The new things you can learn by being curious about an old postcard…

While going through some very old family photo albums, I came across a few black and white postcards secured on some of the pages with those little black corners.  I do like to collect the odd postcard from the past, so I was curious about these ones.  They were photos of scenes and people taken in Northern Manitoba with credits to the photographer and “courtesy” of the Bulova watch company.  They also had “Muskox” stamped across the upper left corner.

After a fair bit of internet searching, I finally figured out what it was all about:  “Operation Muskox” started in 1946.  That sounded intriguing, if I wasn’t already curious enough!

Wikipedia helped with a few details:  Operation Muskox was military exercise organized by the Canadian Army.  The mission started in Churchill, Manitoba, so I guess my family had a connection to it somehow, or someone just really liked the postcards.  From Wikipedia,

It involved the 48 members of the Army driving 11 4½-ton Canadian-designed snowmobiles (“Penguins”)”

The group travelled through areas in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Northern BC and NW Alberta, before returning by rail to Edmonton.  The Wikipedia post referenced an UpHere article that states,

The mission proved the Canadian Army could operate in the Arctic. But would it have to? The effort required to support the small, tracked force was so great that Operation Muskox, more than anything, proved how unlikely it was that columns of Soviet tanks would crawl over the Arctic Circle to invade North America.”

The article also mentioned some concerns and perceptions about the mission:

Newspaper editors in Canada wrung their hands over the possible message it was sending the Soviets.”

The public may have had doubts about the mission’s motives, but they were eating up every little detail that became available. The press covered everything from their route to what the soldiers wore; the men on the mission were idolized as Arctic explorers.”

Wikipedia also linked 2 videos on YouTube about the mission:  Expedition Into The Arctic (1946) and The Canadian Army returns back after military exercise Operation Muskox

Ironically, as I was writing about this topic, I noticed and read this article,

Pompeo says Canadian claim to Northwest Passage is ‘illegitimate’

This video interview helped my understanding:

Understanding Canada’s legal claim to the Northwest Passage

It was interesting to make a connection to what I had just researched about an Arctic mission.  More to learn about…