Commanding Canadians: The Second World War Diaries of A.F.C. Layard by Michael WhitbyCommanding Canadians: The Second World War Diaries of A.F.C. Layard by Michael Whitby

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

EditorMichael Whitby

Paperback | July 1, 2006

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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.

Michael Whitby is Senior Naval Historian at the Canadian National Defence Headquarters.
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Title:Commanding Canadians: The Second World War Diaries of A.F.C. LayardFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 1.13 inPublished:July 1, 2006Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774811943

ISBN - 13:9780774811941

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Like Cutting Butter

Introduction: An Officer and His Diary

1 One Does Get Tired of Them, September-December 1943

2 Shaking Down, January-March 1944

3 Overseas, March-May 1944

4 The Great Endeavour, May-July 1944

5 Exasperation Inshore, July-October 1944

6 Deep Open Waters, October-December 1944

7 Wreck to Wreck, Contact to Contact, January-March 1945

8 Oasis of Comfort and Happiness, March-May 1945

Epilogue: Respite

Appendices

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

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 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 unique and unparalleled naval diary. Its immediacy, directness, and honesty provide a vivid and uncontrived counterpoint to postwar published memoirs by writers trying to create a heroic public image. In his self-effacing manner the diarist emerges as a representative of that great number of middle-rank wartime officers who never gained stardom but were ‘the salt of the earth.’ - Michael L. Hadley, author of U-Boats against Canada: German Submarines in Canadian Waters