Historical Bibliography

While no list can hope to be comprehensive, the following are books that have proven to be of interest or use to the webmaster, or have been discussed on the site's forum or been recommended in other venues. These are books of general historical interest as they relate to the Canadian Army in the 20th Century.

Historical Overviews

Battery Flashes of W.W. II

Battery Flashes is a book by D.W. Falconer that provides a comprehensive survey of the history of all Canadian artillery units in the Second World War. These are thumbnail histories only, but every battery and regiment is included, of all types including coastal, field, medium, anti-tank and anti-aircraft units. Also special purpose units like the Survey Regiments, rocket batteries, counter-mortar units etc. are included. However, the book also includes thumbnail sketches of Canadian formations, including all overseas divisions and corps as well as First Canadian Army, and in addition all domestic formations including both Atlantic and Pacific Command, the three home service divisions, and the various forces sent on garrison duty to locales such as Iceland, Jamaica, or Newfoundland. Primary research is evidence, with the provision of General Order references.

Physical Description

  • Paperback, 514 pp.

  • Published by the author, D.W. Falconer, 1985

  • ISBN 0969186509


All thumbnail histories include the serial number assigned to the unit on mobilization, place of mobilization, dates of overseas service, and date of disbandment. What isn't included is any info on personalities, commanders, statistics, types of equipment used. These are very bare bones histories.

Other bonus material includes brief survey of formation patches used in Canada and overseas, with primary references, a nice addition. This does not however cover regimental insignia. The book is a rare volume, but one that is worth picking up for both general interest regarding dates and serial numbers, and for anyone interested in specific battery and regimental information, the book is a must.

Gaudeamus Igitur ‘Therefore Rejoice’; The Campaigns Of The Canadian Army In The Second World War

While the official histories of the Canadian Army in the Second World War are now available online for free, this book does a good job of condensing the three volumes comprising the official record of the Army's campaigns in Italy, North-west Europe, and the Pacific, into a single, easy-reading format.

Physical Description:

  • Paperback, 328pp.

  • Written by A. Donald McKay, published by Bunker to Bunker Books, 2005

  • ISBN 1-894255-53-4

The drawbacks of the treatment are an account often interrupted by personal opinion  (the author was a junior officer in the Canadian Army in the Second World War, who went on after the war to earn a Masters Degree in International Affairs). The maps, all taken from the official Canadian Army histories, are poorly reproduced to the point of being unreadable. However, the sketch descriptions of the individual battles and campaigns are well done, and the book provides perhaps the only single-volume account of the Canadian Army in the Second World War.

Dr. Jack Granatstein reviewed the work in Canadian Military Journal:

Unfortunately, while this volume has its merits, it is not a scholarly treatise. The author’s sources are much too limited for that. He has used no archival records, and, as he disarmingly admits: “The primary sources have been the official British and Canadian histories.” Nor has he covered much of the published literature, and, regrettably, he leaves out the most recent published works – and much of the older material too. In other words, this is not scholarship. What it is, however, is an informed, opinionated, tart assessment of the Canadian Army’s battlefield performance by a junior officer who served in its ranks...

Take the Dieppe raid of August 1942, for example. McKay fixes most of the blame on Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten of Combined Operations Headquarters. The raid, he states, “was largely a failure due to overoptimistic, half-baked planning assumptions, incredibly poor intelligence and faulty appreciations on the part of HQ [Combined Operations] and an over ready willingness by HQ [2 Canadian Infantry Division] to believe that HQCO knew what it was doing and had produced an outline plan that should be accepted at face value.” Exactly right, as is McKay’s judgment that, because it was a raid, “the troops knew that they would only be ashore for a few hours [and this] psychologically militated against [their] energetically persisting in trying to push deep inland...” “After all,” he writes, “who wants to be marooned inland when the evacuation fleet sails away?” If anyone else has made this point that ought to have been obvious to all, I am not aware of it. McKay also questions the hoary legend that the raid greatly influenced subsequent Allied landings. “Whether or not these improvements would have been made in any case,” he states correctly, “is matter of conjecture.”

As these comments suggest, McKay is unafraid to state his positions with a full frontal candour. He even gives Field Marshal Montgomery his due. Unlike the Great War’s Haig, Monty “emerged from final victory with esteem and honour and it is hard to argue with results.” ...E.L.M. Burns, surprisingly, gets the warmest of accolades: “His Gothic Line battles were the 8th Army’s greatest achievements to that time and possibly Canada’s greatest victories of the war.” But Burns was sacked at the moment of victory. “Since here he is rated for achievement and not personality,” McKay boldly states, “he receives an ‘A’.” I am not wholly convinced of Burns’s superior generalship, but it is hard to argue with McKay’s later judgment that Bert Hoffmeister, GOC of 5th Canadian Armoured Division, was “Canada’s best general of the war.” That would also be Doug Delaney’s judgment in his 2005 biography of Hoffmeister, and it is a pity that McKay could not make use of this book which, unlike other titles omitted from his research, certainly appeared too late to be taken into account...

McKay’s volume is unlikely to change many minds here or abroad...but it is worth reading for its refreshing willingness to call a spade a bloody shovel.

General Historical, Battle and Campaign Histories

Official Histories are listed on the Official Histories page.

Twentieth Century Overviews 1900-1999

  • Hannon, Leslie F. Canada at War: The Record of a Fighting People (McClelland and Stewart Ltd., Toronto, ON 1968) 128pp
    • Brief illustrated overview of Canada's military operations from before Confederation to the Centennial.
  • Chappell, Mike. The Canadian Army at War (Osprey Publishing Company Ltd., London, UK 1985). 48pp ISBN 0-85045-600-4
    • Brief softcover examination of Canadian soldiers in the 20th Century.

The Boer War 1899-1902

  • Millar, Carman. Painting the Map Red: Canada and the South African War, 1899-1902 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press 1993.) pp. xvi, 544, illus.
    • Reviewed by Richard Clippingdale, Canadian Centre for Management Development, Ottawa in Canadian Historical Review - Volume 75, Number 4 December 1994

The Second World War 1939-1945: General Accounts - Political and Social (may also include military subjects)

  • Barris, Ted and Alex Barris. Days of Victory: Canadians Remember 1939-1945 (MacMillan Canada, Toronto, ON 1995) 304pp ISBN 0771573014

    • Collection of reminiscences of soldiers and civilians. Looks at some controversial issues such as racism in the Canadian military.

  • Broadfoot, Barry Six War Years 1939-1945: Memories of Canadians Home and Abroad (Doubleday Canada Ltd., Toronto, ON 1974) 418pp ISBN 03850581-4

    • Collection of reminiscences of soldiers and civilians.

  • Byfield, Ted (Editor) Alberta in the Twentieth Century: A Journalistic History of the Province (Volume 8 The War That United The Province) (United Western Communications Ltd, Edmonton AB 2000) 419pp ISBN 0959571887

    • Lavishly illustrated social and military history of Alberta and Alberta units in the Second World War.


  • Granatstein, J.L. and Desmond Morton A Nation Forged in Fire: Canadians and the Second World War 1939-1945 (Lester and Orpen Dennys Ltd., Toronto, ON nd) 288pp ISBN 0886192137

    • Political, social and military overview of Canada's involvement in the Second World War.
  • Granatstein, J.L. Canada's War: The Politics of the Mackenzie King Government, 1939-1945 (University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON 1990) 436pp ISBN 0802067972
    • Political history of Canadian involvement in the Second World War, with some info on decisions involving the military.
  • Granatstein, J.L. and Peter Neary. The Good Fight: Canadians and World War II (Copp Clark, Ltd. Mississauga, ON 1995) 466pp ISBN 0773054588
    • Collection of articles regarding Canadian involvement in the Second World War.
  • Legion Magazine True Canadian War Stories (Legion Magazine, 1986) 310pp ISBN 0886191386
    • Collection of short articles reprinted from LEGION Magazine, the official organ of Canada's premier servicemen's club, The Royal Canadian Legion.
  • Morton, Desmond and J.L. Granatstein Victory 1945: Canadians From War To Peace (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., Toronto, ON 1995) ISBN 0002550695
    • Commemorative album produced to mark the 50 anniversary of V-E Day, with many photos and articles on life for Canadians at home and serving abroad.
  • Tingley, Ken (Editor) For King and Country: Alberta in the Second World War (Provincial Museum of Alberta, 1995) 364pp ISBN 1895073812
    • Collection of articles and photos relating to Albertans and Alberta units in the Second World War.

