BOOKS RELATED TO THE RCN
(with a few entries on the RN, USN, German and Japanese Navies)
Acknowledgment: My thanks to Fraser McKee, Cdr,, RCNR, Ret'd for compiling the majority of this list and providing reviews
50 North - Canada's Atlantic Battleground by Alan Easton. The Ryerson Press, Toronto, 1963. Like Lamb's book, one of the very best by a participating ship's Captain - of corvettes and destroyers, from the earliest bad days to almost the end. A sympathetic view of what it was like.
73 North - The Battle of the Barents Sea by Dudley Pope
1000 Brave Canadians - The Canadian Gallantry Awards, 1854-1989, by Surgeon Commander Francis John Blatherwick, CD. Unitrade Press, Toronto. 1991 A description of the gallantry and bravery awards available and awarded to Canadians, from the VC to the (Canadian) Meritorious Service Cross, with brief actual citations of awards and indexes.
A Certain E.R.A.; The Life and Times of Engineer Rear Admiral George Stephens by Eng. VAdm Robert Stephens. Seawaves Books, B.C. 2011 A biography of the life of his father by a successor as the RCN's Chief Engineer, from joining the RN as an apprentice Engineering Artificer to retirement just after the war.
A Leaf Upon The Sea - A Small Ship in the Mediterranean, 1941-1943, by Gordon W. Stead. UBC Press, Vancouver. 1988 A Canadian RCNVR loaned to the RN spent two violent years in Malta at the height of the German air attacks in command of a Fairmile 'B' motor launch, on A/S patrols, minesweeping, harbour defence and just staving off disaster. It earned him a DSC & bar, well merited.
A Nation's Navy; In Quest of Canadian Naval Identity edited by Michael L. Hadley, Rob Huebert & Fred W. Crickard. McGill- Queen's Press, Montreal, 1996. A scholarly series of chapters by 21 authors, historians, social scientists, naval commanders and commentators on where the Navy came from and why, how it coped, or did not, with problems and adversaries, comparisons with similar navies, and what is expected in the future. Academic papers.
A Simple Sailor by Ray Hunt, by Capt (N), ret'd - An autobiography of his early years and his life in the Navy ..... as a simple sailor
Allied Minesweeping In World War 2, by Peter Elliott. Patrick Stephens, Cambridge. 1979 A fairly brief summary record of minesweeping efforts throughout the world, with descriptions of how various types of sweeping worked, the ships employed by RN, RCN, USN, etc., from Fairmile MLs to Bangors and Algerines. D-Day sweeping and post-war requirements. With diagrams and photos of ships and sweeping.
And So to Battle, by Capt Basil Jones, DSO, DSC, RN. Privately published by Captain Basil Jones, Battle, Sussex. c.1980 The story of the Plymouth-based 10th Destroyer Flotilla, operating in the Channel against German destroyers and minesweepers, with the Canadian Tribals, Haida, Huron and Iroquois; as well as his earlier and later destroyer activities.
Anonymous - The Wartime Role of Military Mascots by Debbie Elicksen
Another Time, Another Place - A U-boat Officer's Wartime Album, by Werner Hirschmann & Donald Graves. Robin Brass Studio. 2004. The illustrated biography of a Canadian, ex-U-Boat engineer officer, from joining to being one of the too rare survivors of a boat eventually surrendered to RCN forces in May, '45.
Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two - German, Italian and Japanese Successes, 1939- 1945, by Jürgen Rohwer. Greenhill Books, London (& USNI Press), 1999 The early definitive reference, by the best of German naval historical writer/researchers, showing in tables by date the torpedoing and gunfire successes of U-boats during the war. With useful indexes by ship, by U-boat, by C.O. More recent research has unearthed a few amendments, but this is the classic reference. Similar volumes exist for Allied submarine attacks (Brit & European), and for USN submarine attacks.
Badges of the Canadian Navy by J. Graeme Arbuckle. Nimbus Publishing Ltd., Halifax, 1987. In full colour, with a detailed description of the badge and the ship or base, this shows the badges of all post-war ships that were assigned official badges. These include patrol ships, frigates, destroyers, naval tugs, the Reserve Divisions, naval air squadrons and radio stations.
Battle for a Continent; Quebec, 1759 by Gordon Donaldson. Doubleday Canada Ltd., Toronto, 1973. Typical of many histories of land and Canadian warfare, this illustrates in detail the part played by navies in the capture of Quebec, the British dominating, the French unable to relieve their New World garrisons.
Battle Of The St. Lawrence - The Second World War in Canada, by Nathan M. Greenfield. Harper Collins. 2004. A history of the Battles in the St. Lawrence in 1942 and 1944, but with rather too many unrelated additions and some errors. The story is essentially accurate - the problem is in the detail.
Before It's Too Late. A Sailor's Life by Peter Godwin Chance. Self-published, Sidney, B.C.2001. A memoir of a very young new officer at the war's beginning in 1939, through service with the RN and in 3 Canadian escorts. Then transferring to the RCN, service in command and with SACLANT. Also chapters on pre-war and post- naval jobs. An ebullient character, typical of many.
Best Small-Boat Seamen In The Navy; Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve, 1900-1922, By W. David Parsons & Ean Parsons. DRC Publishing, St. John's. 2009 History of the Newfoundland section of the RNR before and during the 1st War. Even during the 2nd War, they had the same quoted reputation.
Betrayed - Scandal, Politics and Canadian Naval Leadership, by Richard O. Mayne. UBC Press, Vancouver. 2006. Primarily the betrayal of VAdml Percy Nelles, the Navy's wartime Chief of Staff, by both some of his staff and by his political masters, in part due to his reluctance to fight for better equipment, particularly radar from Britain, against 'make it ourselves in Canada' political correctness. It cost him his job in 1944, and this story points an uncompromising light on a devious successor CNS in VAdml Jones.
Blue Circle Gang, The, by RAdml Frank Houghton. Thomas Nelson, Toronto. 1949 A novel for youngsters, included as an example of Admiral Houghton's post-retirement occupation! He wrote several of these adventure novels, based on his familiarity with the West and East coast waters. Another is "The Cave At Cormorant Point - A Canadian Navy Adventure."
Blue Water Navy: The Official Operational History of the RCN, 1943-1945. (Vol.II, Part 2) by WAB Douglas, Roger Sarty and Michael Whitby. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, Ont. 2006 The second half of the wartime RCN story. A companion volume to No Higher Purpose
Bonnie, The - HMCS Bonaventure, by J. Allan Snowie. Boston Mills Press, Erin, Ont. 1987 A large format history of Bonaventure, from her building and acquisition to her final decommissioning in 1970, by a former deck landing control officer. A very detailed history of operations, descriptions of how deck landings and free deck launches were handled, and the ship's part in NATO and other task forces. A major work.
Calgary's Stone Frigate - HMCS Tecumseh, 1923-1973, by Elise Corbet. Century Calgary Publications. 1975. The story of Calgary's Reserve Division to '73, with photos. Small soft cover.
Canada and The Battle of the Atlantic, by Roger Sarty. Art Global, Montreal. 1998 From 'Prologue" and manning a new Navy to the convoy battles, war in the St. Lawrence, to final struggles, with a multitude of photos of people, ships and aircraft involved, paintings by war artists, charts of battles, by an historical expert. Larger format.
Canada's Bastions Of Empire - Halifax, Victoria and the Royal Navy, 1749-1918, by Bryan Elson. Formac Publishing, Halifax. 2014. The historic background to the development of naval facilities on Canada's two main coasts, and the transfer of responsibility from Britain to Canada as the RCN was established.
Canada's Greatest Navy! A Cartoon Seaman's Eye-View of Our Sailors in World War Two - By Stan Davison
Canada's Flowers - History of the Corvettes of Canada, 1939-1945, by Thomas G. Lynch. Original from International Graphics, Bennington, VT. 1981. Reprint: Nimbus Publishing, Halifax, 1982. A useful summary of the origins, building, operational use and end of this class of 110 RCN wartime ships, with multi-illustrations & plans.
Canada's Navy - The First Hundred Years, by Marc Milner. U of T Press. 1999. An excellent Canadian Naval history in one volume, from political preparations for 1910's establishment to its 100th Anniversary, by one of the best Canadian naval authors.
