Betrayed: Scandal, Politics, and Canadian Naval Leadership
In January 1944, Canada's top admiral, Percy Walker Nelles, was fired from his post as head of the Royal Canadian Navy. Traditional accounts maintain that Nelles's termination was the result of severe operational deficiencies within the navy. This intriguing history reveals the true story behind Vice Admiral Nelles's dismissal: a divisive power struggle between two elite groups within the RCN -- the navy's regular officers, and a small group of self-appointed spokesmen of the voluntary naval reserve.
Richard Mayne shows how influential, but relatively junior, reserve officers were able to parlay their social stature to bypass normal military channels. These men, most notably Andrew Dyas MacLean, nephew of the Maclean's magazine founder, came from among Canada's most prominent civilian families. Their network, unhappy with the permanent force officers, used their connections to create an alternative chain of command, which deployed threats of public scandal, warnings of mass insurrection, and political intimidation, to cause one of the worst breakdowns in Canadian civil-military relations.
This fascinating investigation into the machinations of a divided navy tackles important questions of military professionalism, leadership, and identity. Betrayed will appeal to readers interested in military history and security studies, political science, and sociology.