General Accounts - Military

  • Reader's Digest The Canadians at War 1939/45 (Reader's Digest Association (Canada) Ltd., 1969) ISBN 0888501617
    • Two volume book of short articles on various military aspects of Canadian involvement in the Second World War, many illustrations. See also next entry below.
  • Reader's Digest The Tools of War (Reader's Digest Association (Canada) Ltd., 1969) 96pp
    • Companion volume to the above Canadians at War, this book has sketches of major weapons, ships, aircraft and vehicles, notes on tactics and organization, etc.

Hong Kong

  • Greenhous, Brereton. "C" Force to Hong Kong: A Canadian Catastrophe 1941-1945 (Dunford Press Ltd., 1997) 160pp ISBN 1550022679
    • Detailed look at the two role Canadian soldiers played in the defence of Hong Kong in 1941, and the imprisonment of the survivors.

The Dieppe Raid

  • Black, Robert W. Rangers in World War Two (Random House of Canada Ltd., Toronto, ON 1992) 429pp ISBN 0804125650
    • Detailed accounting of all US Army Rangers who participated in the Dieppe Raid.
  • Ford, Ken. Dieppe 1942, Prelude to D-Day Osprey Campaign Series #127, Osprey Publishing, 2003.
  • Leasor, James. Green Beach (Corgi Books, London, UK 1976) 288pp
    • First hand of account of radar expert who landed with the South Saskatchewan Regiment.
  • Loring Villa, Brian Unauthorized Action: Mountbatten and the Dieppe Raid (Oxford University Press, Don Mills, ON 1994) 314pp
    • Scholarly, well researched and footnoted book on the origins of the Dieppe Raid. Does not describe the Raid itself in detail but attempts to pinpoint with precision who was responsible for the launch. Updated version includes final chapter chilling in its implications, suggesting news of the raid may have been deliberately leaked. Controversial book that was the basis for the CBC miniseries "Dieppe".
  • Mordal, Jacques Dieppe: The Dawn of Decision (Souvenir Press Ltd, UK, 1963) 288pp ISBN 0450050041
    • Decent, but not detailed, overview of the planning, mounting and execution of the Raid.
  • Reynolds, Quentin. Dress Rehearsal: The Story of Dieppe (Blue Ribbon Books, Random House, Inc., 1943) 278 pp
    • Story of the Dieppe Raid by a journalist; obviously written under wartime constraints. Author admits it is not a "profound dissertation".
  • Robertson, Terence. The Shame and the Glory: Dieppe (McClelland and Stewart, Ltd., Toronto, ON 1962) 432pp
    • Most detailed view yet presented of the actual Raid itself, with much biographical information on key players.
  • Whitaker, Denis and Shelagh Whitaker Dieppe: Tragedy to Triumph (McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, Whitby, ON 1992) 372pp ISBN 0075513854
    • Apologetic view of Dieppe tries to make the case that the Raid was a necessary precursor to D-Day. Written by veteran of the Raid and prolific historian.

The Italian Campaign

  • Dancocks, D.G. The D-Day Dodgers: The Canadians in Italy, 1943-1945 (McClelland & Stewart Inc., Toronto, ON 1991) 508pp ISBN 0771025440
    • Readable account of Canadian forces in Italy in the Second World War; good general overview.
  • Zuehlke, Mark. The Gothic Line:Canada's Month of Hell in WW II Italy (Douglas and McIntyre, 2005) 400pp ISBN 1553650239
    • Last of the Italian campaign pop-history trilogy by Zuehlke.
  • Zuehlke, Mark. The Liri Valley: Canada's World War II Breakthrough to Rome (Stoddart Publishing Co. Ltd., Toronto, ON 2001) 492pp ISBN 0773733086
    • Overview of the Liri Valley campaign with emphasis on Canadian operations.
  • Zuehlke, Mark. Ortona: Canada's Epic World War II Battle (Stoddart Publishing Co. Ltd., Toronto, ON 1999) 443pp ISBN 0773731989
    • Popular history style overview of the Moro River campaign with emphasis on Canadian operations, including a description of the battle of Ortona.