Canada's Three Korean Wars by Robert Orrick
Canada's War At Sea - two parts: Canada and the Sea by Stephen Leacock; and Canada and the War at Sea by Leslie Roberts. Alvah M. Beatty, Montreal, 1944. The first part is a good description of Canada's association, exploration and dependence on the sea, in Leacock's last book. The second part is a description of Canada's Navy in the 2nd War, as far as it could be told in 1944.
Canadian Medical Officers in the Royal Navy, World War II by Harry Stafford Morton. Privately printed, Halifax. 2000. Wartime stories of about 12 Canadian 'V.R.'s loaned to the RN as Medical Officers, including the author. The trials and dangers they faced. A few are only referred to, other stories comprehensive. Soft cover.
Canadian Naval Chronicle, 1939-1945 by Cdr Fraser McKee and Capt Robert Darlington. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, 1996. A chronicle of every success by Canadian warships in the 2nd war, as well as every loss, plus all losses of Canadian registered merchant ships and U-boat sinkings by RCAF aircraft. A reference to these successes and losses, each with a chapter, and a photo. With tables of losses by date, by name, etc. and casualty lists of names.
Canadian Orders, Decorations and Medals by Surg Cdr F.J. Blatherwick. Unitrade Press, Toronto, 1985 (3rd edn.) Soft cover. A description of all Canadian-issued medals and awards, with descriptions, number issued and some examples. Illustrated, and policy guidelines for awarding.
Canadian Squadrons in Coastal Command by Andrew Hendrie. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, Ont., 1997. After a brief introduction to the early requirements for air-at-sea protection and attack, covers the RCAF Coastal squadrons - 1942 to 1945. The flying boat squadrons, strike and anti- submarine aircraft, out of Canada, Northern Ireland (Sunderlands), Hudsons, Beaufighters and others.
Canadian Warship Names by David J. Freeman. This is a history of how our ships and establishments received their names, the meaning each name, etc. As well as several appendices dealing with subjects related to names like Battle Honours. Publisher: Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, 2000
Celebration Of Images For The 100th Anniversary of the Naval Service of Canada, edited by Denis G. Baird. Pub. by Montreal Branch, N.O.A.C. 2010. A lovely collection of paintings held by galleries, by seven artists. Of warships in action (Sackville, Vegreville, etc.), at sea (cruiser Rainbow, Stettler, etc.), from MTBs, tugs and armed yachts to destroyers. Prints were available at the time.
Champagne Navy - Canada's Small Boat Raiders of the Second World War, by Brian Noland & Brian Jeffrey Street. Random House, Toronto, 1991. A history of wartime services by Canadians, almost entirely RCNVRs, in MTBs and Fairmile 'Dog boat' MGBs in the Channel's' Narrow Seas' and in RN MTBs in the Med - Adriatic & Greek Islands. Tony Law's "White Plumes Astern" being the only other similar book of just one flotilla. A famous bunch that earned many DSC's.
Citizen Sailors; Chronicles of Canada's Naval Reserve 1910-2010, ed. by Richard H. Gimblett & Michael L. Hadley. Dundurn Press, Toronto, 2010. A series of chapters on the general history of Canadian Naval Reserves, from beginning to 2010. Multiple photos, list of Reserve ships, drawings, Reserve Division C.O.'s from the start.
Commanding Canadians; The 2nd World War Diaries of A.F.C. Layard. Edited by Michael Whitby. UBC Press, Vancouver. 2005. Cdr Layard, RN, was assigned to the very successful Canadian Escort Group EG-9 in 1944, and kept a quite fascinating diary of his trials and successes with this largely RCNVR-manned group of frigates & corvettes. He was better than he felt he was, found the job alternately frustrating and exciting. A good view of an anti-submarine Support Group's efforts.
Convoy - The Battle For Convoys SC.122, and HX.229 by Martin Middlebrook. Allen Lane. 1976. The classic story of the last of the huge convoy/U-boat Group (38 boats) battles over a week that proved the violent finale to those major group struggles, between 3 RN Close Escort and Support Groups and 3 German Groups, plus added ships as the week went on. Costing 20 merchant ships from within the convoys, but also 3 stragglers, at the cost of but 1 U-boat sunk. Marked the advent of major air support for the convoys.
Convoy Will Scatter - The Full Story of Jervis Bay and Convoy HX 84, By Bernard Edwards. Pen & Sword Books. 2013. The history of this November 1940 convoy, protected by only the AMC Jervis Bay that saved all but five merchantmen by her suicidal attack on the enemy when intercepted by the German Armoured Ship Admiral Scheer as dark fell.
Corvette Navy; True Stories from Canada's Atlantic War by James B. Lamb. Macmillan of Canada, Toronto, 1977 (& reprint from Nimbus Publishing, Halifax, 2010) One of the best collection of stories, funny and sad, vital and a very accurate depiction of the RCN's war at sea, told by a consummate journalist. Brief biographies of the successful, the odd, the characters, with descriptions of life in the corvette's world.
Corvette Years, The, Edited by Edward O'Connor. Cordillera Publishing, Vancouver. Soft cover. 1995 A good picture of life in wartime ships from mostly seamen's viewpoint. A collection of 59 brief recalled experiences
Corvettes Canada: Convoy Veterans of WWII Tell Their True Stories, by Mac Johnston. McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto. 1994 A multitude of first person memories and stories of men who served in corvettes on convoy and other duties, from earliest days of learning their trade from zero to end-of the war competence. From a few quoted lines to several pages each.
Cruel Sea, The, by Nicholas Monsarrat. Cassell & Co. 1951. Plus several reprints, incl. soft cover. The first and definitive novel of life in the corvettes, from an original 'Flower' to end-of-the- war 'Castle Class,' by one who served in them. An unsurpassed classic
Cruiser Uganda, The - One War - Many Conflicts, by Stephen Conrad Geneja. Tyendinaga Publishers, Corbyville, Ont. 1994. A detailed history of the RCN's wartime cruiser HMCS Uganda, Later HMCS Quebec post war. From her building for the RN, her Pacific War services with the British Pacific Fleet, re-enlistment problems, and post-war services as a training ship until scrapped in1956.
Courage At Sea - Canada's Military Heritage, Vol. III, by Arthur Bishop. McGraw-Hill Ryerson. 1995 A selection of brief Canadian Naval biographic histories, from The Indian Mutiny, the 1st War, the 2nd War (mostly) and Korea. Personalities in action, from a paragraph to a page or two. Some errors, in detail and even spelling.
Deeply Canadian - New Submarines for a New Millennium by Julie H. Ferguson, Beacon Publishing, Port Moody, B.C. 2000. Following on her earlier book 'Through A Canadian Periscope,' this makes the case for the RCN still to retain a submarine force - its potential uses, the threats that will be faced.
Depths Of Courage, The; American Submariners At War With Japan, 1941-1945, by Flint Whitlock & Ron Smith. Berkley Caliber, New York. 2007 A selective narrative of operational patrols of the USN's submarines throughout the Pacific war. Quotations from C.O.s' reports and crew letters and interviews.
Designs of Distinction, Unofficial Insignia of the RCN 1910-1948 by David J. Freeman. 2015 - This is a follow on to Gun Shield Graffiti but far more comprehensive and complete. Over 600 ships, establishments, schools and sections represented.
Dieppe, Tragedy to Triumph by Brig Gen Denis Whitaker & Shelagh Whitaker. McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto, 1992. Probably the best and most comprehensive description of this sorry attack on fortress France in 1942, by one who participated. Describes the naval problems as well as the fighting ashore, and decides it was worth it, although poorly planned. Far the best of often poor descriptions by outsiders.
East Camp Memories of World War II. RCAF Station Yarmouth, Nova Scotia - No 1 Naval Air Gunnery School - a BCATP Base, edited by Laurie Farrington & Hank Reed. 1984. Stories collected during a 40th Anniversary reunion of training participants at Liverpool, N.S. of their days being trained in Swordfish and the Link Trainer from 1942 on, with photos from the time and the Reunion.
