In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

REVIEWS 305 while the focusremainsfirmly fixed on the artillery, the reader can clearly followtheoverallprogress of thewar. In the SecondWorld War 89,o5 o officersand men servedin the Royal Canadian Artillery and, of these,52,t7o servedoutsideof Canada. Fatal casualties amongCanadiangunnersamountedto t77 officers and •896 other ranks.The Canadianartillery'srecordin actionis a proudoneand Nicholson hasmademeticulous useof hissources to tell it well. From war diaries,official files,regimental histories, officialhistories, and interviews with participants he hasproducedan accurate,detailed,and sensitive book.And if, as might be expectedin a historysponsored by a corps,criticismis occasionally a little muted-there is, for instance, no account of the gross errorby whicha great manymoreartillerysubalterns weretrainedand sentoverseas than couldbe absorbed by the regiments in the field- ColonelNicholson is nevertheless objective ,dispassionate, andextremely thorough. In the final chapter dealing with the SecondWorld War and entitled, appropriately enough, 'The ArtilleryHasBeenTerrific,'an attemptismadeto assess the overallcontributionof the gunsto final victory.That contribution wascertainlyof majorimportance, but the judgment,prudentlyattributedto 'anyseniorGunnerofficerwho served in the fieldin the Second World War,' that the efficiency of the artillerywas 'the greatestsinglefactor in winning battlesin the EuropeanTheatre' is hardlyone that will go unchallenged. It leavesout of accountsuchingredientsof victory as the courageand skill of the infantry, better Allied strategy,aerial supremacy, numericalsuperiority, and a logistical organization enormously morelavishthan the enemy's. Nevertheless , thepointiswelltakenthattheBritish andCanadian artilleries exercised a flexibilityof fire-control far in advance of anythingtheGermans wereableto achieveand that this flexibilitywasundoubtedly of tremendous assistance to thesupported armsbothin theattackandin thedefence. Finally,the nineteen mapsin thebook,drawnby •two R.W. Coleand Mr W. Constable, are excellently executed andof greathelpto the reader,and the selection of illustrations isconsiderably betterthanaverage for thistypeof book. All in all, the second volumeof The Gunnerso[ Canadaisa bookno artillerymanor militaryhistorian should bewithout.It isa bookto bereadforpleasure andto beusedagainandagainfor reference. D.J. GOODSPEED BrockUniversity Homesteader:A Prairie BoyhoodRecalled. JAMESM. MINIFIE.Toronto, Macmillan ,x972.Pp.viii, 2•. $9-95. Readers of thisdelightfulbut occasionally exasperating essay maywonderwhat happened to the otherMinities.Did they,too, like the authorand somany other British settlers,find an ultimate haven on Vancouver Island? Homesteader does not disclose their fate. James Minifie'sfatherwasoneof the multitudeof Englishmen who,in the 306 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW boomingdecadebeforethe war of I914, soughtto establish themselves as independent landowners ontheCanadian prairie.He chose to homestead near Vanguardin southwestern Saskatchewan, a regionwhich might betterhave beenleft unbrokenby the plough,and therehiswife and two sons joinedhim earlyin •9••. Hostilethoughthe environment was,the Minities'experience wasinfinitely removedfrom that of pioneers in agriculturally morepromising areas.The seniorMinifie had behindhim generations of Shropshire yeomen and a solid grammarschool education;hiswife had been'finished' in Stuttgartand had no intentionof allowingthe frontierto compromise her standards of gentility. There are glimpses of hisassociation with the militantfarmersof Sintaluta,of the part he playedin establishing the rural school calledMalvern Link, of Mrs Minifie playingHymnsAncientand Modem for the Anglicanservices in the schoolhouseand helpingher husbandto build an open fire-place,of the family'sunsuccessful effortto temperthe bleakness of the landscape by establishinga shelter-belt. JamesMinifie, then not quitesixteen, enlisted in the Canadianarmyearly in 19I6 and servedfor threeyears,muchof the timein the United Kingdom, emerging asa cadetin the •tAr.A practicalyouthwhoput hisextrapayinto war bonds,he formeda pooropinionof the conductof the war but managed to stayout of troublein spiteof what musthavebeena developing contempt for bumblingofficialdom. The two last chaptersdescribing the yearsafter he resumedhis formal educationrevealthe extraordinary contrastbetweenthe educational opportunitiesofferedthe veterans of Ganada'stwo greatwars.With what wasapparentlyonlythemostcasual encouragement fromhisgratefulcountry, Minifie, a self-characterized 'elementary schooldrop-out,'beganlate in i9i 9 the acaderrile marathonat ReginaCollegeandtheUniversity of Saskatchewan thatin I9•3 took him to Oxford as a RhodesScholar.Perhapshe will tell usmore later notonlyof hisfamilybut of hisowndistinguished careerascommentator and author. L.O. THOMAS University ofAlberta HistoricalDocumentsof Canada.v: The Arts of War and Peace,I9•4-I945. Editedbyc.r. STACEY. Toronto,Macmillan,•97•., 656.$•8.75. The penultimatevolumein the series of Canadianhistoricaldocuments from Macmillanof Canadaisthefirsttobepublished. Since theeditorof thisvolume isalsotheeditorof theseries it maybeassumed that thegeneralcharacter of the series asawholeisaccurately forecast here. It wouldbe difficultto improveon Dr Stacey's owndiscussion in the introduction ofthedifficulties involved in choosing some twohundred andfiftydocumentscovering a widevarietyof areasfrom amongthe vastnumberavailable for thismodern period.The rangeof materials isbestindicated bytheheadings ...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 305-306
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.