The Americanization of the Canadian Army's Intellectual Development, 1946-1956


  • Alexander Herd University of Calgary


Canadian Army, Cold War, Professional Military Education, Americanization, U.S. Army, Canadian Army Staff College, British Army, Curriculum, Kingston, Ontario, Officers


Canadian scholarship has detailed the impact of increasing American political, economic, and socio-cultural influences on post-Second World War Canada. This paper demonstrates that the Canadian Army was likewise influenced by the Americans, and changes to the army’s professional military education are evidence of the “Americanization” of the army. During the early Cold War period, Canadian Army staff officer education increasingly incorporated United States Army doctrine, ranging from the basic organization of American formations to complex future military strategy. Research is primarily based on the annual staff course syllabi at the Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston, Ontario, which indicate that Canadian Army leaders were sensitive not only to the realities of fighting alongside the Americans in a future war, but to the necessity of making the Canadian Army, previously historically and culturally a British army, compatible with its American counterpart. In the context of limited scholarship on the early Cold War Canadian Army, this paper advances the argument that the army’s intellectual capacity to wage war was largely determined by external influences.

Author Biography

Alexander Herd, University of Calgary

Alexander Herd is Project Manager of The Memory Project Archives at the Historica-Dominion Institute in Toronto. He holds a PhD in Canadian Military History from the University of Calgary (2011) and a Master of Arts in History from Kansas State University (2005). The Memory Project is an extensive oral history project involving the development of an online historical database of Canada’s military participation in the Second World War and Korean War, based on cross-country interviews with veterans. Herd has previously published articles in the Journal of Cold War Studies and Calgary Papers in Military and Strategic Studies.