About the Author

Bernd Horn

Colonel Bernd Horn, an experienced Canadian Forces infantry officer, is currently chief of staff of the Land Forces Development and Training System. Dr. Horn is also an adjunct professor of history at the Royal Military College and has authored, co-authored, or edited 28 books. Some of his recent publications are Fortune Favours the Brave and Show No Fear. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Books by this Author
A Most Ungentlemanly Way of War

A Most Ungentlemanly Way of War

The SOE and the Canadian Connection
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Battle Cries in the Wilderness

Battle Cries in the Wilderness

The Struggle for North America in the Seven Years’ War
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also available: Paperback
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Canadian Forces in Afghanistan 3-Book Bundle

Canadian Forces in Afghanistan 3-Book Bundle

No Easy Task / No Ordinary Men / No Lack of Courage
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Doing Canada Proud

Doing Canada Proud

The Second Boer War and the Battle of Paardeberg
edition:eBook
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Establishing a Legacy

Establishing a Legacy

The History of the Royal Canadian Regiment 1883-1953
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback Hardcover
tagged : canada
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Forced to Change

Forced to Change

Crisis and Reform in the Canadian Armed Forces
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From Cold War to New Millennium

From Cold War to New Millennium

The History of The Royal Canadian Regiment, 1953–2008
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also available: Hardcover Hardcover Paperback
tagged : canada
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Men of Steel

Men of Steel

Canadian Paratroopers in Normandy, 1944
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No Lack of Courage

No Lack of Courage

Operation Medusa, Afghanistan
by Bernd Horn
foreword by R.J. Hillier
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also available: Paperback
tagged : central asia
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No Ordinary Men

Special Operations Forces Missions in Afghanistan
by Bernd Horn
foreword by R.J. Hillier
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback eBook
tagged : canada
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Of Courage and Determination

Of Courage and Determination

The First Special Service Force, "The Devil's Brigade," 1942-44
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Paras Versus the Reich

Paras Versus the Reich

Canada's Paratroopers at War, 1942-1945
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tagged : canada
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Perspectives on the Canadian Way of War

Perspectives on the Canadian Way of War

Serving the National Interest
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also available: Hardcover
tagged : canada
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Shadow Warriors / Les Guerriers de l'Ombre

Shadow Warriors / Les Guerriers de l'Ombre

The Canadian Special Operations Forces Command / Le Commandement des Forces d’Opérations Spéciales du Canada
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Excerpt

JOINT TASK FORCE TWO (JTF 2) 
JTF 2 is the senior unit as well as one of two National Mission Force units within CANSOFCOM. Its mission is to protect the Canadian national interest and combat threats to Canadians at home and abroad. JTF 2 as a unit officially stood up on April 1, 1993. Prior to that, the federal responsibility for hostage rescue and counterterrorism in Canada was with the RCMP Special Emergency Response Team (SERT). Although initially created to take on the responsibility for hostage rescue and counterterrorism, the Unit leadership envisioned a greater role for JTF 2 as part of the larger government national security apparatus. In 1994, the Chief of the Defence Staff approved the Unit’s enlargement and increased capacity; the following year, JTF 2 began to establish a national maritime counterterrorism capability. It also began to deploy small teams around the globe to such locations as Haiti, the Former Yugoslavia, north-west and Central Africa, and Lebanon to undertake a number of SOF tasks.  Although JTF 2 evolved and matured its capabilities throughout the 1990s, its true turning point came in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In support of the U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom, the Unit deployed a special operations task force (SOTF) under the operational control of the American Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF). This deployment was part of a series of significant changes for JTF 2. Political and military decision-makers fully recognized the Unit’s strategic relevance, and as a result the government committed $120 million over five years for its expansion, which included an increase in manpower and infrastructure, as well as the procurement of new equipment and technologies.  The JTF 2–based SOTF was deployed in the Afghan theatre of operations from December 2001 to November 2002. During this period, the Unit was completely integrated into the CJSOTF to conduct numerous combat operations, earning a reputation as a world-class SOF capability. On December 7, 2004, the President of the United States awarded the JTF 2 component of the coalition Task Force K-Bar a Secretary of the Navy, Presidential Unit Citation.  JTF 2 redeployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2005, due to a request from the Americans, who publicly stated that “Canada’s elite Tier 1 JTF 2 is as capable as any Tier 1 Special Forces in the world [and it] makes a significant contribution whenever deployed.” The Unit remained actively engaged in Afghanistan from 2005 until the end of Canadian combat operations in 2011.  Since the Canadian withdrawal from Afghanistan, JTF 2 has been extremely busy across the globe providing the Command, the Chief of the Defence Staff, and the government of Canada with precision SOF effects in support of the national interest. The Unit’s participation in the Coalition fight against the Islamic State in Iraq is but one of its many recent activities.  Notwithstanding its expeditionary record of excellence, throughout its existence, JTF 2 has maintained its domestic counterterrorism responsibility as part of the national security apparatus. Even while committed on expeditionary tasks, the domestic environment has remained its number one priority, as witnessed through numerous domestic operations and engagements with security partners throughout the Unit’s existence.

