29 October 2007

Latest issue of Canadian Military Journal

The latest issue - vol.8, no.2 (Summer 2007) - of the Canadian Military Journal / Revue militaire canadienne is now out, at least the electronic version anyway. As usual, the journal contains some material of particular interest to students of Canadian military history, including:

Adam Lajeunesse, "The Distant Early Warning Line and the Canadian Battle for Public Perception" / ; « Le réseau d'alerte avancé et la bataille de la perception au Canada »

Gregory Liedtke, "Canadian Offensive Operations in Normandy Revisited" / « Un nouveau regard sur les opérations offensives canadiennes en Normandie »; and

Lieutenant Timothy C. Winegard, "Special Report: Here at Vimy: A Retrospective - the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge" / « Compte rendu spécial - ici à Vimy : Retour sur le 90e anniversaire de la bataille de Vimy »;

as well as several book reviews.

27 October 2007

Index to The Northern Mariner vols.6-8

Here's more of the index of The Northern Mariner (with links to the full text where possible) as compiled by the parent organization Canadian Nautical Research Society:

John G. Armstrong, "Letters from Halifax: Reliving the Halifax Explosion through the Eyes of My Grandfather, A Sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy" (vol.8, no.4, pp.55-74);

Dan Conlin, "A Private War in the Caribbean: Nova Scotia Privateering, 1793-1805" (vol.6, no.4, pp.29-46);

Jan Drent, "Labour Unions in a Wartime Essential Industry: Shipyard Workers in BC, 1939-1945" (vol.6, no.4, pp.47-64);

Robert C. Fisher, "The Impact of German Technology on the Royal Canadian Navy in the Battle of the Atlantic, 1942-1943" (vol.7, no.4, pp.1-13);

Morgiana P. Halley, "'Death Was Their Escort, and Glory Passed Them By': Life in the Marine Convoys of World War II" (vol.7, no.1, pp.45-54);

Faye M. Kert, "The Fortunes of War: Commercial Warfare and Maritime Risk in the War of 1812" (vol.8, no.4, pp.1-16);

Galen Roger Perras, "The Defence of Alaska Must Remain a Primary Concern of the United States: Canada and the North Pacific, May-June 1942" (vol.7, no.4, pp.29-43);

Bill Rawling, "A Lonely Ambassador: HMCS Uganda and the War in the Pacific" (vol.8, no.1, pp.39-63);

David Syrett, "The Battle for Convoy UC-1, 23-27 February 1943" (vol.6, no.1, pp.21-27); and

David Syrett, "The Battle for Convoy ONS-154, 26-31 December 1942" (vol.7, no.2, pp.41-50)

26 October 2007

Symposium on Niagara's Military Past and Present

The Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies is advertising a symposium on "Niagara's Military Past & Present" to be held on 9-10 November 2007 at the Lake Street Armouries, 81 Lake Street, St. Catharines, Ontario. Scheduled speakers include:

Terry Copp, Wilfrid Laurier University, "Cinderella Army: The Canadians in Northwest Europe, 1944-45";

John Grodzinski, The Royal Military College of Canada, "Men of Good Character and Intelligence: The Lincoln Militia in the War of 1812";

Russell Johnston and Michael Ripmeester, Brock University, "A Monument's Work is Never Done: The Watson Memorial, Memory and Forgetting in a Small Canadian City";

Mark Humphries, University of Western Ontario, "The Tunnels of Vimy"; and

Geoffrey Hayes, University of Waterloo, "The Battle for Bergen-op-Zoom, October 1944".

Further information can be requested from Geoffrey Hayes, (519)-888-4567 ext. 35138 and ghayes@uwaterloo.ca or Captain Chris White, (905)-685-6777 ext. 3531 and white.fcu@forces.gc.ca.

25 October 2007

Upcoming lecture on the Bomber Command Controversy at the CWM

The Brigadier Milton F. Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society has announced an upcoming Remembrance Week Public Lecture by Dr. Serge Durflinger, Department of History, University of Ottawa, and former Second World War Gallery Manager at the Canadian War Museum, entitled "Bomber Campaign Controversy at the Canadian War Museum: Context and Perspective". This talk will take place in Tilley Hall, Room 102, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, at 7.30 p.m. on 7 November 2007. For further information, contact the centre at (506)-453-4587 or greggcentre@unb.ca.

