The Weight of Command: Voices of Canada's Second World War Generals and Those Who Knew Them

Category: Book
By (author): Granatstein, J.L.
Series: Studies In Canadian Military History
Subject:  HISTORY / Canada / General
  HISTORY / Canada / Post-Confederation (1867-)
  HISTORY / Military / Canada
  HISTORY / Military / World War II
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: UBC Press
Published: August 2016
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 312
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 1.00in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Three-quarters of a century after the Second World War, almost all the participants are gone. This book contains interviews with and about the Canadian generals who led the troops during that war. Edited and introduced by one of the foremost military historians of our time, this carefully curated collection brings to life the generals and their wartime experiences. The content is revealing and conversations frank. Peers and subordinates alike scrutinize key commanders of the war, sometimes offering praise but often passing harsh judgment. We learn of their failings and successes -- and of the heavy weight of command borne by all.
From The Publisher*The senior Canadian officers of the Second World War learned how to fight a war on the job; for all of them, the weight of command was a burden to be borne.
From The Publisher*

Three-quarters of a century after the Second World War, almost all the participants are gone. This book contains interviews with and about the Canadian who led the troops during that war. Edited and introduced by one of the foremost military historians of our time, this carefully curated collection brings to life the generals and their wartime experiences.

The interviews are based on lengthy conversations that J.L. Granatstein had with the surviving generals, their key staff officers, fighters under their command, and their families. Generals McNaughton, Crerar, Simonds, Foulkes, and Burns are among those discussed. The content is revealing and conversations frank. Peers and subordinates alike scrutinize key commanders of the war, sometimes offering praise but often passing harsh judgment. We learn of their failings and successes -- and of the heavy weight of command borne by all.

From The Publisher*

Three-quarters of a century after the Second World War, almost all the participants are gone. This book contains interviews with and about the Canadian generals who led the troops during that war. Edited and introduced by one of the foremost military historians of our time, this carefully curated collection brings to life the generals and their wartime experiences.

The interviews are based on lengthy conversations that J.L. Granatstein had with the surviving generals, their key staff officers, fighters under their command, and their families.  Generals McNaughton, Crerar, Simonds, Foulkes, and Burns are among those discussed. The content is revealing and conversations frank. Peers and subordinates alike scrutinize key commanders of the war, sometimes offering praise but often passing harsh judgment.

Canada's army rose from nothing in 1939 to become "the best little army in the world" in 1945. It was an astounding feat, given that most senior officers received only on-the-job training to fight the war. In this book, we learn how and why so much was accomplished from the memories of those who were there. We also learn of the mistakes made and the high cost paid in lives and suffering.

Biographical NoteJ.L. Granatstein, OC, FRSC, is a distinguished research professor of history emeritus at York University.