Free Essay

The Rise of Canadian Military Professionalism in World War 1

In: Historical Events

Submitted By mare2mare71
Words 792
Pages 4
The Rise of Canadian Military Professionalism in World War 1

Paul Dickson in his article “The End of the Beginning: The Canadian Corps in 1917,” attempts to answer the question of what factors were responsible for the turnaround in professionalism and capability of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the later half of the First World War.

The author’s thesis is that the Canadian Corps that fought at Vimy Ridge was not the superlative force that the Canadian public thought they were. In fact, during the early period of World War I, before 1916, the Canadian Corps was still in its infancy and definitely undergoing teething troubles, even though the beginning of a firm and solid base was slowly developing. “The Canadian Corps that took Vimy Ridge was not the “elite” formation it would become in 1918, but the foundation was firmly in place.” Prior to 1916, the author explains that the key ingredients to success that are described as “good habits” and a “good organizational culture” , were not fully in place and prevented the CEF from reaching its maximum operational effectiveness.

Dickson is intrigued with the CEF in that there was an element that made them unique to both their Allied and Axis counterparts allowing them to reach this “elite” plateau, as the “Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) shared many of the problems encountered by other armies on the Western Front…” . He attempts to explore this question and seek answers. Was it better equipment, demographic or genetic differences? Dickson explores this and notes that from a battlefield perspective, CEF soldiers were faced with the same challenges that the British, French and German forces faced in particular concerning the rapid advances in battlefield technologies. As well, the Canadian soldier was “…not far different from the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) at the beginning of the war… (as)…enlistment standards were similar.” Therefore, from a tactical and genetic perspective, there simply does not appear to be any notable denominator that can attribute the sudden change.

In any conflict, attrition of soldiers, in particular ones leadership, can have a detrimental effect on the ability for an army to have success. Here, the CEF may have had a slight advantage over the BEF in terms of lower casualty rates and leadership turnover. Dickson provides evidence that the casualty rates from both the CEF and BEF were astronomically high. Among the CEF, the rate through 1915 and 1916 was approximately eighty-seven percent casualties while among the BEF, one study had estimated around ninety-seven percent. Both rates are extremely high, and although it could be argued that the CEF may have an edge concerning this area over the BEF, when any military force is losing close to 90% of its force there simply isn’t the levels of continuity to give one an edge. The CEF with such a high casualty rate as well, would only have a slight advantage over their counterparts, yet it would certainly be negligible.

The author also explores another area in examining the equipment used, in an attempt to see whether this may have been a factor, yet quickly discovers that all things considered, the CEF certainly did not have an advantage in this area either. With such poor equipment such as their main infantry weapon the Ross Rifle which jammed at critical moments, the famous shovel with a hole in it, and the combat boots and webbing that would shred and fall to pieces, The CEF certainly did not hold an advantage in this regard, and in fact the CEF quickly sought to replace the Ross Rifle with the British Lee Enfield as soon as they could convince the Canadian government through the casualty statistics.

The single factor that Dickson believes contributed to a turnaround for the CEF was the change in military culture that now began to encourage; with the approval of Canadian political ministers, a break from all the rigid conventions of the British Army. The result of this was that Canadian commanders were given far more liberty to begin making their own decisions on the battlefield, and just as importantly, had the freedom to begin to do things differently. Equally important, CEF commanders were rewarded for displays of innovation creating an entirely different shift of culture that would lead to battlefield successes.

The author has illustrated how important a strong individual culture can be in the overall effectiveness of a military. By breaking away from its Allies and nurturing its own individual identity, the CEF began the process of growth with its own identity. As Dickson indicates, once this was in place, the CEF developed its “elite” status.

References:

Paul Dickson, “The End of the Beginning: The Canadian Corps in 1917,” in Course Reader (Lesson 5), p.31.…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Causes or World War 1

...World war one sparked with the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophie. Ferdinand was heir to the Austria-Hungary throne. The killer, a nineteen-years-old Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip, was part of a Serbian terrorist group called “Young Bosnians”, in association with the “Black Hand”, a Serbian government terrorist movement. Few people foresaw that a cataclysmic world war would soon follow. After the assassination, Germany encouraged Austria-Hungary not to deal with the Serbs, but to crush them once and for all. (Serbia and Austria-Hungary had a past with a lot of tensions.) Germany guaranteed full military support, which is called a “blank check”. Sure of the German support, Austria-Hungary issued an Ultimatum of 48 hours to Serbia, who did not accept every demand. This became the excuse for a war that would plunge Europe into darkness. In less than five weeks, a full-scale war broke out, caused by a domino effect and the mobilizations ways. Every country could move their army in a matter of hours and days, given the speed that railroads made possible. The domino effect first started when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia in attempt to solve its problems in the Balkans, and Germany encouraged this aggression as part of their own personal plan to control Central Europe. Russia mobilized to support its ally Serbia and extend its own influence. France mobilized to fulfill the terms of its alliance with Russia and get revenged on...

Words: 348 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

World War 1 Deffinations

...WORLD WAR I DEFFINATIONS Part 1 Europe was keen for a war, and after the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir of the throne of Austria-Hungary in Sarajevo, Serbia, was the major trigger – or excuse – for the outbreak of the war. The assassinator was Gavrilo Princip, a member of the nationalistic Serbian group “Black Hand”. Ferdinand’s assassination resulted that Austria-Hungary gave Serbia an impossible ultimatum. This also resulted to the “July Crisis”, which was a diplomatic crisis among the major powers of Europe in the summer of 1914. A month after the assassination, Austria-Hungary declared war. The First World was about to begin. Before the outbreak of the war, a lot of things happened around in Europe. First the German Empire got united in 1871 by Bismarck, and this large and second most powerful country was desperate to become the most powerful country in Europe. This new country was late in the race for colonies, and they wanted a “Place in the Sun”. The new German ruler, Kaiser Wilhelm II, who was married to Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, had a dream about having a massive navel like the British. Britain saw this like a threat, and decided to build Dreadnought, a fast and very dangerous boat. Alfred von Tirpitz was considered as the founder of the German navy. Other countries like Russia was also interested in the Balkans, which would be strategic important for the Russian Empire. Russia was desperate for an ice free......

Words: 645 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

World War 1

...Causes and Effects of World War 1 World War 1 also known a the First World War or the War to End all Wars, was a world conflict lasting from 1914 to 1919 with the fighting lasting until1918. The war was fought by the Allies on one side, and the Central Powers on the other. No previous conflict had mobilised so many soldiers or involved so many in the field of battle. By its end, the war had become the second bloodiest conflict in recorded history. More than 9 million people died on the battlefield, and nearly that many more on the home fronts because of food shortages, genocide and ground combat. To set the stage for World War 1, many countries had agreed to alliances between the years of 1879 and 1914. First, Germany and Austria-Hungary made an alliance designed to protect themselves from Russia in 1879, then Austria-Hungary with Serbia and Germany, Britain with Russia and Russia with France. So by the time World War 1 started most of the European countries were sworn to fight for each-other and as a result, all of them had to take part in the war. As a consequence of imperialism, countries were becoming increasingly effective in acquiring materials, processing them, and selling them as goods. For this reason, many countries, especially in Europe need more land from which they can gain resources. Another aspect causing World War 1-militarism. Due to the earlier mentioned alliances, European countries felt that they need better military and battlefield, as a......

Words: 314 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Peacemaking and Its Role in Bolstering Canadian Military Professionalism

...and Its Role in Bolstering Canadian Military Professionalism 16 December 2010 As the international view on how combat effectiveness is measured shifts with the change in how international conflicts are resolved, the role of the Canadians as peacekeepers has come under scrutiny. It has been argued that Canada's close tied with the United States has diminished the Canadian Force's relevance and ability to remain current in the modern theatre of war. However, Canada's participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations since 1945 has been a major factor in maintaining and enhancing military professionalism within the CF for the following reasons: 1. Peacekeeping is a dynamic role, always changing and evolving. 2. Peacekeeping and peacebuilding keeps the integrity Canada’s forces a strong presence both at home and on the international stage. 3. The training involved in performing these roles increases the diversity of the Canadian military. This paper will define what is meant when referring to military professionalism. It will then examine how peacekeeping is defined by the United Nations, the legacy of peacekeeping, and how it is born out of a tradition of combat. There will be a discussion about training peacekeepers, and how the Canadian Forces' role as a peacekeeper impacts our international relationships. In conclusion, the relevance of the CF's support missions and how they do indeed bolster its professionalism will be indisputable.......