Ellesmere Pickup, by Fraser McKee. SeaWaves Books, North Vancouver. 2013. A Naval Reserve novel about a Gate Vessel in the high Arctic, searching for a crashed Russian spy aircraft. Confidential radio traffic in Moscow and Ottawa. A first about Reserves handling unusual tasks, by someone who's been there.
Enemy On Our Doorstep; Belle Island, Newfoundland and the U- boat attacks. By Steve Neary. Jesperson Press, St. John's, Nfld. 1994 The story of two U-boat attacks on the iron ore ships at Belle Island inside Conception Bay, Newfoundland in Sept. & Nov. 1942, and the consternation caused. Closing the stable door after the horses have been shot!
Enigma U-Boats - Breaking the Code, by Jak P. Mallmann Showell. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis. 2000. Stories of the 7 U-Boats successfully boarded to recover at least in part Enigma coding machines, leading to the Bletchley Park's ability to break their codes. Including Canadian "pinches" and the seizing of basic codes from weather trawlers.
Fading Memories - Canadian Sailors and The Battle of the Atlantic, edited by Thomas G. Lynch. Pub. by Atlantic Chief & Petty Officers Association, Halifax. 1993. Fifty five extracted stories from a series of papers given during the 50th Anniversary Conference of the turn-around in the Battle, organized and sponsored by the Atlantic C & P.O.'s. From life in corvettes, a U-boat, MTBs and minesweepers off Normandy to yarns and capers, the Wrens, DEMS and the Merchant Navy. Rather too many spelling & syntax errors!
Far Distant Ships by Joseph Schull. King's Printer, Ottawa, 1950. (Also on soft cover reprint) The earliest semi-official story of the Navy at sea during the 2nd War. Recently reprinted in soft cover. Contains most (although by no means all) the stories of the RCN's successes and losses, its participation in battles around the world. A useful Appendix is the list of all warships' Commanding Officers. Recently (2002 & 2007) replaced by an "Official History".
Fiercest Battle, The - The Story of Convoy ONS 5, by Ronald Seth. Hutchinson, London. 1961. The 7-day attack by several groups of U-boats on outbound 42 ship convoy in April - May, 1943 under RN escort, costing 11 ships, but sinking 7 U-boats - almost the end of the latter's wolfpack successes in the North Atlantic.
Find And Destroy - Anti-submarine Warfare in World War 1, by Dwight R. Messimer. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis. 2001 A close look at mostly the British developments in ASW during the 1st War, with trial-and- error experiments, mine barrages, Zeebrugge & Ostende, German counter-measures; the A/S war in the Mediterranean. A wide-ranging narrative of a new warfare.
First to Die - The First Canadian Navy Casualties in the First World War, by Bryan Elson. Formac Publishing Co., Halifax. 2010. This small 96 page book tells the story of the four young Canadians, from the very first RCN cadet class of 1911, that lost their lives at the southern end of South America when the superior German Pacific squadron overwhelmed Adml Sir Christopher Cradock's squadron, including HMS Good Hope, in which they were serving in December, 1914.
Flower Class Corvette AGASSIZ, The - Anatomy of the Ship, by John McKay & John Harland. Conway Maritime Press, London. 1993 Extremely detailed drawings, plans and photographs of this typical corvette, aimed primarily for model-makers; from hull forms to accommodations, modifications, colour, etc.
Flush Decks and Four Pipes, 1917 - 1955, by Cdr John D. Alden, USN. (Sea Power Monograph No. 2) U.S. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD. 1965. A useful summary of the development during the 1st War of this large class of USN destroyers. Seven of which became RCN ships in 1940, listed in tables and briefly mentioned re Churchill's "Ships for bases" trade that year.
Flying 400, The - Canada's Hydrofoil Project, by Thomas G. Lynch. Nimbus Publishing, Halifax. 1983 The story of the background, experimental development of a hydrofoil for the Navy, HMCS Bras d'Or. Its reasons, trials, problems and eventual abandonment.
Footfalls in Memory, by A.G.S. (Tony) Griffin. Privately published by Porcupine Quill. 1998. A full autobiography of Tony Griffin, one of the earliest and very young corvette C.O.s in HMCS Pictou, and as a staff officer to FONF. From early youth to later business prominence.
Gate and Gaiters, by Chief Petty Officer Harry Catley, GM. Thorn Press, Toronto. 1951. A series of yarns, experiences, and life adventures, mostly of Harry's, some true, some questionable, but all realistic and mostly humerous and involving girls. Illustrated by PO AAII Pete Younger.
German U-Boat Commanders of World War II - A Biographical Dictionary, by Rainer Busch & Hans-Joachim Röll. Greemhill Books (& USNI Press). 1999. Brief biographies of every operational U-boat C.O., training class number, boats commanded, eventual wartime fate.
Girls of the King's Navy; W.R.C.N.S., by Rosamond "Fiddy" Greer. Sono Nis Press, Victoria. Soft cover. 1983. The Navy from a Canadian Wren's viewpoint, with a bit on the RN's beginnings in WW 1, and lots of photos of the 2nd War Wrens' lives.
Glory of Youth, by Lieutenant Commander Allan W. Stevens. Privately published. 1995. A semi-biographical story of his life in the Navy during the war, in HMCS Prince Robert, Trail and others, with added stories, comments on the war elsewhere, a Court Martial, U-Boats in the St. Lawrence, shore appointments. A typical 'VR's history.
Grey Wolves of Eriboll (The) by David M. Hird - This book includes a wealth of historical insights including the German Surrender Document; detailed descriptions of the construction, service careers and circumstances of each surrendered U-boat; details of the frigates that supervised the surrenders; Operation Deadlight and contemporary newspaper reports.
Great Naval Battle Of Ottawa, The - How Admirals, Scientists and Politicians Impeded the Development of High Technology in Canada's Wartime Navy, by Adam Zimmerman. U of T Press, Toronto, 1989. A careful and documented assessment of the relationships and ignored recommendations between the Navy at sea in the Battle of the Atlantic and those supposedly supporting it. Largely represented by the lack of good radar, available from the U.K. and U.S., Canadian inferior equipment. Political deviousness added to that.
Gumboot Navy; Memories of the Fishermen's Reserve, by Carol Popp. Oolichan Books, Lantzville, B.C., 1988 An entertaining study of the relatively short-lived (1938- 1944) Fishermen's Reserve, that was later amalgamated into the RCNR. They were assigned to watch the waters and shipping on the West coast, in particular the large Japanese-Canadian fishing fleet, as well as the possibility of Japanese submarines. Typical of the dozens of mini-histories of naval side branches.
Guns Above, Steam Below, in Canada's Navy of WWII by A.G.W., Lamont. Melrose Press Ltd., Cambridgeshire. 2006 The war at sea in a corvette and then a destroyer and an aircraft carrier as seen from their engine rooms by a young Boiler Room Officer. An almost unique view from the other end of the voicepipe.
Gunshield Graffiti, by Thomas G. Lynch & James B. Lamb; illustrations by L.B. Jenson. Nimbus Publishing, Halifax. 1984. An initial look at wartime artwork on both gunshields and bridges, from photos and many redrawn by 'Yogi' Jensen. A brief narrative with each, and an introduction to the genre's history. Supplanted by the more complete Freeman's 'Designs of Distinction' in 2015.
Haida by Lieutenant Commander William Sclater. Oxford University Press, Toronto. 1946. The first of many books on Haida, written just as her wartime service was completed, and while all crew and C.O.s were still available for input.
Halifax And The Royal Canadian Navy, by Johm Boileau. Nimbus Publishing, Halifax. 2010 The association of the Navy and the port of Halifax, from before the Navy was actually formed to the busy days of two wars; through a monstrous explosion, riots, declines and revivals as home base for the modern Navy today.
Hands To Flying Stations - A Recollective History of Canadian Naval Aviation; 2 Vols: Vol.1: 1943 - 1954 (1993), Vol.2: 1955 - 1969 (1995), by Stuart E. Soward. Neptune Developments, Victoria, B.C. A major and very detailed history of naval aviation in Canada, from earliest experiences with the RNAS in the 1st War and experienced gained toward the end on the 2nd, to its demise and conversion of all flyers to RCAF, with integration in the late 1960s. Chapters on new deck- landing aircraft, the Canadian "Beartrap," marriage of helicopters and small destroyers. With valuable appendices of Senior Officers, Commanders, the various 'carriers and aircraft flown, bibliography and abbreviations. A monumental work by a carrier-qualified Lieutenant Commander.
