Andrew Roberts: Canada Comes to the Rescue of Great Britain, Again





Historian Andrew Roberts's latest book, The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War, was published in the U.S. in May. His previous books include Masters and Commanders and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900. Dr. Roberts is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Canada to the rescue! (Yet again.) The appointment of Mark Carney, a Canadian born in the Northwest Territories, a former Goldman Sachs executive, and presently governor of the Bank of Canada, to the post of governor of the Bank of England, is yet another example of that country coming to Britain’s aid in its hour of need. It is also an eloquent testimony to how the Anglosphere—or what Winston Churchill called “the English-speaking peoples”—continues to work for their mutual benefit, but especially for Britain’s....

During the Boer War, Canadians flocked to the colours to defend the British Empire. In the First World War they captured and then defended Vimy Ridge on the Western Front, albeit at a terrible cost in lives. In the course of that battle, Canadian artillerymen invented the concept of the “creeping barrage,” by which bombardments were inched forward from trench to trench, a tactic that revolutionized overall strategy. In May 1940 the only fully-armed units guarding London from a German invasion during the retreat from Dunkirk were two Canadian divisions. During the amphibious Dieppe Raid of August 1942 it was the Canadians who were sacrificed, with 3,500 killed, wounded, or captured out of the 5,100 men who took part. In per capita terms, Canada contributed far more to Britain in Lend-Lease even than the United States, and at one point at the end of the War, the Royal Canadian Navy was the third biggest in the world, so large had it become keeping the sea routes to Britain open, thus saving the Mother Country from being starved to death during the Battle of the Atlantic....



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