Words: 2972 - Pages: 12

Premium Essay

The Causes of World War 1

...Top 5 Causes of World War 1 By Martin Kelly World War 1 is actually much more complicated than a simple list of causes. While there was a chain of events that directly led to the fighting, the actual root causes are much deeper and part of continued debate and discussion. This list is an overview of the most popular reasons that are cited as the root causes of World War 1. 1. Mutual Defense Alliances Over time, countries throughout Europe made mutual defense agreements that would pull them into battle. Thus, if one country was attacked, allied countries were bound to defend them. Before World War 1, the following alliances existed: Russia and Serbia Germany and Austria-Hungary France and Russia Britain and France and Belgium Japan and Britain Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Russia got involved to defend Serbia. Germany seeing Russia mobilizing, declared war on Russia. France was then drawn in against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Germany attacked France through Belgium pulling Britain into war. Then Japan entered the war. Later, Italy and the United States would enter on the side of the allies. Ads Download Free Mobile Apps mobogenie.com Download Mobile Apps, Games, Themes For Free From Mobogenie. Download ! Best Job Interview Plan careerconfidential.com/30_60_90 Don't Go WithOut a Interview Plan So You Get The Offer! Read More. Used car for sale Nigeria www.carxus.com Thousands of cars for sale by local Nigeria sellers and car dealers 2. Imperialism Imperialism is......

Words: 592 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

World War 1 Essay

...Do you agree that on the whole, the soldiers in the British Army were well treated by the military authorities? I do agree that soldiers on the whole, in the British Army were well treated by military authorities; this is because many soldiers were able to do many things to keep them entertained and maintain their morale. For example in source 4 it states that “The game-bingo today was the only game of chance allowed in the army” this clearly states that soldiers were able to relax and play games to keep them entertained, this is crucial that the military authorities as allowed the soldiers to play games such as bingo as it reduces mental illnesses such as shellshock as it can take the soldiers minds off of the battlefield and the war in general. In addition to this soldiers were able to go to the pubs in the local towns in France or Belgium to have a drink and relax; also they had football matches and played in bands. This was crucial as the soldiers were able to address there boredom which would further maintain their morale and this is crucial when they are on the battlefield. However there were restrictions on the games they could play also such as “Crown and Anchor, Banker of Pontoon” this shows that were not well treated as there were some games that they could not play also, this means that soldiers had the opportunity’s to rebel against military authorities which means the soldiers would obtain punishments if caught like losing a day’s pay, this punishment can......

Words: 1068 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

World War 1

...World War I (WWI or WW1 or World War One), also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. More than 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians died as a result of the war, a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents' technological and industrial sophistication, and tactical stalemate. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved.[5] The war drew in all the world's economic great powers,[6] which were assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (based on the Triple Entente of the United Kingdom, France and the Russian Empire) and the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. Although Italy had also been a member of the Triple Alliance alongside Germany and Austria-Hungary, it did not join the Central Powers, as Austria-Hungary had taken the offensive against the terms of the alliance.[7] These alliances were reorganised and expanded as more nations entered the war: Italy, Japan and the United States joined the Allies, and the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria the Central Powers. Ultimately, more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history.[8][9] The immediate trigger for war was the 28 June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by...

Words: 661 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

World War 1

...About World War I "Total War I: The Great War" by John Bourne The First World War was truly ‘the Great War’. Its origins were complex. Its scale was vast. Its conduct was intense. Its impact on military operations was revolutionary. Its human and material costs were enormous. And its results were profound. The war was a global conflict. Thirty-two nations were eventually involved. Twenty-eight of these constituted the Allied and Associated Powers, whose principal belligerents were the British Empire, France, Italy, Russia, Serbia, and the United States of America. They were opposed by the Central Powers: Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire. The war began in the Balkan cockpit of competing nationalisms and ancient ethnic rivalries. Hopes that it could be contained there proved vain. Expansion of the war was swift. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on 28 July 1914; Germany declared war on Russia on 1 August. Germany declared war on France on 3 August and invaded Belgium. France was invaded on 4 August. German violation of Belgian neutrality provided the British with a convenient excuse to enter the war on the side of France and Russia the same evening. Austria-Hungary declared war on Russia on 6 August. France and Great Britain declared war on Austria-Hungary six days later. The underlying causes of these events have been intensively researched and debated. Modern scholars are less inclined to allocate blame for the outbreak of war......

