The RCN in Retrospect, 1910-1968


373 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-7748-0152-2




Edited by James A. Boutilier

W.A. Morrison was Military Advisor with the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations.


James Boutilier, Professor of History at Royal Roads Military College (RRMC), has had extensive service with both the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve and the Royal Naval Reserve. In 1980 he was the guiding hand behind a conference on the history of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) held at RRMC. The 19 chapters of this book were presented as papers at that conference. They deal with the RCN from its inception in 1910, through the two World Wars and the Korean Conflict, to the integration and unification of the Navy into the Canadian Armed Forces. Contributors are neatly balanced — a mixture of academics, retired officers, and those who are still serving. The RCN’s relationship to the politician, one theme of the book, is amply illustrated in the chapters by Rear-Admiral N.D. Brodeur on naval origins, Professor Barry D. Hunt on Canada and the Empire, Rear-Admiral H.F. Pullen on the naval struggles between the two World Wars, and Captain A.K. Cameron on the “Unification Crisis.” Other major aspects explored and equally well covered include: the control of the RCN in wartime, the influence of technology, and the role of the naval historian. The RCN is now in the final stages of awarding a contract for the construction of new patrol frigates and will soon be drawing up a programme for future naval developments. Both the Senate and the House of Commons have recently held hearings dealing with maritime power and Canada’s navy. Each of these groups and members of the attentive public will find much food for thought and future guidance in Boutilier’s work. The book is well illustrated, each chapter has extensive notes, and there is a short sketch of each contributor. There is no index.


“The RCN in Retrospect, 1910-1968,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,