History of Canadian Naval Aviation, 1918-1962 by J.D.F. Kealy & E.C. Russell. Naval Historical Section, CFHQ, Ottawa, 1965. A semi-official history of the Canadian naval air services, from Lieutenant Collishaw (later Air Vice Marshal) and HS 2 flying boats through the 2 wars' years and Canadians serving in other forces to LT Hampton Gray, VC and Puncher, Nabob, Warrior and Banshees, Trackers and the HS 50 helicopters. With all Squadron C.O.s, aircraft descriptions and badges.
History of United States Naval Operations in World War II by Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison. Little Brown & Co., Boston. In 15 volumes, 1948 - 1985. From The Battle of the Atlantic, September 1939 - May, 1943, to Victory in the Pacific, 1945 (Vol.xiv) and Supplement and General Index (Vol.xv). The massive and excellently written official history of the USN everywhere throughout the war. Essential reading.
HMCS; One photographers' impressions of the Royal Canadian Navy in World War II by Gilbert A. Milne. Thomas Allen Ltd., Toronto, 1960. A large collection of photos, with a little text, by one of Canada's best known naval war photographers. Seamen and Wrens (and some soldiers!) in training, at sea, on D-Day, in the Atlantic, in the Channel and the Mediterranean.
HMCS HAIDA - Anatomy Of A Destroyer, By Barry Gough. Looking Back Press (Vanwell), St. Catharines, ON. 2007. Mostly photographs of life aboard Haida, from wartime to her current location in Hamilton. General views, people, close-ups; action and life on board, fuelling, targets. Soft cover.
HMCS LABRADOR - An Operational History - Edited and Introduced by P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Adam Lajeunesse with Lt (N) Jason Delany - HMCS Labrador was Canada’s first heavy icebreaker and the Royal Canadian Navy’s first vessel capable of reliably operating in the waters of the Arctic. For three seasons in the mid-1950s, the ship served as Canada’s workhorse in the Far North – charting sea lanes, conducting research, and aiding in the construction and supply of joint defence projects. As the Canadian Navy builds the capacity to sustain its modern Arctic presence, the early operations of HMCS Labrador offer an instructive history and a fascinating glimpse back into the RCN’s early forays into the frozen waters of the Canadian North.
HMCS LINDSAY - A case study of corvette operations in the English Channel during Operation Neptune from Nov 1943 - July 1945 by Wahly Leung
HMCS SACKVILLE, 1941-1985, by Mark Milner. Published by The Canadian Naval Memorial Trust, Halifax, N.S. 1998 A history of this corvette, the last remaining corvette in the world; maintained as a naval memorial alongside in Halifax; her wartime operations, post-war various uses, her preservation and plans for her future.
HMCS STAR - A naval Reserve History - 50th Anniversary Edition, by Commander Robert J. Williamson. Pub. By the Division. 1991 The history of the Hamilton Naval Reserve Division, with historical chapters on the name 'STAR' and locally raised 'Naval Companies,' the Half Company's formation in 1923 and its growth and progress to 1990. Auxiliaries, UNTD and other associated organizations.
HMCS SWANSEA; the Life And Times of a Frigate by Fraser McKee. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, Ont. 1994 The story of one most successful wartime frigate, from building to 4 U-boat kills to post-war use in training roles. Normally only the exotic destroyers got this literary treatment.
HMS PUNCHER, by Rev. Leonard Mallory Outerbridge, Regina. Privately published. c. 1947. A brief history of the Canadian-manned RN Carrier by her Chaplain, from commissioning in April, 1945 to her turn-over to the RN in August, 1945. Replete with many photos of life and operations aboard, she was employed largely in transporting aircraft around the world and flight training, as well as providing CAP's for Norway attacks in the spring of '45.
HX 72 - First Convoy to Die - The Wolfpack Attack, by David O'Brien. Nimbus Publishing, Halifax. 1999. The battle of this early September, 1940 convoy that lost 11 of 72 ships, protected by an RN Group and HMCS SKEENA. An early introduction to what was to happen too often in the next three years.
I Remember Haida - A Brief History of Canada's Most Famous Warship, by Alan D. Butcher. Lancelot Press, Hantsport, N.S. 1985. A sot cover smaller history of Haida, with numerous quotations from ship's company, wartime to Korea to her final installation at Ontario Place, Toronto.
I Sank the Bismarck by John Moffat
Illustrated History of The Navies of WW2 By Anthony Preston
In All Respects Ready by Cdr Frederick B. Watt. RCNR. Prentice- Hall Canada, Scarborough, Ont. 1985. The Naval Boarding Service in Atlantic Canada, the Merchant Navy inspections and later crew support, in preparation for convoy sailing.
In Great Waters - The Epic Story of the Battle of the Atlantic, 1939-45, by Spencer Dunmore. McClelland & Stewart, Toronto. 1999. A good general view of the Battle, with equal attention to naval, air and German aspects of the whole 5½ years back and forth struggle.
In Peril On The Sea; The Royal Canadian Navy and the Battle of The Atlantic by Donald E. Graves. Robin Bass Studio, Toronto. Soft cover, 2003 A good and very comprehensive year-by-year chronicle of the RCN's Atlantic battle, with multi-photos, charts & Yogi Jensen's masterful drawings.
Incident At North Point by Marc Milner. Vanwell OPublishing, St. Catherines. 1998. A novel of wartime Fairmiles & others investigating a U- boat reportedly about to land a spy at North Point, P.E.I. A rare look at these small local anti-submarine vessels and the background machinations, by an expert naval historian.
Indelible Memories - Canadian Sailors in Korea 1950-1955 by Robert Orrick
It's a Galley, Not a Kitchen, You Landlubber! by Margaret Claire (Fisher) Hamilton, WRCNS. Privately printed. 2013 Her cheerful biography on joining the Wrens in 1943 as a cook, and her subsequent postings to Cornwallis and Halifax.
It's Not The Ships … My War Years, by Lieutenant Commander Frederick H. Sherwood, DSC, with Philip Sherwood. Lifewriters.ca, Abbotsford, B.C. 2014 The biography, from diaries, assessments, reports, of Fred Sherwood, RCNVR of Ottawa's pre-war Division, who was to command two operational RN submarines under the tutoring by some of the best of the commanders. A modest but interesting and detailed story of a unique wartime command.
K Boats, The; A Dramatic First Report On The World's Most Calamitous Submarines, by Don Everitt. Holt Rinehart Winston, New York. 1963. The story of these highly unsatisfactory steam-engined RN boats, and their "Battle of May Island" in November, 1917, when 2 were sunk when rammed and others damaged, with others lost similarly in peacetime.
Ken Macpherson's Series of reference volumes on RCN classes of wartime ships, with a brief history of builders, operational use, a photo, and post-war fate. (List of C.O.'s only published in his 'Ships of Canada's Naval Forces' primary volume.) All published by Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, Ont., except that on 'The River Class Destroyers,' by Charles J. Musson, Toronto.
Knight's Cross Holders of the U-boat Service, by Franz Kurowski. Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA. 1995 One page biographies and a photo of all the U-Boat men who were awarded the Knight's Cross for their efforts, including 3 Italians.
Loch Class Frigates, by Patrick Boniface. Maritime Books, Liskeard, Cornwall. 2013 A description and brief histories of this frigate class, of which the RCN operated three, on wartime transfer/loan from the RN. Very similar to the Canadian-built River Class, but with squid vs. large depth charge provision. Based on lessons learned from earlier frigates.
Longest Battle; The RCN in the Atlantic 1939-1945 by LCdr John D. Harbron. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, 1993 A scrapbook of photos, posters, illustrations and brief descriptions of the naval scene during the 2nd War, with chapters on the Merchant Navy, U-boats, the "Wrens" (WRCNS) and some typical participants.