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Show No Fear

Show No Fear

Daring Actions in Canadian Military History
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tagged : canada
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The Wrecking Crew

The Wrecking Crew

Operation Colossus, 10 February 1941
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Excerpt

CHAPTER 1: DOWN BUT NOT OUT: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

The soldiers cowered at the bottom of their holes that were dug deep into the sand of the dunes along the Dunkirk beach. The air was rent with the sound of explosions, anti-aircraft salvos, and machine gun fire. Most disconcerting though was the ear-curdling shriek of the German JU-87 Stuka dive bombers that relentlessly tormented the Allied troops trapped in the bridgehead. To the soldiers pinned on the beach it appeared that every enemy aircraft was fixating on their position and every bomb was targeting them individually. As one survivor depicted, “You can see them [bombs] fall out of the bellies of the brutes [enemy bombers], hundreds of them and they all seemed to be coming straight at you, at first terribly slowly, then faster and faster till at last there’s a blackish blockage flash and a scream.”

Everywhere along the beach bombs impacted, sending geysers of sand into the air. The French town of Dunkirk itself was a complete ruin. Bright long flues of flames danced from the skeletons of burning buildings. Roads were impassable as broken bricks, timbers, paving stones, and burnt out vehicle carcasses, all shattered and dislodged by shelling and bombing, blocked passage. The dock was equally decimated. The large oil tanks were ablaze spewing a thick greasy black smoke into the air. Trapped by the low cloud ceiling, the smoke cast a pall over Dunkirk giving the appearance that the apocalypse had arrived. In the harbour the wrecks of sunken vessels, the water surrounding them encased in a thick, sludgy, black oil, made navigation treacherous. Dunkirk was in its death throes.

The Allies were in a perilous situation. In a matter of less than three weeks they had been thrown from the frontiers of Belgium, Holland, and France to the coast. They were now fighting to save as much of their armies as possible. Clearly, they had come to fight the last war. The Germans had decided to fight an entirely different conflict.

The Germans had not squandered the period following the First World War. Stung by their defeat and the humiliating terms of capitulation, they had embarked on a path of military modernization despite the limitations of the Versailles Peace Treaty. The Germans revealed their new doctrine in September 1939, when they sliced through Poland in a mere six weeks. To those who paid attention, it became apparent that the Germans had embraced combined arms warfare, aptly titled “Blitzkrieg.” This new approach to warfare leveraged the marriage of tanks, armoured vehicles, and close support aircraft, which in turn created an offensive capability empowered by speed, mobility, and destructive power. When synchronized, this new approach took advantage of the mobility and firepower of armoured forces, the infantry, artillery, and air power. The sheer speed and devastating destructive capability of this approach to warfare simply overwhelmed Polish resistance.

