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Canada and the Second World War

Essays in Honour of Terry Copp

Geoffrey Hayes, Mike Bechthold, and Matt Symes, editors

Paper 500 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-629-5

Release Date: May 2012

Online discount: 25%

$42.99  $32.24


eBook availability

Terry Copp’s tireless teaching, research, and writing has challenged generations of Canadian veterans, teachers, and students to discover an informed memory of their country’s role in the Second World War. This collection, drawn from the work of Terry’s colleagues and former students, considers Canada and the Second World War from a wealth of perspectives.

Social, cultural, and military historians address topics under five headings: The Home Front, The War of the Scientists, The Mediterranean Theatre, Normandy/Northwest Europe, and The Aftermath. The questions considered are varied and provocative: How did Canadian youth and First Nations peoples understand their wartime role? What position did a Canadian scientist play in the Allied victory and in the peace? Were veterans of the Mediterranean justified in thinking theirs was the neglected theatre? How did the Canadians in Normandy overcome their opponents but not their historians? Why was a Cambridge scholar attached to First Canadian Army to protect monuments? And why did Canadians come to commemorate the Second World War in much the same way they commemorated the First?

The study of Canada in the Second World War continues to challenge, confound, and surprise. In the questions it poses, the evidence it considers, and the conclusions it draws, this important collection says much about the lasting influence of the work of Terry Copp.

Foreword by John Cleghorn.

A graduate of WLU and Western, Geoffrey Hayes is a former student and long-time friend of Terry Copp. He teaches Canadian political and military history at the University of Waterloo. He is the co-editor of Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment (WLU Press, 2007) and Afghanistan: Transition under Threat (WLU Press, 2008).

Mike Bechthold is the managing editor of Canadian Military History and the communications director of the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies. He teaches military history at Wilfrid Laurier University and has published numerous articles on Canada and the Second World War.

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 With Eric McGeer, Matt has published three Battlefield Guides on the Italian Campaign in the Second World War.


“This ... collection of essays ... asks familiar questions but provides new answers.... While many of the essays take a traditional military history approach and come to new insights through a careful reinterpretation of the sources, other sections also deal with the social and political history of the home front and the cultural impact of the war and its aftermath.... This volume provides much that is new and interesting about Canada’s war effort, embracing different historical approaches but emphasizing the importance of evidence-based historical interpretation. Terry Copp has taught his students well, and this book is a fitting Festschrift honoring his distinguished career.”

— Angelike Sauer, Texan Lutheran University, Yearbook of German American Studies

“In one sense, the a simple but elegant testimony by colleagues and former students to [Terry Copp’s] eminence as a scholar and teacher; on another, it speaks loudly about the vibrancy and depth of Canadian military history that has developed over the past quarter century.”

— Brian JC McKercher, Royal Military College, Kingston, ON, Cercles

“The ... author featured in this publication ... are well qualified academically to contribute to this collection of scholarly essays .... all of which are well written and highly readable.... The topics in such a collection are varied and eclectic, something which is often a weakness of such publications. In this case, however, the essays succeed, for the most part, in complementing each other. What ties them together, beyond the very general theme of Canadian participation in World War II, is that, taken together, they show how the study of Canadian military history—specifically World War II history—fits into the broader subject of the study and interpretation of Canadian history, and the evolution of the field.”

— Aldona Sendzikas, University of Western Ontario, Labour/Le Travail

Canada and the Second World War

Table of Contents

Related interest

Canadian history

Military history

By the same editor

1812: A Guide to the War and its Legacy, Terry Copp, Matt Symes, Caitlin McWilliams, Nick Lachance, Geoff Keelan, and Jeffrey Mott

The Canadian Battlefields in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany: A Visitor’s Guide, Terry Copp and Mike Bechthold

Canadian Battlefields 1915–1918: A Visitor’s Guide, Terry Copp, Matt Symes, and Nick Lachance

The Canadian Battlefields in Northern France: Dieppe and the Channel Ports, Terry Copp and Mike Bechthold

The Canadian Battlefields in Normandy: A Visitor’s Guide, 3rd Edition, Terry Copp and Michael Bechthold

The Great War: From Memory to History, Kellen Kurschinski, Steve Marti, Alicia Robinet, Matt Symes, and Jonathan F. Vance, editors

I Luoghi Della Battaglia: Ortona, Eric McGeer, Matt Symes, and Angela Arnone

The Canadian Battlefields in Italy: Ortona and the Liri Valley, Eric McGeer and Matt Symes

Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment, Geoffrey Hayes, Andrew Iarocci, and Mike Bechthold, editors

Afghanistan: Transition under Threat, Geoffrey Hayes and Mark Sedra, editors