The Americanization of the Canadian Army (CF)

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The Americanization of the Canadian Army (CF)

Joined: February 5th, 2005, 4:07 pm

September 1st, 2008, 6:52 pm #1

There are a few on this forum who bemoan and decry with regularity the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army.

What is a "Canadian" Army? Does remaining "Canadian" mean a return and strict adherence to British military customs, dress, badges of rank, gear and weapons?

How "Canadian" was our rank structure and insignia from the late 1800s through the late 1960s?
How "Canadian" are kilts, for example? Have the Scots been informed that kilts are "Canadian"?
Would these pundits retain the British system of military awards that made distinction between commissioned officers and enlisted soldiers and NCOs? Would those decrying the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army wish to retain the snobbery of the class system that pervades the British Army to this day?

There was a photo of infantrymen taken during the Italian Campaign posted on this forum recently. Comments posted indicated that readers were hard pressed to identify the soldiers in the picture as being either Canadian or British. Is that what we want?

We Canadians are closer to our American cousins in speech, lifestyle, and mannerisms, yet up through the 1950s Canadian NCOs and officers spoke of "lorries", "caravans" and "petrol". This terminology was rather foreign to most if not all Canadian teenagers enlisting in the Canadian Army during those years. I suppose "trucks", "trailers" and "gas" would be too American?

Would we return to the days of WW2 and Korea when Canadians often scrounged American equipment and weapons because they found them to be superior?

The American M1 Garand (designed by a Canadian) entered service in 1936, if I'm not mistaken. How much more effective would Canadian infantrymen have been if equipped with a semi-automatic rifle instead of a hundred-year-old bolt action rifle throughout WW2 and Korea?

Check out some Korean War photos of Canadians. In most group photos of troops from the PPCLI or the RCR you'll see a bunch of soldiers looking more like members of a ragtag guerrilla army outfitted in mixture of Canadian issue clothing and equipment combined with add hoc, scrounged American clothing, equipment and weapons. Same same with WW2 pictures - take note of the many photos of Canadians carrying scrounged American weapons such as the M1 Garand and M1 carbine posted recently on this very forum.

Where is our military arsenal? Where is our Canadian military industry? Where is our weapons technology? Where is our Army?

The fact remains that in a major conflict the Canadian Forces are incapable of mounting a major campaign independently. The truth is that we will fight alongside American forces or most likely, under American command, as distasteful as this may seem to some on this forum. That is, until the day and time when we are capable of fielding an independent army.

Learning from the Americans may not be all that bad. Hey, they adopted the beret when we Canadians discarded it in the late 1950s. Who's wearing berets now? If you study them, you'll find that the Americans are not too "American" to adopt customs, equipment and tactics from "foreign" armies and adapt them to US use.

They are open to change. Are we?
Without change, I'm told, there is no growth. Do those who decry the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army wish us to return to the days of WW1? Oh, BTW, didn't the Canadians break from standard British tradition and battle tactics in using purely Canadian infantry tactics to take Vimy?

Why don't you ask a couple of the FSSF guys whether they are proud of their American jump wings and the Combat Infantryman badge? Ask them whether they believe they have become too "Americanized".

Sure, let's remain Canadian and let's retain a "Canadian" identity, but pray tell, what is that?



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Joined: July 14th, 2005, 3:57 pm

September 1st, 2008, 7:46 pm #2

Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.

- (Prime Minister) Pierre Elliot Trudeau
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 1st, 2008, 7:52 pm #3

There are a few on this forum who bemoan and decry with regularity the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army.

What is a "Canadian" Army? Does remaining "Canadian" mean a return and strict adherence to British military customs, dress, badges of rank, gear and weapons?

How "Canadian" was our rank structure and insignia from the late 1800s through the late 1960s?
How "Canadian" are kilts, for example? Have the Scots been informed that kilts are "Canadian"?
Would these pundits retain the British system of military awards that made distinction between commissioned officers and enlisted soldiers and NCOs? Would those decrying the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army wish to retain the snobbery of the class system that pervades the British Army to this day?

