News

  • Vicissitudes of War
    The latest in the series. Coming soon… .
  • The Battle of Mount Sorrel
    . The Battle of Mount Sorrel June 2-13, 1916. On the morning of June 2nd, a hurricane of shellfire descended on the Canadian line on the heights from Hooge to Mount Sorrel. Trenches caved in, defenders obliterated.The divisional commander, Major-General Malcolm Mercer, was killed while reconnoitering the line. By day’s end the Mounted Rifle regiments …

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  • A War for King and Empire just released
    A War for King and Empire is now out! The third in the Malcolm MacPhail WW1 series. Available most of the places you might expect. In trade paperback and e-book editions. .
  • A War for King and Empire
    The new Malcolm MacPhail WW1 novel
  • My Hundred Days of War: a “Best Book of 2018”
    Selected by Open Letters Review as one of the Best Books of 2018 (number 3 on the list, Mystery)..
  • The Battle of Valenciennes 1918
    The final two weeks of October 1918 had seen substantial gains by Allied armies along the entire front. Never in the war were the advances so swift, the distances so far. What had been a war of trenches was transformed to a war of movement. On one day alone, east of Cambrai, the Canadian Corps …

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  • My Hundred Days of War, October 16th, 2018
    My Hundred Days of War, the sequel to Malcolm MacPhail’s Great War, was published today. The jacket illustration comes largely from this shot, taken 100 years and 7 days ago in the northern French city of Cambrai by a Canadian Army photographer. Available at fine book retailers most everywhere.
  • The capture of Cambrai October 9th, 1918
    To the weary troops, the very name Cambrai was special: the largest French city awaiting liberation, and visions of its grandeur flowed. Early on the morning of October 9th 1918 the first Canadian troops tentatively entered the city. The battle to control it had ended a week earlier, but Allied generals were understandably wary of …

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  • The second Battle of Cambrai 1918
    By the 28th of September 1918, if ever thoughts arose that the German army was on its last legs, the battle of Cambrai soon dispelled them. This northern French city, an ancient capital, had been in German hands since 1914, its roads and railways a key logistical hub linking north with south, and east to …

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  • Battle of the Canal du Nord
    Bounced from the formidable Drocourt-Quéant Line three weeks earlier, the army of General von Below withdrew behind the Canal du Nord, blowing bridges as it went. The Canal du Nord, 20-metres wide with marshes, trenches and machine-gun nests behind, ran from north to south. It posed what seemed an impossible challenge for Allied generals: to …

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  • Breaching the Drocourt-Quéant Line
    In the fall of 1918 no German position was as strongly held as the Drocourt-Quéant Line. A dozen miles east of Arras, the D-Q Line was the heart of the enemy defences on the Western Front, the lynchpin of the vaunted Hindenburg Line of which it formed a central part. Deep dug-outs and tunnels, countless …

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  • Second Battle of Arras 1918
    At 3 a.m. on August 26th 1918, in pouring rain, began one of the most decisive and little-known battles of the war. Today it is called the second Battle of Arras, or Battle of the Scarpe 1918. Confusingly, there are a proliferation of other names, explaining perhaps why it has been so unjustly neglected. Past …

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  • My Hundred Days of War to be published on October 16th
    On August 8th, 1918, the most important Allied offensive of the Great War began. A hundred years later, to the day, I am delighted to announce that my new WW1 novel My Hundred Days of War will be released on October 16th. It is a sequel to Malcolm MacPhail’s Great War. Available in trade paperback …

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  • Canada Day 1918
    July 1st, 1918 – With the threat of the German offensives beaten off, the Canadian Corps came together in massive numbers to celebrate Dominion Day and the Corps Championships at Tinques France. Dignitaries from far and wide visited. It was to be a last carefree day in the sun when war, for a day, seemed …

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  • 21 March 1918: the spring offensives unleashed
    March 21st, 1918, 4.40 a.m. Night turns to day as thousands of German guns erupt in an unprecedented barrage. Along the old battlefield of the Somme, Ludendorff had launched Operation Michael, what was to be the first of his spring offensives. Following in the wake of the shells, and through the deep fog that cloaked …

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  • Malcolm MacPhail in Ypres
    I can’t imagine a more appropriate setting: only metres from the Menin Gate in Ypres, in the gloriously decorated shop window of the Grenadier Bookshop! Malcolm MacPhail’s Great War now available in-store in Ypres (Ieper).
  • Featured book on 4th CMR site
    Ian, the driving force behind the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles site, has very graciously placed Malcolm MacPhail’s Great War as the featured book on the front page of the website. I’m very pleased about this as the 4th CMR are featured in a couple of chapters. 4CMR.com is a superb site dedicated to remembering those …

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  • Guest post on A Writer of History
    It was an honour to be asked to write a guest post on author M.K. Tod’s excellent historical fiction blog: A Writer of History. She is the author of three novels and, in one of those funny twists, also wrote about WW1. In my guest appearance I chose to write on what historical fiction can …

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  • Montreal at War 1914-1918
    A fascinating new WW1 book, Montreal at War 1914-1918, by one of Canada’s premier historians, Dr. Terry Copp. Intriguingly, the book (not yet fully complete) is presented in the form of a website, allowing all sorts of additional functionality and features such as an extensive array of photographs, maps, links and so forth. Well worth …

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  • Christmas in the trenches 1917
    An interesting look at how one of the battalions in Malcolm’s division spent Christmas a hundred years ago. It was a “quiet day” according to the divisional war diary. But the war went on: 5 patrols were out, and the Germans shelled their positions with a high velocity gun. Later, aeroplanes dropped some pineapples – …

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