Memoirs Of A Mariner, by RAdml H. Nelson Lay, RCN. Canada's Wings Inc. 1982 An interesting and very personal autobiography of Nelson Lay, from joining the new RCN in 1921 through peacetime in RN and RCN ships, wartime command and staff services, command of the 'carrier HMS Nabob, to retirement in 1958 as VCNS.
Memoirs of a Sailor, The Dark Broad Seas; Vol.1, With Many Voices, by Jeffry V. Brock. McClelland and & Stewart, Toronto. 1981 and
Memoirs of a Sailor, The Thunder and the Sunshine; Vol.2, With Many Voices, by Jeffry V. Brock. McClelland & Stewart, Toronto. 1983. An extensive autobiography of RAdml Jeffry Brock, who had been in the RCN for some 10 years when the war began, serving in various RCN, then RN ships and Escort Groups throughout the Battle of the Atlantic. He then eventually became Vice Chief of Naval Staff and Maritime Commander, before retiring, like others, with the advent of Unification. With assessments of command roles and political influences.
Messdeck News - Collected Verse of 'Messdeck Annie,' Halifax, 1939-1945, by Jessie Coade. Ragweed Press, Charlottetown. 1985. A series of poems written by seamen, and some by "unknown," collected by Jessie Coade ("Messdeck Annie") and published originally in her columns on the Halifax Mail throughout the war. With illustrations by 'Yogi' Jenson. Soft cover.
Midshipman's War, A; A Young Man in the Mediterranean Naval War, 1941-1943, by Frank Wade. Cordillera Publishing, Vancouver. 1994 The two year experiences of Pay Midshipman Wade, RCN, when appointed to join a battleship after his Mid's courses, for the vital battles for Crete, Malta, Egypt. A close-up look by a participant.
Mobilize! - Why Canada Was Unprepared for the Second World War, by Larry D. Rose. Dundurn, Toronto. 2013. A valuable close examination of the country's preparedness - or lack thereof - for war in the 1930's. A tri-Service review and assessment, including the Navy's best efforts to survive in the face of Army opposition. Where it all started from, to becoming a major player.
Murray - The Martyred Admiral, by James M. Cameron. Lancelot Press, Hantsport, N.S. 1980. A sympathetic look at RAdm Leonard Murray's life in the Navy and specifically his involvement with the D-Day riots in Halifax. Mostly based on news reports and other histories, as in 1980 the Court of Inquiry transcript that castigated Murray was not publicly available. Soft cover.
"Mutiny" - the Odyssey of HMCS Uganda, by CPO James W. Essex. Highway Book Shop, Cobalt, Ont. 2000. Another look at the re-enlistment semi-mutiny in Uganda while participating in the bombardment of Japanese islands in the summer of 1945. Covers from her acquisition to departure from Halifax to, briefly, that "mutiny" or work stoppage. Useful, but quite a few errors and needed editing.
My Battle of the Atlantic by Donald A. Bowman, Lt, RCNVR- The ships are gone but the stories remain... A military memoir of humour, horror and honour, My Battle of the Atlantic chronicles daily life aboard a corvette in the Canadian Navy during the Second World War. While escorting convoys across the Atlantic Ocean from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Londonderry, Ireland, the HMCS Edmundston encountered many dangers: U-boats, icebergs and adventurous WRENs!
Nabob - The First Canadian-Manned Aircraft Carrier, by Betty Warrilow. Pub. by Escort Carriers Assn. 1989 The story of the request for a Canadian crew to man two Escort Carriers, Nabob & Puncher. Nabob's initial work-ups, operations, and torpedoing and struggle home from off Norway during fighter protection patrols for attacks on Tirpitz.
Naval Service of Canada - Its Official History - Origins and Early Years and Activities on Shore During the Second World War: by Dr. G.N. Tucker. 2 vols., King's Printer, Ottawa, 1952. Vol. 1: Origins and Early Years; Vol. 2: Activities on Shore During the 2nd World War. The original and basic story of the Canadian Navy, from the days of the French régime onward to the end of the 2nd War, upon which almost all others are based. Includes dozens of tables, diagrams, lists of appointments. Vol. II has been superseded by the new wartime official histories. Vol. I will be also at some stage in the future. Now replaced by recent official history, but contains useful Appendices
Naval Service of Canada 1910 - 2010 - The Centennial Story, Edited by Richard H. Gimblett. Dundurn Press, Toronto. 2010. A new history by various authors covering the period.
Nelson, by Carola Oman. Hodder and Stoughton, London. 1947, reprint1967. Where it all comes from. A useful modern biography of the progenitor of naval sea command and fighting. The first book was probably Robert Southey's "The Life of Nelson" from the 1820's, but this is more readable. There are hundreds in all no doubt.
New Brunswick And The Navy - Four Hundred Years, by Marc Milner & Glen Leonard. Goose Lane Editions, New Brunswick Heritage Project. 2010. N.B.'s association with naval matters and wars, from sailing ships to the latest shipbuilding. Naval Reserves, local patrols, ships named for N.B. towns. A social history. Soft cover.
No Higher Purpose: The Official Operational History of the RCN , 1939-1943. (Vol.II, Part 1); by WAB Douglas, Roger Sarty, Michael Whitby et al. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, Ont. 2002. The new and official history of the RCN, in a planned 4 volumes, of which only the 2 wartime ones are completed so far. A very detailed and carefully prepared history, with photos, charts, appendices and assessments. Largely replaces Dr. Tucker's Volume II of The Naval Service of Canada, although without some of his tables. Combined with its 2nd volume: A Blue Water Navy
North Atlantic Run; The Royal Canadian Navy and the Battle for the Convoys by Marc Milner. U of T Press, Toronto, 1985. By far the best description of the early wartime days and the RCN's contributions to the Battle of the Atlantic, from just before the war's outbreak until 1943. A careful analysis of what happened and why, based on extensive research in basic records. See also his second part of this story: The U-boat Hunters
Oakville's Flower, the History of HMCS Oakville, by Sean E. Livingston. Dundurn, Toronto. 2014. A detailed history of the corvette as a choice of ship for the RCN and of Oakville in its wartime role. Followed by current memorials in the town and the Sea Cadet Corps Oakville. Many photographs. (Amazon link)
On The Triangle Run; More True Stories of Canada's Navy by James B. Lamb. Macmillan of Canada, Toronto. 1986. An expansion with other tales of the Atlantic battle of his "The Corvette Navy," and expanded to RCN ships in the Gulf of Mexico, details of the loss of HMCS Valleyfield off Newfoundland.
Open Gangway - An Account of the Halifax Riots, 1945, by Stanley R. Redman. Lancelot Press, Hantsport, N.S., 1981 A somewhat dispassionate review of the D-Day riots in Halifax, the events themselves, the generally available Board of Inquiry minutes - the Kellock Commission - and its participants and their evidence. Soft cover.
Operation Drumbeat - The Dramatic True Story of Germany's First U-Boat Attacks Along The American coast in World War II, by Michael Gannon. Harper & Row. 1990. A major assessment and narrative of the disastrous - for the Allied war effort - of the Kriegsmarine's Operation Paukenschlag in the first 5 months of 1942, against an American Navy completely unprepared and unwilling to learn from the RN's and RCN's 2 ½ year's hard won expertise. A narrative of events and a crtical look at the players.
Operation Friction: The Canadian Forces in the Persian Gulf, by Major Jean H. Morin & Lt.Cdr. Richard H. Gimblett. Dundurn Press. 1997 A history of the Canadian's involvement in the Persian Gulf war, 1990-91, Army, Navy & Air Force - operations and their effect on the battle, by two that were there.
"Our Gallant Doctor" - Enigma and Tragedy - Surgeon Lieutenant George Hendry, by Dr. James Goodwin. Dundurn Press, Toronto. 2007. A sympathetic biography of this Toronto doctor, with personal problems, who volunteered for the Navy and was lost in the sinking of HMCS Ottawa.
Persian Excursion; The Canadian Navy in the Gulf War by Cmdre Duncan (Dusty) E. Miller & Sharon Hobson. The Canadian Peacekeeping Press, Clementsport, NS & CISS, Toronto, 1995. The story of the Canadian Navy's participation in the 1991 Gulf War in the Persian Gulf, by the commander of the Canadian naval forces, with preparation problems, personnel, and then training-on-the-run and eventual successes.
