Browsing Theses and Dissertations by Author "MacDonald, Britton"
The Policy of Neglect: The Canadian Militia in the Interwar Years, 1919-39Urwin, Gregory J. W., 1955-; Immerman, Richard H.; Lockenour, Jay, 1966-; Bercuson, David Jay (Temple University. Libraries, 2008)The Canadian Militia, since its beginning, has been underfunded and under-supported by the government, no matter which political party was in power. This trend continued throughout the interwar years of 1919 to 1939. During these years, the Militia's members had to improvise a great deal of the time in their efforts to attain military effectiveness. This included much of their training, which they often funded with their own pay. They created their own training apparatuses, such as mock tanks, so that their preparations had a hint of realism. Officers designed interesting and unique exercises to challenge their personnel. All these actions helped create esprit de corps in the Militia, particularly the half composed of citizen soldiers, the Non-Permanent Active Militia. The regulars, the Permanent Active Militia (or Permanent Force), also relied on their own efforts to improve themselves as soldiers. They found intellectual nourishment in an excellent service journal, the Canadian Defence Quarterly, and British schools. The Militia learned to endure in these years because of all the trials its members faced. The interwar years are important for their impact on how the Canadian Army (as it was known after 1940) would fight the Second World War. To put it simply, the interwar years forced the Militia to focus on officer, NCO, and specialist development, creating a highly trained and effective nucleus of key personnel. This leadership core led Canada's land-based contribution to the war effort. Another important factor in the Canadian Army's performance was the Militia's interwar interest in mechanization, which revealed a remarkably progressive strain in this neglected organization.