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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Commanding Canadians

The Second World War Diaries of A.F.C. Layard

Commander A.F.C. Layard, RN, wrote almost daily in his diary, in bold, neat script, from the time he entered the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1913 until his retirement in 1947. The pivotal 1943-45 years of this edited volume offer an extraordinarily full and honest chronicle, revealing Layard’s preoccupations, both with the daily details and with the strain and responsibility of wartime command at sea. Enhanced by Michael Whitby’s explanatory essays, the diary is a highly personal piece of history that greatly enhances our understanding of the Canadian naval experience and the Atlantic war as a whole.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Like Cutting Butter

Introduction: An Officer and His Diary

1 One Does Get Tired of Them, September-December 1943

2 Shaking Down, January-March 1944

3 Overseas, March-May 1944

4 The Great Endeavour, May-July 1944

5 Exasperation Inshore, July-October 1944

6 Deep Open Waters, October-December 1944

7 Wreck to Wreck, Contact to Contact, January-March 1945

8 Oasis of Comfort and Happiness, March-May 1945

Epilogue: Respite



Selected Bibliography


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