OP Apollo Book Review
© 2004 FrontLine Defence (Vol 1, No 4)

Author: Richard Gimblett
Published by: Magic Light Publishing in cooperation with DND & PWGSC
Retail Price: $24.95 in Canada

Book Review by: Jerrod Riley
© 2004 FrontLine Defence (Vol 1, No 4)

Anyone who might question the relevance of Canada’s naval service needs to read Richard Gimblett’s new book. Operation Apollo: The Golden Age of the Canadian Navy in the War Against Terrorism. Richard’s vast experience, most significantly his 27 year naval career, has enabled him to capture Canada’s important contribution to the War on Terrorism in an insightful and cohesive presentation. The rich illustrations, photos and even humour (such as the entry on page 95 entitled “Canada has a warship?”) make this book accessible to each and every Canadian.

This is possibly the greatest accomplishment of Gimblett’s account of Op Apollo. It is not a dry historical analysis. It is as dynamic as the Navy itself and provides compelling testimony for one of the most remarkable chapters in our relatively brief but accomplished naval history.

The accessibility Gimblett was afforded by the Navy is noteworthy as well. Such an accurate depiction could not have been achieved without the full cooperation of the Navy. From the crew members he visited in the Arabian Sea to the upper echelons of the Command Staff, it is clear that the sailors wanted this story to be told and trusted Richard to tell it well.

In days where sensationalism and ­negativity reign in the media, Canadians are often only exposed to the negative ­elements of Canada’s Military.

Operation Apollo: The Golden Age of the Canadian Navy in the War Against Terrorism presents a balanced account that Canadians need to see if they are ever to fully appreciate the dedication, professionalism and self-sacrifice that define the men and women of our Navy – the credit they bring to our nation through operations like Apollo and the opportunity for a variety of national responses to crisis or emerging situations that a modern and capable navy provides to our political leadership.

Congratulations to Richard Gimblett for a final product worthy of its subject. Op Apollo is a “must have” for naval enthusiasts and is a welcome addition to the Navy League’s library.

Jerrod Riley is the National Deputy Director of The Navy League of Canada.
© FrontLine Defence 2004