News from the department

New publications

Douglas E. Delaney, The Imperial Army Project, Oxford University Press, March 2018 

How did British authorities manage to secure the commitment of large dominion and Indian armies that could plan, fight, shoot, communicate, and sustain themselves, in concert with the British Army and with each other, during the era of the two world wars? What did the British want from the dominion and Indian armies and how did they go about trying to get it? Douglas E Delaney seeks to answer these questions to understand whether the imperial army project was successful.
Answering these questions requires a long-term perspective - one that begins with efforts to fix the armies of the British Empire in the aftermath of their desultory performance in South Africa (1899-1903) and follows through to the high point of imperial military cooperation during the Second World War. Based on multi-archival research conducted in six different countries, on four continents, Delaney argues that the military compatibility of the British Empire armies was the product of a deliberate and enduring imperial army project, one that aimed at standardizing and piecing together the armies of the empire, while, at the same time, accommodating the burgeoning autonomy of the dominions and even India. At its core, this book is really about how a military coalition worked.

Douglas Delaney's book on the Oxford University Press' website. 


Meghan Fitzpatrick, "The Trouble with Peace: The Royal Army Medical Corps' Cold War Recruitment Conundrums", War  & Society, vol. 37, Feb 2018. 

This article examines the Royal Army Medical Corps’ (RAMC) recruitment problems throughout the Cold War (1945–1980s). It explores why the RAMC experienced difficulties in attracting new personnel, how the army tried to alleviate these shortages, and the impact of chronic understaffing on the quality of military health care for generations of soldiers and their families. It concludes by reflecting on the enduring dilemmas of recruiting professionals in peacetime.

Meghan Fitzpatrick's article on the War & Society's website. 

Arthur Gullachsen, "No Shortage of Tanks!: The Canadian Army's System for the Recovery, Repair and Replacement of A and B Vehicles and Major Weapons Systems", Canadian Military History, vol. 27, Iss. 1, Feb. 2018 

This article is an overview of the First Canadian Army in North West Europe’s ability to recover, repair and damaged, destroyed and broken down vehicles and weapons systems. This capability was a crucial factor in maintaining the overall combat power of the Canadian Army Overseas during operations in the last year of war. To support this argument the author examines Canadian wartime primary documents as well as multiple secondary sources.

Arthur Gullachsen's article on the Canadian Military History's website. 

Howard Coombs, "21st Century Peace Operations: Assessing Canada's role", New Global Exchange Podcast, Feb. 2018 

In this podcast, Howard Coombs discusses the harsh reality of UN peacekeeping and peace support operations in the 21st century. More precisely, he discusses Canada's role in contemporary peacekeeping, the challenges that go along with such a deployment, and Canada's November 2017 announcements that will see an increase of Canadian capabilities dedicated to UN peace support operations. 

Howard Coombs' podcast on The Global Exchange's website. 

Jean Lamarre, Le mouvement étudiant québécois des années 1960 et ses relations avec le mouvement international, Septentrion, Oct. 2017 

During the 1960s, many protest movements took place around the world. From Paris to Berlin, from Berkeley to Toronto, from New York to Montreal, student youth were at the heart of this social challenge. Students took the streets and led these marches to claim their rights; they organized sit-ins, teach-ins and hunger strikes. All means were good to make their request heard. The similarities in their discours and the use of similar pressur tactics led Jean Lamarre to question the international links that may have existed between these movements. 

Jean Lamarre's book on the Septentrion's website. 


Howard G. Coombs, "25 Years after Somalia: How it Changed Canadian Armed Forces Preparations for Operations", Canadian military Journal, vol. 17, n. 4, Automn 2017. 

In late-1992, the Canadian Airborne Regiment Battle Group deployed to Somalia, during which time a series of negative incidents took place. These events far overshadowed any of the successes attained by the Battle Group in fulfilling their mandate. The best known of these undesirable happenings occurred in 1993 while the Regiment was based around the town of Belet Huen. The situation was desperate among the civil population in that area. There had been many attempted thefts from the Canadian camps, and orders were given to apprehend, and in some cases, to abuse intruders. Subsequently, on 16 March, one such intruder was captured, tortured, and murdered by Canadian soldiers. This killing of Somalian teenager Shidane Arone sent shock waves throughout Canada, and resulted in not only the punishment of the perpetrators, but also to the still-debated disbandment of the Canadian Airborne Regiment.

