Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War by Patrick M. DennisReluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War by Patrick M. Dennis

Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War

byPatrick M. Dennis

Hardcover | September 15, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$36.76 online 
$39.95 list price save 7%
Earn 184 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


Reluctant Warriors is the first in-depth examination of the pivotal role played by Canadian conscripts in the final campaign of the Great War. During the “Hundred Days” of the First World War, over 30 percent of conscripts who served in the Canadian Corps became casualties. Yet, they were generally considered slackers, shirkers, or malingerers for not having volunteered to fight of their own accord.

Challenging long-standing myths about conscripts, Patrick Dennis examines whether these men arrived at the right moment, and in sufficient numbers, to make any significant difference to the success of the Canadian Corps. He examines the conscripts themselves, their journey to war, the battles in which they fought, and their largely undocumented but often remarkable sacrifices and heroism. Apart from chronicling the seminal events that created the need for compulsory military service, he also focuses on the commanders who employed these conscripts and how their decision making was affected by a steady flow of reinforcements.

Reluctant Warriors sheds new light on the success of the Military Service Act and provides fresh evidence that conscripts were good soldiers who fought valiantly and made a crucial contribution to the success of the Canadian Corps in 1918.

Patrick M. Dennis is a retired Canadian Air Force colonel who served abroad for over twenty-two years, including tours as Canada’s deputy military representative to the NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium, and as the Canadian defence attaché to Israel. He is a graduate of the United States Armed Forces Staff College and the NA...
Title:Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great WarFormat:HardcoverDimensions:332 pages, 9 × 6.28 × 1 inPublished:September 15, 2017Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774835974

ISBN - 13:9780774835978

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Foreword / By J.L. Granatstein

Introduction: Slackers, Shirkers, and Malingerers

1 “The Blood Dimmed Tide”

2 Canada’s New Fighting Forces

3 The First Canadian Conscripts in Combat

4 Conspicuous Gallantry at Amiens

5 “Draft Men” and the Battle of the Scarpe, 1918

6 The Hardest Single Battle: The Drocourt-Quéant Line

7 Canal du Nord and the Brotherhood of Arms

8 A Dangerous Advance Continued

9 Cambrai and Iwuy: “For a time hell was loose”

10 Honour and Duty in the Pursuit to Mons

11 The Equal of the Best

Conclusion: Evidence has a Way of Dissolving Theories


Notes; Bibliography; Index

Editorial Reviews

Diligently researched and engagingly written, Dennis's book adds significantly to our understanding of Canada and the First World War – in particular, the experiences of tens of thousands of men who served their country less than willingly during the conflict and the vital contributions they made to the great victories of the Canadian Corps in France and Belgium from August to November, 1918. - Daniel Byers, associate professor, Department of History, Laurentian University, and author of Zombie Army: The Canadian Army and Conscription in the Second World War