An army may march on its stomach, but it needs more than hot dinners to fight. As Canadians battled through Northwest Europe in the late stages of the Second World War, how did they reinforce their front line? And at what cost?
An Army of Never-Ending Strength investigates the operational record of the First Canadian Army during 1944–45 to provide detailed insight into previously unexplored areas of its administrative systems, structure, and troop and equipment levels. Relying heavily on primary resources and data, Captain Arthur W. Gullachsen demonstrates the army’s effectiveness at replacing its losses. The units of its three traditional combat arms – infantry, armour, and artillery – were steadily reinforced and their strength sustained. Personnel challenges did arise for the Canadian Infantry Corps during the Normandy campaign, but their impact was temporary and has been largely overstated. Close analysis of monthly resources, losses, and replacement flow reveals that the total fighting power of the First Canadian Army was never inhibited for long.
An Army of Never-Ending Strength draws a powerful conclusion: the administrative and logistical capability of the Canadian Army created a constant state of overwhelming offensive strength, which made a marked contribution to eventual Allied victory.
This book not only offers original and important analysis for students and scholars of the Second World War but will also be a satisfying read for members of the Canadian Armed Forces and military history buffs throughout Canada.
Gullachsen shows how the Canadian Army constantly regenerated its fighting power through prompt replacement of men and weapons lost during the brutal battles for the liberation of Europe in 1944–45. He has mined a wealth of information buried deep in the archives to tell a story essential to understanding how the Canadian forces crushed a supremely tenacious enemy.
Arthur W. Gullachsen is an assistant professor in the History Department of the Royal Military College of Canada. He has published in the Canadian Military History Journal and Britain at War magazine and is a contributor to the Large-Scale Combat Operations series of the US Army University Press.
1 Personnel Reinforcements
2 The Sixty-Day Shortage
3 Vehicles and Weapons
4 Army Doctrine and Losses
5 Formations and Their Units
6 The Normandy Campaign
7 Channel Ports, Scheldt, and the River Mass
8 Veritable, Blockbuster, and War's End
9 An Assessment of Canadian Formations
Notes; Selected Bibliography; Index
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