The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: Inquiry and Intrigue (Studies in Canadian Military History,)

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The Halifax explosion on December 6, 1917, razed much of the city of Halifax, vilified the Canadian navy, polarized elements within the media and government, and became a defining event in the Canadian consciousness. On that day, the collision of the ships Mont Blanc and Imo in Halifax Harbor triggered an eruption of almost 3,000 tons of picric acid, TNT, and gun cotton. The largest man-made explosion in the world to that time, it killed over 1,600 people and wounded some 9,000 others. The United States Navy and Coast Guard provided invaluable aid.

This book carefully retraces the events preceding the disaster and the role of the military in its aftermath, relying for the first time on government archives that contain firsthand accounts of the disaster. John Griffith Armstrong’s analysis of the legal maneuvers, rhetoric, blunders, public controversy, and crisis management that ensued reveals the rationale behind the public inquiry findings. His disturbing conclusion is that Canadian officials knew of potential dangers in the harbor before the explosion, took no corrective action, and kept the information from the public.

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Canadian Military History, (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: UBC Press (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0774808918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0774808910
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces