6 February 1951

The Canadian Army enters combat in the Korean War.

Lieutenant General Charles Foulkes, then Chief of the General Staff was in favour of Canada providing an infantry brigade for the 1st Commonwealth Division. Since Foulkes favoured keeping the Canadian Army’s Mobile Striking Force intact for the defence of North America, he recommended recruiting a separate Special Force for the Korean War.

Recruits for the Special Force were enlisted for a period of eighteen months with recruits coming from both the Active Force, World War II veterans and adventure seeking young men. The normal recruitment standards were lowered since “the army would not wish to retain the ‘soldier of fortune’ type of personnel on a long term basis'”. Units of the Special Force would be second battalions of the existing three Permanent Force regiments.

On 15 August 1950, the 2nd Battalion was created within Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry as a component of the Canadian Army Special Force in response to the North Korean invasion of South Korea. The new battalion trained in Calgary and at CFB Wainwright, before boarding the USS Private Joe P. Martinez on 25 November 1950, to Pusan in South Korea. The battalion landed in Korea in December and trained in the mountains for eight weeks before finally taking part in the war on 6 February, becoming a component of the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade of the IX Corps in the 8th US Army. The 2nd Battalion of the PPCLI was the first Canadian infantry unit to take part in the Korean War.

Special Force Second Battalions of the Royal Canadian Regiment and Royal 22nd Regiment were formed and sent to Korea in 1951.

By spring 1951, 8500 Canadians troops were supporting the United Nations, alongside 12,500 British, 5000 Filipino troops and 5000 Turkish troops.

Two Canadian officers Lt. Green and Captain Claxton Ray in Korea

Area of operations.
From the summer of 1951 to the end of the war, most of the Canadian involvement centered on a small area north of Seoul “between the 38th parallel on the south and the town of Chorwon on the north, and from the Sami-Chon River east to Chail-li”.

The Canadian war front was about 30 miles across and was a section of the United Nations front occupied by British Commonwealth forces. Most of the Canadians’ combat missions took place on the 30 mile zone. The Canadians’ two main adversaries during the war were the North Korean army and the Chinese in the Battle of Kapyong. Canada’s military objective was to give military support towards the resolution of the war on the central front, which was central Korea.

6 February 1833

Otto becomes the first modern King of Greece.

Otto of Greece (Othon, Vasileus tis Ellados) was made the first modern king of Greece in 1832, under the Convention of London, whereby Greece became a new independent kingdom under the protection of the Great Powers. The second son of the philhellene King Ludwig I of Bavaria, Otto ascended the newly-created throne of Greece while still a minor. His government was run by a three-man regency council made up of Bavarian court officials. Upon reaching his majority, Otto removed the regents when they proved unpopular with the people and he ruled as an absolute monarch. Eventually his subjects’ demands for a constitution proved overwhelming and in the face of an armed insurrection, Otto granted a constitution in 1843.

Throughout his reign, Otto faced political challenges concerning Greece’s financial weakness and the role of the government in the affairs of the church. The politics of Greece of this era was based on affiliations with the three Great Powers, and Otto’s ability to maintain the support of the powers was key to his remaining in power. To remain strong, Otto had to play the interests of each of the Great Powers’ Greek adherents against the others, while not aggravating the Great Powers. When Greece was blockaded by the British Royal Navy in 1850 and again in 1853, to stop Greece from attacking the Ottoman Empire during the Crimean War, Otto’s standing amongst Greeks suffered. As a result, there was an assassination attempt on the Queen and finally, in 1862, Otto was deposed while in the countryside. He died in exile in Bavaria in 1867. He left a legacy of struggle between autocracy and democracy. This struggle has dogged subsequent Greek history. For years, dictatorships and military rule hindered the development of a healthy democracy. A new state needed a clear vision of how it was to be governed, so that good practice could become the established pattern of political life and leadership. Otto, the first King of the modern nation state of Greece, was unable to provide this and as leader of the nation he failed to lay down a solid foundation on which others could build.