The Canadian Army currently espouses the ideas associated with Maneuver Warfare as doctrine. Unfortunately, the legacy of Canadian military in the twentieth century does not lend itself to the institutionalization of the mindset required to effectMoreThe Canadian Army currently espouses the ideas associated with Maneuver Warfare as doctrine. Unfortunately, the legacy of Canadian military in the twentieth century does not lend itself to the institutionalization of the mindset required to effect maneuver warfare, as delineated in the latest iteration of Canadian Army doctrine, contained in the capstone manual B-GL-300-000/FP-00 Canadas Army: We Stand on Guard for Thee (01 April 1998).
This paper traces the factors that exemplify the manner in which the Canadian Army has operated during the last hundred years to demonstrate their effect on the operations of today and tomorrow. If the successes of our past are the foundation of our present operational and tactical methods we must understand these threads of continuity in order to either take advantage of or overcome our legacy in implementing doctrine.
The bulk of primary source research was limited to that which could be examined via the Internet, information that had been reproduced on compact disc and that which could be obtained via interlibrary loan.
These means produced sufficient primary material available to enable research into this topic. In addition to these primary sources there was a plethora of secondary source materials, by prominent military historians. Sources were evaluated for objectivity, comprehensiveness and authenticity. Canadian operational experience in peace and war over the last century has been characterized by: static warfare- attrition- lack of introspective thought- inadequate doctrine- centralized control and decentralized execution- rigid and uncompromising staff procedures as a result of a failure to develop and maintain an operationally capable general staff- and more recently, a neglect of warfighting due to the demands of peace support operations.
The single thread of historical continuity throughout all experiences is a fixation with the limited objectives of the symmetrical battlefield. This more than any one thing is our leg