Octoberfest festival in the world outside Germany itself… Ein Prosit!


David Wright
(Son of WW2 Canadian veteran John M. Wright, 1925 to 1987) Kitchener, ON Canada

‘Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.’ … John F. Kennedy

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Dear David,

Thanks very much for your email and for the kind words about our "Vimy Ridge significant events article. Our publisher, Eric Weider, is orginally from Canada and asked me to make sure we covered this important battle on its 90th anniversary.

Your suggestion to cover more Canadian military history, particularly the tragic, but very important Dieppe Raid, is a good one.

We also note that a significant number of reader solutions for our popular You Command combat decision game come from our Canadian readers, several of which have been selected as Winners or Honorable Mentions in past issues. We’re very pleased to have a strong readership among Canadians.

The information on Kitchener, Ontario, is very interesting, as well.

During World War I, there was a similar effort here in the States to change German or German-sounding names. In fact, America’s top WWI ace, Eddie Rickenbacker changed the spelling of his last name to be less "Germanic" at the outbreak of the war. Perhaps more notorious, the family of America’s Public Enemy Number 1 during the 1930’s, John Dillinger, began during World War I to pronounce their last name using a ‘soft g’ pronunciation, rather than the hard g’ of the more Germanic sounding name.

Thanks very much for your feedback.

Jerry Morelock
Editor in Chief, Armchair General magazine