29 April 2008

Book review of Craig B. Cameron's Born Lucky: RSM Harry Fox, MBE: One D-Day Dodger's Story

This review, my latest of a recent (in this case, relatively recent) Vanwell Publishing Limited release, is of Craig B. Cameron's Born Lucky: RSM Harry Fox, MBE: One D-Day Dodger's Story (Vanwell, 2005). This book - recorded as a memoir by Harry Fox and rewritten for publication by Craig Cameron - consists mostly of stories of Fox's service during the Second World War spread out over a timeline of Fox's wartime military career.

Harry Fox was a member of the pre-war The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada in Toronto and deployed overseas with that regiment, ultimately serving as regimental sergeant-major of the unit in the United Kingdom. He was then transferred as regimental sergeant-major of The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, seeing combat in Italy and North-West Europe from 1944 through to the end of the war. Although his fighting career was solely with the Hasty P's, it is clear from the memoirs that Fox's heart lay with the Queen's Own, whom he served with again following the war.

Possibly the greatest aspect of this book - there are, after all, many memoirs from serving Canadian soldiers out there (and there should be) - is that Fox was regimental sergeant-major (the senior non-commissioned rank) of infantry units during the training years in the UK and in combat. That makes his "take" on the war a little different than most and goes a long way toward presenting the view of the fighting from the man typically responsible for supplying ammunition, evacuating casualties, enforcing discipline and generally providing a sounding board for officers and men of all ranks. In that sense, this is not really a book about combat operations - although they are discussed - as Fox was not typically at the forefront of regimental attacks. That was not his job, although that's not to say he didn't face his share of dangers. He did, and willingly recounts his close calls throughout the text.

The book, first and foremost, contains a multitude of snippets about army life - information well known to the troops at the time, but often less-discussed sixty years later. What are puttees and why did the soldiers wear them? What was with all the inoculations? How does one interpret an individual soldier's disciplinary record? What are the different kinds of infantry patrols? What was the proper way to use a flare pistol? How exactly were the troops fed and what was a compo ration anyway? What was German barbed wire really like?

Fox and Cameron recount interesting stories such as the work of the Queen's Own on "overseas" duty in Newfoundland in 1940 and amphibious landing craft training in the UK in 1943. The latter subject lead to the following story:
We were at Inverary, on the west coast of Scotland, in the fall of 1943, to do advanced amphibious-landing training for the upcoming invasion of France. One concern was how to keep the vehicles afloat once they hit the water. The answer was to make them waterproof, and a paste-like substance was invented for this purpose. The men in the Mad Four (Carrier) Platoon applied it to a jeep and once they had finished, it needed to be tested. Rifleman Harry Baxter volunteered for the trial and drove the jeep into the water. Marvel of marvels, it worked! But once again, inspiration went ahead of practicality in Mad Four: someone had forgotten to take the tide into consideration (they were definitely not Maritimers). It was going outy, and Harry and the jeep were being taken out to sea. Fortunately there was a small Royal Navy vessel nearby, and some of the sailors spotted Harry in the water in his jeep. What a sight that must have been!
Stories on numerous other subjects - many of them readily laced with a soldier's sense of humour - find their way into the book, including several discussions on the duties of a wartime regimental sergeant-major; the difficulties, frustrations and triumphs of casualty evacuation; dealing with the deaths of soldiers; opinions of Zombies, the lack of reinforcements and life on the forgotten front; and the Thompson versus Sten gun debate.

This is not an operational history of the Hasty P's at war in 1944-45. There are certainly discussions of some battles, some in detail, but Fox's role did not place him front and centre in most of the fighting. Any reader looking to get a clearer grasp of what the Canadian infantry was up to in terms of operations in the Italian campaign would best start with an overview of the campaign such as Daniel Dancock's The D-Day Dodgers. On the other hand, books like Born Lucky put the meat on the flesh, as it were, providing the human element to the operational story, telling us how Canadian officers and men lived (and died) in the nightmare that was the Italian campaign.

