Reading recommendations
by Combat! fans for Combat! fans

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Books about Canadians
in World War II

Select links to take you to either the Canadian Amazon site or the USA Amazon site to check availability and prices. Some books are out of print and not available via Amazon in either country.

Note: All links open up a new window — to return to this page, close out the window (click on the X in the upper right corner).

Flying Under Fire
Canadian Fliers Recall the Second World War
by William J. Wheeler of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society
flag-us-sm.gif (1086 bytes) American Price  • flag-ca-sm.gif (973 bytes) Canada Price

Lifting the Silence: A World War II Canadian Bomber Pilot Reunites With His Past
by Scott Smith and Sydney Percival Smith

Syd Smith and 13 of his classmates answered duty's call in 1941. Co-written with his son sixty years, this is an amazing tribute to a generation.

flag-us-sm.gif (1086 bytes) American Price  • flag-ca-sm.gif (973 bytes) Canada Price

The Guns of Normandy:
A Soldier's Eye View, France 1944

by George G. Blackburn
First-hand account of life with the Canadian 2nd Division after the invasion of Normandy, told by an artillery forward observation officer.
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Also by George G. Blackburn:

  • The Guns of Victory: A Soldier's Eye View,
    Belgium, Holland, and Germany, 1944-45

    flag-us-sm.gif (1086 bytes)trade paperback.
  • Where the Hell Are the Guns? : A Soldier's Eye View of the Anxious Years, 1939-44
    flag-us-sm.gif (1086 bytes) Check Amazon Price

Maple Leaf Against the Axis:
Canada's Second World War

by David J. Bercuson

A comprehensive look at Canada's role in WWII. "The sheer determination of mortal men who pitted flesh against steel and concrete, and finally prevailed." (Hardcover, 316 pages)
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Also of Interest:
Knights of the Air:
Canadian Fighter Pilots in the First World War
List price US $35.00 Amazon Price

Conduct Unbecoming:
The Story of the Murder of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy

by Howard Margolian
Between June 7th and 17th, 1944, more than 150 Canadian soldiers were murdered after capture by troops of Nazi Germany's elite 12th SS Panzer Division 'Hitler Youth.' This book tells the story of the deaths, the investigation, the prosecutions, and the release of many of the S.S. officers involved. (Hardcover, 336 pages)
flag-us-sm.gif (1086 bytes) Check American Price...   • flag-ca-sm.gif (973 bytes) Canada Price

 Canadian Forces in WWII
(Men-At-Arms, 359)

by Rene Chartrand, Ronald Volstad (illustrator)
Slim volume gives a great overview of battle dress worn by Canada's armed services and also details the military contribution of all of Canada's military — not just the traditional services but even lesser known branches such as the Canadian Navy's Ferry Command and the women's auxiliary services.
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The Black Devil Brigade:
True Story of the 1st Special Service Force in WWII
by Joseph A. Springer
Compelling account of the 1st Special Service Force as seen through the eyes of the men who were the pioneers of today's Special Force units. This combined Canadian/USA unit were an elite and deadly combat unit formed in Montana. They saw action in the Aleutian Islands and in Italy. During the Anzio invasion, they struck terrorized the seasoned German troops who dubbed them "Schwartzer Teufel" -- Black Devils.
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The Black Devil brigade was the inspiration for film The Devil's Brigade (1968) starring William Holden. A great WWII action/adventure film.
The Devil's Brigade DVD or VHS

Canadian Warbirds of the 2nd World War This series of aviation handbooks provide a quick reference to identify the military aircraft flown by the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army during the Second World War.
  • Fighters, Bombers and Patrol Aircraft
     flag-us-sm.gif (1086 bytes) Check Amazon Price
  • Trainers, Transports and Utility Aircraft
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Canadian Fiction for Children:

The Eternal Spring of Mr. Ito
by Sheila Garrigue

The fate of a 200-year-old bonsai tree is decided by a young girl and an old Japanese Canadian gardener. During WWII, Sara is evacuated to live with her aunt and uncle in Vancouver. She becomes special friends with their gardener, Mr. Ito. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Hong Kong, Japanese-Canadians are interned, but Sara's relationship with the Itos continues. (Reading level: Ages 9 to 12)
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Dodger (Dion Osika) recommends several books about Canada's involvement in WWII (most of these are out of print, links for those take you to a used book seller site):

  • D-Day Dodgers: the Canadians in Italy
    by Daniel Dancocks ... Sicily and the Italian campaigns. Another gem! (Out of print) Check Used Availability
  • Three books by Denis and Shelagh Whitaker, a great husband/wife writing team:
    • Tug of War: The Canadian Victory that Opened Antwerp The campaign to clear the Scheldt Estuary and open the port of Antwerp in late 1944.
      Check Amazon price
    • Dieppe: Triumph to Tragedy
      The title says it all! [Out of print] ISBN: 0850523095
      Check Amazon Price
    • Rhineland the battle to clear the Reichswald in 1945, Canada's equivalent of the Huertgen Forest.
      Check Amazon Price
  • Canadian author Farley Mowat wrote three very readable books....   (All out of print - used books not available through Amazon Canada)
    • The Regiment A short readable regimental history of the Hastings and Prince Edward Rgt ..most regimental histories are dry and too technical for the average reader...this one is not!
      Check Amazon availability
    • And No Birds Sang Mowat's autobiography as a front line infantry platoon officer in Sicily and Italy. [Out of Print]
      Check Amazon price
    • My Father's Son : Memories of War and Peace 1993 [Out of Print]
      Check Amazon price
  • 1944: The Canadians in Normandy by Reginald Roy the Canadian story of D-Day, the fight for Caen and the advance
    Check Amazon Price

Reference Books about Canada in WWII

The Science of War: Canadian Scientists and Allied Military Technology During the Second World War
by Donald H. Avery (Hardcover - January 1999)
 flag-us-sm.gif (1086 bytes) US Price flag-ca-sm.gif (973 bytes) Amazon Canada Price
Canada's Greatest Wartime Muddle: National Selective Service and the Mobilization of Human Resources During World War II
by Michael D. Stevenson (Hardcover - January 2002)
 flag-us-sm.gif (1086 bytes) US Price flag-ca-sm.gif (973 bytes) Amazon Canada Price
The Domestic and International Dimensions of the Resettlement of Polish Ex-Servicemen in Canada, 1943-1948 (Canadian Studies, Vol 25)
by Martin Thorton (Hardcover - October 2000)
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