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Lamb, James B.

Toronto, Macmillan, c1986. 237pp. cloth, $24.95, ISBN 0-7715-9746-0. CIP

Grades 9 and up
Reviewed by Neil Payne

Volume 15 Number 1
1987 January

On the Triangle Run is a collection of true stories of Canadian sailors engaged in the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II. It tells, in human terms, of the hardships of the life in Canada's small ship navy, from the ancient four-stackers bought from the United States and the frigates of varying age, to the numerous corvettes, minesweepers, and armed yachts. It recounts the cost of six years of unrelenting battle with the enemy, the storms and ice of the North Atlantic, inadequate often useless equipment, and ships that were often too old or completely inappropriate for the task.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section is about life as convoy escorts on the "Triangle Run" (New York-Halifax-St. John's). It clearly explains the reasons for convoys, the many problems, and what it all meant to the people in the ships. The second tells about the "Gulf War of 1942," when a string of sinkings of merchant ships in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and in the river, in some cases within sight of towns on the Quebec shoreline, caused a near panic in Quebec and in Ottawa, since to many invasion seemed close behind. The third section is a detailed account of the sinking of the Canadian frigate, Valley field, and the combination of hesitation and disbelief on the ships in company that turned the loss of one ship into a demoralizing disaster as most of her crew died needlessly in the cold waters of the Atlantic.

The author is well qualified to tell these stories. He was an officer himself, serving at sea on various Canadian ships throughout the war and was personally involved in many of the actions recounted. He will be most familiar to librarians for The Corvette Navy (Mac-millan, 1977), which has become one of the most popular accounts of Canada's navy in World War 11.

On the Triangle Run is a worthy sequel to The Corvette Navy. Like its predecessor, it is an engrossing, easily read book, as well as being a valuable addition to the available literature on Canada's navy in the Battle of the Atlantic. This book will be especially useful in high school and public libraries, but should also be considered for any collection with an interest in Canadian history.

Neil Payne, Kingston C.V.I., Kingston. Ont,
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