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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Canada’s Mechanized Infantry

The Evolution of a Combat Arm, 1920–2012

Although many modern studies of technology and war focus on tanks and armour, soldiers from the Second World War onward have discovered that success depends on a combination of infantry, armour, and artillery to form combat teams.
Canada’s Mechanized Infantry explores the largely ignored development of the infantry in the Canadian Army after the First World War and exposes the intellectual and cultural barriers it faced as it introduced armoured vehicles and vehicle-mounted weapons. Peter Kasurak demonstrates how Canadian forces, building on British Army experiments from the 1920s, implemented successful infantry vehicles and doctrine to ultimately further their military goals during the Second World War. These advancements were abandoned in the postwar period, however, even as the army quickly developed mechanized infantry  in response to the possibility of a nuclear war in Europe. Progress was slowed by a top-down culture and an unwillingness to abandon conventional thinking on the primacy of foot infantry and regimental organization. Post-Afghanistan, the army has yet to resolve these central issues.
This insightful book is the first to examine the challenges that have confronted the Canadian Army in transforming its infantry from First World War foot soldiers into a twenty-first-century combat force integrating soldiers, vehicles, weapons, and electronics.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Second World War
1 Pre-War Theorizing
2 Learning from Experience
Part 2: Post–Second World War
3 The Concept of a Mechanized Force
4 The Bobcat
5 Implementing the Mechanized Force
Part 3: Cold War Era and Beyond
6 The Imagined War
7 Lightweight? Mediumweight? Heavyweight?
Appendix; Note on Sources; Notes; Bibliography; Index

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