24 October 2007

Latest book from Dianne Graves

Don Graves has passed on an open invitation to a book signing being held by his wife and fellow historian, Dianne Graves. Dianne's new book is In the Midst of Alarms: The Untold Story of Women and the War of 1812 published by Robin Brass Studio. The signing will take place in the Nicholas Hoare Bookstore, 419 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, from 7.00 to 8.30 p.m. on Thursday, 1 November.

This book provides an extensive examination of the subject and includes discussions of topics ranging from love, courtship, and marriage to work to military spouses to high society to women in combat, as well as extracts from contemporary documentation.

Don also adds, in typical fashion, that the bookstore "is conveniently located across the street from the US Embassy in case you wish to emigrate and the National Gallery is a stone's throw away in case you want a more intellectual activity. Also, the Earl of Sussex Pub is two doors down the street if you wish to talk to her husband."

23 October 2007

Barry Gough's latest book on HMCS HAIDA

Barry Gough has published another book on HMCS Haida, this work entitled HMCS Haida: Anatomy of a Destroyer (St. Catharines, ON: Looking Back Press, 2007). Gough's previous book on this storied Canadian destroyer (HMCS Haida: Battle Ensigns Flying) dealt with, as the press release for the book puts it, its "actual deeds", while this new publication concerns "the material side of the means of how she did it." Coverage in text and imagery from
the technical side of things (command and control systems, weapons, and propulsion), the life of the ship's company (where they ate and slept, what they did for recreation, how they coped with frigid arctic waters as they battled German U-boats in the Second World War - and how a bunny became Haida's first mascot), the pictures and captions tell the stories of the life of this amazing ship.
Further information on this book can be gotten by contacting Vanwell Publishing Limited.

22 October 2007

"Women, Armies, and Wars" international colloquium

The Saint-Jean campus of The Royal Military College of Canada, in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, is hosting an international colloquium called "Women, Armies, and Wars" / « Les femmes, les armées et les guerres » on 8-9 November.

The Maple Leaf / la feuille d'érable notes:
This multidisciplinary meeting will have speakers from various fields of expertise and background experience, Canadian and European militaries, as well as Canadian, European and African researchers, who will present papers on a common theme, the place, role, and experience of women within armed forces or in armed conflict.

[...] Le colloque réunira des participants et des conférenciers issue de disciplines et de champs d'expérience variés. Des militaires canadiens et européens ainsi que des chercheurs canadiens, européens et africains deront des présentations sur la place, sur le rôle et sur l'expérience des femmes au sein des armées ou en temps de guerre.
Among the papers to be presented are a few specifically focusing on Canadian military history, including:

BGen Christine T. Whitecross, Commander Joint Task Force North / Commandante de la Force opérationelle interarmées (Nord), "Women in the Military - A Personal Perspective";

Karen Davis, Canadian Forces Leadership Institute / Institut de leadership des Forces canadiennes, "Public Discourse and the Warrior Paradigm: Canadian Casualties in Afghanistan, 2006"; and

Major Heather Macquarrie, Directorate of Human Rights and Diversity / Direction des droits de la personne et diversité, DND / MND, "Gender Integration in the Canadian Forces, 1970-2007".

20 October 2007

Canadian military history - live!

Alright, so I usually post about what someone, somewhere has written or spoken about or recorded about some aspect of Canadian military history. Sometimes, however, I get to experience a little bit of that heritage first hand. Until recently I was the curator of the regimental museum of The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa. I'm still the regimental historian of the Camerons and a member of the regimental association. All that said, today marked the turning of another page in the 150-year history of the regiment ("A" Company was formed in 1856, the regiment in 1881) when a change of command ceremony was held on the field outside of Ottawa City Hall, next to the Cartier Square Drill Hall, the home of the regiment for its entire history. This was Lieutenant-Colonel Bud Walsh's last day as commanding officer, after more than three years at the helm. Succeeding LCol Walsh was Major Boyd Aitken, the thirty-eighth commanding officer of the regiment since 1881.