Words: 7684 - Pages: 31

Premium Essay

World War 1

...The Great World History Debate: “Were German Militarism and Diplomacy Responsible for World War I?” Name Course Date The World War I, among other significant historical events, is the most deliberated event of the 20th century. Indeed, it is accredited to changing the course of the world's history giving it a new dimension to ponder on for the next centuries. Rise of communism, one of the world's most controversial ideologies, was linked to the catastrophic episode. Nonetheless, powerful empires like Austria, Turkey, Russia and Germany saw their rise and fall in communism. In addition, the war resulted to the most number of deaths and annihilation compared to other cataclysmic events in history. In the light of these horrendous outcomes, an undying curiosity arose among renowned historians and researchers in search for answers as to who was the protagonist of the war. The underlying question has been whether Germany was solely responsible for World War I given their military strength and diplomatic prowess. Notorious Professor V.R. Berghahn and Professor Samuel R. Williamson clash in a battle of wit in attempts to shed clear lights on Germany as the cause of World War I. Professor V.R. Berghahn believes that there is great depth of literature that evidences the role of Germany in the heinous unfolding. These evidences, both military and diplomatic certify the German empire as the main protagonist of the First World War (1914-1918). On the other hand, Professor Samuel......

Words: 1467 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

World War 1

...Wyatt Rodriguez 9/30/15 1st period World War One Causes Various events took place in Europe, assassination, betrayal, alliances, and territorial disputes. Each of these events taking shape towards a war that would unite the world in a single fight. With the traits of nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and alliances being the motivators in the world wide war. Throughout time there have always been alliances, with different races forming together for single causes. Hence Rudyard Kipling’s quote in 1905 “Oh East is East, and West is West… But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth, when two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of earth!” There was no exception in World War one, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Russia went to defend against the Austrians’ with Serbia. With Russia in the fight, Germany declared war upon Russia, eventually leading France into the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary. With Germanys’ attack on Belgium, it provoked the British and included them as well into the nationwide war. Japan later joined as well on the Allies side, and with the sinking of the Lusitania the United States, Britain, and Italy went into the war fully. Imperialism was already enforced before the war, with most of Europe looking to take certain points within Asia and Africa. These points proved advantages and disadvantages to some of the warring countries. When the war was ready to commence the controlled......

Words: 704 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

World War 1

...World War I World War one was a outrageous war that hurt a lot of innocent people. And the following reasons are why I think that the U.S should have not gone to war. I think the U.S should not go to war because I honestly think that there was no reason for America to interfere. Should the United States have entered the war? The first reason why i think the U.S should not go to war is because wars cost a lot of money. A lot of money was needed to provide the weapons,transportation,and the basic needs for the soldiers. This money didn't come cheap, people got taxed and war bond got developed. One positive side about this was that more jobs have gotten open to help make weapons. My second reason why the united states should have not go to war is because it was not there war to fight. The war was between Germany and Great Britain. Germany had attacked britain, and the americans died on the lusitania. The United States were trade partners with Great Britain and Germany didn't like it because the united states were helping out Great Britain with supplies. But sooner or later this lead germany attacking U.S ships that were sent.After they attacked the ships the u.s had no choice but to declare war. Although the u.s were weak britain could easily have defended itself without any american help whatsoever. Another reason why is because we just might have declared an embargo against the shipping from the american ports of any of the merchandise to either one of these governments that...

