Training length for commonwealth soldiers

Discussion in 'General' started by Jerry69420, May 31, 2021.

  1. Jerry69420

    Jerry69420 Active Member

    How long was training for soldiers in commonwealth nations like Australia, Canada and colonies like India?
  2. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Training in the Canadian Army

    Every recruit would now go in the first place to a Basic Training Centre where he would get two months' elementary "common-to-all-arms" training before passing on to an Advanced Training Centre for two months' more "special-to-arm" training in the work of his own arm of the service (Infantry, Artillery, Signals, etc. ) The division of training centres into these two categories was not necessarily an ideal arrangement; it was adopted because it was the only means of getting the four-months training scheme going quickly.

    By the autumn of 1941 there were 27 Basic Training Centres and 32 Advanced Training Centres operating. The latter included two teaching coast-defence and anti-aircraft artillery work and the two Small Arms Training Centres, as well as two Officers Training Centres and several establishments engaged in special or trades training.

    The early weeks of 1942 brought increased demands for reinforcements, to complete the First Canadian Army and the divisions being mobilized for home defence. A considerable increase in training centre capacity was now authorized, existing establishments being enlarged and new ones set up; the number of basic training centres, which had grown to 28, was increased to 40.* (Two of the new ones were Educational Basic Training Centres, where illiterate or semi-literate recruits could be given elementary education sufficient to enable them to be useful soldiers.) Once the immediate need had been met, however, the new organization proved larger than the normal reinforcement stream required. At 31 May 1943 "the total capacity of basic and advanced training centres was more than 78,000 all ranks at one time".

    Source: The Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War

    British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

    Recruits began their air force career with a four week posting to a Manning Depot where they learned the basics of military life.

    From there they proceeded to an Initial Training School where mathematics, navigation, aerodynamics, and other subjects were studied. Their results here determined their next posting, some being considered suitable for flying training and others for navigation or wireless schools. This was a ten-week process

    The first step for those who qualified for pilot training was a posting to an Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS). An eight week course involved all aspects of basic flight and navigation and about fifty hours of flying in the single engined “primary” training aircraft such as Fleet Fawns, Fleet Finches, de Havilland Tiger Moths, and later in the war, Fairchild Cornells.

    Successful graduates of an EFTS would be posted to a Service Flying Training School (SFTS) where students were expected to improve their navigational skills, master instrument and night flying, and participate in formation flying exercises. Most faced the challenge of adapting to flying larger, twin-engined aircraft such as the Avro Anson or Cessna Crane. Pilots who were judged to be suited to flying fighter aircraft flew the single-engined Harvard aircraft, much more powerful and demanding than the aircraft at EFTS. During the BCATP’s first year, military flying training is a ten-week course. But some weaknesses were identified in the training of the earlier graduates posted to Great Britain and the course was expanded to 16 weeks.

    Upon graduation from an SFTS, the pilot was ready to continue his training at an Operationl Training Unit (OTU), generally in Britain.

    Other aircrew were assigned to BCATP schools devoted to their speciality such as navigation, wireless, and bombing and gunnery schools where a variety of aircraft were used in their training.
    Last edited: May 31, 2021
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  3. Jerry69420

    Jerry69420 Active Member

    Thanks . Was it similar in the other countries? After 4 months was any additional training given or were they shipped to their unit ?
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

  5. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Just for interest, the US Training times, in 1941

    Before the end of 1941, revised MTP's had been issued for the replacement training centers of the Cavalry, Coast Artillery (including Antiaircraft), and Infantry, and a new MTP had been published to guide Armored replacement training. There was a good deal of disparity among the prescribed programs. The training cycles were not all of the same length: Infantry and Armored were 13 weeks; Cavalry, Coast Artillery, and Field Artillery were 12. There was an even greater difference in the allotment of time to basic or general training. In Field Artillery all replacements received identical basic training for 2 weeks; in Coast Artillery basic training lasted 4 weeks for line replacements, 4 weeks for some specialists, and 8 for others; in Infantry the basic training period was 5 weeks for all; and in Cavalry replacement training there was no distinct separation between basic and technical training. In all the programs some specifically "branch" subjects, such as rifle marksmanship, gunner's instruction, and vehicle driving, were started early in the cycle in order to allow the longest possible time for formation of habits. On the other hand, some "basic" subjects, notably drill, physical training, inspections, and marches, occurred throughout the cycle, since their effect depended largely on daily or weekly repetitions.

  6. Temujin

    Temujin Member

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