Crerar's Lieutenants: Inventing the Canadian Junior Army Officer, 1939-45 by Geoffrey HayesCrerar's Lieutenants: Inventing the Canadian Junior Army Officer, 1939-45 by Geoffrey Hayes

Crerar's Lieutenants: Inventing the Canadian Junior Army Officer, 1939-45

byGeoffrey Hayes

Hardcover | September 1, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 475 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


At the height of the war in 1943, the future head of the First Canadian Army, General Harry Crerar, penned a long memorandum in which he noted that there was still much confusion as to “what constitutes an ‘Officer.’” His words reflected the army’s preoccupation with creating an ideal officer who would not only satisfy the immediate demands of war but also conform to pervasive, little-discussed notions of social class and masculinity.

Drawing on a wide range of sources and exploring the issue of leadership through new lenses, this book looks at how the army selected and trained its junior officers after 1939 to embody the new ideal. It finds that these young men – through the mentors they copied, the correspondence they left, even the songs they sang – practised a “temperate heroism” that distinguished them from the idealized, heroic visions of officership from the First World War, and also from British and even German representations of wartime officership.

Fascinating and highly original, Crerar’s Lieutenants sheds new light on the challenges many junior officers faced during the Second World War – not only on the battlefield but from Canadians’ often conflicted views about social class and gender.

Geoffrey Hayes is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Waterloo. He is the author of The Lincs: A History of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, as well as Waterloo County: An Illustrated History. He is also the co-editor of three volumes: Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment; Afghanistan: Transition Un...
Title:Crerar's Lieutenants: Inventing the Canadian Junior Army Officer, 1939-45Format:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 9.25 × 6.35 × 0.95 inPublished:September 1, 2017Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774834838

ISBN - 13:9780774834834

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents


1 Foundations

2 Mobilization

3 Selection

4 Training

5 The Fighting Begins

6 Taking Stock

7 Negotiating Battle

8 Last Days


Notes; Selected Bibliography; Index

Editorial Reviews

Crerar’s Lieutenants fills a large gap in the historiography of the Canadian Army by providing a depiction of the idealized officer during the Second World War. This book will undoubtedly lead to debate and to further study. - Stephen Harris, acting director and chief historian, Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defence Headquarters