Today in History – December 28

Canadian sniper in Ortona
Canadian sniper in Ortona
Canadian Soldier at Ortona
Canadian Soldier at Ortona

THUNDER BAY – Today in History – December 28.

It was on this day in 1943 that Canadian soldiers fighting in the Battle of Ortona in Italy defeated German soldiers. The 1st Canadian Infantry Division over the German 1st Parachute Division and the capture of the Italian town of Ortona demonstrated once again the skill and determination of Canadian troops.

Canadian sniper in Ortona
Canadian sniper in Ortona

Canadian troops faced elements of the renowned German 1st Parachute Division. These battle-hardened troops were fanatical Nazi soldiers who, after many years of fighting were experienced fighters. The Nazis were ordered by Adolf Hitler to defend Ortona at any cost.

The initial Canadian attack on the town started on December 20th 1943 as the Canadian 2nd Brigade’s Loyal Edmonton Regiment with elements of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada under command attacked the town.

Members of the division’s 3rd Infantry Brigade launched a northerly attack to the west of the town. This effort was an attempt to outflank and cut off the town’s rear communications surrounding the Germans. However that attack made slow progress because of the difficult terrain and the skilful and a very determined German defence.

German commanders also concealed machine gun nests and anti-tank emplacements throughout Ortona. This made movement by Canadian armour and infantry very hard.

Canadian soldiers, in World War One, World War Two, and all of the conflicts that our countries troops have been involved in have proven to be hard fighting soldiers.

  • 457 – Majorian is acclaimed emperor of the Western Roman Empire and recognized by Emperor Leo I the Thracian.
  • 484 – Alaric II succeeds his father Euric and becomes king of the Visigoths. He establishes his capital at Aire-sur-l’Adour (Southern Gaul).
  • 893 – An earthquake destroys the city of Dvin, Armenia.
  • 1065 – Westminster Abbey is consecrated.
  • 1308 – The reign of Emperor Hanazono of Japan begins.
  • 1612 – Galileo Galilei becomes the first astronomer to observe the planet Neptune, although he mistakenly catalogued it as a fixed star.
  • 1768 – King Taksin’s coronation achieved through conquest as a king of Thailand and established Thonburi as a capital.
  • 1795 – Construction of Yonge Street, formerly recognized as the longest street in the world, begins in York, Upper Canada (present-day Toronto).
  • 1824 – The Bathurst War comes to an end with the surrender of the Wiradjuri.
  • 1832 – John C. Calhoun becomes the first Vice President of the United States to resign.
  • 1835 – Osceola leads his Seminole warriors in Florida into the Second Seminole War against the United States Army.
  • 1836 – South Australia and Adelaide are founded.
  • 1836 – Spain recognizes the independence of Mexico.
  • 1846 – Iowa is admitted as the 29th U.S. state.
  • 1867 – United States claims Midway Atoll, the first territory annexed outside Continental limits.
  • 1879 – Tay Bridge disaster: The central part of the Tay Rail Bridge in Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom collapses as a train passes over it, killing 75.
  • 1885 – Indian National Congress, a political party of India is founded in Bombay Presidency, British India.
  • 1895 – The Lumière brothers perform for their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines, marking the debut of the cinema.
  • 1895 – Wilhelm Röntgen publishes a paper detailing his discovery of a new type of radiation, which later will be known as x-rays.
  • 1902 – The Syracuse Athletic Club defeated the New York Philadelphians, 5–0, in the first indoor professional football game, which was held at Madison Square Garden.
  • 1908 – A magnitude 7.2 earthquake rocks Messina, Sicily, Italy killing over 75,000.
  • 1912 – The first municipally owned streetcars take to the streets in San Francisco.
  • 1918 – Constance Markievicz, while detained in Holloway prison, became the first woman to be elected MP to the British House of Commons.
  • 1935 – Pravda publishes a letter by Pavel Postyshev, who revives New Year tree tradition in the Soviet Union.
  • 1941 – World War II: Operation Anthropoid, the plot to assassinate high-ranking Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich, commences.
  • 1943 – World War II: After eight days of brutal house-to-house fighting, the Battle of Ortona concludes with the victory of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division over the German 1st Parachute Division and the capture of the Italian town of Ortona.
  • 1944 – Maurice Richard becomes the first player to score eight points in one game of NHL ice hockey.
  • 1948 – The DC-3 airliner NC16002 disappears 50 miles south of Miami.
  • 1956 – Chin Peng, David Marshall and Tunku Abdul Rahman meet in Baling, Malaya to try and resolve the Malayan Emergency situation.
  • 1958 – “Greatest Game Ever Played”: Baltimore Colts defeat the New York Giants in the first ever National Football League sudden death overtime game at New York’s Yankee Stadium.
  • 1972 – Kim Il-sung, already Prime Minister of North Korea and First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, becomes the first President of North Korea.
  • 1973 – The Endangered Species Act is passed in the United States.
  • 1978 – With the crew investigating a problem with the landing gear, United Airlines Flight 173 runs out of fuel and crashes in Portland, Oregon, killing ten. As a result, United Airlines instituted the industry’s first crew resource management program.
  • 1989 – A magnitude 5.6 earthquake hits Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, killing 13 people.
  • 2000 – U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it is going out of business after 128 years.
  • 2006 – War in Somalia: The militaries of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government and Ethiopian troops capture Mogadishu unopposed.
  • 2009 – Forty-three people die in a suicide bombing in Karachi, Pakistan, where Shia Muslims are observing the Day of Ashura.
  • 2010 – Arab Spring: Popular protests begin in Algeria against the government.
  • 2011 – Roboski airstrike: Turkish warplanes bomb 34 Kurds of Turkish nationality in the district of Uludere.
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