"Canada and Its Navy"

By Lund, Wilfred G. D. | Naval War College Review, Summer 1998 | Go to article overview

"Canada and Its Navy"


Lund, Wilfred G. D., Naval War College Review


Hadley, Michael L., Rob Huebert, and Fred W Crickard, eds. A Nation's Navy: In Quest of Canadian Naval Identity. Montreal: McGill-Queen's Univ. Press, 1996. 460pp. $49.95

Miller, Duncan, and Sharon Hobson. The Persian Excursion: The Canadian Navy in the Gulf War. Clementsport, Nova Scotia: The Canadian Peacekeeping Press, 1995. 239pp. $35

THE EDITORS OF A NATION'S NAVY regard it as the third volume (after The RCN in Retrospect [1982], and The RCN in Transition [1988]) of a Canadian naval trilogy. Like the earlier volumes, it is a compilation of essays presented at a conference-in this instance the 1993 Fleet Historical Conference at Halifax. The essays were published in book form to make better known to the Canadian public its navy and its naval heritage. The book's subtitle reflects the conference's theme, to explore the identity of the Canadian navy.

The editors are Michael Hadley, a professor of Germanic studies at the University of Victoria and author of several histories on German submarine warfare and the Canadian navy during the first and second battles of the Atlantic;

Rob Huebert, an assistant professor of political studies at the University of Winnipeg and a commentator on naval affairs; and Fred Crickard, a retired rear admiral. The essayists are academicians, which reflects the maturation of the field of Canadian naval history as a distinct area of scholarly interest.

For contemporary Canadians, particularly "English-Canadians," defining their own identity has become somewhat of a national pastime, second only to hockey. It usually takes the form of an intellectual exercise in comparative analysis of what it means to be Canadian as opposed to American. In short, it is about cultural definition. Happily, Hadley, Huebert, and Crickard have concluded that identity lends itself to "description and celebration" but eludes definition, because in the Canadian context it is a continuing process of refinement, "changing and unclear." Instead, A Nation's Navy is an exploration of subjects and issues that constitute the evolving Canadian naval culture, and its main appeal is in its variety of description. The editors do not purport that lessons of history will be found in its pages, instead simply explanations that reflect various socio-political developments within Canadian society. The reader will better understand Canada through this study of its navy.

The essays cover a broad spectrum of interest from 1890 to the present. Organized into five parts, each addresses a specific area of naval interest or endeavour. Part One is an overview entitled "Soundings," which includes essays by three noted Canadian navalists: Marc Milner on historiography, Michael Hadley on the popular image of the navy, and Fred Crickard on strategy. The next three parts explore the navy as an instrument of national policy, as a fighting service, and as a component of Canadian society. The concluding section includes a comparative analysis of the Canadian and Australian experiences, and predictions for the way ahead.

These essays present a wide variety of views. Two examples are Fred Crickard's provocative piece on the "strategic culture" of the naval officer corps, and the authoritative study of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service, the "WRENS," by Barbara Winters, challenging some of the patent conclusions of feminist military historians. Winters' essay is one of five sociological studies presented by historians that include a statistically based analysis (by David Zimmerman) of the background of the wartime navy. Richard Gimblett provides useful impressions of modern coalition warfare in his discussion of the Canadian navy's experience and lessons learned (as a "lesser" naval power) during the Gulf war. The concluding piece is an essay by the then Maritime Commander, Vice Admiral Peter Cairns, on the future of the navy.

The overall impression conveyed throughout the book is that the Canadian navy, like Canada itself, has experienced a realignment of its cultural affiliation from the United Kingdom to the United States. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"Canada and Its Navy"
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.