A Thoroughly Canadian General: A Biography of General H. D. G. Crerar

A Thoroughly Canadian General: A Biography of General H. D. G. Crerar

by Paul Dickson


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A Thoroughly Canadian General: A Biography of General H. D. G. Crerar by Paul Dickson

General H.D.G. 'Harry' Crerar (1888-1965) was involved in or directly responsible for many of the defining moments of Canadian military history in the twentieth century. In the First World War, Crerar was nearly killed at the second battle of Ypres, was a gunner who helped to secure victory at Vimy Ridge, and was a senior staff officer during the pivotal battles of the last Hundred Days. During the Second World War, he occupied and often defined the Canadian army's senior staff and operational appointments, including his tenure as commander of First Canadian Army through the northwest European campaign.

Despite his pivotal role in shaping the Canadian army, however, General Crerar has been long overlooked as a subject of biography. In A Thoroughly Canadian General, Paul Douglas Dickson examines the man and his controversial place in Canadian military history, arguing that Crerar was a nationalist who saw the army as an instrument to promote Canadian identity and civic responsibility. From his days as a student at the Royal Military College in Kingston, to his role as primary architect of First Canadian Army, the career of General H.D.G. Crerar is thoroughly examined with a view to considering and reinforcing his place in the history of Canada and its armed forces.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802008022
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 11/28/2007
Pages: 528
Product dimensions: 6.35(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.77(d)

About the Author

Paul Douglas Dickson is a strategic analyst and military historian at the Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Department of National Defence.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     xiii
Abbreviations     xxi
Maps     xxv
Map Credits     xliv
Hamilton Roots     3
Baptism of Fire     25
The Killing Ground     46
Learning the Game     69
Stagnation     86
The Politics of Preparedness     100
Limited Liability War     118
Chief of the General Staff     137
Hong Kong and the Politics of Army Expansion     157
Father of First Canadian Army     174
Preparing 1st Canadian Corps     184
Dieppe     198
Replacing McNaughton     211
Corps Command in Italy     226
Taking Command of the Army     237
First Canadian Army and Overlord     260
The Normandy Campaign     283
The Learning Curve: Totalize and Tractable     304
Coalition Battles     321
First Canadian Army and the Scheldt     337
The Rhineland Offensive     360
Veritable: Crerar's Battle     381
The Final Campaign     401
Casting the Postwar Army     422
Fading Away     442
Notes     467
Bibliography     543
Index     559

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