North-West Europe 1944-45

  • Copp, Terry Cinderella Army: The Canadians in Northwest Europe 1944-1945 (Toronto Press, Inc., Toronto, ON, 2006) ISBN 978-0-6522-0
    • General overview of the campaign in NW Europe from September 1944 to VE Day.
  • Williams, Jeffrey. The Long Left Flank: The Hard Fought Way to the Reich, 1944-45 (Stoddard Publishing Co., Toronto, ON 1988) 348pp ISBN 0773721940
    • General overview of the campaign in NW Europe from September 1944 to VE Day.

D-Day and Normandy

  • Barris, Ted. Juno : Canadians at D-Day, June 6, 1944 (Toronto : T. Allen Publishers, 2004) xxii, 307 p., [24] p. of plates : ill., maps ISBN: 0887621333
    • Good selection of personal accounts, including the true story of the famous cine-camera footage taken during the actual landings.
  • Copp, Terry and Robert Vogel Maple Leaf Route: Caen (Alma, ON 1983) 119pp ISBN 0919907016
  • Copp, Terry and Robert Vogel Maple Leaf Route: Falaise (Alma, ON 1983) 143pp ISBN 0919907024
  • English, John The Canadian Army and the Normandy Campaign: A Study of Failure In High Command (Praeger, New York, NY 1991) 347pp. ISBN 027593019X
  • Granatstein, J.L. and Desmond Morton. Bloody Victory: Canadians and the D-Day Campaign 1944 (Lester & Orpen Dennys, Toronto, ON 1984) 240pp ISBN 0886190460
    • General introduction to the subject of Canada's participation in Normandy.
  • Kaufman, David and Michiel Horn A Liberation Album: Canadians in the Netherlands 1944-45 (McGraw Hill Ryerson Ltd., Toronto, ON 1980) 176pp ISBN 0070924295
    • Based on the film "Liberation" this book provides then-and-now photos, biographies, and short histories, focussing on both the Dutch people and the Canadian soldiers that helped liberate them from the Germans.
  • Reid, Brian A. No Holding Back (Robin Brass Studio, 2004) 491pp ISBN 1896941400
    • Excellent, in-depth and professionally research book on Operation TRACTABLE in August 1944, written by a retired Canadian staff officer with excellent knowledge of German military. Useful, detailed appendices on the death of Michael Wittman and the 1st Polish Armoured Division.
  • Whitaker, Denis and Shelagh Whitaker with Terry Copp The Soldier's Story: Victory at Falaise (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., Toronto, ON 2000) 372pp ISBN 0002000172
    • Overview of Allied operations in Normandy from July to August 1944.

The Scheldt

  • Copp, Terry and Robert Vogel Maple Leaf Route: Antwerp (Alma, ON 1984) 143pp ISBN 0919907032
  • Whitaker, Denis and Shelagh Whitaker Tug of War: The Allied Victory That Opened Antwerp (Stoddard Publishing Company Ltd., Toronto, ON 2000(rev ed)) 470pp. ISBN 0773732268
    • Overview of Allied operations in Belgium and Holland in October 1944.
  • Zuehlke, Mark Terrible Victory: First Canadian Army and the Scheldt Campaign (Douglas & McIntrye, 2008) ISBN 978-1553654049
    • Pop-history overview of the Battle of the Scheldt from the Canadian perspective

The Rhineland

  • Whitaker, Denis and Shelagh Whitaker Rhineland: The Battle to End the War (Stoddart Publishing Company Ltd. Toronto, ON 1989) 422pp ISBN 0773753907
    • Scholarly overview of Allied operations in the Rhineland from February to March 1945, including coverage from the British, American and German point of view.

The Korean War 1950-1953

  • Barris, Ted. Deadlock in Korea : Canadians at War, 1950-1953 (Toronto: Macmillan Canada, 1999.) 326 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ISBN 0771575912
  • Bercuson, David Blood on the Hills: The Canadian Army in the Korean War (University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON 1999) 269pp ISBN 0802009808
    • Overview of Canadian ground operations in the Korean War.
  • Giesler, Patricia Valour Remembered: Canadians in Korea (Souvenirs de Vaillance: Les Canadiens en Corée) (Minister of Supply and Services Canada, Ottawa, ON 1982) 54pp ISBN 0662521153
    • Bilingual booklet produced by Veterans Affairs given very brief overview of operations in Korea.

Peacekeeping and other Military Operations 1945-1999

  • MacKenzie, Lewis. Peacekeeper: The Road to Sarajevo (Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver, BC 1993) 346pp ISBN 155054098X
    • Personal account of Major General Lewis Mackenzie, with details of several Canadian peacekeeping missions.
  • Bercuson, David. Significant Incident (McClelland and Stewart Ltd., Toronto, ON 1996) 264pp ISBN 077101113X
    • Sweeping account of the social history of the Canadian Army, explaining why and how the Army has evolved throughout the 20th Century, with a special focus on the incidents in Somalia.
  • Leach, Norman S. Canadian Peacekeepers: Ten Stories of Valour in War-Torn Countries (Folklore Publishing, 2005) 144pp ISBN 1894864360
    • Large print; stories of Peacekeeping throughout the history of such, from Lester Pearson to Alan Short/Robbie Beerenfenger in 2003.
  • Taylor, Scott and Brian Nolan. Tested Mettle: Canadian Peacekeepers at War (Esprit de Corps Books, Ottawa, ON 1998) 264pp ISBN 1895896088
    • Politicized account of Canadian peacekeeping activities in the 1990s.

Hobbyist's Primers

Equipment Books

Collector's References are a category of book more in-depth than primers and study individual subjects in great detail. The books on this page are recommended reading for understanding the personal equipment used by Canadian soldiers in the 20th Century.

British Web Equipment of the Two World Wars

Martin J. Brayley, Europe Militaria No. 52, Crowood Press, 2005. 64pp

An excellent full-colour photographic guide to British 1908 and 1937 Pattern Webbing, with a good look also at 1944 Pattern and some of the interwar sets. Good extras, like list of British manufacturers and their abbreviated names as found on actual webbing items.

Aug 2002

'37 Web: Equipping the Canadian Soldier is the first book devoted solely to Canadian produced 1937 Pattern field equipment. The book was written by lifelong collector WE "Ed" Storey, and covers in detail all major components of infantry and officers field equipment, larger items of field equipment, orders of dress, and even reprints the wartime manual regarding this equipment.

Physical Description

  • Service Publications, Ottawa, ON, 2003.
  • Softcover, extensively illustrated
  • ISBN 1894581091

The Tangled Web: Infantry Accoutrements 1855-1985 was the first major attempt to catalogue all major types of infantry equipment used by the Canadian Army in a single volume. The book was written by retired Brigadier General Jack L. Summers.

Physical Description

  • Hardcover, published by Museum Restoration Service, 1992

  • 146 pp., many illustrations

  • ISBN 0919316972


A good introduction to Canadian infantry equipments, though rather pricy and not comprehensive. Certain types of infantry equipment are covered much more comprehensively in other sources, but for many less common types, this is the only Canadian reference in print.

Osprey Men-at-Arms

The Osprey "Men at Arms" titles are well known to many interested parties; plastic modellers, wargamers, uniform collectors, and those with a general interest in history. The titles are relatively inexpensive and follow a common format - 32 to 40 pages of text with 8 pages of colour plates. All colour plates have extensive captions at the back of the text, and main text is punctuated with sidebar articles. Authors and artists are different with each volume, as each is written by a leading researcher of the particular area being discussed.

The following titles are most applicable to those with an interest in the Canadian Army in the 20th Century.

