In Book I, the author analyzes the impact of the British military model on the Canadian corps in terms of doctrine, training, command and staff appointments, equipment, and organization. He discusses the contribution of Canadian troops in World War I and the failure of the Canadian military to maintain a high level of professionalism in the interwar period. Drawing on archival records, particularly Montgomery's personal correspondence, the author offers new information on attempts to turn Canadian troops into an effective fighting force as late as 1943. Book II presents a critical analysis of Canadian operations in Normandy. The author gives special attention to the Canadian Army's inability to close the Falaise Gap in a timely manner--a delay that may have prolonged the war in Europe by several months. Providing both theoretical and practical perspectives on the relationship of peacetime preparation to the operation of large field forces in battle, this work will be of interest to students and buffs of military history and to professional analysts and strategic planners in the armed services.
Though he died in 1921, his name can still conjure up controversy and not a little misunderstanding. His long career—in so many respects the quintessential story of a poor backwoods Ontario farm boy who made good by his own efforts—continues to exert a fascination that few other Canadian political figures could duplicate.
Even though there has never been a major scholarly study of Sam Hughes, historians and other writers have developed definite opinions about him, and they are held nearly as vigorously as those of his contemporaries. These vary from insisting that Hughes was mentally unbalanced to proclaiming him a genius. Hughes’ defenders have rarely been professional historians. Neither side have not produced an extensive or definitive literature on Hughes in proportion to other figures of a similar public stature.
Whatever side the studies have taken, the assessments are still incomplete because they have not examined the entirety of Sam Hughes’ public life. To a large extent these limitations have allowed the folk image of him to persist. But Hughes had fibre and substance beyond this. Since historical figures must be explained in terms of their environment, this study tries to redress the previous imbalances by examining Hughes’ public career. It is the only way his historical significance can be explained and reasonable judgments made.