(French: lieutenant-général) was a general officer rank in
the Canadian Army throughout the 20th Century and into the 21st;
until after the First World War it was the most senior rank possible
in the Canadian land forces.
The rank of Lieutenant General traces its lineage back to the
Middle Ages, when the second highest officer in an army was referred
to as Lieutenant General, second only to the Captain General. The
term has remained in use for several centuries.
Up until the time of Unification in 1968, the insignia for a
Lieutenant General included a set of gorget patches in addition to
his standard badges of rank. These originally consisted of a crossed
baton and sabre surmounted by a rank star and a crown. After the
First World War, general officer insignia was altered, and a
Lieutenant General was then identified by a crossed baton and sabre
surmounted only by a crown.
Up until the time of Unification in 1968, the insignia for a General
included a set of gorget patches in addition to his standard badges
of rank. The rank of General was introduced after the First World
War in Canada, and a general officer insignia was identified by a
crossed baton and sabre surmounted only by a rank star and crown,
the pre-1922 insignia for a Lieutenant General.
Canadian Forces Slip-On
At the time of Unification in 1968, general officers' insignia was changed to consist of the
crown, a crossed sabre and baton, and three maple leaves. The number of maple leaves matched the number of
stars an American General employed in his rank insignia, and the
rank was sometimes referred to colloquially as a "Three Leaf General"
in emulation of US colloquialisms such as "Three Star General".
In addition to the command of a corps, Lieutenant Generals could be
found in other appointments. A common concern voiced by the press
and other critics by the early 1990s was the number of general
officers in the Canadian military.
Among the appointments held by soldiers ranked as Lieutenant
As well, both
overseas corps in the Second World War were commanded by a