As with most of the Men At Arms titles, the titles are generally so broad that it is hard to grasp what the book is about without purchasing it first. A brief description here will hopefully better guide potential purchasers; some titles in the MAA line specialize in uniforms, others in general history, some have details of weapons while others do not, etc.


Men at Arms 107: British Infantry Equipment 1880-1914

Deals with British leather equipment, much of which was also used, in limited numbers by Canadians from 1880-1914. Good thumbnail reference for early pre-Great War equipment.

Mike Chappell, Osprey Publishing, 1980. 40pp ISBN 0850453747

Men at Arms 108: British Infantry Equipments 1908-1980

Deals with British web equipment, much of which was also used in modified form by Canadians from 1914-1953. Good thumbnail reference, unfortunately, Canadian variants are not discussed. Photos are poorly thought out and order of dress illustrations not always correct - Ed Storey's book on '37 Web is much better for those interested in Canadian WW II Equipment.

A Revised Edition of MAA 108 was released in 2000, updating the book and causing a slight adjustment to the name to bring it into line with other titles, now being known as 'British Infantry Equipments (2) 1908-2000'.

From the Amazon.com description: The conflict in South Africa from 1899 to 1902 gave the British military establishment reason to effect swift reforms in the period which followed the end of the hostilities. The humiliating defeats suffered at the hands of a comparatively small number of Boer citizen-soldiers in the opening months of the war showed up deficiencies in leadership, training and equipment. In a companion volume to Men-at-Arms 107: British Infantry Equipments 1808-1908, Mike Chappel examines the period from 1908-80 in a text complemented by numerous illustrations including eight full page colour plates by the author himself. ISBN 1855328399

Men at Arms 138: British Cavalry Equipments 1800-1941

Deals with British Cavalry equipment, some of which was used in limited numbers by Canadians. Good thumbnail reference for pre-Second World War cavalry equipment.

Mike Chappell, Osprey Publishing, 1983. 40pp ISBN 0850453794

A revised edition of the book released in 2002 claims to represent 20 years' of new research. According to amazon.com: "It covers the saddlery, horse furniture, and personal equipment of the British horsed cavalryman from the early stages of the Napoleonic Wars until the final disappearance of the mounted arm during World War II. Such details are essential for an understanding of how cavalry fought in the 19th and early 20th centuries, since the design of equipment was intimately connected with cavalry tactics in any particular period. Students of campaign history, and particularly modellers, will find here a mass of specific information, illustrated with photographs, diagrams, drawings and full colour plates."

Mike Chappell, Osprey Publishing, 2002. 48pp ISBN 184176471X

Men at Arms 164: The Canadian Army at War

An overview of the Canadian Army from 1900 to 1985; very little information about post-Korean War Army, but useful thumbnail sketches of Canadian involvement in the Boer War, World War One, World War Two and Korea. Very, very brief historical text, with well done colour plates and captions serving as an introduction to uniforms, weapons and equipment. No sidebar articles to speak of, closest this comes are listings of the main combat unit composition of the Canadian Corps in World War One, First Canadian Army in Europe in World War Two, and the 25th Canadian Brigade in Korea.

Mike Chappell, Osprey Publishing, 1985. 48pp

Men at Arms 359: Canadian Forces in World War Two

The emphasis on Canadian Forces in World War Two is very much on the general history and organization of the three services - Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force, with a look at other auxiliary organizations as well such as the Veteran's Guard, Pacific Coast Militia Rangers, and the women's services.

The text is well written and solidly researched and includes a lengthy introduction to the Canadian military in general, and how the government guided the raising and deployment of Canadian military power in WW II. A brief chronology of WW II is presented, and then text outlining the Army, Navy and Air Force. The meat of the Army text concerns organizational and training issues, and is divided into three separate parts of equal size; the Army in general, the Veteran's Guard, and the PCMR. A lengthy section on Army uniforms and accoutrements (equipment) follows, supported by photos (some current photos of poor quality). Finally, a page long bibliography is presented followed by captions to the exceptional colour plates by Ron Volstad. Five of the eight colour plates are devoted to Army subjects. Contemporary photos are mostly of uniform details, with well written and descriptive captions.

