The On War & Society podcast features interviews with the most prominent historians of war and society. Host Kyle Falcon sits down with his guests to discuss their cutting-edge research, the challenges associated with doing history, and life ‘behind the book.’

Latest Episode: In the Path of War with David Borys

Canada’s military history in Northwest Europe has been told many times. On 6 June 1944, Canadian forces landed on Juno Beach as part of Operation Overlord, before quickly establishing a bridgehead and moving inland where they encountered, but ultimately overcame, stiff resistance. As the German Reich shrunk in the face of the Allied advance, the Canadians were tasked with liberating the Netherlands. Images of jubilant crowds greeting the  Canadians have been seared in the collective memory. If you visit Normandy today, you will find tokens of thanks in the monuments and local traditions that scatter the Norman coast. But liberation was not achieved simply through tanks, bombs, and bullets. At the sharp end were not just German forces but also civilians who found themselves caught in the path of war. Their presence presented several military and humanitarian problems. Liberation was a messy business. In this episode, David Borys joins our program to discuss the monumental task facing Civilian Affairs, their crucial role in military operations and humanitarian aid, and the myths and realities behind the liberation of Northwest Europe.

David Borys is a Canadianist who specializes in Canadian Military History specifically examining the changing nature that warfare has wrought on Canadian society. His most recent book titled Civilians at the Sharp End examines the relationship between the soldiers of First Canadian Army and the civilians of northwest Europe during the Canadian army’s liberation route in the final two years of the Second World War. He also produces the popular podcast Cool Canadian History, a bi-weekly podcast on everything and anything to do with Canadian history. You can find it on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and at coolcanadianhistory.com

Past Episodes

E43 | Broken Promises with Christopher Capozzola

E42 | A Curious Case of Shell Shock with Joy Porter

E41 | A War of Emotions with Lucy Noakes

E40 | The Great War at Home with Martha Hanna

E39 | Biodefense and the War on Terror with Gwen D’Arcangelis

E38 | Disaster in Halifax, 1917 with Roger Sarty

E37 | Reclaiming Canada’s Second World War with Tim Cook

E36 | The Black Watch Snipers with David O’Keefe

Special | Edward Cecil-Smith and the Spanish Civil War with Tyler Wentzell

E35 | Writing Public History with Tim Cook

Special | War Junk with Alex Souchen

E34 | The Medic’s Tale with Ted Barris

E33 | Voicing Dissent during the First World War with Geoff Keelan

E32 | The American Civil War: Under the Knife with Shauna Devine

E31 | Haunted by Hitler with Robert Teigrob

E30 | Malplaquet: The Myth of Decisive Battle with Darryl Dee

E29 | Making a Historian with Roger Sarty

E28 | The Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists with Blaine Chiasson

E27 | Assault on the Winter Line with Terry Copp

E26 | Nazis, Canadian Jews and the Second World War with Ellin Bessner

E25 | Ted Barris and the Dam Busters

Special | D-Day in 14 Stories with Elliot Halpern

E24 | Ambitions Unrealized with Linda Quiney

E23 | Stalin’s Gulag with Wilson Bell

E22 | Shell Shock with Mark Humphries

E21 | Rural Canada at War with Jonathan Vance

E20 | Uncovering the Secret History of Soldiers with Tim Cook

E19 | How to Write 7,000 Words in a Week with Tim Cook

E18 | Why Military Families Matter, Part II with Geoffrey Hayes

E17 | Why Military Families Matter, Part I with Geoffrey Hayes

E16 | Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part II with Amy Milne-Smith

E15 | Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part I with Amy Milne-Smith

E14 | Rewriting the Great War with Mark Humprhies

E13 | Family at the Front with Kristine Alexander

E12 | A Microhistory of an Ace with Graham Broad

E11 | Civil War and Identity with Alec Maavara

E10 | Destruction and Dissent in the Marshall Islands with Martha Smith-Norris

E09 | Treating Wounds of the Mind with Meghan Fitzpatrick

E08 | In Search of the Canadian Officer with Geoff Hayes

E07 | The Conscripted with Patrick Dennis

E06 | Dunkirk with Terry Copp

E05 | Did You Fall Into the Vimy Trap? with Geoff Hayes

E04 | Canada’s Arctic Laboratory with Matthew Wiseman

E03 | Complicating History with Mary Chaktsiris

E02 | Somewhere Between War and Society with Terry Copp

E01 | The War Junk Historian with Alex Souchen