Dec 1, 2001
International Journal of Maritime History
This is a richly-illustrated book filled with superb artwork that traces Haida's operational career. There are also photos of the ship's crew and their life at sea, personal sketches, detailed maps to complement the text, and line-drawings. Particularly beneficial for the reader are the detailed appendices which grace the pages and provide useful information about Haida's fighting equipment, gunnery and electronic equipment from the date of its commissioning in 1943 until 1963. In addition, the author has furnished brief ships' histories of the other twenty-six Tribal-class destroyers which served during the war, thereby placing Haida's operational history in its proper context and providing a useful comparison for the reader. Barry Gough's book should appeal to the Canadian reader and, to a lesser extent, to interested international readers as well. The author has chronicled the history of this once proud ship and by extension that of the Canadian navy and has, in large measure, ensured that Haida continues to hold a prominent place in the collective memory of naval historians and the general public alike. That said, Canadian naval historians will find little here that is new. For instance, as the author himself notes, this book is not a sailor's history or a history of the lower deck of Haida or of the Royal Canadian Navy; that will have to be left to others. Nevertheless, the book can be recommended, and it will certainly be displayed prominently on this reviewer's bookshelf.