Andrew George Latta McNaughton, born in
Moosomin (then North-West Territories, now
in Saskatchewan) February 25, 1887, died
in Montebello (Quebec) July 11, 1966. General
Officer Commanding First Canadian Infantry
Division from 1939 to 1940, First Canadian
Corps from 1940 to 1942, General Officer
Commanding-in-Chief First Canadian Army
from 1942 to 1943, Minister of Defence from
1944 to 1945.
Andrew G. L. McNaughton, March
of National Defence / National
Archives of Canada, PA-132648
Andrew McNaughton graduated in physics
and engineering from McGill University in
Montreal (B.S., 1910, M.S., 1912). He enlists
in the Militia in 1909, then in 1914, in
the 4th Battery of the Canadian Expeditionary
Corps. Applying his scientific knowledge
to artillery, he is rapidly promoted and
when the war ends, he is at the head of
the Canadian Artillery Corps.
After the Great War, he remains with the
Canadian Permanent Forces as Chief of the
General Staff. He works at mechanizing the
armed forces and modernizing the Militia.
He returns for a few years to civilian life
and from 1935 to 1939 is head of the National
Research Council of Canada.
When war breaks out, McNaughton becomes
commanding officer of the First Canadian
Infantry Division. Under his leadership,
the Division grows and is reorganized as
a corps (1940), and then as an army (1942).
McNaughton’s contribution to the development
of new techniques is outstanding, especially
in the field of detection and weaponry,
including the discarding sabot projectile.
He is however criticized for his poor judgment
regarding military strategy especially his
approval of the ill-fated operation against
Dieppe. His obstinate opposition to the
fragmentation of Canadian troops stationed
in Great Britain antagonized both the British
senior Staff and the Canadian government.
Pressured by critics and weakened by health
problems, McNaughton resigned his command
in December 1943.
Prime Minister King’s trust towards
McNaughton remains unabated and he is appointed
Minister of Defence in 1944, with the specific
mandate to solve the conscription issue.
He will prove unable to find a solution,
and Canadians deny him the support he needs
to be elected to the House of Commons.
After WWII, Andrew McNaughton is Canada’s
Representative to the United Nations’
Atomic Energy Commission; he chairs the
Canadian Atomic Energy Control Commission
from 1946 to 1948. He acts as Permanent
Representative to the UN from 1948 to 1949,
then between 1950 and 1959, he is the President
of the Canadian section of the International