Sidebars seem to be a bit of a waste - almost three pages of text devoted to naming the infantry and armoured regiments. Conspicuous by its absence are any charts of the rank structure or rank insignia of the three forces - a standard in other MAA titles.

Artist Ronald Volstad, well known in the military and hobby world, has come into his own as well. The colour plates in this volume are spectacular in their detail, the varied character of the faces, and the subtleties of light and shadow.

Colour plate from CANADIAN FORCES IN WORLD WAR TWO displayed here with the permission of the artist, Ron Volstad

The colour plate above depicts an infantryman in Sicily (Royal 22e Regiment), a tank crew officer of the South Alberta Regiment in North-West Europe, and a PIAT man from the Highland Light Infantry of Canada in Normandy shortly after the Normandy Invasion. The colour plates are especially well researched; the pouches on the H.L.I. PIAT man, for example are undone because in actuality, the pouches of the 1937 Web Equipment were too short to carry Sten gun magazines with a closed flap. First Field Dressings are obviously carried in the pockets of the battle dress trousers and Khaki Drill shorts. All in all, one of Volstad's best sets of artwork, in a career that has spanned from his days in the early 1970s illustrating the Squadron-Signal books, to his recent work on countless Dragon model box tops and 12" action figures.

The text of the book is well written and for such a short text (48 pages including Index) amazingly comprehensive. The book is an excellent introduction to the subject of Canadian military participation and uniforms, and provides a bibliography of suggested further reading.

Unfortunately, there are some inaccuracies in the text, as is the norm for any book attempting to give blanket coverage to such a large and diverse topic, such as the misinformation regarding rank insignia for the Queen's Own Rifles (the photo caption on page 12 lists this as black on green when in reality the QOR has always worn black on red insignia), or the misidentification of British Khaki Drill clothing as Canadian.

In all, however, this is a very useful volume and an excellent starting point for further research.

Rene Chartrand (Illustrated by Ron Volstad), Osprey Publishing, 2001. 48pp

Elite 143: Canadian Airborne Forces since 1942

Paperback: 64 pages

  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (August 29, 2006)

  • ISBN: 1841769851

  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.3 x 0.2 inches

Lieutenant Colonel Bernd Horn, PhD is the former commanding officer of 3 Commando, The Canadian Airborne Regiment and of 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, as well as Adjunct Professor of History at the Royal Military College of Canada. He has published several books. Michel Wyczynski is an archivist with the National Archives of Canada, the Canadian Airborne Forces Museum and the Airborne Regiment Association.

Keeping with the ongoing trend of Osprey to provide first rate colour plates combined with information by knowledgeable authors, this book is an excellent précis of Canadian airborne soldiers. The authors have produced other works on the subject which are well known. The colour plates are of a higher standard than many recent Osprey titles, and the subject matter is fairly completely covered. The book seems to lack the interesting sidebars found in other recent Osprey titles, and little attention is actually paid to parachute equipment, as the focus of the text is on history. Still, an invaluable aid to those interested in this subject matter. Some bias also slips into the text, such as a statement to the effect that all staff officers without exception must dream of commanding an airborne battalion - an unfair assumption on the part of the author, a former airborne officer! However, good detail in the coverage, including the Militia jump companies.

General Reference Books


Photo Collections

  • Bell, Ken Not in Vain (University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON 1973) 142pp ISBN 0802019

    • Then and now photos in Northwest Europe, where the author served as a Canadian war photographer. Text by C.P. Stacey, the official Canadian Army WW II historian.

  • Bell, Ken The Way We Were (University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON 1988) 256pp ISBN 0802039901

    • Then and now photos in Italy and Northwest Europe, including Dieppe, featuring the work of many different Canadian war photographers, including the author.

  • Chretien, Guy Juno Beach: Les Canadiens Dans La Battaille (n.p., n.d.)

    • Bilingual book with then and now photos of the Canadians who fought in Normandy

  • Ellis, Chris. The Churchill Tank (Arms and Armour Press, London, UK, 1987) 64pp ISBN 0853688087

    • Softcover volume, number 25 of the TANKS ILLUSTRATED series. Mostly British photos, with a small sampling of photos of the Churchill in Canadian service before and during the Dieppe Raid.