Pirate Alley. Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia, by RAdml Terry McNight, USN & Michael Hirsch. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis. 2012. A valuable look at the operational challenges dealing with pirates and seizures off the Somali coast, given the RCN's participation. Our ships not covered in this Commander's time period, but the problems clearly explained - both with the Somalis themselves and with his Government and other participants' governments - more of a problem than the local pirates.
Proudly She Marched - Training Canada's World War II Women In Waterloo County. Vol.3 - Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service, by Anne Kallin. Pub. by Canadian Federation of University Women, Kitchener-Waterloo, Waterloo, Ont. 2007 Carefully researched story of the Wrens, largely based on HMCS Conestoga's history, beyond just local K-W Wrens. Many photos, appendixes listing those interviewed.
Pursuit - The Sinking of the Bismark by Ludovic Kennedy
Raleigh On The Rocks - The Canadian Shipwreck of HMS Raleigh, by MGen Richard Rohmer. Creative Publishers, St. John's. 2003. The story of the stranding of the RN cruiser Raleigh on the coast of Labrador in fog in 1922. In 1926 her remains were demolished by explosives, but bits were salvaged to this day, and remaining armament still causes problems. The whole ninety year story.
RCN In retrospect 1910-1968 edited by Dr. James A. Boutillier. UBC Press, Vancouver, 1982. A series of papers from the first (1982) conference on the RCN's history, by various experts. From the origins of the RCN, naval defence conferences, people, "Big ship" time, the armed merchant cruisers, convoy battles, Korea and unification.
RCN in Transition, 1910-1985 edited by Dr. W.A.B. Douglas. UBC Press, Vancouver, 1988. Like the above, another series of papers from a naval history conference. On a somewhat wider range of such topics as strategy and maritime law, naval education, the 1914-18 coastal patrols, the RCN and the German U-boat Wolf Packs, international naval cooperation, and economic considerations.
Ready, Aye, Ready, An Illustrated History of the Royal Canadian Navy by Lieutenant Commander Jack MacBeth. Key Porter Books, Toronto, 1989. An excellent collection of photos, drawings and paintings of the RCN from 1910 to 1989, with a brief accompanying narrative. Contains illustrations of the ships, the people, equipment, activities, and losses.
Ready, The Brave! - A Chronicle in the Wake of HMCS Huron (Vol. 1) 1943-46, by Mark Richard Venier. Published by The HMCS Huron Association, Woodstock, Ont. 1989. A detailed history of this Tribal RCN destroyer, it's building, operations, particularly with the RN's 10th DF in the Channel, with drawings, charts and photos.
Return To Sea, by LT(SB) William H. Pugsley. Collins, Don Mills, Ont. 1960. Another series of stories of the lower deck (mostly) 15 years after the war. Cornwallis, Stadacona, Naval Air, cruiser Quebec. By the same author as 'Saints, Devils and Ordinary Seamen.'
Rising Tide - The Untold Story of the Russian Submarines That Fought The Cold War, by Gary E. Weir & Walter J. Boyne. Basic Books, New York. 2003. A close look at the Russian development and patrol use of their mostly nuclear boats, initial planning, the Cuban Missal crisis and stand-off, losses of some boats, intelligence gathering - by their boats and by the USN and Allies. A useful Appendix description of the modern (to 2003) Russian & USN submarines.
River Class Frigates And The Battle of the Atlantic - A Technical And Social; History, by Brian Lavery. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. 2006 An RN view of this very satisfactory class of A/S ship, only superseded by the Castle Class in late 1944. A detailed description of their equipment and operation. Few references to the 60 RCN 'River Class' frigates, and, for a skilled naval author, too many typos. Otherwise a good assessment of them
Rotary Wings over the Arctic by Don MacNeil - From 1955 to 1957 HMCS Labrador was the Canadian government’s most visible presence in the Arctic. Commissioned at a time when the region was at the forefront of continental defence, the naval icebreaker worked with American partners to establish defence facilities, survey shipping routes, and show the flag in an area of growing strategic importance. A critical and often unsung element in Labrador’s success was the embarked helicopters. By spotting leads, moving people and cargo, and surveying routes, these aircraft enhanced the ship’s effectiveness, range, and impact. This volume is a collection of those flight logs. It provides a documentary snapshot of early icebreaking and helicopter operations in the Far North and provides researchers with new tools to study Arctic defence and navigation at a critical juncture of the early Cold War.
Royal Navy and the Battle of Britain, by Anthony J. Cumming. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis. 2010. The author contends that the 1940 famous RAF Battle of Britain was won just as much by the RN, who controlled the vital sea access to the U.K. It should share in the credit for the eventual success
Running The Gauntlet; An Oral History of Canadian Merchant Seamen in World War II by Mike Parker. Nimbus Publishing Ltd., Halifax, 1994. Soft Cover. Stories by merchant seamen, merchant marine officers and fishermen about their trials and experiences during the war, in first person narratives. From tankers to hospital ships, from schooners to tramps and cable ships. The other side of the Atlantic Battle.
S.S. Nerissa, the Final Crossing 2nd Ed. by William Dziadyk, LCdr, RCN, ret'd. There are so many stories, of Canada’s heroic participation in the Second World War, that are yet to be told. This is one of those stories. The S.S. Nerissa was the only ship transporting Canadian troops which was lost to enemy action during the entire war. The details were highly classified until almost 50 years after the sinking. The tragic loss of this ship on 30 April 1941, resulted in the third largest loss of life for a ship sunk by U-boats in the approaches to the British Isles. The deaths of 81 Merchant Navy seamen, 100 Canadian, British and Norwegian forces, 9 American Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) pilots and 17 civilian passengers touched not only Canadian families at the time, but also many families in the allied nations and the neutral United States. Yet, the loss of the S.S. Nerissa is hardly mentioned in official war records or by historians … and the tragic human losses are largely unknown to our current generation.
Saints, Devils And Ordinary Seaman by Lt (SB) William Pugsley. William Collins & Sons, Toronto, 1945. An immediate post-war recollection of life in the wartime Navy - in its ships, training establishments and overseas. Followed by Sailor Remember
Sailors, by Lieutenant (SB) Grant Macdonald. Macmillan Co., Toronto. 1945 A collection of Macdonald's sepia drawings of naval life, in barracks, shore, at sea, on leave. Many personal profiles, explanatory notes with most drawings.
Sailor Remember by William H. Pugsley. William Collins & Sons, Toronto, 1948 A further remembrance, with "270 photos of Lower Deck Life" taken by Pugsley, of all facets of the wartime Seamen's, and Wren's lives. A very good "at the time" summary.
Sailors, Slackers And Blind Pigs - Halifax At War, by Stephen Kimber. Anchor Canada/Random House. 2003, A social history of the relations of the Navy with its major port of Halifax, from the preparations for war to treatment of the sailors, and the consequence riots of May, 1945, with a close look at the inter-play.
Salty Dips - Vols. 1 to 10, each volume of 15 - 35 stories by individual authors. Ottawa Branch, NOAC/NAC. 1984 - 2014 A series of volumes of collected stories, from earliest days in a new Navy; to the most recent, Vol.10, of stories all related to Canadian or Canadian commanded submarines and submariners. The early volumes tended to be mostly wartime experiences, from Admirals to Ordinary Seamen and Stokers. The more recent volumes have picked up on post-war experiences, off Somalia, in Afghanistan. and acquiring new ships. Most are personal-based, but with history and general outlook added, often by experts. Each has a sub-title: e.g. Vol.2: "… and All Our Joints Were Limber"; Vol.6: "Ready Aye Ready"; Vol.10: "An All Around Look." Stories run from a page to 20 pages.
Sea Fever, by Captain John Caldicott Littler, RCN. Kiwi Publications, N.Z. 1995 An autobiography of an Englishman who was to serve in the '30's in the merchant marine, then in RCN ships in wartime and post-war, commanding the corvette HMCS Brandon, the Tribal HMCS Micmac and cruiser HMCS Ontario, retiring in 1962.