There was a photo of infantrymen taken during the Italian Campaign posted on this forum recently. Comments posted indicated that readers were hard pressed to identify the soldiers in the picture as being either Canadian or British. Is that what we want?

We Canadians are closer to our American cousins in speech, lifestyle, and mannerisms, yet up through the 1950s Canadian NCOs and officers spoke of "lorries", "caravans" and "petrol". This terminology was rather foreign to most if not all Canadian teenagers enlisting in the Canadian Army during those years. I suppose "trucks", "trailers" and "gas" would be too American?

Would we return to the days of WW2 and Korea when Canadians often scrounged American equipment and weapons because they found them to be superior?

The American M1 Garand (designed by a Canadian) entered service in 1936, if I'm not mistaken. How much more effective would Canadian infantrymen have been if equipped with a semi-automatic rifle instead of a hundred-year-old bolt action rifle throughout WW2 and Korea?

Check out some Korean War photos of Canadians. In most group photos of troops from the PPCLI or the RCR you'll see a bunch of soldiers looking more like members of a ragtag guerrilla army outfitted in mixture of Canadian issue clothing and equipment combined with add hoc, scrounged American clothing, equipment and weapons. Same same with WW2 pictures - take note of the many photos of Canadians carrying scrounged American weapons such as the M1 Garand and M1 carbine posted recently on this very forum.

Where is our military arsenal? Where is our Canadian military industry? Where is our weapons technology? Where is our Army?

The fact remains that in a major conflict the Canadian Forces are incapable of mounting a major campaign independently. The truth is that we will fight alongside American forces or most likely, under American command, as distasteful as this may seem to some on this forum. That is, until the day and time when we are capable of fielding an independent army.

Learning from the Americans may not be all that bad. Hey, they adopted the beret when we Canadians discarded it in the late 1950s. Who's wearing berets now? If you study them, you'll find that the Americans are not too "American" to adopt customs, equipment and tactics from "foreign" armies and adapt them to US use.

They are open to change. Are we?
Without change, I'm told, there is no growth. Do those who decry the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army wish us to return to the days of WW1? Oh, BTW, didn't the Canadians break from standard British tradition and battle tactics in using purely Canadian infantry tactics to take Vimy?

Why don't you ask a couple of the FSSF guys whether they are proud of their American jump wings and the Combat Infantryman badge? Ask them whether they believe they have become too "Americanized".

Sure, let's remain Canadian and let's retain a "Canadian" identity, but pray tell, what is that?


The only people I know that scream and cry about "Americanization" are shrill Torontonians who have as little understanding of Canadian history as they do about hiking in the Rocky Mountains.

I'm still not buying the old song and dance that the Canadian Army was shattered into a million pieces by accepting the appointment title of "master corporal" for example. I don't doubt it was dysfunctional at the time having a conglomeration of junior leaders and non-leadership troops holding the same rank, and the title still sounds a bit silly now. But just about every army in the world except the British have put "sergeants" in command of infantry sections. The Germans. The Red Army. Most of the European armies. Old peacekeepers will tell you the stories about how a Canadian corporal could talk with the authority of a sergeant, but - well, so what? Now we have sergeants that speak with the authority of sergeants...

The American army started this whole "break with tradition" stuff in their Revolutionary War - pretty much as a matter of survival. They've been very flexible in the kinds of changes they've had to make, and it's served them well. They get criticized in many corners for "relying on technology and firepower" for example, when the Canadian Army did exactly the same thing in Northwest Europe. I'm not even convinced it is a criticism, really.
Michael Dorosh
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canadiansoldiers.com
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Gord Bennett
Gord Bennett

September 1st, 2008, 11:51 pm #4

As far as weapons and kit goes, the Americans tend to be superior. This was proven quite obvious in Korea when Canadian kit was readily discarded and replaced with scrounged, bought and traded US issue kit.
As stated before, the Americans are not beyond adopting or copying foreign kit, either- if they feel it suits their needs and gives them an edge. We (the CF) and the Americans have adopted and fielded much of the same weaponry produced and/or designed by other countries as commonplace for much the same reason. Much of their military technology is designed and/or produced here in Canada. This day and age compatibility with our allies is most important from a logistical point of view.
However, you cannot confuse adopting American-style kit with adopting their policies and becoming 'Americanized' in that respect. Obviously our policies are very different and this is very obvious when you travel around the world. Sure, we may look and sound the same, use alot of the same kit and tactics, etc. But, anyone who's travelled around will tell you that once they find out you're a Canadian, you're treated with a high(er) level of respect. This certainly isn't because of our British or French heritage because i've found they get pretty much the same treatment as the Yanks. It's because we're Canadian and we have a unique standing in the world's eye in regards to respecting human rights, having compassion and, when the need arises, the extreme ability of kicking ass for the right cause.
I say bring on the superior American kit and tactics. They can have their politics.
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Joined: February 5th, 2005, 4:07 pm

September 2nd, 2008, 12:17 am #5

Well said, Gord!
Alex
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Christopher Furlotte
Christopher Furlotte

September 2nd, 2008, 1:44 am #6

There are a few on this forum who bemoan and decry with regularity the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army.

What is a "Canadian" Army? Does remaining "Canadian" mean a return and strict adherence to British military customs, dress, badges of rank, gear and weapons?

How "Canadian" was our rank structure and insignia from the late 1800s through the late 1960s?
How "Canadian" are kilts, for example? Have the Scots been informed that kilts are "Canadian"?
Would these pundits retain the British system of military awards that made distinction between commissioned officers and enlisted soldiers and NCOs? Would those decrying the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army wish to retain the snobbery of the class system that pervades the British Army to this day?

There was a photo of infantrymen taken during the Italian Campaign posted on this forum recently. Comments posted indicated that readers were hard pressed to identify the soldiers in the picture as being either Canadian or British. Is that what we want?

We Canadians are closer to our American cousins in speech, lifestyle, and mannerisms, yet up through the 1950s Canadian NCOs and officers spoke of "lorries", "caravans" and "petrol". This terminology was rather foreign to most if not all Canadian teenagers enlisting in the Canadian Army during those years. I suppose "trucks", "trailers" and "gas" would be too American?

Would we return to the days of WW2 and Korea when Canadians often scrounged American equipment and weapons because they found them to be superior?

The American M1 Garand (designed by a Canadian) entered service in 1936, if I'm not mistaken. How much more effective would Canadian infantrymen have been if equipped with a semi-automatic rifle instead of a hundred-year-old bolt action rifle throughout WW2 and Korea?

Check out some Korean War photos of Canadians. In most group photos of troops from the PPCLI or the RCR you'll see a bunch of soldiers looking more like members of a ragtag guerrilla army outfitted in mixture of Canadian issue clothing and equipment combined with add hoc, scrounged American clothing, equipment and weapons. Same same with WW2 pictures - take note of the many photos of Canadians carrying scrounged American weapons such as the M1 Garand and M1 carbine posted recently on this very forum.

Where is our military arsenal? Where is our Canadian military industry? Where is our weapons technology? Where is our Army?

The fact remains that in a major conflict the Canadian Forces are incapable of mounting a major campaign independently. The truth is that we will fight alongside American forces or most likely, under American command, as distasteful as this may seem to some on this forum. That is, until the day and time when we are capable of fielding an independent army.

Learning from the Americans may not be all that bad. Hey, they adopted the beret when we Canadians discarded it in the late 1950s. Who's wearing berets now? If you study them, you'll find that the Americans are not too "American" to adopt customs, equipment and tactics from "foreign" armies and adapt them to US use.

They are open to change. Are we?
Without change, I'm told, there is no growth. Do those who decry the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army wish us to return to the days of WW1? Oh, BTW, didn't the Canadians break from standard British tradition and battle tactics in using purely Canadian infantry tactics to take Vimy?

