Canadian Civil-Military Relations, 1939-1941 – A Case Study in Strategic Dialogue


  1. Dickson, P.
  2. Roi, M.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Ottawa ON (CAN)
Second World War political and military decision makers faced a complex set of issues; the success and scale of Canada’s wartime effort tends to obscure that reality. The ability of decision makers to understand and shape the future was constrained by a number of factors during the critical years, 1939-41. Two stand out, and will be the subject of two case studies in national security decision making. This Technical Memorandum looks at the impact of the fall of France in June 1940 on the established pattern of decision-making in Canadian civil-military relations. This episode lent credence to the views of military advisors and increased their influence in national strategic discussions. The second case study, and the subject of a companion Technical Memorandum, will examine the debates about military power in 1940 in the context of the strategic vacuum left by the new constitutional relationship with Great Britain, the growing importance of the United States and the upheaval in western geopolitics resulting from the collapse of France, perceived as the West’s foremost military power. In consequence, Canadian strategic planners engaged in what was probably the first substantive debate about how Canada should exercise its new constitutional independence in pursuit of strategic objectives in the world, a debate that manifested itself in discussions regarding the size and use of Canada’s military. The research for this Technical Memorandum falls within the existing DRDC Adv

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

Civil-Military Relations;World War Two;Strategy;Leadership;Canadian Army
Report Number
DRDC-CORA-TM-2011-116 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
29 Jul 2011
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

Permanent link

Document 1 of 1

Date modified: