Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jacky Fisher's Visage

Nicholas Lambert's Sir John Fisher's Naval Revolution (1999), revises the historical consensus on Sir John Fisher's reorganization of the British Navy in the years leading up to the Great War. In contrast to the historiography, Fisher is portrayed as favouring flotilla defense for the home waters made up of submarines and torpedo boats, championing submarines and battlecruisers as opposed to battleships, and still hoping to maintain imperial defence. Radical Jack is shown to champion the battleship in order to leverage the technological misunderstandings of the cabinet and public to lobby for increased naval spending, and not due to his preference for the battleship itself. The dreadnought revolution is portrayed as a product of financial concerns instead of the German naval threat. Technology in the form of the torpedo, submarine, and side-armoured cruisers were hoped to allow the navy to do more with less.

Lambert noted that Jan Morris' investigation of Fisher's reputation elicited a wide range of descriptors.  Morris wrote, "Fisher, it seemed, was a Great Englishman, a disgrace to his uniform, a manipulator, a hobgoblin, a damned Socialist, a crook, a paragon of kindness, a parvenu, a cad, a genius, a fraud, a delight. Only one thing all were agreed upon: he had a marvellous face."

Admiral John Fisher, Handsome Chap.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Loyal Edmonton Regiment Museum Website Upgrade

The Loyal Edmonton Regiment Museum has just upgraded to a slick new website, with numerous features that will appeal both to the casual browser and the hardcore historian.  The site features a conventional Canadian Military History section, with an accompanying chronology, authored by members of the museum.  The regimental history section is authored by historian Rod Macleod, and goes well beyond the same old story, drawing from the museums archives and posting new photos from the City of Edmonton archives and elsewhere.

The archives section notes that the regimental magazine, The Forty-niner (the loyal Eds were the 49th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force), has been digitized and will be posted to the web soon.  Historians of the World Wars will be particularly interested in the archival collections which, "include oral histories (drawn from the Museum's ongoing Oral History project), diaries and scrapbooks belonging to Maj.Gen. W.A. Griesbach (WWI) and Col. J.R. Stone (WWII), and a large collection of official documents related to the formation of units in the Edmonton area during the First World War."
Prince of Wales Armouries.  Home of the Museum.

While a few sections are still yet to be finished, it appears that the museum has fully embraced digital technology and social media to get its message to the public. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Military History at the 2011 CHA Annual Meeting

Some have criticized institutions such as the Canadian Historical Review and the Canadian Historical Association as having abandoned military, political, and economic history in favour of culture, gender, and labour topics, but a glance at the 2011 conference program shows a great number of military papers. This year's theme for the Fredericton gathering was, "History, Memory, People and Place", and it will be seen that while many military topics follow "softer" topics such as war memory, there are even some strictly operational topics for those whose narrow definition of the field only include combat.


Humpries. UTP.
As for the CHR, Mark Osborne Humphries won the 2010 prize for his article,“War's Long Shadow: Masculinity, Medicine, and the Gendered Politics of Trauma, 1914–1939”, which looks suspiciously militant! So much for Military History as a fringe genre!




Here are the papers presented on military history (broadly defined):



Roundtable on Alan Tayor’s The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British
Subjects, Irish Rebels, and Indian Allies / Table ronde sur le livre The Civil War
of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, and Indian Allies de
Alan Taylor MMH 203

Cecilia Morgan, OISE, University of Toronto
H. V. Nelles, McMaster University
Julia Roberts, University of Waterloo
With a reply from / Avec commentaires de Alan Taylor, University of California at
Davis
Facilitator / Animateur: Allan Greer, McGill University

The Lessons of War and History: A Tribute to Professor D. S. (Toby) Graham /
Les leçons de la guerre et de l’histoire: Hommage au Professeur D. S. (Toby)
Graham BMH 205

