Politics of Command: Lieutenant-General A.G.L. McNaughton and the Canadian Army, 1939-1943
In December 1943, Lieutenant-General A.G.L. McNaughton resigned from command of the 1st Canadian Army amidst criticism of his poor generalship and of his abrasive personality. Despite McNaughton's importance to the Canadian Army during the first four years of the Second World War, little has been written about the man himself or the circumstances of his resignation.
In The Politics of Command, the first full-length study of the subject since 1969, John Nelson Rickard analyzes McNaughton's performance during exercise SPARTAN in March 1943 and assesses his relationships with key figures such as Sir Alan F. Brooke, Bernard Paget, and Harry Crerar. This detailed re-examination of McNaughton's command argues that the long-accepted reasons for his relief of duty require extensive modification.
Based on a wide range of sources, The Politics of Command will redefine how military historians and all Canadians look not only at "Andy" McNaughton, but the Canadian Army as well.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 416 pages
- Illustrations: 12
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.2in x 9.4in
ReviewsJohn Nelson Rickard has written an impressive, nuanced work that aptly demonstrates the challenges facing Lieutenant-General A.G.L. McNaughton's command and his creative responses to them. A classic example of the conflict between character and circumstance, The Politics of Command portrays McNaughton as a rational, well-informed decision maker constrained by events and personalities over which he has no control.
Terry Copp, Department of History, Wilfrid Laurier University and author of Fields of Fire and Cinderella Army
Author InformationJohn Nelson Rickard is a Captain in the Canadian Armed Forces and has a PhD in military history from the University of New Brunswick.
Table of contents
Acknowledgements iv Maps vi Tables vii Abbreviations ix Forward by Marc Milner xiv Preface by Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie xx Introduction 1 Part I: The Making of Andy McNaughton Chapter 1 Early Life and the Crucible of World War I 10 Chapter 2 The Road to High Command 41 Part II: The Problem of Deploying the Army Chapter 3 A Willingness to Fight, 1940-1941 78 Chapter 4 From ROUNDUP to TORCH 120 Chapter 5 Practical Operations of War 164 Part III: McNaughton as Military Commander and Trainer Chapter 6 The Difficulty of Training in 1940 194 Chapter 7 The Politics of Training 225 Chapter 8 Enter Montgomery 264 Chapter 9 Exercise SPARTAN 296 Chapter 10 The Long Shadow of Spartan 331 Part IV: The End of an Idea Chapter 11 The Sicily Incident 371 Chapter 12 Broken Dagger: A Corps in Italy 411 Chapter 13 The Final Months of McNaughton's Command 461 Epilogue 484 Conclusion 488 Appendices 512 Bibliography 532
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