In terms of less than desirable aspects of the book, they are certainly few. Sometimes the book seems scattered, but it is a collection of stories after all, the central thread being Fox himself. The handdrawn maps are helpful, but don't always provide enough information in my view to assist in the geographical placement of the stories.

These, however, are very minor points and certainly don't distract from the overall presentation of the book. Born Lucky is an interesting and educational collection of tales from a wartime Canadian soldier in a less-than-typical role in the fighting. I highly recommend it.

25 April 2008

Book reviews from Canadian Military History

The folks at Canadian Military History (www.canadianmilitaryhistory.com) issued their Book Review for Autumn 2007 which I am only now getting around to posting about. Here are the publications (and one DVD) reviewed pertaining to Canadian military history:

Fred Bagnall, Not Mentioned in Despatches: The Memoir of Fred Bagnell, 14th Battalion, C.E.F., 1914-1917 (Ottawa: CEF Books, 2005);

Mary Jean Woodward Bean, Julia Grace Wales: Canada's Hiden Heroine and the Quest for Peace, 1914-1918 (Ottawa: Borealis Press, 2005);

Christie Blatchford, Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2007);

Hugh Brewster, At Vimy Ridge: Canada's Greatest World War I Victory (Toronto: Scholastic, 2006);

Tim Cook, Clio's Warriors: Canadian Historians and the Writing of the World Wars (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2006);

R.B. Fleming, ed., The Wartime Letters of Leslie & Cecil Frost, 1915-1919 (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007);

Janet Kitz and Joan Payzant, December 1917: Re-visiting the Halifax Explosion (Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 2006);

Doug Knight and Clive M. Law, eds., Tools of the Trade: Equipping the Canadian Army (Ottawa: Service Publications, 2005);

Bohdan S. Kordan and Craig Mahovsky, A Bare and Impolitic Right: Internment and Ukrainian-Canadian Redress (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2004);

W. James MacDonald, Honour Roll of the Nova Scotia Overseas Highland Brigade: 85th, 185th, 193rd, 219th Battalions (Sydney, NS: Cape Breton University Press, 2007);

Debbie Marshall, Give Your Other Vote to the Sister: A Woman's Journey into the Great War (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2007);

James O'Regan (producer), Shooters: The Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, 1941-1946 (DVD, 2004, www.jamesoregan.com);

Gordon Pimm, Leo's War: From Gaspé to Vimy (Ottawa: Partnership Publishers, 2007);

Bert Riggs, ed., Grand Bank Soldier: The War Letters of Lance Corporal Curtis Forsey (St. John's: Flanker Press, 2007);

Bill Rompkey and Bert Riggs, eds., Your Daughter Fanny: The War Letters of Frances Cluett, VAD (St. John's: Flanker Press, 2006);

Elinor C. Sloan, The Revolution in Military Affairs: Implications for Canada and NATO (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003);

James T. Watt, Lost in War: The Brave Life and Mysterious Death of a Canadian Airman (Orillia, ON: Troutspawn Publishing, 2006);

Brent Wilson and Barbara J. Gill, eds., Hurricane Pilot: The Wartime Letters of W.O. Harry L. Gill, D.F.M., 1940-1943 (Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions and The New Brunswick Military History Project, 2007); and

James A. Wood, We Move Only Forward: Canada, the United States and the First Special Service Force, 1942-1944 (St. Catharines, ON: Vanwell, 2006).

