29 December 2006

Upcoming lectures at The Military Museums

The Military Museums (formerly The Museum of the Regiments) in Calgary has a series of military history lectures coming up in January and February 2007 of potential interest to readers of The Cannon's Mouth. Details on the exact timings and locations for each of these can be found on the museum's website.

On Thursday, January 11, the museums' new senior curator, Rory Cory, will speak on the subject of "British Light Infantry in the Seven Years War in North America". As the release notes, this was "saw tactical developments in many armies. The particular focus of this talk will be the influence of the North American battlefield on the British Army, with an emphasis on the development of light infantry. [...] Lessons learned during this conflict would continue to be expanded in the years to come and in later manifestations would form the theoretical basis for certain Canadian units such as Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry."

Two weeks later, on Thursday, January 25, folk singer, song-writer and poet Phyllis Wheaton will present a "story, song and slide-show presentation" titled "The Stones of Signal Hill". Using letters written by a First World War soldier (David Argo) to his wife and other museum material, she will introduce stories on the local Calgary landmark.

On Thursday, February 8, Nancy Townshend, an historian and content special for the Virtual Museum of Canada, will present "Maxwell Bates: The expression of an artist's prisoner of war experience". Her talk will focus on the "effect of Maxwell Bates' POW experience in a German salt mine in Stalag ICX 1940-1945 on his notable art."

Finally, on February 22, Captain Hub Gray (ret'd), former officer in Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, will discuss "his exploits as being part of the first Canadian unit sent to Korea. The Battle of Kapyong is examined while shedding light on the valiant actions of several comrades, the effect of the poorly led South Korean army, details about unreported biological mass murders and the unrelenting will of the people of Korea to live in freedom."

28 December 2006

News books lists from Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada has released its new books lists for November and December 2006 and contains the following items of interest to readers of this blog: Ted Barris, Victory at Vimy: Canada comes of age, April 9-12, 1917 (Toronto, 2007); Edward William Cutbill, A "Brown Job's" War [memoirs of Second World War] (Calgary, 2006); Bernd Horn and Tony Balasevicius (eds.), Casting Light on the Shadows: Canadian Perspectives on Special Operations Forces (Toronto, 2006); Bernd Horn and Roch Legault, Loyal Service: Perspectives on French-Canadian Military Leaders (Toronto, 2006); Harold McGill, Medicine and Duty: The World War I Memoir of Dr. Harold McGill's Service as Medical Officer with the 31st Battalion, C.E.F. (Calgary, 2007); and Charlie Young, Memories: Radar Recollections, 1943-1945 [an RCAF radarman] (Belleville, Ontario, 2006).

27 December 2006

Exhibit on the Battle of the St. Lawrence at the CWM

A new special exhibition has opened in the past week at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Titled "Canada under Attack: The Battle of the St. Lawrence (1942-1944)" / "Alerte au Canada! - La bataille du Saint-Laurent (1942-1944)", the exhibit opened on December 22 and runs until 15 April 2007 and is a travelling exhibition created by le Musée naval de Québec and the Musée de la Gaspésie. The release from the museum runs as follows: "During the Second World War, a naval battle was fought on the doorsteps of Canada's coastal communities. Canada Under Attack tells the story behind this event and presents an intimate account of this naval combat, the battle of the St. Lawrence. Faced with the constant threat of German torpedoes and spies, residents of the St. Lawrence and Gaspé areas learned how to cope with military preparations, black out procedures and coastal defence. More than 60 years after the battle, explore the wreckage of ships and torpedoes collected by local residents. Discover the personal stories of Canadians who experienced this struggle and learn how it impacted their lives then, and in the decades since." / "Au cours de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, une bataille navale s'est déroulée à proximité des collectivités qui vivaient dans les régions côtières du Canada. L'exposition relate le contexte historique de ce chapitre de la guerre et présente un compte rendu personnel de ce combat naval, la bataille du Saint-Laurent. Exposés à la menace constante des torpilles et des espions allemands, les résidants des côtes du Saint-Laurent et de la Gaspésie ont appris à composer avec les préparatifs militaires, les exigences du black-out et la défense côtière. Plus de 60 ans après la bataille, voyez les épaves de navires et de torpilles qui ont été recueillies par les résidants de la région. Découvrez les témoignages des personnes qui ont connu ce combat et apprenez quelles en ont été les répercussions sur leur vie à cette époque et pendant les décennies suivantes."

