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Canada's History of poor MNDs

dangerboy

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Read “Vimy” by Pierre Berton. There’s some good descriptions of Sam in that book.
Insane. He had to be.
I would also recommend the book "The Madman and the Butcher: The Sensational Wars of Sam Hughes and General Arthur Currie" by Tim Cook for information about Sam Hughes.
 

cavalryman

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I would also recommend the book "The Madman and the Butcher: The Sensational Wars of Sam Hughes and General Arthur Currie" by Tim Cook for information about Sam Hughes.
Seconded. I read it a few weeks ago.
 

daftandbarmy

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Off topic, but Bob Coates was the fellow who pushed the distinctive environmental uniform to the very top of the DND procurement priority list back circa 1984. We used to refer to the project as "Coates of many colours."

Things you can’t make up :)
 

Kilted

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There has only been three MDN (including it's previous titles) who have gone on to become Prime Minister: John A. Macdonald, Mackenzie Bowell, and Kim Campbell. Bowl actually held both positions at the same time for about a week. Macdonald was also the joint Premier of the Province of Canada at the same time as well.
 

Edward Campbell

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There were, to be sure, some pretty dreadfully poor MNDs (and PMs, too, and some who were both) over the past 150+ years. Sam Hughes is just the most famous infamous.

But, I think there was one very, very good one: Brooke Claxton who was MND from Dec 1946 to June 54. He reorganized the CF, in the way St Laurent and Eisenhower wanted and in the face of some ill-informed but stiff opposition from the admirals, generals and air marshals who wanted to return to the 1930s.
 

Weinie

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There were, to be sure, some pretty dreadfully poor MNDs (and PMs, too, and some who were both) over the past 150+ years. Sam Hughes is just the most famous infamous.

But, I think there was one very, very good one: Brooke Claxton who was MND from Dec 1946 to June 54. He reorganized the CF, in the way St Laurent and Eisenhower wanted and in the face of some ill-informed but stiff opposition from the admirals, generals and air marshals who wanted to return to the 1930s.
Wait for it, the video doesn't have audio, by design, until about 20 seconds in.

generals and majors xtc - Bing video
 
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daftandbarmy

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An interesting video for more than one reason:

"The music video shows the band playing servers and a group of men in military uniforms, one of them is Richard Branson, driving a Go-kart and jumping on a bouncy castle. According to Andy Partridge, Branson appeared "because he's a complete publicity hog. He decided he was gonna turn up and keep suggesting that he be in the video. That is the worst video ever made by man."[4]"

 

Weinie

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An interesting video for more than one reason:

"The music video shows the band playing servers and a group of men in military uniforms, one of them is Richard Branson, driving a Go-kart and jumping on a bouncy castle. According to Andy Partridge, Branson appeared "because he's a complete publicity hog. He decided he was gonna turn up and keep suggesting that he be in the video. That is the worst video ever made by man."[4]"

Seems to have worked out OK for him.
 

Maxman1

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This was also the man who during the Boar War stated that he was outside of military authority and would not take orders from any officer. He would be sent less than a year into the war. He, however, still recommended himself, for not one, but two Victoria Crosses.

On his deathbed, he told the minister not to bother him because he would soon be sitting at the right hand of God and would be able to arrange everything himself.

He also had a downright ideological hatred for the British Army and had us adopt the Ross Rifle because it was rejected by the British Army. He was also convinced the Boers won, somehow.
 

Old Sweat

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And is there any relevance to the tiidbit that Brooke Claxton was a BSM who was awarded the DCM, while the others were officers or without service, some, such as Danson, after non-commissioned service?
 

Blackadder1916

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And is there any relevance to the tiidbit that Brooke Claxton was a BSM who was awarded the DCM, while the others were officers or without service, some, such as Danson, after non-commissioned service?

Claxton's service records are an interesting read. Before he went overseas as a Gunner, he was a "provisional" lieutenant with the Victoria Rifles of Canada. When it transpired that he would not be put on a draft for overseas service as an infantry officer, he attested (in Apr 1917) for CEF service in the ranks (at age 18) with McGill's Siege Artillery Draft. He arrived in France approx a year later after some months in England with ranks of cpl to sgt (acting?) and reverting back to gunner. Once in France confirmed as sergeant and then to BQMS before the armistice. His DCM refers to him as acting as BSM. Returned to Canada and demobbed in May 1919 as a 21 year old. After the war he was briefly in the Militia as an officer, but despite being recommended for promotion to substantive Lt (notation that his war service was not commissioned and so not considered qualifying) and even Capt, he left in 1926 still a Provisional Lieutenant.
 

OldSolduer

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The appointment as the MND in most governments takes a back seat to Ministers of Finance and Global Affairs.
 

OldSolduer

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For some reason MND doesn't have quite the same heft as SecDef.
The US military is "Ginormous" and the leverage it can bring to bear is downright scary politically. Therefore it commands a big part of the "power pie" in the US.

The military in the US really didn't start out that way. The US til post WW1 really didn't want a huge standing army/military and was isolationist until FDR or thereabouts. Post WWII we can see the military starting to become self aware and evolve into what it is today.
 

daftandbarmy

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The US military is "Ginormous" and the leverage it can bring to bear is downright scary politically. Therefore it commands a big part of the "power pie" in the US.

The military in the US really didn't start out that way. The US til post WW1 really didn't want a huge standing army/military and was isolationist until FDR or thereabouts. Post WWII we can see the military starting to become self aware and evolve into what it is today.

And Eisenhower famously warned everyone about that evolution:

Ike's Warning Of Military Expansion, 50 Years Later​


On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave the nation a dire warning about what he described as a threat to democratic government. He called it the military-industrial complex, a formidable union of defense contractors and the armed forces.

Eisenhower, a retired five-star Army general, the man who led the allies on D-Day, made the remarks in his farewell speech from the White House.

As NPR's Tom Bowman tells Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne, Eisenhower used the speech to warn about "the immense military establishment" that had joined with "a large arms industry."

Here's an excerpt:

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist."
 

Ostrozac

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The appointment as the MND in most governments takes a back seat to Ministers of Finance and Global Affairs.
It is perhaps telling that despite Brooke Claxton’s stellar service both as a soldier and as MND, he is probably more remembered for his service as the Minister of Health. After all, Defence hasn’t even named a building after him, while Health Canada did (in Tunney’s Pasture).
 
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