22 April 2008

New Books (March and April 2008) at Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada (www.collectionscanada.ca) has released its new books list for April 2008 (the March issue contained nothing of interest that I could find). The list includes the following items of interest (including some not yet released for sale and some which seem to have been out for sale for a while now) with respect to Canadian military history:

David Jay Bercuson, The Fighting Canadians: Our Regimental History from New France to Afghanistan (Toronto: Harper Collins, 2008);

Christie Blatchford, Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army (Toronto: Anchor Canada, 2008);

William Arthur Bishop, True Canadian Victoria Cross Heroes, revised edition (Toronto: Prospero Books, 2008);

Terry Copp, The Canadian Battlefields in Normandy: A Visitor's Guide, 3rd Edition (Waterloo, ON: Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies, 2008);

Sir Arthur Currie, The Selected Papers of Sir Arthur Currie: Diaries, Letters, and Reports to the Ministry, 1917-33, ed. by Mark Osborne Humphries (Waterloo, ON: LCMSDC Press of Wilfrid Laurier University, 2008);

Louise Dechêne, Le peuple, l'État et la guerre au Canada sous le Régime français (Montréal : Boréal, 2008);

Nathan M. Greenfield, Baptism of Fire: The Second Battle of Ypres and the Forging of Canada, April 1915 (Toronto: Harper Perennial, 2007);

Bernd Horn (ed.), Show No Fear: Daring Actions in Canadian Military History (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2008);

Denis Morisset, Nous étions invincibles (Chicoutimi : Éditions JCL, 2008); and

Jonathan F. Vance, Unlikely Soldiers: The Secret War of Ken Macalister and Frank Pickersgill (Toronto: Harper Collins, 2008).

19 April 2008

Latest issue of The Canadian Army Journal

Volume 10, Number 4 (Winter 2008) of The Canadian Army Journal is now available online. In addition to a very interesting collection of articles and material on recent operations, this issue also contains some material of particular interest to students of Canadian military history, including:

Mike Bechthold, "Army Biography Frank R. MacMackin, MM - Brave Young Warrior";

Andrew Iarocci, "Opening the North: Technology and Training at the Fort Churchill Joint Services Experimental Testing Station, 1946-64";

as well as book reviews of The Canadian Battlefields in Northwest Europe, 1944-1945: A Visitor's Guide; Behind the Glory: Canada's Role in the Allied Air War; Paras Versus the Reich: Canada's Paratroopers at War, 1942-45; and We Move Only Forward: Canada, the United States and the First Special Service Force, 1942-1944.

17 April 2008

13th Military History Carnival

Welcome to the 13th Military History Carnival, a collection of blog posts on military history from then to (nearly) now and from here to there. There are a growing number of military history bloggers out there and a lot of fantastic material being posted. This post contains just a brief view of some of that material from the past month.

As if to prove the point about the military history blogosphere or historioblogosphere, Brett Holman at Airminded posted his analysis of "that portion of the blogosphere devoted to military history" using the Cliopatria blogroll and Technorati stats. Some very interesting data and analyses - and congrats to the top five military history bloggers.

As in military history carnivals past, I've attempted to divide the following roughly into themes. Many thanks to those who've submitted their posts for the carnival.

American Civil War

Civil War Books and Authors' Andrew Wagenhoffer has written a review of Drew Gilpin Faust's This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Knopf, 2008) an addition, in my mind, to the growing field of memory studies (thanks to Brett Schulte for submitting this post).

Likewise, Brett Schulte at TOCWOC: The Order of Civil War Obsessively Compulsed has provided an interesting review of Mark Grimsley's The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865 (Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Meanwhile Rea Andrew Redd at Civil War Librarian brings to our attention the latest from Eric J. Wittenberg, J. David Petruzzi and Michael F. Nugent, One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863 (Savas Beattie Publishing, 2008). Although not a review, the post does contain a lengthy publisher's description of the book.

With Sword and Pen's Paul Taylor writes, not so much a review, but rather a discussion, of Dale Cox's The Battle of Natural Bridge, Florida: The Confederate Defense of Tallahassee (self-published, 2007), including links to Cox's website on the battle and his blogs on Florida during the Civil War.

Alright, something about the American Civil War that's not a book review. At behind AotW, Brian Downey tells the fascinating story of one Union soldier's experience - a member of the Fourth Regiment, New York State Volunteers - of Civil War (and beyond) medicine and his subsequent life with a hole in his skull.

