Sitting Ducks and Strategic Change. The Air Division in Europe, 1959 to 1967


  • isabel Campbell Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defence Headquarters

Author Biography

isabel Campbell, Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defence Headquarters

Isabel Campbell is a Senior historian at the Directorate of History and Heritage, NDHQ, Ottawa. She is a senior fellow at the Bill Graham Centre at the University of Toronto and an adjunct research professor in the History Department at Carleton University in Ottawa.

She is the lead historian for volume three of the official history of the Royal Canadian Navy and a contributing author to volume four of the official history of the Royal Canadian Air Force and is also the sole author of Unlikely Diplomats. The Canadian Brigade in Germany, 1951-1964, (Vancouver: UBCP, 2013). As well as researching and writing about all three Canadian services, she has published about the North Atlantic alliance, nuclear strategy, service families, intelligence sharing and oceanographic research in the early Cold War and is currently editing a book on early Cold War labour for the Canadian security state.

Her paper today draws upon two peer-reviewed book chapters about Canadian Prime Ministers during the early Cold War. This paper will draw upon “The Diefenbaker Government and Defence: Caught in the Strategic, technological, and operational shifts in time,” in Reassessing the Rogue Tory and His Times: New Perspectives on the Diefenbaker Era in Canadian Foreign Relations edited by Janice Cavell and Ryan Touhey, Vancouver, UBCP, 2018 and “Pearson’s Promises and the NATO nuclear dilemma,” in Mike’s World: Lester Pearson and Canadian External Relations, 1963-1968, edited by Asa McKercher and Galen Perras, Vancouver, UBCP, 2017 as well as official research for the two official histories.

Interservice historiography has been most helpful in the interpretation presented here.

This paper reflects the author’s own views and not the official views of the Department of National Defence, but the author gratefully acknowledges the support of the official history program and her colleagues at the Directorate.







Canadian Air force Centennial