From the War of 1812 to the War on Terrorism, Canadian soldiers have a reputation for fighting above their weight. Time and again, Canada’s small, often underfunded, forces have taken on bigger, stronger foes and walked shoulder to shoulder into battle with much more powerful allies.

Read about some of the great heroes of Canadian military history, from two giants of colonial conflicts, the Shawnee warrior Tecumseh and his pre-Canadian counterpart Sir Isaac Brock, to the modern-day heroism of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Afghanistan.

• During the War of 1812, Tecumseh united over a dozen tribes and allied himself with the British general Sir Isaac Brock in an ultimately unsuccessful bid to drive the Americans from Native lands

• Laura Secord, walked 32 kilometres through the swamp and wild woods of southern Ontario to warn British troops of an American ambush

• The Marquis de Montcalm was head of French forces in North America during the Seven Years War, and his death during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham profound profoundly affected the future of the emerging Canadian nation

• Billy Bishop, top flying ace of the British Royal Flying Corps in World War I, claimed 72 air combat victories, although the truth of his claim remains controversial today

• Georges Vanier and his famous Van Doos suffered terribly in the trench warfare of World War I, with the future Governor General of Canada losing a leg in the conflict

• Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry has a 90-year history of representing the best the Canadian military has to offer and today often risks life and limb in hotspots around the world.

These stories and more make for captivating and inspiring reading.