First World War

Alexander Clark at Military History and Warfare provides a lengthy look at how Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, Imperial Germany's successful commander in East Africa, wasn't really a master of guerrilla warfare but, instead, truly a product of the traditional German military system.

Mel Hunt, at the Australian War Memorial blog, has posted a fascinating honour roll from the memorial's collection. The document itself is approximately six feet by three feet and contains signatures, unit information and illustrations from more than 1,100 Australian soldiers, sailors and nurses.

Meanwhile, Sceopellen exposes the variations between a draft version and the final poem "Mental Cases" from Wilfred Owen, a very dark, disturbing, and truly sad piece of poetry.

Second World War

Schuylkill County Pennsylvania Military History, penned by J. Stuart Richards, contains some very moving stories from the local wartime press on members of the United States Army Air Corps.

Sticking with the air war, Barbara-Marie Drezhlo over at Voices from Russia has posted a piece on Lilya Litvyak, "The White Rose of Stalingrad", one of the Soviet Union's wartime female fighter aces.

Melisende at Women of History, meanwhile, writes about the release by the National Archives in the United Kingdom of the wartime records of Special Operations Executive member Pearl Cornioley (Witherington), and also links to an earlier post providing more details about this British spy.

Over at the Military History Blog, Daniel Sauerwein has written about Woodrow W. Keeble - his life and career and the recent awarding of the Medal of Honor to this long-deceased soldier for his bravery during the Korean War.

Strange Maps reproduces a Japanese map from 1938 (originally posted on Airminded) graphically depicting the nation's fear of aerial bombardment - what a shock they were in for over the course of the next decade.

Finally, Jason at ExecutedToday recounts the grim details one of the many Nazi reprisal mass executions of the Second World War - that carried out on 24 March 1944 against 335 Italian citizens in retaliation for the killing of 33 German soldiers by Italian partisans.

Canadian military history

As a blogger of Canadian military history (historiography, really), I had hoped to introduce the audience to more than the usual amount of Canadian topics. No dice. I only found one item, further proof that Canadians have a long way to go to catch up with our friends south of the border.

What I did find, however, was very interesting. Dorothy Thompson at The Writer's Life has posted an interview with Canadian military historical fiction novelist William Hay discussing his published and future projects in the genre.

American Presidents

John Phillips at The Word on Employment Law with John Phillips: A blog about legal issues affecting the workplace asks whether the presence or absence of military service experience matters when looking at the ability of an American President to serve as Commander in Chief of the nation's military forces.

And Jennie Weber at American Presidents Blog focuses on one of the more militarily experienced presidents, Andrew Jackson, and his seemingly innate ability to survive assassination attempts.


Over at Historiann: History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present, there is an historical and historiographical discussion of the tragic story of the use of rape as a weapon of war.

Mark Grimsley at Blog Them Out of the Stone Age has unveiled the new Ohio State University military history home page (still under construction), including a core reading list of "100 essentials in military history" and a supplemental list of "additional works of value".

And now, for something completely different, Lafayette C. Curtis, at I, Clausewitz, has scientifically, methodically, and with great precision taken the "breast" out of breastplates.

Well, that's it. I hoped you've enjoyed this military history carnival. I would like to thank Gavin Robinson for his additional list of submissions and all-around excellence guidance on the carnival process.

The next edition of the military history carnival will be going home to Investigations of a Dog on 15th May. This will be a special edition with a theme of Contested Boundaries. As well as territorial disputes, Gavin would like to see posts about how war complicates boundaries of race, class, gender, sexuality, species etc. Above all he wants to question the boundary between peace and war. Submissions don't have to be on these themes - you can still submit posts about any aspect of military history and armed forces. The usual limits apply: wars that happened after 1 January 2001 are not eligible.

E-mail submissions to fallon.young@4-lom.com or use the submission form.

16 April 2008

MA theses and PhD dissertations - part 7

More results from the Library and Archives Canada theses portal - MAs and PhDs with specific reference to Canadian military history (some have direct links to their PDFed versions):

Ian Alexander Andrews, "Military Aid to the Civil Power: The Cape Breton Cole Strike of 1909-1910", MA thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1987;

Christopher G. Arajs, "All the King's Men: The Militia of Western Upper Canada and the War of 1812", MA thesis, Queen's University, 2005;

Joel Baetz, "Battle Lines: English-Canadian Poetry of the First World War", PhD dissertation, York University, 2005;

Shirley May Baird, "The Stained Glass War Memorial Windows of Charles William Kelsey", MA thesis, Concordia University, 1995;

David Arthur Bourdon, "Militarism, Sport and Social Control in Alberta, 1900-20", MA thesis, University of Calgary, 1985;

Alexander Daniel Boutilier, "The Citadel on Stage: The Rise and Decline of Garrison Theatre in Halifax", MA thesis, Saint Mary's University, 2005;

Cheryl Anne Butler, "Janey Canuck: Experiences of World War II British War Brides who emigrated to Canada", MA thesis, University of Toronto, 1995;

David Anderson Charters, "With the wings of the eagle: Canadian Air Mobile Forces, 1945-1970", MA thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1973;

William Alexander Binny Douglas, "Nova Scotia and the Royal Navy, 1713-1766", PhD dissertation, Queen's University, 1973;

Michael Alphonsus Hennessy, "The Rise and Fall of a Canadian Maritime Policy, 1939-1965: A Study of Industry, Navalism and the State", PhD dissertation, University of New Brunswick, 1995 [direct PDF link];

Elizabeth Anne Lees, "Problems of Pacification: Veterans' Groups in Vancouver, 1919-1922", MA thesis, Simon Fraser University, 1985;

Harold A. Kevin McQuinn, "Great Britain and the Red River: An Examination of Imperial Involvement in the Transfer of the North-West Territory to Canada, and in the Red River Rebellion", MA thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1987;

Gary Allan Mitchell, "The Appraisal of Canadian Military Personnel Files of the First World War", MAS thesis, University of British Columbia, 1985;

Andrew David Parsons, "Morale and Cohesion in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, 1914-18", MA thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1995;

Roy Rempel, "Canadian Defence Policy and NATO's Northern Flank", MA thesis, University of Manitoba, 1987;

Amy J. Shaw, "These strange, ridiculous and contradictory creatures: Conscientious Objection in Canada during the First World War", PhD dissertation, University of Western Ontario, 2005;

Kevin Alexander Spooner, "The Origins of Canadian Participation in the United Nations Operation in the Congo, 1960", MA thesis, Carleton University, 1995;

Kevin Alexander Spooner, "Canada, the Congo Crisis, and United Nations Peacekeeping, 1960-1964", PhD dissertation, Carleton University, 2002;

Andrew Gregory Theobald, "We'll never let the old flag fall: The Conscription Crisis in New Brunswick during the First World War", MA thesis, University of New Brunswick, 2002; and

Donna Joy Alexander Zwicker, "Alberta Women and World War Two", MA thesis, University of Calgary, 1985.

14 April 2008

Call for Papers for the 14th Annual Air Force Historical Workshop

The Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre has issued a call for papers for the 14th Annual Air Force Historical Workshop, to be held on 24-25 September 2008, in Ottawa, Ontario. This year's workshop is titled "Maple Leaf Aloft: The Historical Dimensions of Canadian Air Power Leadership." As the poster notes:
The current security environment brings with it a broad range of challenges for leaders at all rank levels within the Canadian Air Force. Yet, many of these challenges are not new. Throughout our history, both at home and abroad, during peace and in combat, Canadian airmen and airwomen consistently demonstrated their ability to overcome adversity and accomplish their assigned missions both in the air and on the ground. Key to our successes has been air force leadership.

