Research – military and intelligence matters

Guide to Sources for Research into military and intelligence subjects

Official Histories

In the writing of these volumes the authors had full access to relevant official documents in possession of the various government agencies; however, the inferences drawn and the opinions expressed are those of the authors themselves, and the Department is in no way responsible for their reading or presentation of the facts as stated.

Canada in the Great World War

Canada in the Great World War : an authentic account of the military history of Canada from the earliest days to the close of the war of the nations : Canada, Military Advisory Board; Sir William Dillon Otter K.C.B; F.L. Lessard C.B; William Hendrie; W.R. Lang (United Publishers of Canada, 1917-1921)

Canada in the Great World War was published in six volumes, starting before the end of hostilities, and completed several years later. This history was intended to be limited to the "Great War" (WWI), but the first volume sets the background as far back as Champlain and the War of 1812. The following five volumes are detailed, with accuracy that was available at that time. A very complete work, necessary to researchers of Canada's involvement in the Great War.


Canadian Expeditionary Force

Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919 : official history of the Canadian Army in the First World War : G.W.L. Nicholson (Ottawa : R. Duhamel, Queen's Printer and Controller of Stationery, 1962)

Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919 is the official history of the Canadian Army during the Great War, authrized by the Army Historical Section. We also hold a later re-imp (Kingston : Montreal : McQuill-Queen's University Press, 2015), that includes a new introduction and minor corrections from Nicholson's 1964 notes.


Source records

Source records of the great war : a comprehensive and readable source record of the world's great war, emphasizing the more important events, and presenting these as complete narratives in the actual words of the chief officials and most eminent leaders : presenting documents from government archives and other authoritative sources, with outline narratives, indices, chronologies, and courses of reading on sociological movements and individual national activities : Charles F. Horne, Walter F. Astin (National Alumni, New York, 1923)

An American source, published for patriotic reasons, Source records of the great war in seven volumes, is a remarkably comprehensive work covering many naval aspects of the Great War, as well as land engagements. While aerial engagements are mentioned, the detail is perhaps lacking in depth.


Source records

Official history of the Canadian Army in the Second World War : Stacey, C. P. (Charles Perry) [auth. vols. I and III.]; Nicholson, G. W. L. (Gerald William Lingen) [auth, vol. II.] (Ottawa : E. Cloutier, Queen's printer, 1955-1960)

The Official history of the Canadian Army in the Second World War was published in three volumes, Vol. 1: Six years of war; the Army in Canada, Britain and the Pacific, by C. P. Stacey. -- Vol. 2: The Canadians in Italy, 1943-1945, by G. W. L. Nicholson. -- Vol. 3: The victory campaign, the operations in North-West Europe, 1944-1945, by C. P. Stacey. We hold the three volume first edition, and a set of the 1960's reimpressions that contained minor corrections.


cook clio

Clio's warriors : Canadian historians and the writing of the world wars : Tim Cook (Vancouver : UBC Press, 2006) (Studies in Canadian military history; no. 10.)

Writing the World Wars -- 1 Documenting War and Forging Reputations, 1914-18 -- 2 The War of Reputations, 1918-39 -- 3 Clio in the Service of Mars, 1939-45 -- 4 History Wars and War History, 1945-48 -- 5 Official History, Contested Memory, 1948-60 -- 6 Forging the Canon of Canadian World War History, 1960-2000 -- Conclusion: An Ongoing Dialogue -- Notes -- Select Bibliography of Official and Semi-Official Canadian Histories.