11 January 2010

Laurier Centre's Winter Speakers' Series

The Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies has posted its winter 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:

Thursday, 14 January, 1900 hours, Captain Timothy C. Winegard, University of Oxford, on "And Death Shall Have No Dominion: Indigenous Peoples of the British Dominions and the First World War";
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.
Thursday, 11 February, 1900 hours, Dr. Andrew Iarocci, "Mechanizing Mars: Transport and Logistics in the First World War";
This talk will give an overview of the tactical uses of mechanical transport during the First World War, with a focus on the integration of motor and light rail transport with traditional animal transport in the Canadian and British forces. The discussion is based on research for an upcoming book on transport in the First World War.
Thursday, 25 February, 1900 hours, Dr. Tim Cook, Canadian War Museum, "'Always Look on the Bright Side of Strife': Humour and the Canadian Great War Soldier";
This talk examines Canadian Great War soldiers' humour. Laughter, jokes, pranks, and merriment are not usually associated with the trench warfare experience. Yet this army of young men, drawn from civilian society, turned to humour as a means to cope with the strain of war. Soldiers' humour also helped to make sense of the war and shape questions of identity and culture.
Thursday, 11 March, 1900 hours, Lieutenant-Colonel John Conrad, Canadian Forces College, "Merlin's Laugh: Canadian Combat Logistics in Afghanistan 2006";
Kandahar Province, Afghanistan - an unfamiliar, non-linear battle space; a battlefield that can pass as a post card where conducting routine logistics is always a combat operation. An entire generation of military leadership is being schooled in the sands of southern Afghanistan. We are only beginning to appreciate the depth of the lessons we are learning. This presentation will share with the attendees many of the hard-earned logistics lessons we have learned, where we have stumbled what we have been doing right all along. This presentation will describe the logistics preparations for Canada's return to sustained combat operations in Kandahar Province in the winter of 2006 - the first sustained combat mission since the Korean War.
Thursday, 1 April, 1900 hours, David Kielstra, Wilfrid Laurier University, "Peacekeeping under Fire: Canada and the United Nations Mission in Cyprus, 1964-1974";
This talk will focus on Canada's peacekeeping mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) which became Canada's longest-serving overseas deployment. The focus will be on the strategic threat that instability in Cyprus had for the NATO alliance, with particular attention paid to the 1974 crisis that put Canadian peacekeepers on the front lines of a war-zone when the island was abruptly invaded. Canadian actions under-fire played a critical role in helping UNFICYP secure key assets, protect civilians, and maintain cease-fires to ease tensions. Canada's decision to augment its peacekeepers by doubling reinforcements and adding offensive weapons also signals a shift towards a more activist foreign policy for the Trudeau government.
Thursday, 15 April, 1900 hours, Lieutenant-Colonel Angelo Caravaggio, Canadian Forces College, "21 Days in Normandy: A Reassessment of the Actions of 4th Canadian Armoured Division and Major-General George Kitching";
To date the assessments of the actions of 4th Canadian Armoured Division and those of its commander Major-General Kitching have been consistently poor. Using war diaries and operations logs this presentation will look at how operational and administrative decisions made in the planning of OVERLORD significantly curtailed Kitching's ability to train his division for the coming battles.
For further information, etc., contact Mike Bechthold at mbechthold@wlu.ca or 519-884-0710 ext 4594.

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