01 December 2008

My Return

I went back to work today after nearly three weeks on post-deployment leave and thought it's also about time I resumed posting on The Cannon's Mouth. While on leave I finished a couple of books on Canadian military history - both on First World War subjects, which I freely admit is my favourite period of study.

The first book I finished was Mark Zuehlke's Brave Battalion: The Remarkable Saga of the 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish) in the First World War (Mississauga, ON, 2008). Although a useful introduction to the story of the 16th Battalion, CEF, during the war - and a well written text to boot (as Zuehlke's books are) - I came away wondering what it actually added to the story of the 16th Battalion not already covered in more detail in H.M. Urquhart's The History of the 16th Battalion (The Canadian Scottish), Canadian Expeditionary Force in the Great War, 1914-1919 (Toronto, 1932).

Next, I finished reading Andrew Iarocci's Shoestring Soldiers: The 1st Canadian Division at War, 1914-1915 (Toronto, 2008). I found this to be a very fresh view of the subject (based on his doctoral dissertation), the author openly wondering whether there was more to the 1st Canadian Division than traditionally it has been credited with during the first year of its existence. The text reflects indepth research and many newer approaches to the study of military history. I'd like to see Iarocci continue with his study of the division, carrying its story forward from late 1915 through to the end of the war.

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