Ted Barris is an award-winning journalist, author, and broadcaster. His writing has regularly appeared in the national press, as well as magazines as diverse as Air Force, esprit de corps and Zoomer. He has also worked as host/contributor for most CBC Radio network programs, PBS in the U.S. and on TV Ontario. And after 18 years teaching, he recently retired as a full-time professor of journalism at Toronto’s Centennial College. Barris is the author of 20 bestselling, non-fiction books, including a series on wartime Canada. In 2011, he was one of 19 civilians presented with the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Commendation. In 2012, the Air Force Association of Canada selected Ted Barris to receive Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, recognizing “outstanding Canadians ... who continue to build this caring society and country through their service and achievements." His 17th book, The Great Escape: A Canadian Story, won the 2014 Libris Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award (shared with astronaut Chris Hadfield). In 2018, HarperCollins published Barris’s 18th book – Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid against Nazi Germany. The RCAF Association awarded Ted Barris and Dam Busters its 2018 NORAD Trophy for “unequalled contribution to the preservation of Air Force values, traditions, history and heritage.” Rush to Danger: Medics in the Line of Fire, also published by HarperCollins, is Ted’s 19th non-fiction book. It was long-listed for the 2020 Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction in Canada. Ted’s 20th book, Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory was published in the fall of 2022 and immediately landed on the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star bestsellers lists. Following the book’s publication, Ted received word that he’d received Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Award, recognizing “extraordinary contributions to our community and Canada.”
On Dec. 29, 2022, Rideau Hall announced its latest Honours list. Ted Barris learned he will be appointed Member of the Order of Canada, “for advancing our understanding of Canadian military history as an acclaimed historical author, journalist and broadcaster.
Battle of the AtlanticIn the 20th century’s greatest war, one battlefield held the key to victory or defeat – the North Atlantic. It took 2,074 days and nights to determine its outcome, but the Battle of the Atlantic proved the turning point of the Second World War. The siege pitted German U-boats (attempting to destroy Allied transatlantic Merchant Navy convoys to the U.K.) against Royal Canadian Navy escorts and bomber-reconnaissance aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1939, Canada’s navy went to war with exactly 13 warships and about 3,500 sailors. During the desperate Atlantic crossings, the RCN grew to 400 fighting ships and over 100,000 men and women in uniform. By V-E Day in 1945, it had become the 4th largest navy in the world. The Battle of the Atlantic proved to be Canada’s longest continuous military engagement of the war.