19 December 2006

60th Congress of l'Institut d'histoire de l'Amérique française

I came across the following call for proposals recently: "Appel de communications - Séances sur la Première Guerre mondiale dans le cadre du 60e Congrès de l'IHAF.

Dans le cadre du 60e Congrès de l'Institut d'histoire de l'Amérique françasise (IHAF) qui se tiendra à l'automne 2007 au Collège militaire royal de Kingston, la Chaire Hector-Fabre d'histoire du Québec organisera des séances sur l'histoire militaire qui s'inséreront dans le Congrès. M. Serge Bernier, directeur de la Direction Histoire et patrimoine, assurera le lien avec le Comité organisateur du Congrès de l'IHAF.

La thématique que nous lançons est large et, en s'incrivant dans le thème général du Congrès portant sur "Nos combats : les affirmations, les engagements et les actions", elle concernera la Première Guerre mondiale (1914-1918).

Merci de parvenir par courriel, avant le 1er mars 2007, votre proposition de communication de 200 mots maximum présentant votre problématique ainsi que le titre de votre communication. Veuillez également nous faire parvenir une courte notice biographique vous concernant (10-15 lignes). Adresse courriel : chaire-hector-fabre@uqam.ca.

13 December 2006

Latest issue of Canadian Military History

I just received the latest issue of Canadian Military History (vol.15, nos.3 and 4, Summer-Autumn 2006), another very interesting publication of this journal out of Wilfrid Laurier University. Among the items in this issue are the following: Stephen J. Harris' "The Halifax and Lancaster in Canadian Service"; Laurie Peloquin's "Area Bombing by Day: Bomber Command and the Daylight Offensive, 1944-1945"; David L. Bashow's "The Balance Sheet: The Costs and the Gains of the Bombing Campaign"; Eric Fernberg's "Great War Legacy: A Drum from the 207th Battalion" (this is of particular interest to me personally as the regimental historian and museum curator of The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa - the regiment that perpetuates the 207th); Roger Sarty's "Uncle Bill's Service in Bomber Command, 1942-1944: Family Memory and the Written Record"; and several historical documents.

Fall 2006 issue of Vanwell News

I recently received the Fall 2006 issue of Vanwell News, the newsletter for friends of Vanwell Publishing. It lists several interesting titles of note, as published by Vanwell this fall. The titles include W.A.B. Douglas, Roger Sarty, and Michael Whitby's A Blue Water Navy: The Official Operational History of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War, 1943-1945, Volume II, Part 2; Philip LaGrandeur's We Flew, We Fell, We Lived: Stories from RCAF Prisoners of War and Evaders; James A. Wood's We Move Only Forward: Canada, the United States, and the First Special Service Force, 1942-1944; Kenneth Joyce's Snow Plough and the Jupiter Deception: The True Story of the 1st Special Service Force and the 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion, 1942-1945; Kenneth Radley's We Lead, Others Follow: First Canadian Division, 1914-1918; T.F.J. Leversedge's Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium; and Anthony Stachiw and Andrew Tattersall's Starfighter CF 104 (In Canadian Service Aircraft #4). Ordering information can be found on the Vanwell's website or at your local bookseller.

