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The Fighting Canadians: Our Regimental History from New France to Afghanistan

The Fighting Canadians          
Format Hardcover OR Format Softcover
Catalogue No. 978-0-00-200734-4   Catalogue No. 978-1-55468-556-1
Pages 386 Pages 386
Language English only Language English only
Price $34.95 Price $22.99
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Written by David J. Bercuson.
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., 2009. Hardcover edition published 2008.


A comprehensive regimental history, The Fighting Canadians is a lively, fascinating chronicle of tradition, achievement and sometimes catastrophe. Through the eyes of many prominent regiments, historian David J. Bercuson looks at the broader culture of bonding and loyalty that is underappreciated outside of the military, yet second nature within it. Anyone with an interest in Canada's rich military history or a personal connection to the soldiers who have fought for this country—past or present—will appreciate this stirring account of Canada's frontline forces.

Regimental fighting units, suggests Bercuson, do something that no other group can: they nurture their members as they proceed into the unnatural world of war, putting their lives on the line for the lives of others. Regiments are constructed clans, with proud histories and traditions that are impenetrable to outsiders but essential to the morale of those who are a part of their ranks.

Canada's most famous regiments—such as the Vandoos, the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the Hasty P's—are well known to many of us, but what is less known is how Canada's regiments have shaped and been shaped by our military past. Beginning with Iroquois war bands and the arrival in 1665 of the Régiment Carignan-Salières—"The Good Regiment" dispatched by Louis XIV to the colony of New France—Bercuson recounts a proud history that extends through the War of 1812 and the Fenian Raids to the Boer War. He tracks the regiments of the First World War and the development of the modern regimental system, through to the Second World War and the Korean War. Finally, he investigates the peacekeeping years to the current operations in Afghanistan.
"A regiment and its traditions and obligations will get soldiers to the battleground but it's their comrades who convince them to stay. Without the regiment, there would be no loyalty. The Fighting Canadians is a brilliant explanation of such regimental loyalty." – Lewis W. MacKenzie, CM, OOnt, MSC and Bar, CD. Major-General (Ret'd)
"Good history and a good argument. A well-written and hard-headed defence of the Canadian army's regimental system by one of Canada's leading historians." – J.L. Granatstein, historian
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This page last modified: October 13, 2010

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