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Reluctant Warriors

Canadian Conscripts and the Great War

by (author) Patrick M. Dennis

Publisher
UBC Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2017
Category
Canada, World War II, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780774836005
    Publish Date
    Sep 2017
    List Price
    $32.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780774835978
    Publish Date
    Sep 2017
    List Price
    $39.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780774835985
    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price
    $32.95

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Description

During the “Hundred Days” campaign of the First World War, over 30 percent of conscripts who served in the Canadian Corps became casualties. Yet, they were often considered slackers for not having volunteered. Reluctant Warriors is the first examination of the pivotal role played by Canadian conscripts in the final campaign of the Great War on the Western Front. Challenging long-standing myths, Patrick Dennis examines whether conscripts made any significant difference to the success of the Canadian Corps in 1918. Reluctant Warriors provides fresh evidence that conscripts were good soldiers who made a crucial contribution to the war effort.

About the author

Contributor Notes

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 NATO Defence College and holds a master’s degree in communication from the University of Northern Colorado. In 1986, he was invested by Governor-General Jeanne Sauvé as an Officer in the Order of Military Merit. After leaving the military, he lectured on global political-military affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University and was a part-time instructor with the Canadian Forces College, Toronto, specializing in command and management and the law of armed conflict. Currently, he is an adjunct associate with the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies.

Editorial Reviews

This is a first-rate book, well written and coherent. It is very readable and I recommend it to both serious scholars of the war and to the casual historian.

Conference of Defence Associations Institute

Patrick M. Dennis's Reluctant Warriors, another compelling entry in the UBC Press/Canadian War Museum Studies in Canadian Military History series, is a topical and long overdue examination of a fascinating chapter of Canada’s Great War experience … The work has immense emotional resonance, a welcome change from the detachment so common to operational history, buttressed by the author’s personal connection to the story … Reluctant Warriors is ... a cri de coeur that demolishes old assumptions about conscripts in combat and provides an important contribution to the larger question of what Canada gained – and lost – in the First World War.

Conference of Defence Associations Institute

Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War, another compelling entry in the UBC Press/Canadian War Museum Studies in Canadian Military History series, is a topical and long overdue examination of a fascinating chapter of Canada’s Great War experience.

Stand To! The Journal of the Western Front Association, No. 113

Patrick Dennis has provided a well-researched study that should be an important part of any intellectual discussion on the Canadian First World War experience.

Canadian Military History, Vol 27, Issue 2

[Reluctant Warriors] takes aim at oft-repeated tales characterizing conscripts as shirkers and malingerers who arrived too late and with too little training to contribute in any meaningful way to the war effort. Dennis provides a corrective, proving that draftees were a significant stream of reinforcements during periods when casualty rates kept Canadian units chronically understrength… this book really shines when it mines the personal testimony of the conscripts.

Prairie History