Tip of the Spear


In the midst of the Second World War, the Germans introduced a new kind of warfare that had never been seen before, featuring a new kind of soldier: the paratrooper. The public and military alike were astonished by the feats of daring and martial prowess displayed by the intrepid troops, who soon became the epitome of the modern combat soldier.

The Allies countered by setting up their own airborne forces. In Canada, 1 Canadian Parachute Battalion was established to serve as the "tip of the spear" of Allied attacks. In fact, it was this battalion that was first into Normandy for the D-Day invasion.

Tip of the Spear tells in stunning black-and-white pictures the story of the Battalion from its inception in 1942 to its disbandment in 1945. Without question, the Battalion - or more accurately, its members - laid the foundation and established the airborne legacy that other Canadian airborne establishments could proudly follow and build on.


"thumbing through this pictorial chronicle feels like looking at someone's personal photo album."

(November, 2002)

"stunning photographs give this book a broad appeal."

(August, 2002)

"For an insight into a war-raised battalion, and as a model of how to publish historic photographs, this book has few equals. For students of airborne forces uniform and equipment, it is a must."

Society for Army Historical Research Journal, Vol. lXXX1, No. 328 (January, 2003)

"offers a good mix of both training and "in action" photos, casual snaps and formal portraits."

Daily News (Halifax, NS) (May, 2002)

"I think of Tip of the Spear as a sort of reverse Father's Day present. As a childless man, it is the only Father's Day gift I've ever been given."

Vancouver Sun (June, 2002)

About the Authors

Bernd Horn

Posted by Kendra on April 19, 2016

Bernd Horn

Colonel Bernd Horn is a retired Regular Force infantry officer and military educator. Dr. Horn has authored, co-authored, and edited more than forty books, including A Most Ungentlemanly Way of War: The SOE and the Canadian Connection and No Ordinary Men: Special Operations Forces Missions in Afghanistan. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Michel Wyczynski

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

Michel Wyczynski

Michel Wyczynski has worked at the National Archives of Canada for the past 24 years, primarily in political and military archives. He is the honorary archivist for the Canadian Airborne Forces Museum, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association, and the Airborne Regiment Association of Canada.