Although many modern studies of technology and war focus on tanks and armour, soldiers from the Second World War onward have discovered that success depends on a combination of infantry, armour, and artillery to form combat teams.
Canada’s Mechanized Infantry explores the largely ignored development of the infantry in the Canadian Army after the First World War and exposes the intellectual and cultural barriers it faced as it introduced armoured vehicles and vehicle-mounted weapons. Peter Kasurak demonstrates how Canadian forces, building on British Army experiments from the 1920s, implemented successful infantry vehicles and doctrine to ultimately further their military goals during the Second World War. These advancements were abandoned in the postwar period, however, even as the army quickly developed mechanized infantry in response to the possibility of a nuclear war in Europe. Progress was slowed by a top-down culture and an unwillingness to abandon conventional thinking on the primacy of foot infantry and regimental organization. Post-Afghanistan, the army has yet to resolve these central issues.
This insightful book is the first to examine the challenges that have confronted the Canadian Army in transforming its infantry from First World War foot soldiers into a twenty-first-century combat force integrating soldiers, vehicles, weapons, and electronics.
Military historians, political scientists, serving officers, and public servants, as well as general readers with an interest in the Canadian Army or mechanized warfare, will all find this book compelling reading.
Peter Kasurak draws on Canadian and allied military doctrine, the hard lessons gained from conflict, and pragmatic defence-spending decisions to explore the evolution of Canada’s mechanized infantry. The result is a book that fills a gap in Canadian military historiography.
The infantry is the heart of any fighting army. Canada’s Mechanized Infantry provides a comprehensive history of the thinking underlying the development and, at times, non-development, of this important branch of the Canadian military. This book will fascinate soldiers and scholars alike.
Part 1: Second World War
1 Pre-War Theorizing
2 Learning from Experience
Part 2: Post–Second World War
3 The Concept of a Mechanized Force
4 The Bobcat
5 Implementing the Mechanized Force
Part 3: Cold War Era and Beyond
6 The Imagined War
7 Lightweight? Mediumweight? Heavyweight?
Appendix; Note on Sources; Notes; Bibliography; Index
The Politics of Procurement
Military Acquisition in Canada and the Sea King Helicopter
The Price of Alliance
The Politics and Procurement of Leopard Tanks for Canada’s NATO Brigade
By Frank Maas
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