Commanding Canadians is the first comprehensive personal account - British or Canadian - that covers the entire inshore anti-U-boat campaign in European waters during the Second World War. Rescued from the archives, the diary of Commander Arthur Layard affords the reader insights into the experiences of command at sea against German naval forces. Far from a daily chronicle, this remarkably full and honest diary outlines Layard's thoughts on his daily life and his naval career, including the strain and responsibility associated with command at sea in wartime. As well as shedding light on the inshore anti-submarine campaign, the diary also discusses significant events, such as the invasions of North Africa and Normandy and convoys to Russia; encounters with important personalities; the sinking of submarines and his own command; and the final surrender of German U-boats.
Michael Whitby is Senior Naval Historian at the Canadian National Defence Headquarters.
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 Appendices Notes Selected Bibliography Index