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the historical dimension of Canadian air power leadership in all of its facets. Topics may deal with an individual, command relationships, civil-military interaction, leadership in a coalition, peacetime / wartime leadership requirements, leadership training, etc. Topics need not be limited to flying operations. Individuals interested in presenting a paper should forward a short one or two paragraph proposal to Major Bill March prior to 21 June 2008. Notification of selection will be provided by 30 June 2008.
For further information contact Major Bill March at tel 613-392-2811 ext. 4656, at fax 613-965-2096 or by e-mail at march.wa@forces.gc.ca.

13 April 2008

MA theses and PhD dissertations - part 6

I've just been digging around the Library and Archives Canada theses portal lately, and came up with the following MAs and PhDs with specific reference to Canadian military history (some have direct links to their PDFed versions):

Robert Douglas Allin, "Implementing NORAD, 1956-1962: The Bureaucratic Tug of War for Access and Influence", MA thesis, Carleton University, 1998 [direct PDF link];

Eric Amyot, "La bataille pour le Québec : Vichy, la France libre et les Canadiens français, 1940-1945", PhD dissertation, McGill University, 1998 [direct PDF link];

Murray E. Angus, "Living in the world of the tiger: The Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in Nova Scotia and the Great War, 1914-1918", MA thesis, Dalhousie University, 1993;

Peter Michael Archambault, "Mutiny and the Imperial Tradition: The Canadian Naval Mutinies of 1949 and the Experience of Mutiny in the Royal Navy"; MA thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1992;

Martha Armstrong, "A Tale of Two Videos: Media Event, Moral Panic and the Canadian Airborne Regiment"; MA thesis, McGill University, 1998 [direct PDF link];

Monique Audet, "Les dépenses militaires au Canada, 1937-1978", MSc thèse, Université du Québec à Montréal, 1981;

Martin F. Auger, "Prisoners of the Home Front: A Social Study of the German Internment Camps of Southern Quebec, 1940-1946", MA thesis, University of Ottawa, 2000 [direct PDF link];

Arnaud Balvay, "L'epée et la plume : amérindiens et soldats des troupes de la Marine en Louisiane et au Pays d'en Haut (1683-1763)", PhD thèse, Université Laval, 2004;

Dean Andrew Chappelle, "The most brilliant of successes: The Planning and Implementation of the Battle of Amiens, 8-11 August, 1918", MA thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1992;

Andrew B. Godefroy, "Defence and Discovery: Science, National Security, and the Origins of the Canadian Rocket and Space Program, 1945-1974", PhD dissertation, Royal Military College of Canada, 2004;

Robert James Allen Harding, "Glorious Tragedy: Newfoundland's Cultural Memory of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, 1916-1949", MA thesis, Dalhousie University, 2004;

William Anthony March, "The Evolution of a College: HMCS Royal Roads, 1940-1948", MA thesis, University of Victoria, 1993;

Andrea Lee McIntosh, "...and the equivalent for women: Constructing the Gender of the Female Combat Arms Officer", MA thesis, York University, 1993;

Andrew Peter Podolsky, "Site of Imagination: The Fortress at Louisbourg and Stories of Empire", PhD dissertation, Northwestern University, 1998;

Brian Andrew Rafuse, "A small place, wretchedly fortified: Annapolis Royal in the Early British Period, 1710-1749", MA thesis, Queen's University, 1983;

Julie Anne Redstone-Lewis, "The Creation of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service and its Role in Canadian Naval Intelligence and Communications, 1939-1945", MA thesis, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2007;

Roy Rempel, "Searching for a Counterweight: Canadian-German Defence and Security Policy Relations and Cooperation in the Cold War Era", PhD dissertation, Queen's University, 1993;

Andrew Richter, "The Evolution and Development of Strategic Thinking at the Department of National Defence, 1950-1963", PhD dissertation, York University, 1998 [direct PDF link];

Robert Allen Rutherdale, "The Home Front: Consensus and Conflict in Lethbridge, Guelph and Trois-Rivières during the Great War", PhD dissertation, York University, 1995; and

David Allan Wilson, "The Development of Tank-Infantry Co-Operation Doctrine in the Canadian Army for the Normandy Campaign of 1944", MA thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1992.