Despite this exposition and, moreover, the “Phoney War” period from October 1939 to April 1940, which gave the Allies time to reflect and prepare, nothing was done. Quite simply, the Allies failed to anticipate the tidal wave of destruction that was about to consume them. They seemed unwilling, or unable, to adapt to the new form of manoeuvre warfare that the Germans displayed.

Rather, the Allies seemed content to rely on their long-standing defences and plans. The French were firmly anchored in their Maginot Line, a string of fortifications that boasted state-of-the-art technology and weaponry. The Belgians were equally confident positioned behind the Albert Canal, which in itself provided a formidable defensive barrier and it was reinforced with strongpoints and the world-renowned impregnable fortress of Eben Emael. Furthermore, similar to the First World War battle plan, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and French reserves were deployed in depth to launch a counterattack the moment the Germans commenced their anticipated flanking attack through Holland and Belgium. Significantly, the Allied commanders also realized that they held a numerical advantage in personnel and material, particularly tanks and aircraft. Therefore, their confidence seemed justifiable.

However, they forfeited an opportunity to strike at Germany. To accomplish the invasion of Poland, the Reich’s Führer, Adolf Hitler, deployed sixty-two divisions, representing his best forces, as well as 1,300 aircraft. In doing so, he had exposed his western frontier. It was practically undefended. The border was secured by second-rate frontier troops. Hitler gambled, correctly, that the Allies, specifically Britain and France who had guaranteed Poland’s sovereignty, would fail to attack. Then, once Poland was defeated, Hitler halted his war machine and reoriented his forces.

Nonetheless, the combatants were now mired in a seeming stalemate on the Western Front as Germany faced down Britain and France along the French border. The “Phoney War” dragged on through the winter months. Then in April of 1940, German forces seized Norway. There was little doubt that France and the Low Countries would be next.

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Tip of the Spear

Tip of the Spear

An Intimate Account of 1 Canadian Parachute Battalion, 1942-1945
edition:eBook
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tagged : canada
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Casting Light on the Shadows

Casting Light on the Shadows

Canadian Perspectives on Special Operations Forces
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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Chefs Guerriers

Chefs Guerriers

Perspectives concernant les militaires canadiens de haut niveau
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also available: Paperback
tagged : canada
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Fortune Favours the Brave

Fortune Favours the Brave

Tales of Courage and Tenacity in Canadian Military History
edited by Bernd Horn
foreword by Romeo Dallaire
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : canada
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Intrepid Warriors

Intrepid Warriors

Perspectives on Canadian Military Leaders
edited by Bernd Horn
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : canada, military
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Le leadership militaire canadien francais

Le leadership militaire canadien francais

Continuité, Efficacité, et Loyauté
edited by Roch Legault & Bernd Horn
foreword by J.H.P.M Caron
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : canada
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Le Leadership militaire canadien français

Le Leadership militaire canadien français

Continuite, Efficacite, et Loyaute
edited by Roch Legault & Bernd Horn
foreword by J.H.P.M Caron
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : canada
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Les guerriers intrépides

Les guerriers intrépides

Perspectives sur les chefs militaires canadiens
edited by Bernd Horn
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also available: Paperback
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Loyal Service

Loyal Service

Perspectives on French-Canadian Military Leaders
edited by Bernd Horn & Roch Legault
foreword by J.H.P.M Caron
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : canada, military
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Lumières sur les forces de l'ombre

Lumières sur les forces de l'ombre

Une perspective canadienne sur les Forces d'opérations spéciales
edited by Bernd Horn & Tony Balasevicius
foreword by David Barr
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : canada
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No Easy Task

No Easy Task

Fighting in Afghanistan
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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Warrior Chiefs

Warrior Chiefs

Perspectives on Senior Canadian Military Leaders
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback eBook
tagged : canada
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