The rain held off on a cloudy day here in Ottawa. The ceremony was well-conducted and very emotional but, unfortunately, rather sparsely attended. The Mayor of Ottawa, Mr. Larry O'Brien, was in attendance, however, as an honoured guest of the regiment. Any opportunity to further cement the position of the Camerons as "Ottawa's Regiment" is always a good thing. I've uploaded some photos to my Flickr account. Give them a look.

18 October 2007

Index to The Northern Mariner, vols.3-5

Here's more of the index of The Northern Mariner (with links to the full text where possible) as compiled by the parent organization Canadian Nautical Research Society:

David Pierce Beatty, "Petty Officer First Class E. Leslie Goodwin: A Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer in World War I" (vol.3, no.2, pp.19-32);

Carl Benn, "Toronto Harbour and the Defence of the Great Lakes Region, 1783-1870" (vol.4, no.1, pp.1-15);

Shawn Cafferky, "'A Useful Lot, These Canadian Ships': The Royal Canadian Navy and Operation Torch, 1942-1943" (vol.3, no.4, pp.1-17);

Dean Chapelle, "Building a Bigger Stick: The Construction of Tribal Class Destroyers in Canada, 1940-1948" (vol.5, no.1, pp.1-17);

Robert C. Fisher, "'We'll Get Our Own': Canada and the Oil Shipping Crisis of 1942" (vol.3, no.2, pp.33-39);

Robert C. Fisher, "Canadian Merchant Ship Losses, 1939-1945" (vol.5, no.3, pp.57-73);

Richard H. Gimblett, "Reassessing the Dreadnought Crisis of 1909 and the Origins of the Royal Canadian Navy" (vol.4, no.1, pp.35-53);

Fred Hopkins, "Emergency Fleet Corporation Ship Construction in World War I in the Pacific Northwest" (vol.4, no.4, pp.15-22);

Ted L. McDorman, "Canada's 1994 International Fisheries Actions" (vol.5, no.2, pp.47-56);

Fraser M. McKee, "An Explosive Story: The Rise and Fall of the Common Depth Charge" (vol.3, no.1, pp.45-48);

Alexander A. McKenzie, "Cruising the Labrador, or LORAN in 1941-1942: A Memoir" (vol.4, no.4, pp.23-39);

Douglas M. McLean, "The Battle of Convoy BX-141" (vol.3, no.4, pp.19-35);

David Syrett, "The Last Murmansk Convoys, 11 March-30 May 1945" (vol.4, no.1, pp.55-63);

David Syrett, "Failure at Sea: Wolf Pack Operations in the North Atlantic, 10 February-22 March 1944" (vol.5, no.1, pp.33-43);

Paul Webb, "British Squadrons in North American Waters, 1783-1793" (vol.5, no.2, pp.19-34); and

Jay White, "Hardly Heroes: Canadian Merchant Seamen and the International Convoy System, 1939-1945" (vol.5, no.4, pp.19-36).

16 October 2007

Index to The Northern Mariner, vols.1-2

The folks over at the Canadian Nautical Research Society have been working on an index of each volume of their well-respected flagship publication, The Northern Mariner. Some of the online indexed entries are even linked to HTML or PDF versions of the article in question (and I'll reproduce those links here). I think it's their plan to eventually link all of the older issues to the index for online reading. I plan on doing a series of posts on this index, picking out the articles obviously relating to Canadian military history. Here goes with volumes 1-2 (1991-92):

David Pierce Beatty, "The 'Canadian Corollary' to the Monroe Doctrine and the Ogdensburg Agreement of 1940" (vol.1, no.1, pp.3-22);

S. Mathwin Davis, "The Defence Supply Naval Shipbuilding Panel, 1955-1965" (vol.2, no.4, pp.1-14);

W.A.B. Douglas, "The Prospects for Naval History" (vol.1, no.4, pp.19-26);