Sea Is At Our Gates; The History of the Canadian Navy, by Cdr Tony German. McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 1990. Also now in paperback, and with a video, this is a carefully prepared yet reasonably complete history of the Navy from earliest days, through the 1st War, peacetime, the 2nd War and post-war cut-backs, problems and rebuilding. Written by one who, as well as his father, participated. Tells the story without too much detail.
Sea Logistics - Keeping The Navy Ready Aye Ready, by Cdr Mark B. Watson. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines. 2004. A history of the RCN's Supply Branch, from earliest days, wartime, and post-war organization and growth. Assessment reports, contributions.
Sea Wings - A Pictorial History of Canada's Waterborne Defence Aircraft, by J.A. Foster. Methuen, Toronto. 1986 A photographic record of flying related to the sea in Canada, from Graham Bell's 1909 experiments in Cape Breton to Seafires, from Vickers Vedette and Stranraer to Sea Furies and Avengers.
Seabound Coast, The; The Official History of the Royal Canadian Navy, 1867-1939; Volume 1, by William Johnston, William G.P. Rawling, Richard H. Gimblett and John MacFarlane. Dundurn Press, Toronto. 2010. The first of the long-planned "official" naval histories, running to a massive 1,056 pages, since Dr. Gilbert Tucker's 1952 first volume (of his two). Covering in carefully documented history the period from Canada's formation in 1867 and how "The Naval Question" stood then, through to the 1st War, the "lean years," and preparations for another war. Covers the 1909 - 1914 Naval Debates, details of the new Navy's operations and U-boat attacks in the 1st War, interservice competitions in the 1930's. Many newly unearthed photographs, 18 charts and diagrams.
Seek & Strike; Sonar, Anti-submarine Warfare and the Royal Navy, 1914-54, by Willem Hackmann. HMSO (The Science Museum) 1984. An excellent and reliable historical review of the development of ASW from an RN view-point, from initial trials and inventions such as 'asdic' by 1917, to inter-war errors in capability assessments to wartime experiences & advances with hedgehog, squid, homing torpedoes. Table of A/S sets, a large bibliography. A good reference.
Self-Reliance Through Service - The Story of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Scotian, by Ian Holloway. Lancelot Press, Hantsport, N.S. c. 1990 The history of Scotian in Halifax, with an introductory reason for Naval Reserves, through peace and war, to almost closing in the 1960's, to regeneration. Soft cover.
Ship Repair Adventure - HMC Dockyards, Esquimalt, by Eugene Witt & Jim Thomas. Pub. by Base Commander & Hillside Printing, Victoria. 1985. A history of the naval base & dockyard from early RN days to peacetime survival, wartime pressures; includes lists of C.O.s, rates of pay examples, duties of various 'shops,' the Defence Research Establishment, with contributing stories, drawings of equipment, photos.
Ships Against the Sea, by Alan Easton. Nimbus Publishing, Halifax. 1986. A series of seven brief maritime stories, some wartime but one of a discovered Egyptian/Roman ship, others of peacetime disasters and salvages. Nicely told by an experienced seaman.
Ships of Canada's Marine Services by Charles D. Maginley & Bernard Collins. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, Ont. 2001. As for The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces, the essential reference to the Canadian coast Guard's ships, it's predecessors and other government departments such as the RCMP. See also Usque Ad Mere
Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-1981 by Ken Macpherson and John Burgess. Republished by Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, 2002. The basic and absolutely essential reference book for every ship commissioned into the Navy before 1981, plus a look at future acquisitions. The newest edition brings the list forward by 20 years. Contains a brief description and a photo of each ship and her service, with tables of convoys, all the fighting ships' assigned duties, lists of C.O.'s, hull numbers, etc. A basic reference tool.
Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-2002 by Ken Macpherson and Ron Barrie 2002, 3rd Edition. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines. 2002. The latest edition of the above.
Sink All The Shipping There; The Wartime Loss of Canada's Merchant Ships & Fishing Schooners by Fraser McKee, Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, Ont., 2004. The individual stories of the loss of 67 Canadian and Newfoundland-flagged merchant ships and schooners to enemy action, plus details of other losses due to wartime exigencies, and correcting some non-enemy loss histories. With casualty lists.
Storming St. Nazaire, by James G. Dorian. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis. 1998 Since four RCNVR officers were present at this raid to successfully destroy the major dry dock by ramming an elderly ex-USN 'four-stacker' into it, one more current and very readable book example is included here. Two of the 'VR's were killed, S/Lt Baker and Surg.Lt. Winthrope, another, Lt. Davies, injured and made a POW. One other, Cdr Rayner's Signals Officer, Lt. O'Rourke, made it home. A great exploit.
The Thunderbird, the Quesnel and the Sea by Bev Lundahl
Through A Canadian Periscope - The Story Of The Canadian Submarine Service, By Julie H. Ferguson. Dundurn Press, Toronto. 1995. A history of the submarine service in the RCN, from 1914 to the 'O' boats and considerations for nuclear submarines in 1989. With useful Appendices of Force and boat commanders, including those who commanded RN boats, comparisons with foreign boats.
Thunder in the Morning Calm: The Royal Canadian Navy in Korea, 1950-1955 by Edward C. Meyers. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, 1992 The story of the 8 RCN destroyers that served at one time or another in Korea from first to last, with their problems, the quick response when asked to go, their successes and dangers. With tables of ships, C.O.s, awards, etc.
Tin Hats, Oilskins & Seaboots by Latham B. ("Yogi") Jenson. Robin Brass Studios, Toronto, 2000. Soft coiver. A biography of the wartime years by a young Sub Lieutenant, illustrated with a multitude of his own drawings - ships, Halifax, St. John's, convoy defence, technical bits, people. A noted artist in later retirement, the drawings, tables, ocean charts are worth the book alone as he carries the tale from 1938 to 1945.
To Employ And Uplift Them; The Newfoundland Naval Reserve, 1899- 1926, by Marc C. Hunter. ISER, Memorial University, St. John's. 2009 Another look at the history of the RNR in Newfoundland, from its first formation to closure due to lack of funds for support.
Trafalgar Companion, The; A guide to History's most Famous Sea Battle and the Life of Admiral Lord Nelson, by Mark Adkin. Aurum Press, London. 2005 A large volume on practically everything one might want to know about the battle and the participants, with lead-in history, what went on, through to Nelson's funeral in 1806.
Type VII - Germany's Most Successful U-Boats, by Marek Krzysztatowicz. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis. 2011 A detailed description of all the various types and modifications of this class of boat, with reference to builders, technical descriptions, drawings and photographs of internal and external fittings, from Type VII to VIIF, plus a narrative history summary of 100 pages on the Type.
U-boat Hunters: The Royal Canadian Navy and the Offensive against Germany's Submarines by Marc Milner. U of T Press, Toronto, 1994. The second volume of his excellent analysis of the RCN's operations in the North Atlantic, from early 1943 to 1945, when the Navy became proficient and had it's greatest string of successes. A full description of these successes (and losses) related to the wider battle at sea. See also The North Atlantic Run.
U-Boat Attack Logs - a Complete Record of Warship Sinkings From Original Sources, 1939- 1945, by Daniel Morgan & Bruce Taylor. Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, Yorkshire. 2011. Direct quotations from the boat's kriegstagebücher (logs or 'Reports of Proceedings'), the narratives and then log entries of 109 U-Boats that actually sank merchantmen or warships. Most with photos of ship attacked and sunk. From a half page to several pages. Missing are Those of boats that didn't survive. By date order & name of ship sunk. E.g: "32. HMCS Levis, 19 September, 1942. U74"
U-Boat Command and the Battle of the Atlantic, by Jak P. Mallmann Showell. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catherines. 1999. An assessment and description of the interaction between German U-boat headquarters in France and Germany and the U-boats at sea. From initial planning to final struggles in September, 1944
U-Boat Commanders and Crews, 1935-45, by Jak P. Mallmann Showell. Crowood Press, Ramsbury, Wiltshire. 1998. An assessment, with a multitude of photographs, of the C.O.s, officers & crews of operational U-boats, with examples of successes and problems. As appendices, alphabetical list of C.O.s and their boats and boats and their C.O.s.
