Corps Commanders
Paperback
Release Date:01 Jan 2012
ISBN:9780774820905
Hardcover
Release Date:15 Apr 2011
ISBN:9780774820899
PDF
Release Date:01 May 2011
ISBN:9780774820912
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Corps Commanders

Five British and Canadian Generals at War, 1939-45

UBC Press

The five British and Canadian generals depicted in Corps Commanders were a surprisingly eclectic lot – one a consummate actor, one a quiet gentleman, one a master bureaucrat, one a brainy sort with little will, and the last a brain with will to spare. And yet they all fit readily into British Commonwealth armies and fought their corps in similar fashion. All three Canadians controlled British formations and served under British army commanders, and the two Britons worked for and led Canadians as well. Such inter-army adjustments were relatively simple because they all spoke the same “language” – a common method for solving military problems and communicating solutions. Like all senior commanders in the British Commonwealth, they learned the language of the staff colleges at Camberley and Quetta, and so did the staff officers that served them. This allowed a gunner from Montreal to understand a guardsman from London with ease – no small advantage when coordinating coalition battles involving tens of thousands of troops.

In probing how these corps commanders fought, Douglas E. Delaney has produced an invaluable study for anyone interested in coalition warfare, interoperability, or how men managed large formations in war.

Corps Commanders is an immensely readable study that will have great appeal to British, American, and Canadian military professionals and historians, as well as general readers with an interest in the Second World War.

Awards

  • 2011, Commended - C.P. Stacey Award, Canadian Historical Committee for the History of the Second World War and for Military History
The great strength of Delaney's work is that it is not broad brush, but rather delves into the intricacies of this highest level of tactical command. This is military history at its best – and in stressing that all five commanders passed through the imperial staff colleges of Camberley or Quetta in India, Delaney also reminds readers that Canadians fought the war as British subjects who never expected their empire to fall. John A. English, Journal of Military History
Meticulously researched ... Corps Commanders is an important addition to the body of knowledge on the Second World War and the study of command. The many lessons on leadership and command that emerge are timeless and are as relevant today as they were then ... this is an outstanding book that should be read by all aspiring leaders and commanders, and as early in their careers as possible. It is also strongly recommended for all military members of any rank, as well as for historians and anyone who is interested in the profession of arms.
Delaney's book offers a relevant prompting of the importance of rigorous study of intelligence, thorough pre-operational training and comprehensive equipment and logistic support for any new campaign or operational initiative. Michael Tillotson, The Times of London
The great strength of Delaney's work is that it is not broad brush, but rather delves into the intricacies of this highest level of tactical command. This is military history at its best – and in stressing that all five commanders passed through the imperial staff colleges of Camberley or Quetta in India, Delaney also reminds readers that Canadians fought the war as British subjects who never expected their empire to fall. John A. English, Journal of Military History
This is a brilliant book. Dr. Doug Delaney…has written an incredibly valuable book that delivers on several levels. Colonel Bernd Horn, Canadian Miltiary History Journal, Vol 12, No 1
Delaney has done an incredible amount of research, mining eleven major archives in three countries along with a number of private collections. This addition to the University of British Columbia Press and Canadian War Museum’s 'Studies in Canadian Military History' series is an exemplification of strong scholarly work that is breaking new ground in the field of military history. http://www.canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/review-of-douglas-e-delaneys-corps-commanders%E2%80%AF-five-british-and-canadian-generals-at-war-1939-45-by-william-pratt/ William Pratt, Canadian Military History Journal
Given the scope of the fighting, corps level command was critical during the Second World War, and Delaney’s work is the first to focus on that level. Corps Commanders is an original, superbly written book. Stephen Harris, Chief Historian, Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defence Headquarters
Corps Commanders will become a highly regarded contribution to its field. It is excellent at analyzing how the corps headquarters actually functioned in the Second World War. The scholarship is impressive, with a mastery of both the relevant archival and secondary sources. Its engaging style will appeal equally to general readers interested in the Second World War, as well as to serious students of military history. Delaney’s book ought to be essential reading in every Western military educational institution. Stephen A. Hart, War Studies Department, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Douglas E. Delaney is an associate professor of history and chair of war studies at the Royal Military College of Canada.

Foreword / David French

Introduction: Who, How, and the Common Ground

1 The Actor: Lieutenant-General Sir Brian Horrocks

2 Wit in Want of Will: Lieutenant-General E.L.M. Burns

3 The Quiet Gentleman: General Sir John Crocker

4 Wit with Will to Spare: Lieutenant-General Guy Granville Simonds

5 The Master Bureaucrat: General Charles Foulkes

Observations and Conclusions

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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