David Zimmerman, University of Victoria
Educating Scientists and Soldiers: The Graham Thesis and the Origins of the
Scientific-Military Revolution
David Ian Hall, King’s College London
Re-discovering the Operational Level of War: British and German Lessons Learned
after the 1940 Battle of France
Roger Sarty, Wilfrid Laurier University
D. M. Schurman and The Education of a Navy: How a Cape Bretoner Cane to Lead
Studies of British Naval Strategic Thought
Chair / Président: David Charters, University of New Brunswick
Facilitator / Animateur: Marc Milner, University of New Brunswick

Susan Cahill, Queen’s University
Afghan War Rugs, Conflict, and Culture-as-Resource

Jon Sufrin, York University
The Canadian Dystopia: Civil Wars, Invasions, and Language Tests

Canada’s Airforce as a Learning Organization / Une organisation du savoir : la
Force aérienne du Canada BMH 205
Richard Goette, Canadian Forces College
Air Power Education at the RCAF Staff College During the 1950s
Rachel Heide, Centre for Operational Research and Analysis
From Individual to Institution: The Professionalization of Institutional Leadership
in the Royal Canadian Air Force, 1916-1946
Bill March, Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre
Oops, We Did It Again’: Small ‘Wars’ and Their Impact on the Canadian Air
Force
Facilitator / Animateur: Randall Wakelam, Royal Military College

Julia Roberts, University of Waterloo
War Stories, Local History, and the Construction of Memory

24. New Perspectives on the British Navy and the War of 1812 / Nouvelles
perspectives sur la marine britannique et la Guerre de 1812 BMH 205
Martin Hubley, Nova Scotia Department of Justice
‘…in Consequence of the Inhumane treatment I daily saw and felt myself’: Mass
Desertion Mutinies on the North American Station of the Royal Navy, 1775-1812
Keith Mercer, Saint Mary’s University
Celebrating the Shannon-Chesapeake Battle in Halifax during the War of 1812
Thomas Malcomson, George Brown College
From Runaway to Refugee: American Slaves and the British Navy during the War
of 1812
Facilitator / Animatrice: Cheryl Fury, University of New Brunswick

Bonnie White, St. Francis Xavier University
Retrospection, Memorialization, and the Women’s Land Army in First World War
Britain

Karen Priestman, Wilfrid Laurier University
The Myth of the Waldorf Schools in Nazi Germany: Remembering a Past Long
Forgotten

Don Nerbas, McGill University
Engineering Canada: C. D. Howe and the Transformation of Canadian Capitalism,
1935-1947

Valerie Hébert, Lakehead University
The Politics of Memory: The United States, the Cold War, and West Germany’s
Campaign to Free Nazi War Criminals

Julia Torrie, St. Thomas University
Pre-occupation: Remembering World War I among Germans Stationed in France,
1940-1944

Barbara Lorenzkowski, Concordia University
Remembering Father: Wartime Stories from Atlantic Canada, 1939-1945

Ryan Kirkby, University of Waterloo
Unlikely Rebels: Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the Anti-Authoritarian
Tradition, 1967-1971

Melissa Ptacek, University of New Brunswick
The 'bonne guerre de la part des amis du F.L.N.': The Torture Memoir and
Opposition to the French-Algerian War of 1954-62

Recruitment, Rebellion and Historical Memory: Loyalist Responses in the
Carolinas and New Brunswick during the American Revolution / Recrutement,
rébellion et mémoire historique: Réponses royalistes dans les Carolines et au
Nouveau-Brunswick durant la Révolution américaine BMH 205
Carole Watterson Troxler, Elon University, North Carolina
Cornwallis’ Complaints and the Historical Memory of Loyalist Response in the
Southern Backcountry
Todd Braisted, United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada
New elements to understanding the recruitment of Provincial Regiments during the
American Revolution
Gary Campbell, Independent Scholar
Rebellion Suppressed: New Brunswick’s Role in the American Revolution
Facilitator / Animateur: Amani Whitfield, University of Vermont
Sponsored by the Loyalist Research Network / Parrainée par le Réseau de
recherche loyaliste