Lewis R. Fischer, M. Stephen Salmon and Garth S. Wilson, "Canadian maritime bibliography" (vol.1, no.4, pp.33-43);

Donald E. Graves, "'Hell Boats' of the RCN: The Canadian Navy and the Motor Torpedo Boat, 1936-1941" (vol.2, no.3, pp.31-45);

Fraser M. McKee, "Some Revisionist History in the Battle of the Atlantic" (vol.1, no.4, pp.27-32);

T.C. Pullen, "Convoy O.N. 127 and the Loss of HMCS Ottawa, 13 September, 1942: A Personal Reminiscence" (vol.2, no.2, pp.1-27);

Graham Rowley, "Captain T.C. Pullen, RCN: Polar Navigator" (vol.2, no.2, pp.29-49);

Brian Douglas Tennyson, "Sydney Harbour's Contribution to Atlantic Canada's Coastal Defence: An Introduction" (vol.1, no.2, pp.23-30); and

Michael Whitby, "Instruments of Security: The Royal Canadian Navy's Procurement of the Tribal-Class Destroyers, 1938-1943" (vol.2, no.3, pp.1-15).

12 October 2007

New books at Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada (www.collectionscanada.ca) has released its new books lists for August and September 2007. The lists include the following items of interest (including some that have not yet been released for sale) with respect to Canadian military history:

Coreen Atkins, In Our Defense: The Veterans and Military Heritage of Historic Osgoode Township (Vernon, ON, 2007);

Matthew Bin, On Guard for Thee: Canadian Peacekeeping Missions (Toronto, 2007);

Bob Blakeley, The Civilian Soldier: A Complete History of the Norfolk Militia 1796-2007 (Waterford, ON, 2007);

Howard Coombs, The Insubordinate and the Noncompliant: Case Studies of Canadian Mutiny and Disobedience, 1920 to Present (Toronto, 2007);

Sylvia Crooks, Homefront & Battlefront: Nelson BC in World War II (Vancouver, 2007);

Fred Doucette, Empty Casing: A Soldier's Memoir of Sarajevo under Siege (Vancouver, 2008);

Suzanne K. Edwards, Gus: From Trapper Boy to Air Marshal (Renfrew, ON, 2007);

Harry L. Gill, Hurricane Pilot: The Wartime Letters of W.O. Harry L. Gill, DFM, 1940-1943 (Fredericton, 2007);

Lance Goddard, Hell and High Water: Canada and the Italian Campaign (Toronto, 2007);

Dianne Graves, In the Midst of Alarms: The Untold Story of Women in the War of 1812 (Montreal, 2007);

Larry Gray, Canadians in the Battle of the Atlantic (Edmonton, 2007);

Joseph T. Jockel, Canada in NORAD, 1957-2007: A History (Kingston, 2007);

P. Whitney Lackenbauer, R. Scott Sheffield and Craig Leslie Mantle (Eds.), Aboriginal Peoples and Military Participation: Canadian and International Perspectives (Winnipeg, 2007);

Chris Lambie, On Assignment in Afghanistan: The Day-to-Day Life of Maritimers at War (Halifax, 2007);

Eric McGeer, Valediction and Remembrance: Canadian Epitaphs of the Second World War (St. Catharines, ON, 2007);

Pat McNorgan (Ed.), 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron History (Winnipeg, 2007);

Kevin Patterson and E. Jane Warren, Outside the Wire: The War in Afghanistan in the Words of its Participants (Toronto, 2007); and

Graeme F. Somerville, With Steadfast Remembrance: A Commemoration of the Twelve Men from the Former Communities of Armstrongs Corner, Clones, Fowler's Corner, New Jerusalem and Olinville (Communities that were taken up by Canadian Forces Base Gagetown) who gave their lives in the Service of Canada (St. John, NB, 2007).

