23 March 2007

A quiet day

I was on leave today, so I didn't pursue the historian's craft for too many hours. I did finish reading John Ellis' Eye-Deep in Hell: Trench Warfare in World War I (Baltimore, 1976). This was an interesting read. A bit-dated perhaps, it has been partly surpassed by the extensive research undertaken by Richard Holmes for his incredible book Tommy. One thing I liked particularly about Ellis' research is that, although he focused primarily on British troops (including those from the Empire), he also used examples from the French and German armies, a tact which makes the book a little more universal.

I've been meaning also to mention a new publication now in the works. Ron Jack is in the process of resurrecting his former print journal, Canadian Military Biography, in an entirely online format. As Ron writes:
Military biography is a challenging and rewarding subject. You understand that fact and it has brought you to this page. Most of the work underway across the country involves the lives of Canadians who served in the two World Wars, but in fact we have a much richer military heritage which spans several centuries. Indeed one of the most intensely trained and motivated Canadian expeditionary forces ever assembled is now serving in Afghanistan. Our proudest Regimental and Corps traditions are very much alive.

CANADIAN MILITARY BIOGRAPHY is an e-magazine scheduled to appear quarterly. We will strive to bring you stories of Canadians who served in all eras, including those who served as Soldiers of Fortune or perhaps as influential advisors to foreign armies and navies. You may expect that most of the lengthier articles will chronicle those who served in the C.E.F. in the Great War, or with our massive volunteer force in World War Two. With your help we will strive to achieve some editorial and content balance - with interesting material showcasing all of the armed services and all of the wars Canadians experienced. Obvious examples would be Canadians who served in Israel's wars or the thousands who volunteered for Vietnam. The field of study is vast, and our interest is boundless.
The first issue is expected to be published online in June 2007.

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