Why was Canada not preparing for the Second World War when the rest of the world was ready to meet Hitler’s threats?

Despite Canada’s active participation in the First World War, which many claimed made Canada a nation, the country was almost defenceless in September 1939 when war was declared again.

Larry D. Rose, a long-time journalist and a military specialist, examines the military’s own failures, the hidden agenda of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, and the divisions within Canada leading up to Canada’s entry into the war. He suggests that the lack of preparedness was directly responsible for two of Canada’s costliest military defeats: the battle of Hong Kong and Dieppe.


[Starred Review] The picture Rose paints in the 13 chapters of his book of a Canadian military crippled by governmental foolishness seems oddly familiar to modern eyes; underfunded armed forces and fumbled military acquisitions prove an enduring theme in Canadian history. The author's account is straightforward, well-organized, firmly presented and utterly damning.

Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

Mobilize! is vivid and wonderfully researched.

Blacklock’s Reporter

About the Authors

Larry D. Rose

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
Larry D. Rose photo

Larry D. Rose

Larry D. Rose is the author of Mobilize!: Why Canada Was Unprepared for the Second World War. His articles have appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and other publications. He lives in Toronto.