Post Your Opinion
by D.M.

DANIEL O. DANCOCK`S Gallant Canadians: The Story of the Tenth Canadian Infantry Battalion, 1914-1919 (The Calgary Highlanders Foundation/Penguin, 251 pages, $35.00 cloth) focuses on one of the units on which the reputation of the "ever victorious" Canadian Corps was built. Formed in 1914, largely from Calgary and Winnipeg contingents, the Tenth survived a disastrous night attack at 2nd Ypres that later struck the Allied supreme commander, Marshall Ferdinand Foch, as "the finest act in the War." Since only 193 unwounded survivors crawled back to their trenches out of 816 who started six hours earlier, Foch`s remark reflects poorly on his judgement. After such gory glory, the "Fighting Tenth" was ready for kindred blood-lettings at Hill 70, Passchendaele, and a comparable massacre on the Cambrai- Douai Road only weeks before the end of the war. The Tenth was one of the most decorated CEF battalions, including two Victoria Crosses. Not everyone was a hero. Useless senior officers promptly became heroes back in Canada. One notorious misfit promoted himself to colonel to prey profitably on titled English ladies. One of the Tenth, CQMS William Alexander, was shot for cowardice. Here and elsewhere Dancocks varies the nil nisi bonum rule of commissioned histories by naming names. Gallant Men can help those who want to understand what young Canadians experienced in 1914-18 and how regimental loyalty helped them endure the ordeal.

Home First Novel Award Past Winners Subscription Back Issues Timescroll Advertizing Rates
Amazon.ca/Books in Canada Bestsellers List Books in Issue Books in Department About Us