12 December 2006

CFP for War and Security Conference at the U of Calgary

The Society for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary has announced its ninth annual student conference, "War and Security: The Costs of Conflict", for 2-3 March 2007 at the University of Calgary. As the news release notes: "This conference is dedicated to facilitating discussion, debate and contributions to the knowledge of military, security and historical events that have influenced the international arena. Students are given a multidisciplinary forum within which they can engage academic, military and corporate communities dedicated to the study of these important topics." Among the suggested topics are "Conflict throughout History", NATO, the UN, "Peacemaking and Peacekeeping", "Warfare in Literature", and several others which could have military history content. The release also states: "This list is by no means exhaustive. Original ideas are encouraged." The deadline for paper proposals from undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines is 20 December 2006 (proposals limited to 250 words - presentations 15 minutes in length). The Society's e-mail address is stratnet@ucalgary.ca.

11 December 2006

Latest issue of Canadian Naval Review

The table of contents for the latest issue (volume 2, number 3, Fall 2006) of Canadian Naval Review has been published on the journal's website. This issue includes two items of direct Canadian military history interest: Kenneth Hansen's "The 'Destroyer Myth' in Canadian Naval History" and Richard Mayne's "Its Own Worst Enemy: Ship Advocacy in the RCN, 1963-1964".

08 December 2006

Latest issue of the Canadian Military Journal

Volume 7, no.3 (Autumn 2006) of the Canadian Military Journal is available, and contains the following of historical interest - Major Ray Stouffer's "Cold War Air Power Choices for the RCAF: Paul Hellyer and the Selection of the CF-5 Freedom Fighter" / "La puissancxe aérienne de l'aviation royale du Canada pendant la guerre froide : Paul Hellyer et le choix du chasseur CF-5 Freedom Fighter", Major John R. Grodzinski's "'We Few, We Happy Few...': Canadian Generalship in the First World War" / "'Nous, cette poignée, cette heureuse poignée, d'hommes..." - Les officiers généraux canadiens pendant la première guerre mondiale", as well as several book reviews of historical publications.

04 December 2006

"The Valiants" and Canadian military history

While "The Valiants" - a series of monuments constructed in Ottawa "to honour fourteen Canadian men and women that marked the history of Canada during periods of conflict" - hadn't yet made it as a post on this blog, the resulting discussion of their place, and the place of military history in Canada, on the discussion group H-Canada is of interest and should be captured now. My thanks to Dr. Jack Granatstein for suggesting it as a topic for a post here.

The discussion at H-Canada began on November 13 when Chris Tait, a graduate student at the University of Western Ontario, wrote "'The Valiants' as Public History: A Comment", providing a "personal reflection" on the statues and the project's website. Responses to the initial posting have continued through November and have reflected an interesting and wide-ranging discussion on the subject (November 14 - messages one, two and three; November 15 - one, two, three and four; November 17 - one; November 20 - one; November 21 - one; November 22 - one; November 23 - one and two; November 25 - one; and November 27 - one).

03 December 2006

News from The Canadian Battlefields Foundation

The Canadian Battlefields Foundation (formerly the Canadian Battle of Normandy Foundation) has announced its 13th Annual Battlefield Study Tour. Announced under the title "The Canadians and the Liberation of Europe: Normandy, Dieppe, Vimy, Beaumont-Hamel, 2-16 June 2007", the tour will include visits to Vimy Ridge, Beaumont-Hamel and Dieppe before moving on to an intensive review of Canada at the battle of Normandy. The tour will be led by Dr. Geoffrey Hayes, University of Waterloo, and Lieutenant-Colonel David Patterson, Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College. The program is meant for university students (including graduate school) and recent graduates "who have a strong desire to learn more about the role Canadian forces played in the liberation of Europe." Chosen participants will be required to prepare for each day's discussions, research the life of Canadian soldier who died in action, and keep a journal describing their experience (the latter will be submitted to the Foundation). Between twelve and sixteen scholarships will be awarded by the Foundation for the tour, covering most of the cost of the tour. Participants should expect to contribute from $1,200 to $1,500 of their own money (or $500 if they make their own travel arrangements to and from Paris).

Applications for the tour are due by 23 February 2007. Application forms can be found on the website of the Canadian Battlefields Foundation. Further information can be found on the website (including all of the above information en français) or from Terry Copp by e-mail at tcopp@wlu.ca.