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French Language Units

August 31 2007 at 9:40 PM
Michael Dorosh 

Response to in retreat

The French-Language units strike me as a particularly excellent way of making better use of a major proportion of the Canadian population - not just in Quebec but anywhere that significant francophone representation is present, such as in Manitoba, for example. In the First World War, Canada had only one French-speaking unit due to francophobic policies. In the Second World War, plans for an all-French brigade were scuppered by a lack of adequately prepared staff officers; there were also shortages of manuals and training aids in the French language. Not that recruiting was as popular in Quebec as it was in English Canada, but I think they did their fair share, if not more.

Jean Allard oversaw the first FLUs and unless I'm mistaken was generally praised for this, even if he was seen as weak in kowtowing to the idea of Unification - I think the suggestion was that as a francophone, the FLUs were used to soothe him into accepting the changeover from Army to Mobile Command, which he served as the first commander of IIRC before becoming the first CDS.

Why would you suggest that Canada should not have French language units? Has the English-speaking army been so healthy in terms of manpower, historically speaking, that we can assume they are unimportant?

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