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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

A National Force

The Evolution of Canada’s Army, 1950-2000

This landmark book dispels the idea that the period between the Second World War and the unification of the armed services  in 1968 constituted the Canadian Army’s “golden age.” Drawing on recently declassified documents, Peter Kasurak depicts an era clouded by the military leadership’s failure to loosen the grasp of British army culture, produce its own doctrine, and advise political leaders effectively. The discrepancy between the army’s goals and the Canadian state’s aspirations as a peacemaker in the postwar world resulted in a series of civilian-military crises that ended only when the scandal of the Somalia Affair in 1993 forced reform.

Table of Contents


1 The 1950s: A Professional Army?

2 Soldiers, Civilians, and Nuclear Warfare in the 1960s

3 The Army and the Unified Force, 1963-67

4 Trudeau and the Crisis in Civil-Military Relations

5 Reform, Regimentalism, and Reaction

6 The Plan for a “Big Army”

7 The Unified Staff and Operational Difficulties

8 Reform and Constabulary Realism

Conclusion; Notes on Sources; Notes; Bibliography; Index

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