Why don't you ask a couple of the FSSF guys whether they are proud of their American jump wings and the Combat Infantryman badge? Ask them whether they believe they have become too "Americanized".

Sure, let's remain Canadian and let's retain a "Canadian" identity, but pray tell, what is that?


On a British Regimental System! It is a unique system and it contributes a sence of pride and well being to a soldier to belong to this exclusive unit-Regiment or Corps. Much like belong to a tribe or a family.

Kilts are of course Scottish influnece, and Canadian Soldiers who belong to a Scottish/Highland Regiment are gratefull to this fact. Mr Mike Dorosh as an example, is not Scottish descent! However, he is a proud "Canadian Highlander" of The Calgary Highlanders of Canada Regiment!! Highland Regiments have always been know for thier bravery,honour,and of course Espirit de Corps that have won many a battle in the past despite overwheleming odds!The Canadian Army to this day has on it's Regiment seniority list 15 Canadian Scottish Units and everybody that I know of is proud of this fact! The first Prime Minister of Canada was Scottish- Sir John A. Macdonald! Does this fact make him any less of a Canadian!?

I think this better off with a British created Regimental System compare to say a U.S. Army which is based on a continental system.

Here's an interesting link to read more on the Regimental System.

http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Qu ... giment.htm

On the statement of British Officers are "snobs" etc. Here's another article that points out that the Americans are just as "slick" as thier British counterparts.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_q ... _n14474289

Cheers....

Christopher
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 2nd, 2008, 2:16 am #7

Michael Dorosh
Webmaster
canadiansoldiers.com
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Ken Joyce
Ken Joyce

September 2nd, 2008, 2:40 am #8

There are a few on this forum who bemoan and decry with regularity the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army.

What is a "Canadian" Army? Does remaining "Canadian" mean a return and strict adherence to British military customs, dress, badges of rank, gear and weapons?

How "Canadian" was our rank structure and insignia from the late 1800s through the late 1960s?
How "Canadian" are kilts, for example? Have the Scots been informed that kilts are "Canadian"?
Would these pundits retain the British system of military awards that made distinction between commissioned officers and enlisted soldiers and NCOs? Would those decrying the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army wish to retain the snobbery of the class system that pervades the British Army to this day?

There was a photo of infantrymen taken during the Italian Campaign posted on this forum recently. Comments posted indicated that readers were hard pressed to identify the soldiers in the picture as being either Canadian or British. Is that what we want?

We Canadians are closer to our American cousins in speech, lifestyle, and mannerisms, yet up through the 1950s Canadian NCOs and officers spoke of "lorries", "caravans" and "petrol". This terminology was rather foreign to most if not all Canadian teenagers enlisting in the Canadian Army during those years. I suppose "trucks", "trailers" and "gas" would be too American?

Would we return to the days of WW2 and Korea when Canadians often scrounged American equipment and weapons because they found them to be superior?

The American M1 Garand (designed by a Canadian) entered service in 1936, if I'm not mistaken. How much more effective would Canadian infantrymen have been if equipped with a semi-automatic rifle instead of a hundred-year-old bolt action rifle throughout WW2 and Korea?

Check out some Korean War photos of Canadians. In most group photos of troops from the PPCLI or the RCR you'll see a bunch of soldiers looking more like members of a ragtag guerrilla army outfitted in mixture of Canadian issue clothing and equipment combined with add hoc, scrounged American clothing, equipment and weapons. Same same with WW2 pictures - take note of the many photos of Canadians carrying scrounged American weapons such as the M1 Garand and M1 carbine posted recently on this very forum.

Where is our military arsenal? Where is our Canadian military industry? Where is our weapons technology? Where is our Army?

The fact remains that in a major conflict the Canadian Forces are incapable of mounting a major campaign independently. The truth is that we will fight alongside American forces or most likely, under American command, as distasteful as this may seem to some on this forum. That is, until the day and time when we are capable of fielding an independent army.

