Thursday, November 8, 2012

TONIGHT: War Stories remembered on History

L/Cpl P.A. "Ross" Brioux (right)
My dad, Ross Brioux, is a World War II veteran. A member of the Canadian Provost Corps, he served in France and Germany in 1944-45.
Whenever I ask about his war stories, I get tales of hockey. Dad, now 97, actually enlisted with the Provost Corps because he heard they had a pretty good hockey team. He wound up playing in places like Brighton, England, along side NHL greats like Leafs goalie Turk Broda. He recalls the locals would put their tea and crumpets down long enough to holler, "Good show!" after a goal.
After a lot of prompting, some of his stories are less cheery. Like the time he saw a colleague riding ahead on a motorcycle cup in half by barb wire strung across a street.
Which brings me to War Story, a series of eight half-hour documentaries premiering tonight at 8 p.m. on History.
Airing through Sunday, Remembrance Day, the eight mini-docs cover such topics as tonight's "Bomber Command: Hitting Back" (8 p.m.) and "Bomber Command: Getting Home," true stories from British and Canadian airmen.
Cameras were largely verboten in the service, but Dad
found that the camera store shop owners in France were
only too happy to loan liberators from Canada anything
they wanted, including 16mm film cameras
The bomber command was a deadly assignment. Of the 125,000 men who served in the allied aircrew, 55,000 were killed including nearly 10,000 Canadians.
Other episodes include "Bomb Girls Remembered," a salute to the 250,000 Canadian women who worked in munitions factories during the war.
This dovetails nicely, of course, with Global's returning drama Bomb Girls. Rosie O'Donnell is in Toronto now shooting scenes for that series. Talk about Rosie the Riveter!
Tonight at 9 p.m., History has the broadcast premiere of The Real Inglorious Bastards. If you saw the Tarantino film, this is the true life back  story of three Office of Strategic Services' agents and a former Austrian Wehrmacht officer who made a night jump into the Austrian Alps in the dead of winter and sabotaged vital Nazi road and rail lines.
Did the guy with the baseball bat actually exist? Watch and find out.
Dad (centre) with two of his WWII Jeep buddies
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