Deployment to Employment: The Introduction of New Infantry Weapons in the Canadian Corps

  • Dr. William Stewart


Increased infantry combat power in comparison with the Somme was one of the critical factors in the success in the Canadian Corps at Vimy Ridge and the BEF. On the Somme, Canadian infantry had to rely on the artillery to defeat the Germans. Paradoxically, the infantry weapons introduced since the beginning of the war----grenades, rifle-grenades, Lewis Guns, and Stokes Mortars----were essentially identical on the Somme and at Vimy. What changed and was essential to the infantry's renaissance was how the Canadians organized and employed these weapons. A new platoon structure and tactics improved the infantry's capability to overcome resistance in the absence of artillery fire.

Author Biography

Dr. William Stewart

Dr. William Stewart is an independent researcher focused on the tactical, operational, and administrative aspects of Canada's participation in the First World War. After a thirty-year career in senior management in the high-tech industry, Dr. William Stewart graduated from the University of Birmingham, UK, with a PhD. in 2012. Stewart examines the combat and administrative aspects of the CEF in the Great War. His book The Embattled General, published in November 2015 was based on exhaustive research from over 1,200 volumes of material, including many previously untouched sources and has been called a balance and just re-evaluation of Turner, identifying his merits as well as his flaws.

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