Wednesday, September 19 at 7 pm
Dr. Roger Sarty – Wilfrid Laurier University
War in the St. Lawrence: New Perspectives on Canada’s Campaign against the U-Boats, 1939-1945
In 1942 to 1944 thirteen German submarines operated in the St. Lawrence gulf and river. They pushed as far west in the river as Rimouski, and sank or severely damaged 27 Allied merchant ships and warships, including HMCS Raccoon and HMCS Shawingan who had no survivors. This was the only major battle of the 20th century fought largely within Canadian territory, by largely Canadian forces under Canadian — not Allied — high command. It was also characterized as an important Canadian defeat, until the first archival research on the battle was started in the 1980s. The presentation will highlight a central theme of the new book War in the St. Lawrence: why the battle was for so long understood as a defeat, and how work in newly opened archives since the early 1980s has painted a very different picture of Canadian naval and maritime air operations that in fact all but paralyzed the U-boats after their initial and brief period of success.
Wednesday, October 10 at 7 pm
Geoff Keelan – University of Waterloo
“What we have, we hold”: The 22nd Battalion at the Battle of Courcelette, September 1916
This talk examines one of the last battles of the Somme in late summer of 1916 at Flers-Courcelette. It focuses on the actions of the 22nd Battalion and its commander Lieutenant-Colonel T.L. Tremblay during the three-day battle to hold the village of Courcelette against fierce German counterattack. The battle was commemorated by the battalion for decades afterwards – a testament to its importance and impact on the soldiers of Canada’s only French-speaking battalion of the Great War.
Wednesday, November 14 at 7 pm
Matt Symes – Wilfrid Laurier University
War in the Abstract: Art as a Window into Canada’s Military Past
Art, in all its abstraction, has the ability to bring us closer than any other medium to understanding what it must have been like to experience war. Join Matt Symes as he examines art from the First World War held in the Beaverbrook Collection at the Canadian War Museum as well as other pieces held at the Library and Archives of Canada. From the famous members who went on to create the Group of Seven to the prolific but virtually unknown Mary Riter Hamilton, these spectacular images offer a sensory engagement in one of the most defining moments in Canadian history.
Wednesday, December 5 at 7 pm
Professor Terry Copp – Wilfrid Laurier University
“If Torch, No Roundup”: The Decision to Invade North Africa in 1942
An Interactive discussion (similar to the Dieppe presentation in August) on the continuing Anglo-American strategic debate that culminated in Operation Torch, the invasion of French North Africa. We will consider the conflict between George Marshall and Winston Churchill and the unintended consequences of the operaitons compromises that shaped the battle for North Africa and the decision to invade Sicily.
Location: Laurier Military Centre, 232 King Street North, Waterloo
Cost: Free (no need to RSVP)
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