Learning from the Americans may not be all that bad. Hey, they adopted the beret when we Canadians discarded it in the late 1950s. Who's wearing berets now? If you study them, you'll find that the Americans are not too "American" to adopt customs, equipment and tactics from "foreign" armies and adapt them to US use.

They are open to change. Are we?
Without change, I'm told, there is no growth. Do those who decry the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army wish us to return to the days of WW1? Oh, BTW, didn't the Canadians break from standard British tradition and battle tactics in using purely Canadian infantry tactics to take Vimy?

Why don't you ask a couple of the FSSF guys whether they are proud of their American jump wings and the Combat Infantryman badge? Ask them whether they believe they have become too "Americanized".

Sure, let's remain Canadian and let's retain a "Canadian" identity, but pray tell, what is that?


I agree that a bit of the ole USA is ok, just like a bit of anything else that will keep our troops alive is ok. Many countries have things to offer. However the FSSF may not have been a good example. There has been much mush written about them and I am sure if those Canadians in the lower ranks knew what was happening in the higher ranks, they may have a differing opinion of the US way of doing things. I credit Don Williamson, Tom Gilday and Jack Akehurst for keeping all the going's on at the top in the Force largely away from the men. While I am sure they are proud of their US medals etc. Many are still, to this day, unaware of the garbage that went on between Force HQ and the Senior Canadians. This under Frederick and Walker. In truth, the experiment did not work. The US way of doing things was too much for many of the senior Canadian officers and credit should be given to them for tolerating it as long as they did. After all, Frederick states himself that the Force could not have accomplished what it did without Canadian experience. Incidently much of this Canadian experience was derived largely from British innovations in training.

The British Army changed drastically in WW2 and in many ways was a completely different entity than in the years preceeding it. I mainly mean the final acceptance to recognize innovation. It was not easy to achieve, but the British went way beyond the US during the war. As for class structure and arrogance, do you think the US military is any different? I personally have more respect for the British. While many British officers may be snobs, I can tell you that many US officers were simply ladder climbers. Their system of advancement and corruption at the top goes beyond snobbery and into the criminal at times.

You can also argue about what was better, the M-1 or Enfield. The M-1 had its drawbacks as well. This included a clip that was ejected up into the air. A clip the Germans knew to look for. You can ask FSSF vets about that. It also had a habit of going off with a round in the chamber and on safety when jolted. I know this because I conducted an experiment with both the carbine and garand.

It is ok to adopt bits of US kit and weapons, why not? However my experience with American's throughout history is their inability to learn from others. When they do, they always do it the hard way. Militarily, they can be very arrogant and seem to think they know everything. Much like earlier British attitudes. They also tend to fight a lot amongst themselves. They still seem to muddle up higher command decisions much the same way they did in WW2. If they are not charging headlong into something they dont understand, they are too indecisive when a charge is warranted. These are traits that I hope our forces do not adopt.

I still get sick when the 4th of July comes round and they talk about defeating the oppressive and tyranical British single handedly. Firstly, what oppression? what tyranny? and what about the French? They like to ignore failure and therefore do not learn from it. They like to whitewash their history.

Anyway every soldier, unit, army in the world should keep an open mind and welcome criticism and ideas. If something works, adopt it. Historically the US has not been a good example of this. I think they have gotten better at it recently, but I dont know for sure? All this said, I still have the utost respect for the American soldier. Despite all the crap going on above them, they still managed to fight their way through. Albeit many more were killed, they still persisted.

The FSSF did have a system worth adopting today. That is the lessons learned publication which I mentioned on here before. Everyone could have their say. This saved many lives and was welcomed by newcomers. I wonder if the Cdn Forces today in Afghanistan have a lessons learned publication which can be issued and updated when needed? It is not certain who in the Force came up with this idea?

Personally all western militaries are changing today, or at least they appear to be. This is not due to national pride or by tapping into another Countries know-how, weapons etc. but more to do with Liberalism and Socialism. This is tearing away at tradition, training and the soldiers ability to fight effectively. It also tears away at innovation and what the soldier needs on the battlefield to survive. In my opinion, these were the things that helped the soldier in battle both physically and mentally.

