The Necessary War

Volume 1: Canadians Fighting The Second World War: 1939-1943

  • Language:
  • English
    Penguin Canada
About The Necessary War:

Tim Cook, Canada’s leading war historian, ventures deep into the Second World War in this epic two-volume story of heroism and horror, loss and longing, and sacrifice and endurance.

Written in Cook’s compelling narrative style, this book shows in impressive detail how soldiers, airmen, and sailors fought–the evolving tactics, weapons of war, logistics, and technology. He also examines the war as an engine of transformation for Canada.

With a population of fewer than twelve million, Canada embraced its role as an arsenal of democracy, exporting war supplies, feeding its allies, and raising a million-strong armed forces that served and fought in nearly every theatre of war. The six-year-long exertion caused disruption, provoked nationwide industrialization, ushered in changes to gender roles, exacerbated the tension between English and French, and forged a new sense of Canadian identity. It showed that Canadians were willing to bear almost any burden and to pay the ultimate price in the pursuit of victory.

Awards, Nominations, and Distinctions:

Longlist – BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

Finalist – Ottawa Book Award (Non-Fiction)

Co-winner – Charles P. Stacey Award

Critical Praise:

A genuinely captivating work of historical reportage and analysis...The Necessary War grapples with the question of how one lives knowing each day might literally be your last.

The Globe and Mail

About the Author(s):

TIM COOK is Chief Historian and Director of Research at the Canadian War Museum. His bestselling books have won multiple awards, including three Ottawa Book prizes for Literary Non-Fiction and two C.P. Stacey Awards for the best book in Canadian military history. In 2008 he won the J.W. Dafoe Prize for At the Sharp End and again in 2018 for VimyThe Battle and the LegendShock Troops won the 2009 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. Cook is a frequent commentator in the media, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the Order of Canada.

Other Editions:
  • English (Paperback)

Other Books by Tim Cook:
  • At the Sharp End

  • Fight to the Finish

  • Lifesavers and Body Snatchers

  • Shock Troops

  • The Madman and the Butcher

  • The Secret History of Soldiers

  • Vimy

  • Warlords