Latest issue of Legion Magazine

The September/October 2007 issue of Legion Magazine is out and contains a few items of interest to students of Canadian military history. These include:

Tim Cook, "1917: The Other Battles";

Terry Copp, "Draining the Devil's Brigade";

Adam Day, "Operation MEDUSA: The Battle for Panjwai - Part 1: The Charge of Charlie Company" (okay, so it's really recent Canadian military history);

Hugh A. Halliday, "Tales of Flight" (RCAF prisoners of war);

Marc Milner, "Starting Wartime Expansion" (of the Royal Canadian Navy);

as well as book reviews by J.L. Granatstein of W.A.B. Douglas, et.al., A Blue Water Navy: The Official Operational History of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War, 1943-45; James Goodwin, "Our Gallant Doctor": Enigma and Tragedy: Surgeon Lieutenant George Hendry and HMCS Ottawa, 1942; Stephen Brumwell, Paths of Glory: The Life and Death of General James Wolfe; and, Paul Douglas Dickson, A Thoroughly Canadian General: A Biography of General H.D.G. Crerar.

11 October 2007

Fall 2007 sessions of the Military History Speakers' Series

The Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies of Wilfrid Laurier University and the Department of History of the University of Waterloo have cooperated to announce a handful of sessions for this fall in their Military History Speakers' Series.

Katharine McGowan, University of Waterloo, will speak on Thursday, 18 October, at 7.00 p.m., on "Rethinking the Boer War: Sam Steele and the Strathcona's Horse in South Africa." This presentation will be held at 232 King Street at Wilfrid Laurier University (across the from the Athletic Complex).

At 7.00 p.m. on Thursday, 1 November, MGen Tim Grant, Deputy Commander, CEFCOM HQ, will speak at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (formerly the Seagram Museum), 57 Erb St. W., Waterloo, on "Reflections of a Senior Commander in Afghanistan".

Paul Dickson, Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Department of National Defence, will speak on Thursday, 22 November, at 7.00 p.m., at 232 King Street, on "General HDG Crerar and an Army for Strategic Effect".

On Thursday, 6 December, at 7.00 p.m. at the same location Tim Cook, Canadian War Museum, will speak on "Storm Troops: The Canadian Corps and the 1917 Battles".

For more information on this series contact Geoffrey Hayes (ghayes@uwaterloo.ca) or Mike Bechthold (mbechthold@wlu.ca).

07 October 2007

Tim Cook's latest on the First World War

On October 20 Viking Canada (part of Penguin Books Canada) will release Tim Cook's latest publication, what might be considered the culmination of his numerous books, articles, and presentations on Canada during the First World War over the last decade or so. At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1914-1918 is the first volume in a planned two-volume history of the subject. As the press release for the book puts it, this is the "first comprehensive history of Canadians in the Great War in more than forty years" and "is a landmark work of military scholarship and gripping narrative. Featuring never-before-published photographs, letters, diaries, and maps, the book recounts the devastation and hard-won triumphs of the Great War through the soldiers' moving eyewitness accounts." This first volume looks at the Canadians from 2nd Ypres to St. Eloi to Mount Sorrel and the Somme keeping in focus officers and men, tactics, weaponry, all in the context of the early Canadian Corps.

I'm expecting a review copy of this book when it comes out, so I will write a review for The Cannon's Mouth.

04 October 2007

New look for The Cannon's Mouth

So I've taken the leap and have adopted a new template for The Cannon's Mouth. I've burst outside of the default list of Blogger blog "looks" and have gone with a variation of the K2 template freely available on the web (see the bottom of the page). The image at the top is a photograph I took this past spring of La Chaudière Military Cemetery, south of Avion, France. I've also made it easier to subscribe to this blog (this means you can have new entries/posts delivered to you). There are two options - subscribe by RSS reader (aggregator) or by e-mail. Hope you like it.

Larry Milberry's latest on the Canadian air force

The ever so prolific historian Larry Milberry has written yet another book on the air force side of Canadian military history. Canada's Air Forces on Exchange, available from CANAV Books, is, as the press release for the book notes, "the first book covering an important, yet overlooked, aspect of air force life ... personnel abroad on exchange with Allied services." Not only does the coverage extend from the First World War to present but, like all of this author's works, the book appears to be heavily illustrated.