Series Celebration and Book Launch / Célébration d’une série et lancement de livre
BMH 318 Routunda
Please help us celebrate the New Brunswick Military Heritage Book Series co-published
by the Gregg Centre’s New Brunswick Military Heritage Project and Goose Lane Editions
and please help us launch volume 17: / Veuillez vous joindre à nous pour célébrer la série
d’ouvrages sur le patrimoine militaire du Nouveau-Brunswick et le lancement du volume
no. 17:
Joshua M. Smith, Battle for the Bay: The Naval War of 1812 (NBMHP and Goose Lane,
2011)

Jack Little, Simon Fraser University
From Borderland to Bordered Land: Reaction in the Eastern Townships Press to
the American Civil War and the Threat of Fenian Invasion

Contested Memories of the First World War / Souvenirs contestés de la
Première Guerre mondiale BMH 205
Geoff Keelan, University of Waterloo
Catholic Neutrality: The Great War and the Peace of Henri Bourassa
Jonathan Minnes, Wilfrid Laurier University
Flavelle in the News: A Study of Joseph Flavelle’s Public Image, 1914-1920
Kellen Kurschiniski, McMaster University
Once a Soldier, Always a Man’: The Department of Soldiers’ Civil Reestablishment
and the Image of the Disabled Canadian Great War Veteran,
1918-1928
Brian MacDowall, York University
The Surroundings are Congenial’: Planning a Disabled Soldier Settlement on the
Kamloops Reserve, 1918-1922
Facilitator / Animateur: Scott Matheson, University of New Brunswick

Gene Allen, Ryerson University
Another North Atlantic Triangle: Canadian Press, Associated Press and Reuters,
1917-1950
Mary Vipond, Concordia University
Nazi Eyes on Canada: Wartime Propaganda at the CBC

Jerry Bannister, Dalhousie University
Revolution in the Loyalist Era: The Remaking of British America, 1745-1800

Series Launch / Lancement de la série BMH 318 Rotunda
Please join us for the official launch of the Canadian Historical Association and University
of Toronto Press International Themes and Issues Book Series / Vous êtes cordialement
invité au lancement officiel de la série de courts ouvrages sur des thèmes et enjeux
internationaux de la SHC et des Presses de l'Université de Toronto:
David MacKenzie, A World Beyond Borders: An Introduction to the History of
International Relations (University of Toronto Press, 2010);
Sean Kennedy, The Shock of War: The Civilian Experience, 1937-1945 (University of
Toronto Press, 2011).

Representations of Violence in Canadian Collective Memory / Représentations
de la violence dans la mémoire collective canadienne MMH 202
Matthew McRae, University of Western Ontario
Spectacular Entertainment’: History, Memory and Meaning in Public Discussion
of the CBC’s 1979 Epic Film, Riel
Christopher Schultz, University of Western Ontario
The Self Separated from Violence: Spectacle, Material Appropriation, and Voices of
Resistance on the Western Front, 1914-1918
Jon Weier, University of Western Ontario
Canadaʼs Sacrifice: Collective Memory, the First World War and Canadaʼs
Golgotha
Facilitator / Animateur: Scott See, University of Maine

Distance, Danger and Domestic Life in Twentieth-Century Canada / Distance,
danger et vie domestique au Canada au vingtième siècle BMH 102
Amy Shaw, University of Lethbridge
Fathers and Sons of Empire: Letters home from the South African War
Kristine Alexander, York University
Mother says you are angry at me for not answering your letters’: Canadian
Children’s Responses to Absence and Death during the First World War
Tarah Brookfield, Wilfrid Laurier University
Navigating War, Memory, and Identity: South East Asian Adoptees on Growing up
Canadian
Facilitator / Animatrice: Barbara Lorenzkowski, Concordia University

Jaqueline Cannata, University of Guelph
Military Memories: Recollections of the Fort Erie Fenian Raids, 1864-1906

Elaine Young, University of Guelph
A Spirit of Grateful Memory’: Place, Memory, and the Battle of Lundy’s Lane
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