Canadian Army Officer Discipline and Martial Justice, 1944-45

Raluca Oprean Discussion

In the seventh installment of the LCMSDS Maple Leaf Route Webinar Series, Matthew Barrett discusses the experience of Lieutenant Reginald Woods of the Lake Superior Regiment. After his platoon came under German attack on 17 August, Woods vanished. When he suddenly re-emerged two months later claiming amnesia, Canadian military authorities needed to grapple with assumptions about combat leadership, mental responsibility and criminal culpability.

Using an illustrated, graphic history approach, Matthew Barrett explores Woods’ medical diagnosis and eventual court martial to highlight the challenges of uncovering what happened and piercing through the fog of war. Using Woods’ fascinating story as a case study, this talk examines the topic of officer discipline more broadly to study the legal, medical, and administrative responses to perceived misconduct and failure on the battlefield.

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