The Canadian Army Command Culture in World War II: A Study of Operational Effectiveness in the European Theater
Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
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The Canadian Army entered World War II with approximately 4,000 regular and 34,000 reservist military personnel, including only forty-five British staff college graduates. By 1945, it had grown to a total force of 730,625 members with 288,000 serving in Europe. 1st Canadian Army fought as a formation under 21st Army Group AG from 1944 to the end of the war in the European theater. The following monograph provides insights into the implications of the command culture of the World War II Canadian Army on its operational effectiveness in the European theater. It aims to enable awareness of the continuities, potential cognitive dissonance, and opportunities when implementing doctrine for direct engagement in large-scale combat operations. Using the theory of Edgar H. Schein and its adaptation by Eitan Shamir to the military domain, the author defines command culture as the product of the interrelated cultural elements categorized under basic assumptions, espoused values, and artifacts that influence the activities of leadership, management, and decision making in a military organization. Using a military history case study methodology, he demonstrates its implication on operational effectiveness in the 1944 European theater of operations during the Falaise pocket and the Scheldt campaigns through the lens of the elements of operational art. He asserts that the command culture of the Canadian Army in World War II reflected the ambivalent attitude of the government and population towards war and the military profession, the primacy of British military influence, and the organizational structure and roles assigned within the institution. On the battlefield, it hindered the ability of second echelon forces to create cognitive disruption but enabled interoperability within 21st AG.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Military Forces and Organizations