28 October 2009

New Books list from Library and Archives Canada

Sorry, tout le monde, I've been sick for a few days and so haven't posted in a while.

Library and Archives Canada has posted its New Books list for October 2009, and it contains quite a few items of interest to readers of Canadian military history, including the following:

Alan J. Buick, The Little Coat: The Bob and Sue Elliott Story (Regina, 2009);

Frank Gogos, Known unto God: In Honour of Newfoundland's Missing during the Great War (St. John's, NL, 2009);

John A. Griffith and Anthony L. Stachiw, Early Canadian Military Aircraft: Acquisitions, Dispositions, Colour Schemes and Markings, volume 1: Aircraft taken on strength through 1920 (Kitchener, ON, 2009);

Tony Maxwell, Searching for the Queen's Cowboys: Travels in South Africa filming a Documentary on Strathcona's Horse and the Anglo-Boer War (Red Deer, AB, 2009);

Michael Palmer, Dark Side of the Sun: George Palmer and Canadian POWs in Hong Kong and the Omine Camp (Ottawa, 2009);

William J. Patterson, Soldiers of the Queen: The Canadian Grenadier Guards of Montreal, 1859-2009 (Montreal, 2009);

Aaron Plamondon, The Politics of Procurement: Military Acquisition in Canada and the Sea King Helicopter (Vancouver, 2010);

Gary H. Rice, A Sketch of Military Medicine in Canada, 1867-2009 (Carleton Place, ON, 2009); and

Marion Swinton, A Duffle Bag, Close Friends, and a Lot of Memories: The Photo Diary of Marion Swinton, W.R.C.N.S. (Waterloo, ON, 2009).

19 October 2009

Audio Archive from Veteran Affairs Canada

Among the many items of historical interest within the Canada Remembers pages of the Veterans Affairs Canada website, the visitor can find the First World War Audio Archive, where you can "listen to Veterans as they recall their life and times during the war years." Under the Recollections tab, "Learn about Canada's participation in the First World War by listening to these first hand accounts. These interviews represent events, emotions and observations of how these Canadians and Newfoundlanders lived through the war years."

16 October 2009

Hansen makes the Governor General's Literary Awards finalists

Christopher Moore, over at his blog, "Christopher Moore's Canadian History", has posted about the finalists for the Governor General's Literary Awards in the non-fiction category. Said finalists include Randall Hansen, for his Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-45. The press release from the Canada Council for the Arts describes Hansen's books as follows:
A brave re-examination of a controversial episode in World War II history. Randall Hansen combines meticulous research with an eye for telling human detail to make his case that the Allied bombing campaign didn't help to win the war, and actually prolonged it. A book that offers lessons for today.

13 October 2009

Guelph Civic Museum Lecture Series

The Guelph Civic Museum, 6 Dublin Street South, Guelph, Ontario, is hosting a lecture series in Canadian military history this fall and into 2010 in partnership with the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies. The speakers include:

Jonathan Vance, University of Western Ontario, "Spies Like Us: Canadians in Nazi-Occupied France", Thursday, 15 October 2009, 1930 hours;

Eric McGeer, St. Clement's School, "'The war of the poor relations': The Canadians at the Lamone, December 1944", Thursday, 19 November 2009, 1930 hours;

Roger Sarty, Wilfrid Laurier University, "U-boats in the St. Lawrence, 1942-1944: A Most Uniquely Canadian Battle", Thursday, 21 January 2010, 1930 hours;

Geoff Keelan, Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies, "The Search for a Hero: Talbot Mercer Papineau and the Great War", Thursday, 18 February 2010, 1930 hours; and

Mike Bechthold, Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies, "'A brilliant success': The Canadian Capture of Fresnoy, 3 May 1917", Thursday, 25 March 2010, 1930 hours.

For more information, contact the Guelph Civic Museum at (519) 836-1221, on the web at guelph.ca/museum, or by e-mail at museum@guelph.ca.

12 October 2009

Symposium on Niagara's Military Past and Present

The Lincoln and Welland Regiment, along with the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, and Brock University and University of Waterloo history departments, are hosting the 3rd Annual Symposium on "Niagara's Military Past & Present" on 6 and 7 November 2009 at the Lake Street Armouries, 81 Lake Street, St. Catharines, Ontario.
There is a very extensive programme of speakers laid out, including:

Mike Bechthold, "The Canadian Corps after Vimy: Fresnoy, May 1917";

Terry Copp, "The Last Great Battle: The Canadians in the Rhineland, February - March 1945";

James E. Elliott, "Strange Fatality: The Battle of Stoney Creek, 1813";

Geoffrey Hayes, "'The Lincs' Third Generation: The Rhineland";

Heather Moran, "200 Years of Peace: Celebrating the 1812 Bi-Centennial through Public History";

David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, "Robert Rogers: The Original Ranger";

Elizabeth Vlossak, "Versailles 100 Years Later: Why it is Still Important for Canadians";

Lee Windsor, "Winters in Kandahar: High Season for Canadian Reconstruction, 2006-09"; and

James Wood, "The Good Neighbours and their 'Undefended' Fence: Canadian Militia Visits to the US before the First World War".

For further information, contact Captain R. Bruce Mair, at 9663@nrps.on.ca or by phone at (905) 321-4082 or Geoffrey Hayes, at ghayes@uwaterloo.ca or by phone at (519) 888-4567 ext. 35138.

08 October 2009

Historical items from The Canadian Air Force Journal

I don't think I've ever posted about The Canadian Air Force Journal, "an official publication of the Chief of the Air Staff" with the goal of being "a forum for discussing concepts, issues and ideas that are both crucial and central to aerospace power." The six issues published to date include a handful of articles of direct interest to readers of Canadian military history, including:

A/V/M C.L. Annis, "The Evolution of Air Materiel Command", vol.1, no.2 (Summer 2008) [reprint from The Roundel, 1962];

Lieut Steven Dieter, "Through Adversity and More: Looking Ahead towards the Canadian Centennial of Flight", vol.1, no.3 (Fall 2008);

2nd Lieut Nicolas Fortin, "Raymond Collishaw: The Royal Naval Air Services Lead Ace", vol.2, no.1 (Winter 2009);

Maj Andrew B. Godefroy, "From Gentleman Cadet to No Known Grave: The Life and Death of Lieutenant (Observer/Gunner) Franklin Sharp Rankin, 1894-1916", vol.1, no.3 (Fall 2008);

Aaron P. Jackson, "The Emergence of a 'Doctrinal Culture' within the Canadian Air Force: Where it Came From, Where it's at and Where to from Here?: Part 1: Doctrine and Canadian Air Force Culture prior to the End of the Cold War", vol.2, no.2 (Summer 2009);

Maj Paul Johnston, "Staff Systems and the Canadian Air Force: Part 1 - History of the Western Staff System", vol.1, no.2 (Summer 2008);

Maj Paul Johnston, "Staff Systems and the Canadian Air Force: Part 2 - A Convoluted Evolution", vol.1, no.3 (Fall 2008);

MCpl René Paquet, "Supermarine Spitfire - The Famous Elliptical Wing Fighter", vol.1, no.1 (Spring 2008);

Col Randall Wakelam, "A Fine Mess: How Our Tactical Helicopter Force came to be What it is", vol.1, no.3 (Fall 2008);

plus numerous book reviews of interest.

05 October 2009

A Canadian medical doctor in Afghanistan

Recently, I've been on a bit of a personal reading spree with respect to Canada's activities in Afghanistan. One of the most interesting of the publications that I've read has been Captain Ray Wiss, MD's, memoirs of his first roto in Afghanistan titled FOB Doc: A Doctor on the Front Lines in Afghanistan: A War Diary (also here). It seems someone else has taken notice of this book, Nancy J. White interviewing the good doctor for The Toronto Star this past weekend. The National Review of Medicine also published an article on Captain Wiss in April 2008. My thanks to the Spotlight on Military News and International Affairs for this pick.

03 October 2009

Laurier Centre's Fall Speakers' Series

(This post is an update to a previously-published one, specifically with updates to Delaney's presentation and the addition of that of Winegard).

The Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies has posted its fall speakers' series line-up. Each of the following lectures (and the presentations yet to be confirmed) will take place at the Centre, on 232 King Street North in Waterloo, Ontario.

The series begins on Wednesday, 16 September, at 1900 hours, with Dr. Alistair Edgar, Wilfrid Laurier University, on "Kosovo: 10 Years After":
Dr. Alistair Edgar researches issues of justice and reconciliation as elements of war-to-peace transition and peacebuilding in post-conflict societies. In February-March 2009 Dr. Edgar conducted interviews with government, academic, religious and civil society leaders, activists and other representatives in Belgrade and throughout Kosovo & Metohija to examine the current conditions of, and attitudes towards, justice and peacebuilding there on the 10th anniversary of the NATO air campaign and the first anniversary of the controversial Declaration of Independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo.
On Wednesday, 30 September, at 1900 hours, Dr. Randall T. Wakelam, Research Associate, LCMSDS, will speak on "The Science of Bombing: Operational Research in RAF Bomber Command":
Dr. Randall Wakelam is a former air force pilot who commanded 408 Squadron in the early 1990s (the unit was originally activated as Canada's first Bomber Command squadron in 1941). A long serving faculy member at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto he has studied and written about air force leadership and culture for two decades. In The Science of Bombing he dispels many of the myths about Bomber Harris's bloody-minded city smashing tactics, showing that Harris, his subordinates and the scientists of his operational research section were focused
On Wednesday, 14 October, at 1900 hours, Dr. Douglas Delaney, The Royal Military College of Canada, will speak on "Acting and Generalship: Lieutenant-General Sir Brian Horrocks":
Most people know Brian Horrocks from film or television - the worry-free corps commander of A Bridge Too Far, driving his own jeep, dolling out direction to his passenger, and exchanging jokes with soldiers; or the BBC television personality who conveyed the stories of the great campaigns and the great men of his wars with clarity and grace. These images belie the reality of a man who, like most people, had his share of insecurity and self-doubt. He just hid them better than most. He was also a much more deliberate planner than he let on, certainly more so than historians or film producers have acknowledged. Horrocks believed that every general had to be a bit of an actor, and he often slipped into the character of the cheery and self-assured corps commander - for all the right reasons.
On Wednesday, 28 October, at 1900 hours, Col. (ret'd) Patrick M. Dennis, OMM, CD, Wilfrid Laurier University, will speak on "NATO AWACS in Peace and War: From the Fulda Gap to Afghanistan":
Between 1990 and 1999, the NATO alliance transformed itself from a collective self-defence organization focused exclusively on the threats and challenges posed by the "cold war", to a collective security organization engaged in multiple military operations beyond its borders. Key to this extraordinary transition into "out of area" operations was the crucial role played by NATO AWACS - the only multinational flying unit in the world, the activities of which arguably laid the foundation for NATO's eventual decision to take over responsibilities for ISAF in 2003. From the first Gulf War to Afghanistan, this lecture will review key events during this historic period and consider how NATO AWACS continues to play an important role, both as a vital element of the NATO Response Force (NRF) and as a key instrument for decision makers during crisis management."
On Wednesday, 11 November, at 1900 hours, Professor Terry Copp, Wilfrid Laurier University, will speak on "There are many things to remember: Nijmegen, March 1944 to February 1945":
The Dutch city of Nijmegen was accidentally bombed in March 1944, "liberated" in September 1944 and became a front line city with the Canadians until March 1945. Professor Copp will explore the story of a city at war.
The speaker and subject for the 25 November session will be confirmed at a later date.

On Wednesday, 9 December, at 1900 hours, Captain Timothy C. Winegard, University of Oxford, will speak on "And Death Shall Have No Dominion: Indigenous Peoples of the British Dominions and the First World War":
Capt. Timothy C. Winegard is currently completing his PhD at the University of Oxford, and will soon take up a postdoctoral fellow position at the LCMSDS. He is currently teaching First Nations Studies at WLU and UWO. Tim recently published a book on the Oka Crisis and the role of the Canadian Forces. His talk continues with the theme of First Nations and military interaction by comparing the capricious and racially motivated policies concerning, and participation of, the Indigenous Peoples of the Dominions - Canada, Australia, Newfoundland, New Zealand and South Africa - during the First World War.
For further information, etc., contact Mike Bechthold at mbechthold@wlu.ca or 519-884-0710 ext 4594.

02 October 2009

Latest issues of the Canadian Naval Review

During my absence, I'd gotten behind on my mentions of the articles in Canadian military history in the Canadian Naval Review (specifically issues vol.4, no.3; vol.5, no.1 and vol.5, no.2) from the good folks at Dalhousie University's Centre for Foreign Policy Studies. Relevant articles (there hasn't been a whole lot purely in the realm of history of later - although this is an incredibly interesting periodical) include:

Pat Jessup, "Kriegsgefangenenlager: A POW's Account of the Loss of Afghanistan in 1944", vol.5, no.2 (Summer 2009): 22-27;

Peter Hayden, "Our Faltering Grasp on Canadian Naval History", vol.5, no.2 (Summer 2009): 30-31; and

Jacqui Good, "Sackville and the Battle of the Atlantic", vol.5, no.2 (Summer 2009): 44.