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Sniper Scouts Leo Major is a Canadian Recon unit.


Main article: Sniper Scouts

Leo Major is one of the most interesting soldiers to ever serve in the Canadian military. Born in 1921 to French Canadian parents, Major was raised in Montreal and joined the army in 1940, to prove to his father that he was someone to be proud of. Following training and service in Canada, Major landed in Normandy together with the Canadian forces on June 6, 1944, beginning his long and meritorious service. It started with his single-handed capture of a communications Sd.Kfz. 251, containing Nazi radio gear and more importantly, encryption manuals. Several days later he claimed four kills in an engagement with an SS patrol, losing an eye to a phosphorous grenade. Despite qualifying for a medical discharge, he continued to fight - after all, he had the other one still in place.

The one-eyed sniper was only getting warmed up. During the Battle of the Scheldt, Major captured 93 soldiers by capturing their commanding officer and marching his entire unit back to Canadian lines under withering fire from SS units attempting to kill their captured brothers in arms. He declined the Distinguished Conduct Medal out of hostility towards General Montgomery. He did receive it later, after he narrowly escaped being medically discharged again for sustaining crippling injuries when a Universal Carrier he was riding in struck a mine, and liberated the city of Zwolle single handedly, when he and Willie Arseneault (later killed by German fire) decided to capture the city by themselves.

He captured a Wehrmacht officer from Alsace and convinced him that the Canadian forces would start shelling the city and cause casualties to both Nazis and civilians alike. He then let him go, giving him back his gun as a sign of good faith. Then he decided to stage an attack on the city, running through its streets, firing his gun and throwing grenades. The havoc and noise convinced Nazi forces that the Canadians were assaulting the city. Major returned to his lines ten times with some eight to ten prisoners over the course of the night, on top of setting fire to the local Gestapo and SS offices. This was enough to force the Nazis to vacate Zwolle without destroying the city, earning Major his first DCM and the live-long gratitude of the people of Zwolle.

While other people would retire after the war, Major returned to service during the Korean War, again serving as a sniper-scout. He received a bar for his DCM during the battle for Hill 355. Following the failure of United States units to hold on to the hill, the Canadian forces decided on a gamble: Major's team, consisting of 19 men in total, sneaked through enemy lines and assaulted Hill 355 at night, panicking Chinese forces and forcing them to retreat. The counter-attack came two hours later, in the form of two Chinese divisions. Major and his men refused to retreat and fought the assault on throughout the night, calling artillery strikes practically on top of their positions.

Major survived the war and died peacefully at the age of 87 in Quebec, in 2008.


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