naval history


Axis submarine kills and Canadian warship losses in WWII

Fraser McKee rightly takes me to task for not crediting the sinking of the Italian Marcello-class submarine, R.Smg. Commandante Faá di Bruno, Cdr. Aldo Enrici, CO, by HMCS Ottawa, Cdr. Edmond ‘Rollo’ Mainguy, CO, and HMS HARVESTER (H19), (ex-Brazilian JURUA), on 6 Nov 1940. I admit that I deliberately did not […]


More criticism ‘surfaces’ of Byers-Webb report on submarines

Readers of this forum will know my critical position on the report “That Sinking Feeling” by Prof. Michael Byers and Mr. Stewart Webb. After serving as the lead writer for the MSPP Research Team report, published in this forum on 15 June, I wrote a fuller analysis of the Byers-Webb […]


What could one 10,000-ton ship carry?

After my recent posts describing the SC and HX eastbound convoy systems, I received an email that said, in effect, “What was the big deal about loosing one ship out a 50-ship convoy? With an average loss rate of between 0.6% (for HX convoys) and 2.1% (for SC convoys), surely […]


“Dedication of The Royal Canadian Navy Monument” by Stephen Harper*

*Moderator’s Note: This statement was made on 3 May 2012, in Ottawa. “Dedication of The Royal Canadian Navy Monument” “Thank you very much, [Minister of National Defence] Peter [MacKay], for that kind introduction and thank you also for your ongoing leadership as Minister of National Defence. Speaker Kinsella and fellow […]


The Sea King attrition saga*

* Moderator’s Note: This is an excerpt of an article originally published in Airforce Magazine, (Winter, 2008): 11 – 16. It is reprinted here with the permission of the publisher.  The article provides an analysis of the fates of the lost Sea Kings.  My thanks to Christine Hines, Curator at […]


Lord Nelson and amateur tacticians*

* Moderator’s Note: This post appeared originally in the Letters to the Editor section of The Washington Times on 30 March 2007. It is no longer available on-line. A large part of Canadian naval history is traced back to that of the Royal Navy. The history of that organization is […]


Celebrating 50 years of Sea King service to Canada

[Thursday, 10 November 2011] There have been few aircraft in Canada’s aviation history that have provided enduring and outstanding service worthy of note more than the Sea King maritime helicopter. In 2013, the Sea King’s Golden Jubilee will commemorate 50 years of service to Canadians and Canadian interests throughout the […]


Twenty-Five ‘moments’ to celebrate (or ponder)

To commemorate the Canadian Naval Centennial, and to provoke debate on our navy’s history, I have compiled a list of twenty-five significant moments that capture what I consider to be the major events and trends of the past 100 years. Some are facts, the importance of which can be disputed, […]


What is doctrine and why is it so important?

Most official definitions talk about doctrine as though it is the bedrock of all things naval. This one comes from the USN’s Naval Doctrine Publication 1 (NDP1) Naval Warfare: “Naval doctrine is the foundation upon which our tactics, techniques, and procedures are built.” This definition gives the impression that doctrine […]


Return of the Royal Canadian Navy?

On 16 August the government of Canada announced its decision to restore the historic names of the three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces; Maritime Command is now the Royal Canadian Navy.  Those of us wearing naval uniforms are all members of the Canadian Forces first, but we have always […]