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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Canada’s Road to the Pacific War

Intelligence, Strategy, and the Far East Crisis

In December 1941, Japan attacked multiple targets in the Far East and the Pacific, including Canadian battalions in Hong Kong. This intriguing account of Canadian intelligence gathering and strategic planning on the eve of the crisis dispels the assumption that the Allies were totally unprepared for war. Canadians worked closely with their US and Allied counterparts to uncover Japan’s intentions and to develop a strategic plan for defence. By highlighting Canada’s role as a Pacific power, this book sheds new light both on the Pacific War and on events that led to the creation of the Grand Alliance.

Table of Contents


1 Prelude to War: Canada and the Pacific Powers, 1922-40

2 The Allied Web: Intelligence Networks in Canada before the Pacific War

3 Developing a Far East Strategy, December 1940 to July 1941

4 Avoiding confrontation with Japan: Diplomacy, Deterrence, and Hong Kong

5 Reassessing the Far East Crisis after the Asset Freeze, August to October 1941

6 Guarding the Coast: Canadian Defence Strategy for the North Pacific

7 Countdown to War: Negotiation and Mobilization, November 1941

8 The Coming of the Pacific War, December 1941

Conclusion: Canada’s Response to the Pacific Challenge

Glossary of Names

Chronology of Events, 1922-42




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