Canada is sometimes the forgotten WW2 allied nation , With a population of just over 11 million and a 15 ship 1939 navy Canada would go on to field a 471 ship fleet, 730,000 troops and 86 air squadrons. This is the story of the 30,000 underage servicemen who enlisted in the Canadian forces , their life, achievements and in many cases, death.
- John Boileau and Dan Black
John Boileau and Dan Black covered the First World War's boy soldiers in their book Old Enough To Fight. However the size of the project would have produced too weighty a tome so the Second World War has been covered in this sequel.
The subject of young soldiers has often been examined by those looking at child soldiers forcibly inducted into armies; additionally there has been some discourse on the Hitler Jugend in World War 2 and the 247 Virginia Military Institute cadets who fought with the Confederate Army in the battle of New Market (1864), the latter being woven into a John Wayne film! Modern liberal thinking has sought to portray these young men as victims of war, but the Canadian experience was of brave young men who desperately managed to sidestep the rules and enlist in Canada's rapidly expanding armed forces and merchant marine. Some paid with their lives, the youngest Canadian bomber crewman died aged seventeen, the youngest Normandy fatality was16 year old Gerard Dore.
The book starts with 9 chapters of those who fought in the army, 3 chapters on the Canadian navy and merchant marine, then 2 chapters on the RCAF . The book is well researched with excellent footnotes, bibliography and index, together with an organisational summary of the Canadian forces. Detailed it may be , but it is also a first class read and will appeal to both the general reader and military historians. John Boilleau is a retired Canadian Colonel with 11 books to his credit; Dan Black is an experienced military editor. The foreword is written by General John De Chastelain former Chief of the Canadian Defence Staff. The book runs to 450 pages plus indices etc. The illustrations are on matt paper but finely detailed and relevant. Cover price is £19.95 but there are some new hard back copies on Amazon from £10.87
Readers may also be interested in the first book Old Enough To Fight .
Too Young To Die Canada's Boy Soldiers by J Boileau & D Black
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