FYI September 09, 2020

On This Day

1914 – World War I: The creation of the Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade, the first fully mechanized unit in the British Army.
The Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade, also known as Brutinel’s Brigade or the Brutinel Brigade, was the first fully motorized unit of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.[1] It was established on August 24, 1914 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, as Automobile Machine Gun Brigade No. 1 by Canadian Brigadier-General Raymond Brutinel, who initiated the program and was the unit’s first commander.[2] The unit played a significant part in halting the major German Spring Offensive of March 1918.

The Brigade was originally equipped with eight Armoured Autocars mounting two Colt Model 1914 machine guns (later replaced with the standard British Vickers MG) manufactured by Autocar in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Autocar also supplied six unarmoured support vehicles, four “roadsters” for the Brigade’s officers, and an ambulance.

Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig wrote that the “work of the 1st CMMG Brigade in recent operations has proved the value that can be obtained from such units, and recommends the formation of a 2nd Brigade be undertaken forthwith.”[3] So in May 1918 the 2nd Canadian Motor MG Brigade was added. With the new unit Brutinel’s force consisted of the 1st and 2nd Motor Machine Gun Brigade (each of 5×8 gun batteries), Canadian Cyclist battalion, one section of medium trench-mortars mounted on lorries (plus an assumed wireless and medical support).[4] This totaled 80 machine guns and about 300 bicycle infantry. Canadian historian John A. English points out that this “was the first mechanized formation in the Commonwealth armies and the forerunner of the armoured division.”[5]


Born On This Day

1868 – Mary Hunter Austin, American author, poet, and critic (d. 1934)
Mary Hunter Austin (September 9, 1868 – August 13, 1934) was an American writer. One of the early nature writers of the American Southwest, her classic The Land of Little Rain (1903) describes the fauna, flora and people – as well as evoking the mysticism and spirituality – of the region between the High Sierra and the Mojave Desert of southern California.




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Edible Alaska Home for the Harvest

Maybe the rest of the world is just waking up to the wonders of foraging and preserving, but it’s no news to Alaskans that fall is the moment for putting up our harvest, whether its fished, hunted, foraged, or grown. At last check it’s still berry season, mushroom season, moose season, and much more in various regions. Our Fall issue, themed Larder, Pantry, Cellar, helps you preserve, jelly, and cook your way through the waning light.