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Banner: From Colony to Country: A Reader's Guide to Canadian Military History


Canadian Military History: An Overview
War of 1812
Rebellions of 1837 and 1838
Northwest Campaign
South African War
First World War
Second World War


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Canadian Military History: An Overview
Troops and Traditions

Land Forces

In the years after the Second World War, the Army Historical Section laboured to produce its splendid series of official histories of the Canadian Army in that conflict. * Six years of war, covering the Army in Canada and Britain and operations in Hong Kong, the Aleutians and Dieppe, and * The victory campaign, the history of operations in North West Europe from the Normandy landing, bore Colonel C.P. Stacey's name as author, and * The Canadians in Italy that of Colonel G.W.L. Nicholson, his deputy, then successor as Director of the Army Historical Section.

After the First World War, an ambitious series of official history volumes was planned. Only one, plus a volume of appendices, was completed when the second conflict broke out and the Army cancelled the remainder of the project. Thus, when the Second World War volumes were completed, Colonel Nicholson produced the one-volume * Canadian Expeditionary Force to fill the void.

Colonel Stacey retired from the Army in 1959 to teach at the University of Toronto. He continued working on the final volume of his planned history, a study of defence policy and planning during the Second World War telling the story of the relationship of the political process to all three services. The resulting * Arms, men and governments, published in 1970, is listed in the Defence Policy and Military Policy section of this pathfinder.

Two general histories of Canada's land forces deserve special note. * Canada's soldiers, by George F.G. Stanley, another former Deputy Director of the Army Historical Section, is a much-loved work, which has gone through several editions and has been translated into French. We stand on guard, written by John Marteinson with a team of historians, also covers the whole of the history of Canada's land forces, with a heavier post-Confederation emphasis and with greater coverage of the 1970s and 1980s. Marteinson includes numerous valuable illustrations and photographs, many of them previously unpublished.

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