Crerar's Lieutenants

Inventing the Canadian Junior Army Officer, 1939-45

Geoffrey Hayes

  • Published: 2017. Paperback April 2018
  • Subject Listing: History / Canadian History
  • Bibliographic information: 312 pp., 28 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

In 1943, General Harry Crerar noted that there was still much confusion as to "what constitutes an 'Officer.'" His words reflected the preoccupation of army officials to invent an ideal officer who would not only meet the demands of war but also conform to notions of social class and masculinity. Drawing on a wide range of sources and exploring the issue of leadership through new lenses, this book looks at how the army selected and trained its junior officers to embody the new ideal. It also sheds light on challenges these officers faced during the war - not only on the battlefield but from Canadians' often conflicted views about social class and gender.
Geoffrey Hayes is associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Waterloo.

"This book boldly explores the construction of "junior leadership" in the context of the First Canadian Army. Geoffrey Hayes skillfully identifies and defines the army's understanding of what made for an "ideal" officer and how young men navigated these expectations. It is a fascinating addition to the study of Canadian men and masculinity, specifically in the context of the military and its structures."
-Christopher J. Greig, associate professor, Faculties of Education and Women's and Gender Studies, University of Windsor

"This book provides a thorough understanding of how the Canadian Army was created and evolved during the Second World War. Combining deep archival research with personal recollections, it examines how the men were selected, how they were trained, and how they put the knowledge and skills they learned into effect."
-Andrew Stewart, reader in conflict and diplomacy, Defence Studies Department, King's College London

"Crerar's Lieutenants fills a large gap in the historiography of the Canadian Army by providing a depiction of the idealized officer during the Second World War. This book will undoubtedly lead to debate and to further study."
-Stephen Harris, acting director and chief historian, Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defence Headquarters

1. Foundations
2. Mobilization
3. Selection
4. Training
5. The Fighting Begins
6. Taking Stock
7. Negotiating Battle
8. Last Days
Selected Bibliography