The DEW Line Years

The DEW Line Years

Voices From the Coldest Cold War

Book - 2007
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The North Pole seems an unlikely theatre of war. Yet in the 1950s, at the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, thousands of young men from various countries were recruited to build and operate a complex radar system across the Arctic Circle from Alaska to Greenland.

The Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line, as the mammoth radar fence was known, was spawned from American fear that Soviet bomber aircraft might penetrate the Canadian Arctic airspace and drop nuclear weapons on American cities and military bases.

This books tells the stories of those DEW Liners who worked in the hostile, remote climate of the North. Survival was a daily preoccupation in a land where outdoor temperatures can dip to minus 50 degrees with winds exceeding one hundred miles an hour while blinding snowfall whiteouts make vision impossible.

The stories of the DEW Liners reveal real danger here -- not from Soviet bombers but from close encounters with polar bears, job-related accidents and airplane crashes, such as the one that claimed the author's father. There are, however, also tales of fun, practical jokes, comradery and human kindness that boosted the morale of those stationed in the far north.

The veterans of this northern experience, whose narratives have been collected by the author, reveal all about their sentinel role in that tense time half a century ago when they dedicated their lives to helping to prevent nuclear war.
Publisher: Lawrencetown Beach, N.S. : Pottersfield Press, c2007
ISBN: 9781895900873
Branch Call Number: 358.41450971 Dic 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 208 p. :,ill


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Jun 21, 2011

This book provides a rare insight into what life on the DEW line was really like. It focuses primarily on the early years, with stories from the men and women that worked there. Their day to day lives, and the experience of living in the arctic are both described in detail, with many humorous anecdotes. Anyone who worked on the DEW line, or knows someone who did, will enjoy this book. It was a very interesting chapter in Canadian history.

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