The history of Canada’s soldiers in the twentieth century tends to incorporate a few recurrent themes. One of these is the changing nature of the soldier’s experience of war, from the Boer War through to the Second World War and beyond. Another is the gradual transition of Canadian military forces from British to American spheres of influence, a theme that has become particularly relevant since 1939. This article will explore these two themes from a material history perspective, an approach that is generally absent from the broader historiography. The focus will be the transformations in the Canadian infantry soldier’s personal field equipment and kit from the Second World War through to the 1980s. The evidence from this period points to two conclusions: first, that the experience of war and the growing professionalism of the Canadian infantryman has been reflected in his equipment; and second, that there has been an American influence on the equipment of the Canadian soldier since the outbreak of the Second World War.
"Equipment of the Canadian Infantrymen, 1939–1982: A Material/Historical Assessment,"
Canadian Military History:
4, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholars.wlu.ca/cmh/vol9/iss4/4