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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Weight of Command

Voices of Canada’s Second World War Generals and Those Who Knew Them

Three-quarters of a century after the Second World War, almost all the participants are gone. This book contains interviews with and about the Canadian generals who led the troops during that war. Edited and introduced by one of the foremost military historians of our time, this carefully curated collection brings to life the generals and their wartime experiences. The content is revealing and conversations frank. Peers and subordinates alike scrutinize key commanders of the war, sometimes offering praise but often passing harsh judgment. We learn of their failings and successes – and of the heavy weight of command borne by all.

Table of Contents



Major-General Bert Hoffmeister

Major-General George Kitching

Major-General Harry F.G. Letson

Major-General Bruce Matthews


Brigadier H.P. Bell-Irving

Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Bennett

Major-General M.P. Bogert

Colonel J. Allan (“Ding”) Calder

Major-General W.J. Megill

Lieutenant-General Robert Moncel

Major-General Roger Rowley

Major-General J. Desmond B. Smith

Major-General James Tedlie

Lieutenant-General Henri Tellier

Major-General C.B. Ware

Brigadier-General Denis Whitaker


Brigadier G. Edward Beament

Lieutenant-General William A.B. Anderson

Brigadier George Pangman

Major Giles Perodeau

Finlay Angus Morrison

Major-General N. Elliot Rodger

Lieutenant-General Geoffrey Walsh

Major-General Robert P. Rothschild

Lieutenant-General S.F. Clark

Lieutenant-Colonel J. Douglas Crashley

John W.H. Bassett

Harold Morrison

Colonel H.O. Moran

Lieutenant-Colonel E.T. Winslow

Major-General H.A. “Sparky” Sparling

Colonel Robert Raymont

Brigadier John D. (Jack) Christian

Colonel Ernest A. Côté

Lieutenant-Colonel Donald Mingay

Brigadier P.A. Stanley Todd

Colonel W. Clement Dick

Brigadier-General R.T. Bennett

Brigadier Frank Lace

Brigadier Beverley Matthews

Brigadier William Ziegler

Rt. Hon. J.W. Pickersgill

Lieutenant-Colonel Trumball Warren


Mrs. Margaret Palmer

Peter Crerar

Group Captain Victor C.H. Stuart

Marguerite Stuart Shortreed

Dr. Mary Burns

Joseph Pope

Major W.H. Pope

Mrs. Simonne Pope Fletcher

Tony Fo

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