THE SEA IS AT OUR GATES: THE HISTORY OF THE CANADIAN
The Canadian Naval Memorial Trust, 1990. 30 minutes,
VHS, $39.95. (proceeds to help preserve HMCS Sackille, Canada's
Volume 19 Number 1
The Sea is at Our Gates is a brief, thirty-five minute visual history of Canada's navy created by Cmdr. Tony German, who also wrote the recent book of the same name.¹
The video starts with a somewhat strange series of images, first from the present, then from World War II, before the title and credits. This introduction is clearly intended to catch the viewer's interest, but is, in fact, somewhat distracting because it doesn't lead smoothly into the program.
However, once past this introduction, the program is a fascinating, fastpaced chronological account of Canada's naval history that provides a very clear picture of the international political situation in which the navy was operating. There is excellent use of archival film footage to portray the great power rivalries, the historical turning points of the twentieth century, and the significance of various events and campaigns.
The images used are very powerful and well selected. The inclusion of many black-and-white segments from the early years isn't distracting at all because even in the colour segments the sea, the sky, and the ships in wartime camouflage are very grey looking - so the contrast between black and white and colour is not great.
This video would make an excellent introduction to or summary of the great events of the twentieth century - two world wars, the Korean War and the Cold War - and Canada's place in them. As a result, it has much broader interest and use than a narrower coverage of strictly naval events would have.
The price of this item makes it a must buy for all Canadian history collections of libraries serving a clientele from the senior elementary school level to university and the general public.
Very highly recommended.
Neil V. Payne, Kingston Collegiate V.l., Kingston, ON.
¹ Reviewed vol. XVIII/5 September 1990, p. 230.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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