  • Henry, Hugh G. Jr and Jean Paul Pallud Dieppe: Through the Lens of the German War Photographer (After the Battle - Battle of Britain Prints International Ltd, London, UK nd) 64pp ISBN 0900913762

    • Detailed overview of Calgary Tank Regiment vehicles and landing craft used during the main landings at Dieppe. Wealth of data on tank crews, vehicle movements, markings with very informative captions. Based on the doctoral dissertation of the author.

  • Perrett, Bryan. Allied Tanks Italy: World War Two (Arms and Armour Press, London, UK 1985) 64pp ISBN 0853687803

    • Softcover volume, number 20 of the TANKS ILLUSTRATED series. Photos and captions regarding American, British, South African, New Zealand, and Canadian armoured units in Italy in WW II.

  • Thompson, Leroy. US Special Forces of World War Two (Arms and Armour Press, London, UK 1984) 68pp ISBN 0853686266

    • Softcover volume, number 1 of the UNIFORMS ILLUSTRATED series. Contains photos of the US-Canadian First Special Service Force.

Officers, Generals and Command

  • Granatstein, J.L. The Generals: The Canadian Army's Senior Commanders in the Second World War (Stoddart Publishing Co. Ltd., Toronto, ON 1993) 370pp ISBN 0773727396

    • Brief study of Canadian generalship in the Second World War, focusing on select senior officers with detailed biographies.

  • Harris, Stephen J. Canadian Brass : The Making of a Professional Army, 1860-1939 (University of Toronto, Toronto, ON 1988) ISBN 0802057659

Comics, Cartoons, Songbooks, Fiction

  • Chantler, Scott Two Generals (Emblem Editions, 2011) ISBN 978-0771019593

    • Graphic novel of the service of the author's grandfather, who had served with the Highland Light Infantry of Canada in the U.K. and Normandy in the Second World War.

  • Coughlin, William Garnet and "JDM" Herbie!

  • Di Tullion, Saverio 1943: The Road To Ortona (Legas, Ottawa, ON 1998) 109pp ISBN 0921252781 **Comic book history of the battle of Ortona, well researched and written, though art is not entirely accurate with regards to uniforms, etc. Very dramatic portrayal of events, and much good information of the Italian civilians' perspective on the battle which is overlooked in many histories.

  • Hopkins, Anthony. Songs from the Front and Rear: Canadian Servicemen's Songs of the Second World War (Hurtig Publishers, Edmonton, AB 1979) 192pp ISBN 0888301723

    • Sheet music and lyrics for popular WW II songs.

  • McDougall, Colin. Execution (MacMillan and Sons Ltd., Toronto, ON 1958) 227pp

    • Novelization of a Canadian infantry unit in Sicily and Italy, later formed the basis of a TV movie of the same name (set in France). McDougall was an officer with the PPCLI in the Mediterranean during the Second World War.

Tour Books

  • Christie, Norm For King and Empire (Bunker to Bunker Books, Winnipeg, MB)

    • Volume I: The Canadians at Ypres, April 1915

    • Volume II: The Canadians on the Somme September- November 1916 ISBN 0969903944

    • Volume III: The Canadians at Vimy, April 1917

    • Volume IV: The Canadians at Passchendaele, October-Novemer 1917

    • Volume V: The Canadians at Arras and the Drocourt-Queant Line, August-September 1918

    • Volume VI: The Canadians at the Canal-du-Nord and Cambrai, September-October 1918

    • Volume VII: The Canadians at Amiens, August 1918

  • Copp, Terry A Canadian's Guide to the Battlefields of Normandy (The Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, Waterloo, ON 1994) 174pp ISBN 0969795505

    • Guide to battlefields in Normandy with relevance to Canadians.

  • Copp, Terry A Canadian's Guide to the Battlefields of Northwest Europe (The Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, Waterloo, ON 1995) 236pp ISBN 096979553X

    • Historically detailed guide, with good period photos, of the battlefields in Northwest Europe from both World Wars and how to visit them.

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