From New Brunswick’s 8th Hussars to California’s Corlett’s “Long Knives,” 1941–44
Lt. Col. J. Laurence (Laurie) Black (1900-1992) graduated from RMC in 1921 and began his career as a reserve officer with the 8th Hussars (NB). He went active and overseas as second-in-command of the regiment in 1941. As a result of a family tragedy, he took what he thought was a temporary transfer back to Canada in 1942. These diaries and letters document his experiences battling military bureaucracy while serving the Canadian armed forces variously as training officer, intelligence officer, liaison with US forces, and even as adviser for wartime propaganda movies. His on-site analyses of Operation Greenlight (Kiska), the US management of the Attu invasion, and Canada’s western coastal defences, are insightful. His comments on the behaviour and training of Canadian and US troops, British attitudes, Japanese forces, conscription in Canada, and other issues, provide a glimpse into the war effort from a rarely seen perspective.