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Literature about Canadian Airborne Regiment

FortYorkRifleman

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One of the topics that has eluded me for the past ten years in researching about the CAF has been the history of the Canadian Airborne Regiment, its involvement in operations worldwide and its endgame starting with the Somali mission and eventual disbandment. Basically I am looking for a book that goes into its history, as told through former members. I keep hitting a brick wall when trying to understand this regiment; on the one hand, it seems to have been a solid group of soldiers that always preformed above and beyond what was asked of them but on the other they seem haunted by this image of being racists, cruel men who were allegedly so bad they were disbanded. Any info would be great
 

mariomike

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FortYorkRifleman said:
Any info would be great

There are discussions.

Canadian Airborne Regiment 
http://army.ca/forums/threads/1489.0/nowap.html

Does the Government of Canada owe an Apology to the Canadian Airborne Regiment 
http://army.ca/forums/threads/26350.0/nowap.html

Canadian Airborne Regiment 
http://army.ca/forums/threads/29711.0/nowap.html

The Canadian Airborne Regiment
https://www.army.ca/wiki/index.php/The_Canadian_Airborne_Regiment

ETA
Toronto Public Library has these:
http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/search.jsp?Ntt=Canadian+Airborne+Regiment+




 

FortYorkRifleman

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mariomike said:
Canadian Airborne Regiment 
http://army.ca/forums/threads/1489.0/nowap.html

Does the Government of Canada owe an Apology to the Canadian Airborne Regiment 
http://army.ca/forums/threads/26350.0/nowap.html

Canadian Airborne Regiment 
http://army.ca/forums/threads/29711.0/nowap.html

The Canadian Airborne Regiment
https://www.army.ca/wiki/index.php/The_Canadian_Airborne_Regiment

Thanks but I have read through most of the pages in all of those topics. I'm assuming thats the best I'll get in regards to this topic? I get that there can never really be a definitive book on anything and given that there is probably a million years of CAF experience on this board I'll go through those topics more thoroughly
 

Gronk

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Don't know how helpful they'll be in regards to your research, but two books I've enjoyed reading were:

"Eat Your Weakest Man" by Rui Ameral - an autobiog.

and "Scapegoat" by Kyle Brown and Peter Worthington - Brown's bio and fallout fr the Somalia scandal.
 

FortYorkRifleman

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I'll definitely look into those books. Pretty much everything else I've researched (regimental histories, battles, our role in NATO and the UN etc) have resources readily available except this. I suspect its because people are ashamed of the CAR or its just been buried and forgotten.
 

George Wallace

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RoyalDrew said:
Read the following book called "Bastard Sons: An examination of Canada's Airborne Experience 1942-1995" by now Col(ret'd) Bernd Horn.

http://www.amazon.ca/Bastard-sons-examination-experience-1942-1995/dp/1551250780

It's a very good book which gives a very detailed account of Canadian Airborne forces and the Canadian a Airborne Regiment.

Actually a good reference.  Col (ret'd) Bernd Horn and Michel Wyczynski did a series of books on the Canadian Airborne Regiment and the history of Canadian Airborne Forces and units.
 

Gronk

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"Ashamed" is NOT an adjective I have ever heard to describe CAR veterans. Those that I know are very proud of their service in that regiment, and rightly so. I would suggest you choose your words a little more carefully.
 

FortYorkRifleman

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Gronk said:
"Ashamed" is NOT an adjective I have ever heard to describe CAR veterans. Those that I know are very proud of their service in that regiment, and rightly so. I would suggest you choose your words a little more carefully.

I don't doubt that for a minute but you have to look at it from my perspective and the perspective most people would have. I only know of what I have managed to pull from sources like Youtube, reports from the period after the scandal that detail what happened along with what I can conclude with what I have. I don't have the benefit of speaking with former members nor do I suggest that those said members were ashamed. The decision to disband was made by the government whom I assume wanted to make an example of the entire regiment based on the actions of a few, more like one. Thats why I want to learn more, and thats why I posted this thread for men and women with more knowledge than I to point me in the right direction.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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FortYorkRifleman said:
I don't doubt that for a minute but you have to look at it from my perspective and the perspective most people would have. I only know of what I have managed to pull from sources like Youtube, reports from the period after the scandal that detail what happened along with what I can conclude with what I have. I don't have the benefit of speaking with former members nor do I suggest that those said members were ashamed. The decision to disband was made by the government whom I assume wanted to make an example of the entire regiment based on the actions of a few, more like one. Thats why I want to learn more, and thats why I posted this thread for men and women with more knowledge than I to point me in the right direction.

The reason very little literature exists about Canada's Airborne Forces has more to do with the fact that the Canadian Army as an institution has never taken airborne operations seriously, rather than any sort of negative perception or animosity towards the Airborne Regiment or its members. 

Very little professional writing/doctrine actually exists in the Canadian Army with respect to Airborne Forces which is shocking considering we have been in the Airborne game since WWII.  Ask anyone in the Army what the Airborne Regiment Force Employment Concept was and they probably wouldn't be able to tell you, I know I certainly can't.  I can produce some ideas based on what I think it might have been but an actual written document?  I've never seen one.
 

stealthylizard

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The Canadian Airborne Regiment in Somalia was a good read.  It might not be exactly what you are looking for, but is history relevant.

The prices for the book on Ebay and Amazon are outrageous.
 

mariomike

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stealthylizard said:
The prices for the book on Ebay and Amazon are outrageous.

The books mentioned are available at the library.
 

Old Sweat

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RoyalDrew said:
The reason very little literature exists about Canada's Airborne Forces has more to do with the fact that the Canadian Army as an institution has never taken airborne operations seriously, rather than any sort of negative perception or animosity towards the Airborne Regiment or its members. 

Very little professional writing/doctrine actually exists in the Canadian Army with respect to Airborne Forces which is shocking considering we have been in the Airborne game since WWII.  Ask anyone in the Army what the Airborne Regiment Force Employment Concept was and they probably wouldn't be able to tell you, I know I certainly can't.  I can produce some ideas based on what I think it might have been but an actual written document?  I've never seen one.

I am trying to address it, albeit superficially because of space, in my history of Canada's airborne gunners. On the other hand, I may end up in a padded cell making strange sounds and slobbering because jt is unfathomable. I do know that up to the political decision being taken circa July 1942, while others were riding the airborne wave, the legs of the Canadian Army were firmly planted above the high water line. And yes, I am using that line.
 

The Bread Guy

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stealthylizard said:
The Canadian Airborne Regiment in Somalia was a good read.  It might not be exactly what you are looking for, but is history relevant.

The prices for the book on Ebay and Amazon are outrageous.
mariomike said:
The books mentioned are available at the library.
Or downloadable (64 page 1.MB PDF) here.
 

Old Sweat

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Old Sweat said:
I am trying to address it, albeit superficially because of space, in my history of Canada's airborne gunners. On the other hand, I may end up in a padded cell making strange sounds and slobbering because jt is unfathomable. I do know that up to the political decision being taken circa July 1942, while others were riding the airborne wave, the legs of the Canadian Army were firmly planted above the high water line. And yes, I am using that line.

Here is a summary of the situation in 1964-1965, as the Commander FMC, formed 1 April 1966, later that year announced plans to create an Airborne Commando Regiment:

a. three battalions - 2 RCR, 2 PPCLI and 1 R22eR - had a Defence of Canada role which included the ability to deliver a company plus support weapons, command and support elements by parachute: and

b. the 1964 White Paper on Defence announced the creation of a "Special Service Force"* with its headquarters based in Petawawa. It was a light formation designed to operate in jungle, mountain, desert etc conditions. Its three infantry battalions were 1st Canadian Guards in Picton, ON, 1st Queen's Own Rifles of Canada in Esquimalt and 2nd Royal Highland Regiment of Canada in Gagetown. Despite the expeditionary nature of its role, it did not have an airborne capability.

I haven't tied everything down, but you should be able to draw some conclusions.

* Different from the circa 1977 formation.
 

FortYorkRifleman

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Old Sweat said:
Here is a summary of the situation in 1964-1965, as the Commander FMC, formed 1 April 1966, later that year announced plans to create an Airborne Commando Regiment:

a. three battalions - 2 RCR, 2 PPCLI and 1 R22eR - had a Defence of Canada role which included the ability to deliver a company plus support weapons, command and support elements by parachute: and

b. the 1964 White Paper on Defence announced the creation of a "Special Service Force"* with its headquarters based in Petawawa. It was a light formation designed to operate in jungle, mountain, desert etc conditions. Its three infantry battalions were 1st Canadian Guards in Picton, ON, 1st Queen's Own Rifles of Canada in Esquimalt and 2nd Royal Highland Regiment of Canada in Gagetown. Despite the expeditionary nature of its role, it did not have an airborne capability.

I haven't tied everything down, but you should be able to draw some conclusions.

* Different from the circa 1977 formation.

Would you say learning about the CAR means learning about the Airborne trade in Canada from its inception? My thinking is that the lineage goes 1st Canadian Para Battalion then 1st Special Service Force then CAR then what we have today which is 3rd Battalions of our three Infantry regiments.

Do I need to research the Airborne role in Canada in order to understand the CAR or are the aforementioned books and links enough to get a picture of the its inception, life and end?
 

Old Sweat

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It depends what you are after. There is a book called Into the Maelstrom by Ken Joyce, I believe, which covers the early days of the airborne experience in the Canadian Army. Actually the FSSF actually preceded 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion in getting up and running.

Two other groups of Canadian paratroopers also jumped into battle, although in mixed British-Canadian Forward Observation Units, Royal Artillery (FOU.) 3 FOU which supported 2 Independent Parachute Brigade in the Mediterranean jumped into the South of France on 15 August 1944 and then later jumped into Greece as part of the British intervention there to prevent a communist takeover. The unit was about a third Canadian. 2 FOU was formed in the UK in mid-1944 and joined 6 (AB) Division when it returned from Normandy. Half of its members were Canadian. It fought in the Ardennes and then the Netherlands over the winter of 1944-1945 and then was part of the Rhine Crossing and subsequent advance to Wismar to prevent the Soviets getting too far west in Germany.

A lot of historians who write about the Canadian airborne experience in the Second World War probably have never heard of the FOUs.
 

FortYorkRifleman

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I purchased Lt.Col Horn's "Canadian Airborne Forces since 1942" from Amazon for $12 and downloaded the above PDF so I think its a good place to start. I grew up in a neighborhood here in Toronto with a large Somali population and those that remember the works of the CAR have nothing but good things to say about them yet based on the articles along with video clips I have been able to pull you'd think these guys where monsters. My brief blink and you'll miss it time in the CF didn't get me anywhere in regards to learning about this regiment as most of the guys I was around had no clue about them.
 
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