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“In Peril on the Sea” is a publication intended for a general audience, commissioned by and published for the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust. It contains a brief overview of the Royal Canadian Navy’s beginnings because one cannot fully understand the Canadian role and contribution to the longest and perhaps most cruel operation of the Second World War without first understanding the early struggles to establish and maintain a Canadian Navy on the eve of war in 1939. The book contains approximately 65 personal accounts from men, women, sailors and merchant seamen. Their poignant, first-hand human stories amplify each chapter. There are also nearly 200 photographs, paintings, drawings and maps that illustrate both the history of the Canadian Navy and the war at sea in the Atlantic.

It was published in hard- and soft-covered editions, and also serialized in Action Stations!, the Trust magazine. It’s retained here on the Trust website for our membership and for all those who are interested in Canada’s naval history.


Please scroll down and click on the desired episode – All episodes will remain online.

Episode One – Introduction    –  By Vice Admiral Hugh MacNeil (Retd.)   first  posted October 21st 2012
Episode Two Chapter 1 part 1 – Gives the background to the forming of the Royal Canadian Navy
Episode Three Chapter 1 part 2 – The trials and tribulations of the First World War
Episode Four Chapter 1 Chronicles 1 – Personal accounts from this time period the Early Days to 1918
Episode Five Chapter 2 part 1  –  Narrates the Long, Slow Years between the Wars 1919 -1939
Episode Six Chapter 2 part 2 – Commodore Carl Dönitz takes command of the newly formed U-Boot-Waffe
Episode Seven Chapter 2 Chronicles 2 – Personal accounts from the Interwar Period
Episode Eight Chapter 3 part 1 – Sees Canada’s lack of preparedness in Sept 1939
Episode Nine Chapter 3 part 2  – The U boat threat becomes a reality in 1940
Episode Ten Chapter 3 part 3 – The situation worsens in the spring of 1941
Episode Eleven Chapter 3 Chronicles 3 – The first months of the war – personal recollections
Episode Twelve  Chapter 4 Part 1 – looks at the commencement of the Battle of the Atlantic May 1941
Episode Thirteen Chapter 4 Part 2 – its a sad state of affairs and the losses continue
Episode Fourteen Chapter 4 part 3 -The struggle continues May ’41 – May ’42
Episode Fifteen Chapter 4 Chronicle 4-1941 Recollections of early days in the North Atlantic.
Episode Sixteen Chapter 5 part 1   “If we lose the war at sea….”
Episode Seventeen Chapter 5 part 2   “We lose the war”.
Episode Eighteen Chapter 5 Chronicles 5 1942 personal accounts of the early days of the Battle of the Atlantic.
Episode Nineteen Chapter 6 part 1 – in which the Battle of the Atlantic gets harder
Episode Twenty Chapter 6 part 2 – at last there is victory in sight in mid Atlantic
Episode Twenty One  Chapter 6 Chronicle 6 –  1943 recollections as the tide starts to turn in the battle with the U-Boats.
Episode Twenty Two Chapter 7 part 1 – in which the Royal Canadian Navy comes of age
Episode Twenty Three Chapter 7 part 2  –  Happier times for the RCN
Episode Twenty Four  Chapter 7 Chronicles 7  – 1944 recollections and the great role played by the WRCNs
Episode Twenty Five Chapter 8 part 1  – Leading up to D-Day
Episode Twenty Six Chapter 8 part 2 – Victory is in sight
Episode Twenty Seven Chapter 8 Chronicles 8 – 1945 recollections as the war nears its end
Episode Twenty Eight Chapter 9 -Epilogue  – Triumph and tragedy – the legacy of the Battle of the Atlantic.

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