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
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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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:Paperback
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Establishing a Legacy

Establishing a Legacy

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

Forced to Change

Crisis and Reform in the Canadian Armed Forces
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also available: Paperback
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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
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Hardcover Paperback
tagged : canada
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Men of Steel

Men of Steel

Canadian Paratroopers in Normandy, 1944
edition:Paperback
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No Lack of Courage

No Lack of Courage

Operation Medusa, Afghanistan
by Bernd Horn
foreword by R.J. Hillier
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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
edition:Paperback
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Paras Versus the Reich

Paras Versus the Reich

Canada's Paratroopers at War, 1942-1945
edition:Paperback
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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
edition:Hardcover
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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

LA FORCE OPÉRATIONNELLE INTERARMÉES DEUX (FOI 2)

La FOI 2 est la plus ancienne unité et une des deux unités de la Force des missions nationales au sein du COMFOSCAN. Sa mission est de protéger les intérêts canadiens et de lutter contre les menaces pour les Canadiens dans le pays et à l’étranger. La FOI 2 existe offi ciellement à titre d’unité depuis le 1er avril 1993. Avant cette date, la responsabilité fédérale du sauvetage des otages et de la lutte contre le terrorisme au Canada revenait au Groupe spécial des interventions d’urgence (GSIU) de la GRC.  Bien qu’à l’origine la FOI 2 ait été créée dans le but d’absorber la responsabilité du sauvetage des otages et de la lutte contre le terrorisme, la direction de l’unité envisageait déjà un rôle plus important pour la FOI 2, dans le cadre d’un plus grand appareil de sécurité national. En 1994, le chef d’état-major de la Défense a approuvé l’élargissement de la taille et de la capacité de l’unité et l’année suivante, la FOI 2 a commencé à établir une capacité nationale de contre-terrorisme maritime. Elle a également commencé à déployer des petites équipes partout dans le monde, y compris en Haïti, en ex-Yougoslavie, au nord-ouest et au centre de l’Afrique et au Liban pour effectuer une série de tâches pour les FOS.  Bien que la FOI 2 ait évolué et ait amélioré ses capacités au cours des années 90, le véritable tournant a eu lieu après les attaques terroristes du 11 septembre 2001. À l’appui de l’opération Enduring Freedom des États-Unis, l’unité a déployé une force opérationnelle d’opérations spéciales (FOOS) sous le contrôle opérationnel du Groupe américain interarmées multinational pour les opérations spéciales (CJSOTF). Le déploiement s’est fait dans le cadre d’une série d’importants changements pour la FOI 2. Les décideurs politiques et militaires reconnaissent amplement la pertinence stratégique de l’unité. C’est pourquoi le gouvernement s’est engagé à investir 120 millions de dollars sur cinq ans pour élargir la portée de l’unité, ce qui comprend augmenter le nombre de membres, améliorer l’infrastructure ainsi que se procurer du nouvel équipement et utiliser de nouvelles technologies.  La FOOS de la FOI 2 a été déployée dans le théâtre des opérations afghan de décembre 2001 à novembre 2002. Au cours de cette période, l’unité s’est entièrement intégrée au CJSOTF en vue d’effectuer des opérations de combat, ce qui lui a valu sa réputation à titre de FOS de classe mondiale. Le 7 décembre 2004, le président des États-Unis a remis à l’élément de la FOI 2 de la Force opérationnelle de coalition K-Bar la Secretary of the Navy, Presidential Unit Citation.  La FOI 2 a été redéployée en Afghanistan dans le cadre de l’opération Enduring Freedom en 2005, en réponse à la demande des Américains, qui ont publiquement déclaré que la FOI 2 de premier niveau du Canada est tout aussi compétente que toutes autres forces spéciales de premier niveau dans le monde et qu’elle apporte une contribution importante chaque fois qu’elle est déployée. L’unité est demeurée très présente en Afghanistan après 2005, et ce, jusqu’à la fin des opérations de combat canadiennes en 2011.  Depuis que les troupes canadiennes se sont retirées de l’Afghanistan, la FOI 2 s’affaire partout dans le monde et elle offre au commandement, au chef d’état-major de la Défense et au gouvernement du Canada des effets de FOS de précision à l’appui des intérêts nationaux. La participation de l’unité à la coalition de lutte contre l’État islamique en Irak n’est qu’une de ses récentes activités.  Nonobstant son bilan d’excellence en matière expéditionnaire, au cours de son existence, la FOI 2 a su respecter son mandat de lutte contre le terrorisme national au sein de l’appareil de sécurité national. Bien qu’el le se soit engagée à accomplir ses tâches expéditionnaires, cela ne l’a pas empêchée de faire du contexte national la plus importante priorité, comme en témoignent les nombreuses opérations nationales et les engagements pris envers les partenaires en matière de sécurité tout au long de l’existence de l’unité.

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Show No Fear

Show No Fear

Daring Actions in Canadian Military History
edition:Paperback
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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:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : canada
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Casting Light on the Shadows

Casting Light on the Shadows

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

Chefs Guerriers

Perspectives concernant les militaires canadiens de haut niveau
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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:Paperback
also available: eBook
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
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : canada
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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:Paperback
also available: eBook
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:Paperback
also available: eBook
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:Paperback
also available: eBook eBook
tagged : canada
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