Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Terry Copp

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Since the end of the Second World War the relative performance between the Allied and German Army during the North West European Campaign has become the subject of extended debate. In almost every instance, however, academics have preferred to determine conclusions without extensive examination of the soldier’s experience. This thesis is an attempt to help redress this discrepancy. Through the experiences of Canloan officers serving with the Second British Army, it is evident that the tactical reality was often more complex than has been accepted This is illuminated through the fact that the conditions of service both prior and after deployment into a theatre of operations served as parameters that predetermined the level of tactical and operational success possible. The Allies found that they could not deploy their armour in the same roles as the enemy and were forced into more cautionary roles. In the defensive, the Allies began to rely on those weapons that offered to redress the imbalance, the predominant one being artillery. Even with these measures the rate of attrition among the infantry battalions still remained high creating difficulties in maintaining all forms of traditional regimental leadership. The Canloans, and the men they led into battle, did overcome these hindrances and continued to fight both effectively and successfully. This thesis will also look at the Canloan Program itself and its volunteers in order to help establish the necessary background for the second half of the paper.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season