Book Review

By David Pugliese



The Naval Service of Canada, 1910-2010

The Centennial Story

Edited by Richard Gimblett


280 pages


Published by the Dundurn Group


The Naval Service of Canada is a first-rate and heavily illustrated volume that will appeal to those currently serving or retired from the navy or anyone with a strong interest in Canadian maritime matters.


The book was produced under the guidance of the Canadian Naval Centennial Project and chronicles the full century of the Canadian Navy. Edited by Richard Gimblett, it covers the origins of the navy back to 1867 as well as its operations in both world wars, the Korean conflict and the postwar period. It also examines what the future might be like for the navy.


The book is more of a general overview of Canada’s naval history, as opposed to an in-depth look; it is indeed more akin to a coffee-table style book.


With that in mind, readers will appreciate the top-notch color and black and white photos (some photos never seen before), and in particular the high quality art plates detailing Canada’s ships and submarines. In addition, the drawings of technical maritime innovations of the Canadian Navy will also be welcome.


Besides the more than 100 years of history outlined in the book, there is an excellent chapter by James Boutilier on the future of the navy and where the service could find itself being used in the coming decades.


One of the goals of the Canadian Naval Centennial Project is to foster a renewed awareness among Canadians of the navy and its contributions to the country, as well as the role the service plays within the Canadian Forces.


Gimblett says The Naval Service of Canada was produced “to give an accessible survey history to people who would not normally read naval history, and the point is to help Canadians better connect with their navy.”


Will this book help in that?


Perhaps, if enough libraries purchase it. At $40 a book, it will likely not appeal to the general public. But then again, with the holiday season coming it would make an excellent gift for those interested in maritime matters, or as I mentioned, current or retired navy personnel.


The Commander of Maritime Command, Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, will preside over the launch of the book on Monday at the NDHQ Chief’s and Petty Officer’s mess, 4 Queen Elizabeth Drive, in Ottawa at 11:30 a.m.



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