The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: Inquiry and Intrigue available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- University of Washington Press
The Halifax explosion on December 6, 1917, razed much of the city of Halifax, vilified the Canadian navy, polarized elements within the media and government, and became a defining event in the Canadian consciousness. On that day, the collision of the ships Mont Blanc and Imo in Halifax Harbor triggered an eruption of almost 3,000 tons of picric acid, TNT, and gun cotton. The largest man-made explosion in the world to that time, it killed over 1,600 people and wounded some 9,000 others. The United States Navy and Coast Guard provided invaluable aid.
This book carefully retraces the events preceding the disaster and the role of the military in its aftermath, relying for the first time on government archives that contain firsthand accounts of the disaster. John Griffith Armstrong’s analysis of the legal maneuvers, rhetoric, blunders, public controversy, and crisis management that ensued reveals the rationale behind the public inquiry findings. His disturbing conclusion is that Canadian officials knew of potential dangers in the harbor before the explosion, took no corrective action, and kept the information from the public.
About the Author
John Griffith Armstrong, now retired, taught history at the Royal Military College of Canada.
Table of Contents
IllustrationsForeword--J. L. GranatsteinAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Through Sailors' Eyes1. The RCN in Halifax--December 19172. Towards the Unthinkable3. Halifax Tide4. Through the Grim Day5. Reaction and Recovery6. Of Sailors, Lawyers, Goats, and Newspapers7. Goats to the Slaughter8. Covering the TracksNotesBibliographyIndex