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BOOK - Canadian Battlefields 1915–1918, A Visitor's Guide    [to Canadian battlefields in France & Belgium]
By Terry Copp, Matt Symes, and Nick Lachance
Published by Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, 2011

Softcover... 32.95 (C$)

Most of the world remembers the First World War as a time when, as historian Samuel Hynes put it, “innocent young men, their heads full of high abstractions like Honour, Glory, and England ... were slaughtered in stupid battles planned by stupid Generals”.

English-speaking Canadians have for the most part accepted this view and supplemented it with an imaginative version of a war in which their soldiers won great victories and forged a new national identity. Both approaches have served to promote literary, political, and cultural agendas of such power that empirical studies of actual wartime events have had little impact on the historiography. A new generation of scholars has challenged those approaches, however, insisting that the reality of the war and the society that produced it are worthy of study.

This guide to the Canadian battlefields in France and Belgium offers a brief critical history of the war and of Canada’s contribution, drawing attention to the best recent books on the subject. It focuses on the Ypres Salient, Passchendaele, Vimy, and the “Hundred Day”s battles and considers lesser-known battlefields as well. Battle maps, contemporary maps, photographs, war art, and tourist information enhance the reader experience. Most photos and illustrations are printed in colour.

Review
    Like any good history book, Canadian Battlefields 1915–1918 had fine researchers working on it: Terry Copp, director of the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, and Matt Symes and Nick Lachance, who are history students at Laurier. But unlike most books, the authors decided to use Google Earth satellite images of the battle sites to help readers gain a better understanding of the battlefields and the campaigns that occurred on them.... The three authors deserve credit not just for putting this book together but for thinking of such a creative way to let readers feel they are at the battle scenes even if they are thousands of kilometres away.— The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo)
About the authors
    Terry Copp is the director of the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies and a professor emeritus at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is the author or co-author of fourteen books and many articles on the Canadian role in the Second World War, including travel guides to the Canadian battlefields. Fields of Fire: The Canadians in Normandy won the 2004 Distinguished Book Award for non-US history from the American Society for Military History.

    Matt Symes is a PhD candidate at Wilfrid Laurier University. He works as the publications manager for the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies and as the online editor for canadianmilitaryhistory.ca. With Eric McGeer, Matt has published three Battlefield Guides on the Italian Campaign in the Second World War.

    Nick Lachance is a mature student finishing his BA in Honours History at Wilfrid Laurier University. As a research assistant at LCMSDS he manages the digitization of the 300,000 Second World War aerial reconnaissance photographs the center has in its possession. A freelance photographer and photojournalist, many of Lachance’s photos appear in this and other LCMSDS publications.
130 Pages
6 X 9"
Softcover
Photos and illustrations
Maps
Website links
Published by Wilfred Laurier University Press, Waterloo, 2011
ISBN 978-1-92680-411-8





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