Words: 285 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Essay World War 1

...of the 19th century, American foreign policy shifted from George Washington’s isolationist ideology to more of a policy focused on imperialism. Within this ideology were many discrepancies that displayed increasing power and influence in the world. In order to garner the support of the general public, the federal government was forced to increase its power by political and economic means, which restricted the civil liberties of the general public. In order to get ready for the upcoming war, the government had to mobilize by political means. One way of doing this was by ways of the creel organization. This group, which employed over 150,000 employees, used words to sway the public opinion on the war. The company sent out over 75,000 individuals to give 4 minute speeches on the necessity of participating in the upcoming war. These “4 minute men” helped sway the general public into acceptance for the war. The numerous billboards, pamphlets, and propaganda against the “huns” and the appeal of the “boys” in uniform led to public approval of the war. Next, the federal government expanded enormously in size, scope, and power. It virtually nationalized the ocean shipping industry. This displayed the increasing power of the government in its war goals. It nationalized the railroad, telephone, domestic telegraph, and international telegraphic cable industries. It became deeply engaged in manipulating labor-management relations, securities sales, agricultural production and......

Words: 1509 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

World War 1

...   30318083   Pg  1   Causes  of  World  War  1     The  First  World  War  occurred  between  July  1914,  and  November  11,  1918.  The   official  starting  date  of  the  War  is  listed  as  the  4th  of  August  1914,  when  Britain   declared  war  on  Germany.  The  War  ended  with  Germany  signing  the  Treaty  of   Versailles,  a  peace  treaty  that  acknowledged  Germany  as  the  main  perpetrator  of   the  War.  The  end  of  the  War  would  see  over  seventeen  million  people  killed,   including  over  sixty-­‐two  thousand  Australian  soldiers.  The  main  reasons  as  to   why  war  erupted  is  a  very  complex  matter  much  more  complicated  than  just  a   simple  list  of  causes.  Although  there  was  a  chain  of  events  that  directly  and   inevitably  led  to  the  fighting  itself,  the  actual  original  causes  of  the  War  are  much   more  profound,  and  are  still  a  part  of  continued  debates  and  discussions  today.   The  First  World  War  saw  causes  such ...

Words: 1026 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

World War 1

...World War I was a down moment for America, a time when an isolationist nation involved itself in world affairs and began the rise to the economic and military power that America is today. After keeping out of the conflict that had been ravaging Europe for nearly three years, President Woodrow Wilson took America to war only months after winning an election on the slogan "He Kept us Out of War." Claiming that American intervention was needed to “make the world safe for democracy,” Wilson sent over two million men to Europe, of who over 100,000 would never return. World War I marked the end of the old order in Europe. The United States was not a nation ready for war in 1914. With a small army and a pitiful navy, the U.S. was no match for either side in the great conflagration in Flanders' Fields. As the war continued, however, German use of submarines to sink neutral shipping—including, most famously, the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 with the death of almost 1,200 people, 128 of them Americans—brought American public opinion to the Allied side. Constant British propaganda efforts, culminating in the Zimmermann Telegram of February 1917, coupled with the German resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare and drew America into the war. Wilson quickly developed an ideological goal of freedom and democracy, and committed the people of the United States to fight for these principles. When America entered the war in April 1917, nearly three years of horrific slaughter had......

Words: 879 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

World War 1 Summary

...The Start of the War World War I began on July 28, 1914, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. This seemingly small conflict between two countries spread rapidly: soon, Germany, Russia, Great Britain, and France were all drawn into the war, largely because they were involved in treaties that obligated them to defend certain other nations. Western and eastern fronts quickly opened along the borders of Germany and Austria-Hungary. The Western and Eastern Fronts The first month of combat consisted of bold attacks and rapid troop movements on both fronts. In the west, Germany attacked first Belgium and then France. In the east, Russia attacked both Germany and Austria-Hungary. In the south, Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia. Following the Battle of the Marne (September 5–9, 1914), the western front became entrenched in central France and remained that way for the rest of the war. The fronts in the east also gradually locked into place. The Ottoman Empire Late in 1914, the Ottoman Empire was brought into the fray as well, after Germany tricked Russia into thinking that Turkey had attacked it. As a result, much of 1915 was dominated by Allied actions against the Ottomans in the Mediterranean. First, Britain and France launched a failed attack on the Dardanelles. This campaign was followed by the British invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula. Britain also launched a separate campaign against the Turks in Mesopotamia. Although the British had some successes in......

Words: 683 - Pages: 3