Howard G. Coombs' article on the Canadian military Journal's website

Asa McKercher and Galan Roger Perras, Mike's World: Lester B. Pearson and Canadian External Affairs, UBC Press, oct. 2017

Mike’s World explores the myths surrounding Pearsonianism to explain why he remains such a touchstone for understanding Canadian foreign policy. In it, leading and emerging scholars dig deeply into Pearson’s diplomatic and political career, especially during the 1960s and his time as prime minister. Topics range from peacekeeping and Arctic sovereignty to environmental diplomacy and human rights policy. Chapters also explore Canada’s relations with South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. They show that competing forces of idealism and pragmatism were key drivers of Pearsonian foreign policy, and how global events often influenced politics and society within Canada itself.

Mike's World on the UBC Press website. 


Meghan Fitzpatrick, Invisible Scars. Mental Trauma and the Korean War, UBC Press, Aug. 2017. 

This book offers an intimate look into the history of psychological trauma and assesses the impact of the Korean War on the development of military psychiatry. In addition, it engages with current disability, pensions, and compensation issues that remain hotly contested and reflects on the power of commemoration in the healing process.

Inivisible Scars on the UBC press website. 


Col. Howard G. Coombs, "A Uniquely Canadian military moment: Sam Hughes and the No. 7 General Hospital, 1915-1916", Canadian Journal of Surgery - Journal canadien de chirurgie, 60(4), 2017. 

Universities across Canada actively supported the call to arms in 1914, and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, was no different. Though a myriad of units composed of Queen’s faculty and students were created, the university perceived the military hospital raised by the school’s medical faculty to be among its most vital contributions to the First World War. This commentary describes the engagement of the No. 7 General Hospital with the Minister of Militia, Sam Hughes, which has become an almost unknown footnote to its illustrious story.

Howard G. Coombs' article on the Canadian Journal of Surgery - Journal canadien de chirurgie's website. 

Turning Point 1917. The British Empire at War, edited by Douglas E. Delaney and Nikolas Gardner, UBC Press, Feb. 2017. 

Turning Point 1917 examines the British imperial war effort during the most pivotal and dynamic twelve months of the Great War. Written by internationally recognized historians from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, its chapters explore military, diplomatic, and domestic aspects of how the empire prosecuted the war. Their rich, nuanced analysis transcends narrow, national viewpoints of the conflict to examine the British Empire as a coalition rather than individual states engaged in their own distinctive struggles.

Turning Point 1917 on the UBC Press website. 


Le génocide des arméniens: représentations, traces, mémoires, edited by Marie-Michèle Doucet, Joceline Chabot, Sylvia Kasparian and Jean-François Thibauld, Presses de l'Université Laval, Feb. 2017. 

This book, which brings together international scholars, explores the new perspectives in the history of the Armenian genocide. The different chapters are grouped around three main axes: respresentations, traces and memories. By focusing on a multidsiciplinary approach, it highlights the structuring aspects of the recent debates about the Armenian genocide. 

Le génocide arménien on the Presses de l'Université Laval's website. 


La guerre de 1812. Deuxième Dossier: Patriotisme et économie durant les rébellions de 1837-1838, edited by Roch Legault and Jean-Noël Grandhomme, Bulletin d'histoire politique, VLB éditeur, January 2017. 

The last armed conflict to take place in Quebec, the War of 1812, the unknown, has been discussed in Canada since its bicentennial. This issue of the BHP offers new perspectives on the scholarly history of the confrontation and its place in the collective memory, in addition to take stock of the research that has been done up to this point. 

La guerre de 1812 on the VLB éditeur's website.


Arthur Gullachsen, "Destroying the Panthers: The Effect of Allied Combat Action on I./SS Panzer Regiment 12 in Normandy, 1944", Canadian Military History, Vol. 25, Iss. 2, Article 13, 2016

This article is an examination of the operational record of the World War Two German Panther tank during the Normandy Campaign of summer 1944. Challenging its perception as mechanically unreliable, this article argues Allied combat action was responsible for a large percentage of Panthers that were out of action. Secondly, the inferior resources of the German tank replacement and repair program were no match for superior Canadian Army practices during 1944. To support these arguments the author examines Canadian and German wartime primary documents as well as multiple secondary sources.

Arthur Gullachsen's article on the Canadian Military History's website

Date modified: