Naval Warfare Books

Book reviews

On The Triangle Run

The Fighting Spirit of Canada's Navy

Lamb, James B.

2000, Stoddart Publishing Co.
ISBN 0773732551
Hardcover, 240 pages

Type. General History/Memoir
Pros. Entertaining and informative
Cons. None to speak of

This book, following the author's previous work The Corvette Navy published nine years earlier, again deals with the RCN and the Corvette Navy of World War II and its impressive work during the conflict. This book is not as colorful as the previous title, its topic somewhat darker and more serious.

The title refers to the infamous triangle run between New York, Halifax and St. John's by Allied escort vessels covering convoys on those routes. This was an endless and exhausting run for the crews, as soon as one convoy was delivered they had to escort one back out again from said port to the next one and then repeat the whole thing.

Lamb compiled a nice account of the planned mass-breakout by German U-boat POWs from the Canadian camp known as Bowmanville. How the Canadians knew all about the plan and even (unknown to the U-boat men) assisted them to better their plans. Why? They Canadians wanted to capture the U-boat that was sent to pick up the POWs when they escaped.

Also interesting is the coverage of how the French-speaking Canadians viewed the conflict earlier in the war.

One of the more touching sections of the book deal with the loss of the River-class frigate HMCS Valleyfield to U-548 on 7 May, 1944. The loss was a result of a series of mishaps and seemingly unconnected incidents, both before the sinking and immediately after it.

The author also covers the loss of the Canadian warships in the war, including how they dealt with the feared T5 acoustic torpedo that cost them three ships in a single convoy battle.

Finally the book covers the end of the Royal Canadian Navy as the author calls it, describing how the mighty fleet was fast reduced to a mere shadow of its former self (from 378 warships in 1945 to 38 in 1984).

This is a very worthy read and leaves the reader with a rather clear image as to what made the RCN what it was - a service to be respected for what it did, often unrecognised in other titles.

This book was submitted to for review purposes

Review written by Guðmundur Helgason.

Published on 18 Feb 2001.

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This title is highly recommended.

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