Saturday, August 23, 2008

Canada's Army: Waging War and Keeping the Peace by J.L. Granatstein

Canada's Army: Waging War and Keeping the Peace by J.L. Granatstein this is probably the best single volume history on the Canadian Army. It covers from Confederation up to 2001. It's big I get the feeling that a lifetime of research has gone into this. The bibliography is massive.

The major thesis is that Canadians must have professionalism in their army. This may seem rather obvious but for much of Canada's history it hasn't been the case. Even as recent as the 1980s most officers did not have degrees above the undergrad level. There is an extensive discussion of the various military actions the Canadian Army has been involved in including the Boer War,WWI,WWII, Korea, NATO and peacekeeping.

Unfortunately there are some problems with the book. Granatstein is as opinionated as always. This is particularly evident when discussing events after the Korean War. Some of these opinions are downright odd such as that women in combat hasn't been tested. Maybe someone needs to call the Israelis and let them know. He also says that he shouldn't have to discuss Vimy Ridge because it wasn't a strategic victory. He does anyway. Earlier he without reservation analyzed skirmishes from the Boer War.

Recommended even with its drawbacks it still a key part of a Canadian military history collection.

No comments: