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Abstract

This paper argues that Anglo-Canadian doctrine had a greater influence on how Brigadiers Robert Moncel and James Jefferson commanded their brigades than the experience they gained along two different career paths. The rapid expansion of the Canadian Army during the Second World War prevented Canadian infantry and armoured brigade commanders from gaining experience in both staff and command billets. As junior or senior officers, future brigade commanders normally attended either a condensed version of Staff College or Senior Officers’ School. Here they developed two distinct skill sets before they assumed command of brigades. Despite the differing purposes of these course, the doctrine used provided an institutional language that transcended the experience gained by officers as they progressed in their careers. By examining the pre-war and wartime careers of Moncel and Jefferson and how they commanded their brigades in Operation Suitcase, it is clear doctrine had a greater influence on how they planned and fought their formations.

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