Corps Commanders: Five British and Canadian Generals at War, 1939-45

Corps Commanders: Five British and Canadian Generals at War, 1939-45

by Douglas E. Delaney

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Overview

The five British and Canadian generals depicted in Corps Commanders were a surprisingly eclectic lot - one a consummate actor, one a quiet gentleman, one a master bureaucrat, one a brainy sort with little will, and the last a brain with will to spare. And yet they all fit readily into British Commonwealth armies and fought their corps in similar fashion. All three Canadians controlled British formations and served under British army commanders, and the two Britons worked for and led Canadians as well. Such inter-army adjustments were relatively simple because they all spoke the same "language" - a common method for solving military problems and communicating solutions. Like all senior commanders in the British Commonwealth, they learned the language of the staff colleges at Camberley and Quetta, and so did the staff officers that served them. This allowed a gunner from Montreal to understand a guardsman from London with ease - no small advantage when coordinating coalition battles involving tens of thousands of troops.

In probing how these corps commanders fought, Douglas E. Delaney has produced an invaluable study for anyone interested in coalition warfare, interoperability, or how men managed large formations in war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780774820905
Publisher: University of British Columbia Press
Publication date: 01/25/2012
Series: Studies in Canadian Military History Series Published in association with the Canadian War Museum
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Table of Contents

List of illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Foreword xiii

Abbreviations xv

Introduction: Who, How, and the Common Ground 1

1 The Actor: Lieutenant-General Sir Brian Horrocks 10

2 Wit in Want of Will: Lieutenant-General E.L.M. Burns 59

3 The Quiet Gentleman: General Sir John Crocker 122

4 Wit with Will to Spare: Lieutenant-General Guy Granville Simonds 189

5 The Master Bureaucrat: General Charles Foulkes 255

Observations and Conclusions 296

Notes 306

Bibliography 356

Index 364

What People are Saying About This

David French

Corps Commanders does more than just show how the British and Canadian armies shared a common doctrine and forms of organization. Dr. Delaney has also provided answers to one of the most fundamental questions that military historians ought to ask about any army, which is not just who commanded them but how did they did so. . . . This is one of the most enlightening books about how generals actually fought battles that you are likely to read.

The Times of London - Michael Tillotson

Delaney's book offers a relevant prompting of the importance of rigorous study of intelligence, thorough pre—operational training and comprehensive equipment and logistic support for any new campaign or operational initiative.

Stephen A. Hart

Corps Commanders will become a highly regarded contribution to its field. It is excellent at analyzing how the corps headquarters actually functioned in the Second World War. The scholarship is impressive, with a mastery of both the relevant archival and secondary sources. Its engaging style will appeal equally to general readers interested in the Second World War, as well as to serious students of military history. Delaney's book ought to be essential reading in every Western military educational institution.

From the Publisher

"Corps Commanders will become a highly regarded contribution to its field. It is excellent at analyzing how the corps headquarters actually functioned in the Second World War. The scholarship is impressive, with a mastery of both the relevant archival and secondary sources. Its engaging style will appeal equally to general readers interested in the Second World War, as well as to serious students of military history. Delaney's book ought to be essential reading in every Western military educational institution."—Stephen A. Hart, War Studies Department, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

"Given the scope of the fighting, corps level command was critical during the Second World War, and Delaney's work is the first to focus on that level. Corps Commanders is an original, superbly written book."—Stephen Harris, Chief Historian, Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defence Headquarters

"Delaney's book offers a relevant prompting of the importance of rigorous study of intelligence, thorough pre—operational training and comprehensive equipment and logistic support for any new campaign or operational initiative."—Michael Tillotson, The Times of London

"Corps Commanders does more than just show how the British and Canadian armies shared a common doctrine and forms of organization. Dr. Delaney has also provided answers to one of the most fundamental questions that military historians ought to ask about any army, which is not just who commanded them but how did they did so. . . . This is one of the most enlightening books about how generals actually fought battles that you are likely to read."—David French, Professor Emeritus, University College London

Stephen Harris

Given the scope of the fighting, corps level command was critical during the Second World War, and Delaney's work is the first to focus on that level. Corps Commanders is an original, superbly written book.

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