31 October 2006

The Northern Mariner for January 2006

I've seen a copy of the January 2006 issue of The Northern Mariner (vol.xvi, no.1) published by the Canadian Naval Research Society. This issue contains an article by Chris Madsen (professor at the Canadian Forces College) on "Industrial Hamilton's Contribution to the Naval War". It also contains a note on the society's annual conference for 2007, to be held in Churchill, Manitoba, from 2 to 7 August with the theme of "Northern Navigation". Among the items on the preliminary program is Richard Mayne's "RCN Arctic Planning in the 1960s". For details contact Dr. William Glover at williamglover@sympatico.ca. Finally, the journal is also advertising for its 2008 conference, to be held in Quebec City from 6 to 9 August with the theme of "Four Centuries of North Atlantic Crossings / Quatre siècles de voyages transatlantiques". Paper proposals are welcomed, especially on the topics of "exploration, trade, war, ships, individuals and any other topic related to marine activity in and around Quebec and the North Atlantic over the past four centuries." Proposals should be sent to Dr. Serge Durflinger at sdurflin@uottawa.ca.

29 October 2006

North American Vexillological Association conference

I never had a chance to talk about my recent trip to Nevada to give a paper at the 40th annual conference of the North American Vexillological Association. Held in Reno from 13 to 15 October, the conference was a very interesting mixture of lectures, discussion panels, and visits to local historic sites attended by a variety of historians, flagmakers, flag designers, professional vexillologists (those who study and advise on the history, design, and theory of flags), and collectors. The paper I presented was titled "'To make the unmistakable signal "CANADA"': The Canadian Army's 'Battle Flag' during the Second World War". This paper dealt with the story of the flag designed by Colonel AF Duguid (Director of the Army Historical Section during the 1930s and Second World War) for use by the commander of the 1st Canadian Division in 1939. The interest in the story arises from the desire of many - including Colonel Duguid - to see this design adopted as the Canadian national flag. I was honoured that my presentation was awarded the Captain William Driver Award by the NAVA board of directors as the best presentation made at the conference. Next year's conference will be held in October in Hartford, Connecticut.

27 October 2006

Peace Operations conference

Sorry for the late notice on this one. Dr. Jean Martin, one of the official historians at the Department of National Defence, has passed on some info on a conference being held at the Best Western Hotel in Montreal, Quebec, from 3 to 4 November 2006. "Lester B. Pearson's Legacy: 50 Years of Peace Operations" is being organized by the Research Network on Peace Operations with the following partners: the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Research Group on International Security, Le Centre d'études et de recherches internationales, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Department of National Defence, the Pearson Centre, and the Centre d'Études des politiques étrangères et de sécurité. Amongst the presentations scheduled are the following Canadian military historical items: "General Burn's Challenge: The Creation of the Suez Mission" by Jean Martin and "Pearson and Peacekeeping" by Adam Chapnick. The majority of the presentations are not limited to strictly Canadian or historical subjects.

25 October 2006

Colloque d'histoire militaire

Dans le cadre de son colloque annuel d'histoire militaire, la Chaire Hector-Fabre d'histoire du Québec tiendra son évènement à la magnifique Citadelle de Québec, le 10 novembre prochain.

Le thème cette année sera : "Les histoires régimentaires : Quels apports à l'histoire militaire?".

Pour plus de renseignements, veuillez consulter le lien suivant: http://www.unites.uqam.ca/chf/collmili.pdf

Michel Litalien

24 October 2006

Further details on a couple of new UBC Press publications

In a previous entry I mentioned a couple of new publications from the University of British Columbia Press. More details have been announced on these books. P. Whitney Lackenbauer's Battle Grounds: The Canadian Military and Aboriginal Lands is now available. UBC Press's website states: "In recent years, closures of Canadian Forces facilities, the military's continued use of airspace for weapons testing and low-level flying, increased environmental awareness, and Aboriginal land claims have contributed to a growing interest in the acquisition, use, and development of Aboriginal lands for military training. A study of these spaces and places, and the relationships and activities that shaped them, Battle Grounds analyzes a century of relationships between government officials and Aboriginal communities." Likewise, Richard Mayne's Scandal, Politics, and Canadian Naval Leadership can now be ordered. The same website notes: "In January 1944, Canada's top admiral, Percy Walker Nelles, was fired from his post as head of the Royal Canadian Navy. Traditional accounts maintain that Nelles's termination was the result of severe operational deficiencies within the navy. This intriguing history reveals the true story behind Vice Admiral Nelles's dismissal: a divisive power struggle between two elite groups within the RCN - the navy's regular officers, and a small group of self-appointed spokesmen of the voluntary naval reserve."

20 October 2006

Latest issue of Newfoundland and Labrador Studies

The latest issue of Newfoundland and Labrador Studies, volume 21, number 1 (Spring 2006) lists an article of interest for readers of this blog: Robert J. Harding's "Glorious Tragedy: Newfoundland's Cultural Memory of the Attack at Beaumont Hamel, 1916-1925." Presumably, this article is based on the same author's Master's thesis with Dalhousie University in 2004, "Newfoundland's Cultural Memory of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, 1916-1949", the abstract for which reads: "On 1 July 1916, the Newfoundland Regiment was slaughtered at Beaumont Hamel, France in its bloodiest battle of the First World War. Today the battle is remembered by Newfoundlanders as the worst catastrophe in their island's history and as the single event which instigated a chain of events that led to the island's loss of responsible government in 1933 and Confederation with Canada in 1949. Beaumont Hamel was once proclaimed as Newfoundland's proudest national achievement. Between 1916 and 1949 an assortment of Newfoundland mythmakers utilized newspaper editorial columns, commemorative ceremonies, historical literature, and war memorials to generate a triumphant cultural memory of the conflict that was built almost entirely upon a mythologized interpretation of Beaumont Hamel. Similarly to Great Britain, Canada, and Australia, Newfoundland attempted to find a deeper meaning in a war which cost more than anyone imagined a war ever could."

19 October 2006

News from Angus Brown and Richard Gimblett

I received an e-mail from Angus Brown with respect to news on the book he co-authored with Richard Gimblett, In the Footsteps of the Canadian Corps: Canada's First World War 1914-1918 (Ottawa: Magic Light Publishing, 2006). Angus notes that the book has been well received, and the two authors are hoping to put together another marketing campaign before Remembrance Day and Christmas. They will be doing some book signings around Ottawa and Toronto. The book is currently available at Chapters (see link above), Indigo, Coles, the Canadian War Museum boutique and various independent book stores across Canada.

A video documentary version of the book is currently in production, filiming having been completed. Angus expects to see an edited draft of the video by the end of October. Hell Creek Entertainment, the film company, is expected to have it shown on cable television networks and, eventually, to have it available for sale to the public.

Angus also notes that the Canadian Broadcasting Corps in releasing its 17-hour long 1964 radio series, "Flanders' Fields" in an audio DVD format. This is now available online and at CBC boutiques in Toronto and Ottawa.

10 October 2006

Nouvelles parutions en histoire militaire canadienne

Depuis 2001, Athéna éditions, une maison d’édition située à Outremont près de Montréal, s’intéresse à l’histoire militaire canadienne. Cette maison s’intéresse beaucoup aux travaux universitaires et d’historiens érudits. À ce jour, plus d’une quinzaine de titres ont été publiés et ont fait l’objet de nombreuses critiques très positives. En peu de temps, Athéna éditions s’est taillée une réputation solide, tant au Canada français qu’en Europe où ses livres sont populaires surtout auprès de la communauté des historiens de la Première Guerre mondiale. Depuis l’an dernier, cette maison d’édition s’efforce de faire connaître auprès du public francophone d’Amérique et d’Europe les publications et les travaux du Canada anglais dans le domaine de l’histoire militaire. Deux ouvrages « Billet pour le front » (When Your Number’s Up) de Desmond Morton et « Survivre au tranchées » (Surviving Trench Warfare) de Bill Rawling ont été accueillis très favorablement au Québec et en France. Athéna publiera bientôt « Mourir en héros : Mémoire et mythe de la Première Guerre mondiale » (Death So Noble) de Jonathan Vance. Nul doute que ce livre connaîtra un grand succès en France et en Belgique. Athéna prévoit traduite et publier de deux à trois importants ouvrages canadiens-anglais par année.

La rentrée de cet automne est plutôt abondante : En plus du livre de Jonathan Vance, il y aura : « Une façon de faire la guerre : La prise de Cambrai, octobre 1918 » de Bill Rawling, « Volontaires : Des Québécois en guerre, 1939-1945 » de Yves Tremblay, l’exceptionnel « Journal de guerre, 1915-1918 » du lieutenant-colonel Thomas-Louis Tremblay, commandant du 22e Bataillon d’infanterie CEC, ainsi que « Briser les ailes de l’ange : Des infirmières militaires canadiennes, 1914-1918 » de Mélanie Morin. En plus de ces titres, Athéna éditions vient de sortir son très attendu « Guide du Maintien de la paix » cuvée 2007.

Pour en savoir plus, consultez le site internet au : www.athenaeditions.net

Il me fera plaisir de vous tenir à jour sur les parutions (en français) en histoire militaire.

Athéna éditions, a French Canadian publishing house located in Outremont (Montreal) has recently published six interesting titles. Since its creation in 2001, Athéna has published over 15 titles in Canadian military history, most of them from academic works. Athéna now has a solid reputation in the province of Quebec and in Europe where its books have received very good reviews. Last year, Athéna éditions started to translate and publish in French important titles in Canadian military history: Desmond Morton’s When Your Number’s Up became “Billet pour le front” and Bill Rawling’s Surviving Trench Warfare “Survivre au tranchées”. Both were very well received in Quebec and in France. Athéna will soon release Jonathan Vance’s “Mourir en héros : Mémoire et mythe de la Première Guerre mondiale” better known in English as Death So Noble. No doubt this book will be successful in France and Belgium. Athéna would like to translate in French and publish two to three English Canadian titles a year.

Other than Jonathan Vance’s book, Athéna éditions has just published five interesting titles: another book from the prolific Bill Rawling « Une façon de faire la guerre : La prise de Cambrai, octobre 1918 », DHH’s Yves Tremblay’s « Volontaires : Des Québécois en guerre, 1939-1945 », the famous « Journal de guerre, 1915-1918 » of lieutenant-colonel Thomas-Louis Tremblay, commanding officer of the 22nd Infantry Battalion (Vandoos) and Mélanie Morin’s « Briser les ailes de l’ange : Des infirmières militaires canadiennes, 1914-1918 ». Athéna has also recently published its famous « Guide du Maintien de la paix » (The Peacekeeping Guide) version 2007.

For more information, please visit the website at : www.athenaeditions.net

Michel Litalien

04 October 2006

Even newer issue of the Canadian Army Journal

My apologies for the delay in posting any new content. I was away with my family on a short vacation.

Just to emphasize the content of my last message, Major Andrew Godefroy and the other good folks in Kingston have issued the Summer 2006 issue (volume 9, number 2) of The Canadian Army Journal / Le Journal de l'Armée du Canada. As usual, this journal contains several items on Canadian military history including: "The Battle of the Somme - 90th Anniversary The 1st Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont Hamel, 1st July 1916" / "La Bataille de la Somme - 90e Anniversaire le 1er Newfoundland Regiment à Beaumont-Hamel, 1er juillet 1916", by Robert L. Boyer; "The Forgotten: Lieutenant General E.L.M. "Tommy" Burns and UN Peacekeeping in the Middle East" / "L'Oublié : Le Lieutenant-Général E.L.M. "Tommy" Burns et le Maintien de la Paix par les Nations Unies au Moyen-Orient", by Sean M. Maloney; and, "Four Names on the Vimy Memorial: The 38th Battalion's Trench Raid of 22 February 1917" / "Quatre noms inscrits sur le Mémorial de Vimy : le Raid de tranchée le 22 février 1917 par le 38e Bataillon", by yours truly.