664 pages Vanwell Publishing 2004 978-1551250618
This eagerly anticipated first volume of an updated official history doesn’t disappoint. Coupled with methodical research and a superb collection of many never before seen photos, this book is superb.
Throughout the Second World War, Canada played a vital role in contributing manpower and escorting supply convoys to the European theatre of war. The Royal Canadian Navy was called upon to participate in virtually every phase of war at sea. This is the official history of the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. This impressive book chronicles how the RCN expanded more rapidly and played a greater part in Allied operations, than could possibly have been foreseen when the war broke out. Over a period of six years, the RCN's contribution to the Allied war effort fundamentally transformed the RCN's nature. In 1939, the RCN was a small coastal defense force with 'blue water' aspirations.
Our Navy was modeled on the British Navy and formed an important part of the Empire Navy, a worldwide network of British naval communications, intelligence and trade defense. RCN officers and a large number of ratings served in RN training ships and establishments. Political, financial and material constraints limited the RCN's horizons, with the exception of annual exercises in the Caribbean. Yet, by 1945, the RCN had a record of service in the North Atlantic, the waters of northwest Europe, the Arctic, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. In short, the RCN had achieved the status of a 'blue water' Navy! As a result, tens of thousands of Canadians who had served in the Navy during the war formed a national constituency that had never before existed. No Higher Purpose was written by a team of professional historians and has been in preparation for fifteen years. Veterans of the RCN, current sailors and naval officers, and students of military and naval history in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany have eagerly awaited it. This book is a fitting testimonial to the men and women of Canada's Navy.
This work was published in both official languages under the sponsorship of the Department of National Defense and Public Works and Government Services Canada.
Not much can be added to describe this work but to highly recommend this as an addition to any library on naval history. Coupled with the 100th Anniversary of the Canadian Navy in 2010, these two should hopefully bring Canadian naval history to light to a new generation.