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Banner: From Colony to Country: A Reader's Guide to Canadian Military History


Canadian Military History: An Overview
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Second World War
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War Crimes and Prisoners of War

Prisoners of war make up an important part of the Canadian war experience. Prisoners of war include Canadians in enemy hands; German and Italian prisoners held in Canada; interned enemy aliens and Canadian citizens; and escapers and evaders in enemy territory on both sides. A number of authors have addressed the particularly harsh conditions faced by the Canadians taken prisoner at Hong Kong and the handful of other Canadians made captive throughout South East Asia. Most recently and most effectively in Long Night's Journey into Day, Charles G. Roland has concentrated on the medical and psychological challenges these prisoners faced. In Objects of Concern, Jonathan Vance considers the legal implications affecting Canadian prisoners in both world wars. See also the section Multicultural Communities, for other works concerning internment in Canada, and this section, under "Hong Kong, 1941" for more detail on the Hong Kong prisoners. Diaries and biographies of individual prisoners of war can also be found in the Personal Stories section.

Bassler, Gerhard P. -- "Newfoundland's 'dangerous' internees who never were : the history of Victoria Camp, 1940-43". -- Newfoundland studies. -- Vol. 5 (Spring 1989). -- P. 39-51

Bernard, Yves ; Bergeron, Caroline. -- Trop loin de Berlin : les prisonniers allemands au Canada (1939-1946). -- Sillery, Qué. : Septentrion, 1995. -- [359] p.

Brode, Patrick. -- Casual slaughters and accidental judgements : Canadian war crimes prosecutions, 1944-1948. -- Toronto : For the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History by Univ. of Toronto Press, 1997. -- 290 p.

  • Deals primarily with war crimes committed by the Germans, but includes several chapters on the Japanese war crimes trials
  • A fine example of the history of law

Dancocks, Daniel G. -- In enemy hands : Canadian prisoners of war, 1939-45. -- Edmonton : Hurtig Publishers, 1983. -- 303 p.

Hermann, J. Douglas. -- Report to the Minister of Veterans Affairs of a study on Canadians who were prisoners of war in Europe during World War II. = Rapport présenté au ministre des Affaires des Anciens combattants au sujet d'une enquête portant sur les Canadiens prisonniers de guerre en Europe au cours de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. -- Ottawa : Queen's Printer, 1973. -- 56, 60 p.

Jones, Ted. -- Both sides of the wire : the Fredericton Internment Camp. -- Fredericton, N.B. : New Ireland Press, 1988-89. -- 2 vol.

Macdonald, B.J.S. -- The trial of Kurt Meyer. -- Toronto : Clarke, Irwin, 1954. -- 216 p.

  • Kurt Meyer, the divisional commander of the 12th SS Panzer Division was tried for the murder of Canadian soldiers. Originally sentenced to death, he served time at Dartmouth Penitentiary, Nova Scotia

Madsen, C.M.V. ; Henderson, R.J. -- German prisoners of war in Canada and their artifacts, 1940-1948. -- Regina, Sask. : R.J Henderson, 1993. -- 203 p.

Margolian, Howard. -- Conduct unbecoming : the story of the murder of Canadian prisoners of war in Normandy. -- Toronto : Univ. of Toronto Press, 1998. -- 279 p.

  • Murder of soldiers of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division by members of the 12th SS Panzer Division (Hitlerjugend)

Melady, John. -- Escape from Canada! The untold story of German POWs in Canada, 1939-1945. -- Toronto : Macmillan, 1981. -- 210 p.

Robinson, Daniel. -- "Planning for the 'most serious contingency' : alien internment, arbitrary detention, and the Canadian state 1938-39". -- Journal of Canadian studies = Revue d'études canadiennes. -- Vol. 28 (Summer 1993). -- P. 5-20

Roland, Charles G. -- Long night's journey into day : prisoners of war in Hong Kong and Japan, 1941-1945. -- Waterloo, Ont. : Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 2001. -- 421 p.

  • Lives of Canadians and others in the camps. The author is a distinguished student of the history of medicine, so there is much emphasis on the medical and psychological aspects of the prisoner of war experience in the Far East

Stanton, John. -- "Canada and war crimes : judgment at Tokyo". -- International journal. -- Vol. 55, no. 3 (Summer 2000). -- P. 376-400

  • Chiefly Canadian policy regarding American enthusiasm to try Japanese leaders for waging "aggressive war", rather than crimes committed against Canadians specifically

Vance, Jonathan F. -- Objects of concern : Canadian prisoners of war through the twentieth century. -- Vancouver : UBC Press, 1994. -- 324 p.

Waiser, Bill. -- Park prisoners : the untold story of Western Canada's national parks, 1915-1946. -- Saskatoon, Sask. : Fifth House Publishers, 1995. -- 294 p.

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