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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Building the Army’s Backbone

Canadian Non-Commissioned Officers in the Second World War

The remarkable story of how Canada built a corps of non-commissioned officers from scratch at the start of World War II.
When Canada declared war on Germany in 1939, its military comprised only about 4,000 active and 50,000 reserve personnel. Unable to function without a strong core of experienced noncommissioned officers, the military embarked on an ambitious recruitment and training regimen. Building the Army’s Backbone details the two-pronged approach improvised to meet this challenge: in addition to traditionally centralized training, deployed units would also train officers in the field. Their efforts succeeded thanks to a rotating group of the best-trained NCOs between operational forces, the reinforcement pool, and the training system.  As a result, Canada transformed thousands of civilians into officers seemingly overnight, armed with the skills necessary to help the army succeed in battle.

272 pages | 13 halftones, 2 figures, 26 tables | 6 x 9

Studies in Canadian Military History

History: Military History

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