C.P. Stacey Award logo.

2019 Winner:

Bob Bergen

Scattering Chaff

The C.P. Stacey Award Committee and the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS) have awarded Professor Bob Bergen of the University of Calgary with the 2019 C.P. Stacey Award for scholarly work in Canadian military history.

Scattering Chaff: Canadian Air Power and Censorship during the Kosovo War (University of Calgary Press) makes an enormous contribution, providing innovative military and political insights, by meticulously unearthing the virtually unknown story of Canada’s air war in Kosovo in 1999 and the attempts by the Department of National Defence public affairs teams to micro-manage the release of information about the war.

In conferring the award, the committee noted: “In this compelling academic exposé, Bergen convincingly shows the shocking degree of Canadian unpreparedness for the conflict and delivers a chilling account of how the CF-18 pilots’ lives were jeopardized due to mismanaged procurement policies for key weapons and avionics technology and because of insufficient training. He also links battlefront to home front in recounting the impact on families of their loved ones’ deployment into harm’s way.”

Bergen is Adjunct Assistant Professor in Calgary’s Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. He has previously published Censorship; the Canadian News Media and Afghanistan: A Historical Comparison with Case Studies (Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, University of Calgary).

book cover: Scattering Chaff by Bob Bergen

“Bergen painstakingly obtained much of his impressive primary documentary evidence via the Access to Information Act, revealing how the government withheld important operational information from the Canadian public. Ultimately, this secrecy impeded public understanding of the Kosovo bombing campaign. Bergen conducted interviews with former aircrew to craft a story that is a major addition to our understanding of the air force’s combat operations in Kosovo, seating his readers right in the cockpit and revealing how decisions made in Ottawa harrowingly played out in the field. Scattering Chaff is a most notable and welcome addition to the field of 20th century Canadian military history.”

C.P. Stacey Award Committee

The award committee also announced one honorable mention for the 2019 C.P. Stacey Award: Carl Benn’s A Mohawk Memoir from the War of 1812 (University of Toronto Press). Edited, annotated, and introduced by Benn, this memoir of Teyoninhokarawen (John Norton) not only reinforces the significant role of First Nations in the War of 1812, but also brilliantly contextualizes the conflict, highlighting Teyoninhokarawen’s determined efforts to preserve and secure Haudenosaunee rights to the lands of the Haldimand Tract.

The awards committee is also pleased to announce two runners up for the 2018 C.P. Stacey Award: Richard Goette’s Sovereignty and Command in Canada-US Continental Air Defence, 1940-57 (UBC Press) and Douglas E. Delaney’s The Imperial Army Project: Britain and the Land Forces of the Dominions and India, 1902-1945 (Oxford University Press). Both of these works were superb and worthy of honourable mention.

About The C.P. Stacey AWArd

The C.P. Stacey Award is named in honour of Charles Perry Stacey, historical officer to the Canadian Army during the Second World War and later a long-time professor of history at the University of Toronto. The C.P. Stacey Award is presented annually to the best book in the field of Canadian military history, broadly defined, including the study of war and society. The award winner receives a prize of $1,000, made possible through the generous support of John and Pattie Cleghorn and the Department of History at Wilfrid Laurier University. The LCSCS took over administration of the award in 2018 from the Canadian Committee for the History of the Second World War.

The 2019 award committee consisted of Kevin Spooner (Wilfrid Laurier University; Director, LCSC), Isabel Campbell (Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa), and Serge Durflinger (University of Ottawa). Awards are decided after the end of the year in which eligible books were published. Questions, inquiries, and requests for interviews should be directed to Kyle Pritchard, Award Liai­son, at LCSC.


Past Winners

2018   |   Jonathan Vance, A Township at War (Wilfrid Laurier University Press)

2017   |   Geoffrey Hayes, Crerar’s Lieutenants: Inventing the Canadian Junior Army Officer, 1939-45 (UBC Press)

2016   |   Brock Millman, Polarity, Patriotism and Dissent in Great War Canada, 1914-1919 (University of Toronto Press)

2014   |   Tim Cook, The Necessary War, Volume 1: Canadians Fighting The Second World War: 1939-1943 (Allen Lane)

2014   |   Richard M. Reid, African Canadians in Union Blue: Volunteering for the Cause in the Civil War (UBC Press)

2013   |   Teresa Iacobelli, Death or Deliverance: Canadian Courts Martial in the Great War (UBC Press)

2012   |   Andrew Burtch, Give Me Shelter: The Failure of Canada’s Cold War Civil Defence (UBC Press)

2011   |   Dean Frederick Oliver and Jack Granatstein, The Oxford Companion to Canadian Military History (Oxford University Press)

2009   |   Kevin Spooner, Canada, The Congo Crisis and U.N. Peacekeeping 1960-64 (UBC Press)

2008   |   Paul Douglas Dickson: A Thoroughly Canadian General: A Biography of General H.D.G. Crerar (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

2008   |   Stephen Brumwell, Paths of Glory: The Life and Death of General James Wolfe (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

2006   |   Douglas Delaney, Bert Hoffmeister: The Soldier’s General (UBC Press)

2004   |   Béatrice Richard, La mémoire de Dieppe: Radioscopie d’un mythe (VLB éditeur)

2004   |   Marc Milner, Battle of the Atlantic (Vanwell Publishing Ltd.)

2002   |   Brian Tennyson and Roger Sarty, Guardian of the Gulf: Sydney, Cape Breton and the Atlantic Wars (University of Toronto Press)

2000   |   Tim Cook, No Place to Run: The Canadian Corps and Gas Warfare in the First World War (UBC Press)

1998   |   Jonathan Vance, Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning and the First World War (UBC Press)

1996   |   George Blackburn, The Guns of Victory (McClelland & Stewart)

1994   |   Desmond Morton, When Your Number’s Up: The Canadian Soldier in the First World War (Vintage Canada)

1992   |   Bill McAndrew and Terry Copp, Battle Exhaustion: Soldiers and Psychiatrists in the Canadian Army, 1939-1945 (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

1990   |   Robert Vogel and Terry Copp, Maple Leaf Route

1988   |   Norman Hillmer and W. A. B. Douglas, The Official History of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Volume II: The Creation of a National Air Force (University of Toronto Press)