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, this 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.
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.
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.
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.