U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1 - Career Histories, U-1 - U-510; Vol 2. - U-511 - UIT-25, by Kenneth Wynn. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis. 1997 & 1998. An essential reference to the building, C.O.s, of every patrol and eventual fate of every U- boat, except for a few new discoveries since 1997. By Boat number, then by date.
U-Boat Tankers, 1941-45. Submarine Suppliers to Atlantic Wolf Packs, by John F. White. Airlife Publishing, Shrewsbury. 1998. A narrative history and reference of the 18 Type X and XIV U-tankers and adopted minelayers used by the Kriegsmarine from 1942 on to fuel mostly Type VII U-boats sent to North America and the South Atlantic, plus a review of other torpedo-transporters.
U-boats Against Canada: German submarines in Canadian waters by Capt Michael L. Hadley. McGill-Queen's Press, Montreal, 1985. A careful analysis by a German-speaking scholar of all U- boat operations in or near Canadian waters in the 2nd War. Describing their actions, their attempts, penetration of the St. Lawrence River, the U-boats' sinkings of ships on this side, and their final fates. An authoritative reference.
U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, by Paul Kemp. Arms & Armour Press, London. 1997 A useful quick reference to losses in both war, as known in 1997. Since then maybe another 15-20% of the losses have been adjusted, in particular the "unknowns," as more research is undertaken in German and Allied archives, radio intercepts, Enigma, etc.
U-Boats To The Rescue - A Gripping True Story of Rescue At Sea, by Léonce Peillard. Coronet Books, London, translated from the French. 1981. The history of the famous "Laconia Incident," whereby when U-156 torpedoed that ship with hundreds of Italian POW's and civilian passengers, the U-Boat's C.O. tried to rescue them and tow their lifeboats toward Africa, but was attacked anyway by USN carrier aircraft. This resulted in Adml Donitz issuing his order that no crews were ever again to be rescued. This in turn led to his post-war conviction and incarceration. A vital ethical wartime controversy, with a pretty much unbiased narrative. Pocket book.
Ultimate Sacrifice by Robert D'Aoust, A major four-volume series, listing every Canadian Naval casualty of the 2nd War, with brief biographies, summary of the event, record of memorial listings, and, where available, a photograph. Including those who died of illnesses, accident and other than in ship losses. Vol.1: RCN; Vol.2: RCNR; Vols 3 & 4: RCNVR & WRCNS. A vital reference. Includes brief histories of ships involved, shore bases and depots.
Undersea Victory - The Influence of Submarine Operations on the War in the Pacific, by W.J. Holmes. Doubleday & Co. 1966. An early detailed assessment and story of the USN's successful submarine operations throughout the Pacific war. More than just stories of S/M attacks, but including preparations, operational pressures, assessments, equipment failures and developments, enemy reactions. Some re-assessments have been published since, but this is still the definitive wide-ranging overview of that 2½ year continuous battle.
Untidy Tales - The Story of Canada's University Naval Training Divisions, by Cdr Robert James Williamson. Privately Published, now in its 2012 edition. Both the history of the formation of the UNTD in 1942 to augment the supply of potential young officers to a too-rapidly expanding Navy until it's demise with Unification in 1967. Mostly made up of a wide selection of ex-UNTD Cadets' memories of their early days, training, experiences and the value to Canada in general of those fellows.
Unknown Navy; Canada's Word War II Merchant Navy, by Robert G. Halford. Vanwell Publishing, St. Catharines, 1995. A wide-ranging history of the experiences of the Merchant Navy during the war; in convoy, facing U-boats, training, manning the ships and the shipping lines. Also some personal memoirs, and tables of wages and ships lost. An extension of the other similar book on the M/N, Running The Gauntlet.
Unlucky Lady - The Life And Death of HMCS Athabaskan 1940-44, by Len Burrow & Emile Beaudoin. Canada's Wings, Stittsville, Ont. 1982. A comprehensive history of the building, operations and loss of this destroyer, with lists of crew, action reports, multitude of photographs.
Usque Ad Mare; A History of the Canadian Coast Guard and Marine Services by Thomas E. Appleton. Department of Transport, Ottawa, 1968. A very complete history of the services, ships and men of the Coast Guard, from the days of Jean Talon and New France to the ice-breakers and buoy tenders of the 1960s. With charts, photos and ship descriptions. Supplemented by the following: The Ships of Canada's Marine Services
Verschollen; World War 1 U-Boat Losses, by Dwight R. Messimer. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis. 2002. A history of every U-boat lost in the 1st War, by boat number, from U-5 to UC-91, from brief paragraph to 7 pages. As with all submarine sinkings, new access to records or diving on sunken wrecks turns up the odd amendment or amplification. U-85 is an example, in 2016.
Victory in the St. Lawrence; Canada's Unknown War by James W. Essex. Boston Mills Press, Erin, Ont., 1984. A history of the Battle of the St. Lawrence, when U-boats entered the river in 1942 and 1944, penetrating half way to Quebec, sinking 19 ships, including two warships. Also the story of vessels sunk off Cape Breton and Newfoundland's west coast, and the operations built up to counter this at Gaspé.
Voices from the Arctic Convoys by Peter C. Brown
War At Sea - A Canadian Seaman on the North Atlantic, by Frank Curry. Lugus Publications, Toronto, 1990. Curry's wartime naval biography; he served in the corvette Kamsak, the minesweeper Caraquet for D-Day. A personal look at life and reactions to events. Soft cover
War At Sea, The, by Capt S.W. Roskill. HMSO, London; Vol.1: The Defensive. 1930s - Dec. 1941. (1954) Vol.2: The Period of Balance. Jan. 1942 - May, 1943. (1956) Vol.3, Pt.I: The Offensive. June, 1943 - May, 1944. (1960) Vol.3, Pt.II: The Offensive. June, 1944 - Aug. 1945. (1961) The very detailed and reliable RN history of their operations, losses, successes and opponents through- out the WW 2. Many tables.
War In The St. Lawrence - The Forgotten U-Boat Battles on Canada's Shores, by Roger Sarty. Allen Lane, 2012 An authoritative look in detail by a most competent naval historian at the 1942 and 1944 U- boat attacks in the St. Lawrence almost up to Rimouski. 25 ships sunk or damaged and four RCN warships, at no cost in U-boats sunk.
Warships of Quinte Bay by Roger Litwiller
Waskesiu - Canada's First Frigate, by R.L. Duane Duff. Duff Publishing, Surrey, B.C. 2010. Another successful wartime ship's history, the 1st frigate commissioned in June, '43, through her service life, including sinking U-257 and a Murmansk convoy, until her sale to India in 1947. Memories of her crew and families.
We Are As One - The Story of the Worst Peacetime Disaster in the History of the Canadian Navy, by LCdr Gordon Forbes. Baico Publishing, Ottawa. 2010. The story of the engineroom gearbox explosion in HMCS Kootenay in October, 1969 during full power trials. Killed nine, injured fifty. A detailed examination of the event, recollections of families, and the inquiry aftermath. Soft cover
We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen
White Caps To Contrails - A History of a Modern Air Formation, edited by Captain R.D. Banks, RCAF. Published by the Squadrons. c. 1980. Squadron histories of the 6 (3 Naval, 3 RCAF) Air Squadrons based on HMCS Shearwater up to 1980. Gives the histories of their operations, with photos, everything from Avengers & CF100's to Otters & Sea Kings. With lists of C.O.s.
White Ensign Flying - Corvette HMCS TRENTONIAN, by Roger Litwiller. Dundurn, Toronto. 2014. The too brief life of the corvette Trentonian, from commissioning in December, 1943 to her torpedoing in February, 1945 in the English Channel. Recollections of survivors, town support by Trenton, Ont., and the interconnection between the two.
Who Dare To Live, by LCdr Frederick B. Watt. Macmillan Co., Toronto. 1943. A 68-page narrative poem by Watt who was an inspecting Boarding Officer at Halifax and elsewhere, describing North Atlantic convoys, merchant ship experiences, escort rescue of survivors. Men's experiences ashore and coping with the Battle of the Atlantic.