Commanding Canadians: The Second World War Diaries of A.F.C. Layard

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Michael Whitby
UBC Press, Nov 1, 2011 - History - 320 pages
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Commander A.F.C. Layard, RN, wrote almost daily in his diary, in bold, neat script, from the time he entered the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1913 until his retirement in 1947. The pivotal 1943-45 years of this edited volume offer an extraordinarily full and honest chronicle, revealing Layard's preoccupations, both with the daily details and with the strain and responsibility of wartime command at sea.

Enhanced by Michael Whitby's explanatory essays, the diary sheds light on the inshore anti-submarine campaign in British waters; discusses pivotal events such as the invasions of North Africa and Normandy and convoys to Russia; describes encounters with important personalities; and records the final surrender of German U-boats. It is a highly personal piece of history that greatly enhances our understanding of the Canadian naval experience and the Atlantic war as a whole.

A consummately well-researched work, Commanding Canadians will appeal to both naval scholars, as well as to general readers interested in military history.

 

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Contents

Like Cutting Butter
3
An Officer and His Diary
9
1 One Does Get Tired of Them SeptemberDecember 1943
30
2 Shaking Down JanuaryMarch 1944
72
3 Overseas MarchMay 1944
108
4 The Great Endeavour MayJuly 1944
142
5 Exasperation Inshore JulyOctober 1944
171
6 Deep Open Waters OctoberDecember 1944
216
8 Oasis of Comfort and Happiness MarchMay 1945
305
Respite
338
Career Highlights of Cdr AFC Layard DSO DSC RN
340
The Ships of EG 9
342
UBoats Destroyed by Ships Attached to EG 9
343
Notes
344
Selected Bibliography
370
Index
373

7 Wreck to Wreck Contact to Contact JanuaryMarch 1945
257

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About the author (2011)

Michael Whitby is Senior Naval Historian at the Canadian National Defence Headquarters.

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