Just my opinion.
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Gord Bennett
Gord Bennett

September 2nd, 2008, 5:36 am #9

On a British Regimental System! It is a unique system and it contributes a sence of pride and well being to a soldier to belong to this exclusive unit-Regiment or Corps. Much like belong to a tribe or a family.

Kilts are of course Scottish influnece, and Canadian Soldiers who belong to a Scottish/Highland Regiment are gratefull to this fact. Mr Mike Dorosh as an example, is not Scottish descent! However, he is a proud "Canadian Highlander" of The Calgary Highlanders of Canada Regiment!! Highland Regiments have always been know for thier bravery,honour,and of course Espirit de Corps that have won many a battle in the past despite overwheleming odds!The Canadian Army to this day has on it's Regiment seniority list 15 Canadian Scottish Units and everybody that I know of is proud of this fact! The first Prime Minister of Canada was Scottish- Sir John A. Macdonald! Does this fact make him any less of a Canadian!?

I think this better off with a British created Regimental System compare to say a U.S. Army which is based on a continental system.

Here's an interesting link to read more on the Regimental System.

http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Qu ... giment.htm

On the statement of British Officers are "snobs" etc. Here's another article that points out that the Americans are just as "slick" as thier British counterparts.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_q ... _n14474289

Cheers....

Christopher
I firmly believe that aside from sharing some of the same equipment types and tactics, our militaries are not very much alike. I agree with Chris in that a traditionally based regimental system is far superior to the US style numbered units when it comes to regimental pride and cohesion. We also have a monarchy to remind us of our origins, as well. Our forces traditionally fight for Queen and country, the honour of the regiment, and for each other.
Another big difference is in our doctrine. The US system is based on blind obedience by large numbers, while in contrast our men are traditionally taught unit pride, personal self discipline, and how to think for themselves on the battlefield as a part of a smaller organization. The Americans know this system works because they form smaller units and call them 'elite' or 'special forces' and expect them to perform better than the average numbered unit. Man for man our 'average' regular fighting men are on par if not superior to the American 'elite' soldiers and certainly far superior to their average soldier. They're looked upon as just US soldiers. That they're attached to the 85th regiment of the 153rd Infantry Division or whatever is inconsequential. They don't fight for the honour and glory of the 85th regiment. They fight for the US Army. Our men fight as Patricias, Royals, Vandoos, Strathconas, etc.
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Monty
Monty

September 2nd, 2008, 11:52 am #10

There are a few on this forum who bemoan and decry with regularity the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army.

What is a "Canadian" Army? Does remaining "Canadian" mean a return and strict adherence to British military customs, dress, badges of rank, gear and weapons?

How "Canadian" was our rank structure and insignia from the late 1800s through the late 1960s?
How "Canadian" are kilts, for example? Have the Scots been informed that kilts are "Canadian"?
Would these pundits retain the British system of military awards that made distinction between commissioned officers and enlisted soldiers and NCOs? Would those decrying the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army wish to retain the snobbery of the class system that pervades the British Army to this day?

There was a photo of infantrymen taken during the Italian Campaign posted on this forum recently. Comments posted indicated that readers were hard pressed to identify the soldiers in the picture as being either Canadian or British. Is that what we want?

We Canadians are closer to our American cousins in speech, lifestyle, and mannerisms, yet up through the 1950s Canadian NCOs and officers spoke of "lorries", "caravans" and "petrol". This terminology was rather foreign to most if not all Canadian teenagers enlisting in the Canadian Army during those years. I suppose "trucks", "trailers" and "gas" would be too American?

Would we return to the days of WW2 and Korea when Canadians often scrounged American equipment and weapons because they found them to be superior?

The American M1 Garand (designed by a Canadian) entered service in 1936, if I'm not mistaken. How much more effective would Canadian infantrymen have been if equipped with a semi-automatic rifle instead of a hundred-year-old bolt action rifle throughout WW2 and Korea?

Check out some Korean War photos of Canadians. In most group photos of troops from the PPCLI or the RCR you'll see a bunch of soldiers looking more like members of a ragtag guerrilla army outfitted in mixture of Canadian issue clothing and equipment combined with add hoc, scrounged American clothing, equipment and weapons. Same same with WW2 pictures - take note of the many photos of Canadians carrying scrounged American weapons such as the M1 Garand and M1 carbine posted recently on this very forum.

Where is our military arsenal? Where is our Canadian military industry? Where is our weapons technology? Where is our Army?

The fact remains that in a major conflict the Canadian Forces are incapable of mounting a major campaign independently. The truth is that we will fight alongside American forces or most likely, under American command, as distasteful as this may seem to some on this forum. That is, until the day and time when we are capable of fielding an independent army.

Learning from the Americans may not be all that bad. Hey, they adopted the beret when we Canadians discarded it in the late 1950s. Who's wearing berets now? If you study them, you'll find that the Americans are not too "American" to adopt customs, equipment and tactics from "foreign" armies and adapt them to US use.

They are open to change. Are we?
Without change, I'm told, there is no growth. Do those who decry the "Americanization" of the Canadian Army wish us to return to the days of WW1? Oh, BTW, didn't the Canadians break from standard British tradition and battle tactics in using purely Canadian infantry tactics to take Vimy?

Why don't you ask a couple of the FSSF guys whether they are proud of their American jump wings and the Combat Infantryman badge? Ask them whether they believe they have become too "Americanized".

Sure, let's remain Canadian and let's retain a "Canadian" identity, but pray tell, what is that?


As I am a readily admitted neophyte- my humble thoughts are ...militaries that readily adopt and adapt to better technologies, tactics, and systems- become better. This can be done while still maintaining enough "tradition" to remain distinct.

This is much like anything else in life...even for example the English language.. because it is, and always has been, the most "adaptable" and easily takes in new words and expressions, it has flourished

While some decry the Americanization of the Cdn army, this sentiment is perhaps a merely a symptom, or an expression, of the larger more generalized "Americanization" of Canada which many find disturbing. Canadians know so little about themselves, but lots about the US. Just look at all the Canadian inventions that many think are american..and how many Cdns know anything about their history? (I remember an argument with a 30-something Cdn at a party who was strongly of the opinion that Canada didn't even fight in WWII !!! this gentleman -a product of our school system!)

It seems whenever a Canadian invention starts to take off, its bought up by the US and becomes American.. (they are the best at recognizing an opportunity and acting upon it..Cdns are not)

How many stars in the US media, have been in the past, or are now actually Cdn... HOw is it, Canada started out so strong in film, and then it faded so quickly and has never recovered (at least in English- French Canada has an amazingly strong film industry for such a tiny market) . For example, just look up the major Canadian connections to the origins of MGM, or UNITED ARTISTS. Since then however, the US has had a very definite policy of preventing the development of a Cdn film industry.

If it wasn't for the CanCon rules for radio, we wouldn't have even a tiny percentage of the Canadian musical talent we have now. Cdn radio stations furiously fought it at the time hinting people didn't want "inferior" Cdn talent.

I could go on, but to get back a bit, one of the things I did in Convoy Magazine, was to include Canadian wartime adverts. What surprised me was the VAST number of CANADIAN manufacturing companies involved in the war effort, now ALL disappeared! The large majority postwar were bought out by the US, or out-marketed, out-sold, and folded by US competition.

We should not blame America for this, but ourselves and our leaders for not believing in ourselves, and not supporting Canadian efforts in the arts and industry (what's left)

-while facing several rows of a perticular type of product at a RenoDepot-a quote from the young employee in response to my question if they had one made in Canada... "OH, we don't make anything here anymore"

Cheers
Monty
no not a shrill Torontonian (which I think was really an unfortunate statement Mike)
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