10 April 2008

Website on the "Canadian Wartime Experience"

The Archives and Special Collections section of the University of Manitoba Libraries operates a website called The Canadian Wartime Experience: The Documentary Legacy of Canada at War. The opening page notes:
The differing roles played by Canadians during times of conflict, at home and abroad, are featured in this website. The website provides access to a portion of wartime-related textual records and photographs that have been selected from larger collections within the holdings of the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections and digitized for research purposes.
Categories listed include the Red River Resistance (1869-1870), the Boer War (1899-1902), World War I (1914-1918), World War II (1939-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953) and the Vietnam War (1957-1975). There is also an educational portion directed at Grades 4, 6, 9 and 11.

09 April 2008

Anniversary, 250 Posts, and the upcoming Military History Carnival

I realized today that this is the second anniversary of The Cannon's Mouth. I'm still not exactly sure where the blog is going, but it's obvious that most of my posts deal with publications and presentations on Canadian military history. I had hoped by now to have more pre-publication material to present - who's working on what, etc. - but the truth is I'm not getting any real input from the military historian community out there on upcoming projects. I shouldn't be surprised. We are a pretty tight-lipped bunch on the projects near and dear to our hearts, mostly out of a fear that someone else might beat us to the punch getting a project completed.

I also noticed that my post from last night was the 250th one I'd written. Are 125 posts a year too much? too little?

The Cannon's Mouth will be hosting the 13th Military History Carnival on Thursday, 17 April. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a blog carnival is a chance for blog authors of particular themes to submit their favourite posts to a participating site which can then turn around a provide a miniature "state of the field" for readers out there. Anyone wishing to submit a post - their's or someone elses posted between 20 March or so and the present - on any subject related to wars and the military before 1 January 2001 can send me an e-mail at militaryhistorian@gmail.com or use the submission form (www.blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_1281.html). I'm hoping to be able to present more material on Canadian military history than usually appears in these carnivals, but I certainly could use some input from readers of this blog.

So there we have it. Thanks for reading!

08 April 2008

Upcoming activities at the Canadian War Museum

The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa has a couple of upcoming activities of interest to those looking for events in Canadian military history, including:

Richard O. Mayne, author of Betrayed: Scandal, Politics and Canadian Naval Leadership, speaking on his book for the "CWM book club" on Thursday, 10 April, at 6.00 p.m.; and

the book launch of Michael Petrou's Renegades: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War (UBC Press, 2008) on Thursday, 17 April, at 7.00 p.m.

07 April 2008

Interview with retired Major-General Lewis MacKenzie

The Maple Leaf Web, a self-described "non-profit, non-partisan Canadian political education web-site that aims to provide educators, students and the attentive public with a creditable source for political education and information" out of the University of Lethbridge, has posted an interview with retired Major-General Lewis MacKenzie.

A little more recent chronologically than most of what I write about on this blog, this interview is quite interesting and touches on some points of extremely recent Canadian military history.

01 April 2008

Latest issue of Legion Magazine

The March/April 2008 issue of Legion Magazine (www.legionmagazine.com) is out and contains some material of interest to students of Canadian military history, including:

John Boileau, "Battle Honours of the Canadian Forces", Part 2: "Fenian Raids";

Terry Copp, "Breaching the Hitler Line";

Hugh A. Halliday, "For Service Volunteered" [Canadian Volunteer Service Medal];

Hugh A. Halliday, "Cameras Take Flight" [photography in the interwar RCAF];

Marc Milner, "The Wolf Packs";

Steve Pitt, "Cogwagee the Runner" [Tom Longboat];

Greig Stewart, "Right Stuff, Wrong Time" [Avro Arrow];

as well as various book reviews by J.L. Granatstein.