Training Manuals

Officer-like Qualities

The object of this manual was to give the inexperienced Temporary Officer a sense of the qualities - knowledge, loyalty, firmness, fairness - at which he should aim.

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The application of infantry fire-power

This mid-Second World War manual reminded soldiers of the requirements for effective infantry fire, including accuracy, fire discipline, and the ability to judge distance.

Constructing barbed wire defences

This manual, used for training purposes by the 215th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, was based on two years' worth of hard experience in defending captured positions.

Voting in Ontario

Wartime elections meant a new class of voters: those in uniform. In Ontario, the franchise was extended to men who were not normally allowed to vote, including those under the age of twenty-one and members of the First Nations, provided they were serving in the military.

"You have in explosives a good servant"

In this book, Sergeant Coleman of the Royal Canadian Regiment sought to augment the short time given to grenade training by providing practical hints on handling, arming, throwing, and making various kinds of bombs for use in trench warfare.

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Are you physically fit?

According to these regulations, medical requirements for volunteers to the CEF were fairly stringent. In practice, the need for manpower meant that many serious medical conditions were "overlooked".

How to survive in the trenches

This booklet, written with the benefit of three years of experience with trench warfare, covered everything from gas discipline to rum rations.

Killing at close quarters

This training manual stressed that effective bayonet fighting required "Good Direction, Strength and Quickness, during a state of wild excitement and probably physical exhaustion."

"Are my men full of keenness?"

Just a few months before the attack on Vimy Ridge, Canadian Corps commander Lord Byng showed as much interest in the comfort of his soldiers as he did in tactics - and encouraged his officers to do the same.

How to have a happy and efficient ship

Managing seamen, who were typically divided into four Divisions (Forecastle, Foretop, Maintop, and Quarterdeck), relied heavily on an officer's unselfishness, humour, and common sense - the main principles underlying this training manual.

"In the interests of Mechanical Maintenance"

CAM was a kind of bible for Canadian military mechanics during the Second World War - but it's equally notable for its fine graphic art covers.

Field Engineering (All Arms) Military Training Pamphlet No. 30 Part V Protective Works, 1941

This pamphlet instructs field engineers on constructing protective works including mortar emplacements, weapon slits, and shelter for troops. This version of the pamphlet dates from 1941. A somewhat different 1944 version is also available on Wartime Canada.

Physical Standards and Instructions for Medical Examination

This manual instructs medical staff how to assess the health of recruits and service men, and recommends the type of military service appropriate to each physical condition.

Military Training Pamphlet No. 23 Part III: Appreciations, Orders, Intercommunications and Movements 1939

This booklet is part of a series training Canadian troops on field operations, including how to evaluate a situations, issue orders, and send messages.

Operational Feeding: The Use of Field Rations

This booklet describes the rations that Canadian soldiers can expect during operations in the field, and carefully explains why the food available will be different from the food they received at home. After all, "to ship field bakeries instead of, say, field batteries, would be weakening the Force."

Notes for Instructors in Battle First Aid

This instruction manual describes how to perform first aid with the limited resources available during battle.

Field Engineering (All Arms) No. 30: Protective Works

This pamphlet instructs field engineers on constructing protective works including mortar emplacements, weapon slits, and shelter for troops.

Field Engineering (All Arms) No. 30: Obstacles

This pamphlet provides instructions for constructing obstacles in the field, to defend against enemy tanks and infantry.

Canadian Army Training Pamphlet No. 8: How to Qualify

This pamphlet describes the qualifications for holding officer ranks up to Lt. Col. in the Canadian Army.

Brief Notes on War Gases and Spray

This pamphlet instructs soldiers on the various war gases they may encounter, how to recognize them, and how to protect yourself against them.