Topic: Drill and Training
Infantrymen of Lieutenant D.S. Barrie's platoon of The Highland Light Infantry of Canada relaxing during a rest period, France, 20 June 1944. Location: France. Date: June 20, 1944.
Photographer: Ken Bell. Mikan Number: 3205673.
From the Library and Archives Canada virtual exhibit "Faces of War."
Battle Drill training is founded upon the axiom that "until every soldier looks on himself as a ruthless killer, using cover with the facility of an animal, using his weapons with the practised ease of a professional hunter and covering the ground on the move with the agility of a deer-stalker, infantry battle training will be based on false foundations"
Battle Drill Training (1944)
Excerpted from Report No. 123 on Battle Drill Training. Published under the Canadian Military Headquarters (CMHQ) Reports 1940-1948.
This report deals with the development of modern methods of training and the evolution of Battle Drill Training with particular reference to its adoption by the Canadian Army in the United Kingdom.
It is necessary first to define clearly the difference between "Battle Drill" and "Battle Drill Training," as these terms are now understood. "Battle Drill," according to the manual Fieldcraft and Battle Drill, means the reduction of military tactics to bare essentials which are taught to a platoon as a team drill, with clear explanations regarding the objects to be achieved, the principles involved and the individual task of each member of the team "Battle Drill Training", on the other hand, is more comprehensive. It consists of a high standard of weapon training, "purposeful physical training, fieldcraft, battle drills proper, battle discipline and battle inoculation".
Battle Drill training is founded upon the axiom that "until every soldier looks on himself as a ruthless killer, using cover with the facility of an animal, using his weapons with the practised ease of a professional hunter and covering the ground on the move with the agility of a deer-stalker, infantry battle training will be based on false foundations" (C.M.H.Q. file 2/Battle School/1: Report on First G.H.Q. Battle School). Its object is, therefore, to inculcate into a body of fighting men a system of battle discipline and team spirit, and to give every man a knowledge of certain basic "team plays." Which will guide him in any operation he may undertake in battle. It has the further advantage of making the men physically fit, relieving boredom in training, and inoculating the soldier and his commander against the fear and noises of battle (C.M/H.Q, file 2/Report./4: Precis on Battle Drill, C.T.S.).
Owing to the romantic aura surrounding the term "Commando," newspaper writers have occasionally referred to Battle Drill Training as "Commando Training." It should be clearly understood that Battle Drill Training is not a special type of training confined to units of the Special Service Brigade, but a form of training which all Canadian infantry men are required to undergo.