Canadian Military History Gateway
Organization > National Defence
Subject > Politics and Society
Date > 1900 > 1920-1929
Built in 1898-1900 to protect the entrance to the Royal Navy (and later the Royal Canadian Navy) base on the Pacific, the battery has been restored to its appearance during the Second World War 1939-45. (Parks Canada)
Except for a few details, the full dress uniform of officer cadets at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, remained essentially the same since the college was founded in 1874. As shown in this 1954 photo, only the shakos and pith helmets worn on parade by first-class officer-cadets disappeared, replaced by pill-box caps. (Canadian Department of National Defence, ZK-2049)
When the Canadian Air Force was authorized in February 1920, they were given the dark blue uniform seen in this painting of a pilot ranking as a lieutenant. Rank was shown by the traditional army system of crowns and stars, and pilots wore wings on the left breast. King George V granted the designation Royal Canadian Air Force in 1923. When the service was made a permanent part of the Department of National Defence the following year, it adopted the lighter 'RAF blue' uniform worn by its British counterpart. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)
The most significant development in disciplinary policy during the period covered by this report was the process by which complete control of punishment in the Canadian forces passes from British to Canadian authorities. This process began in the First World War and was completed as a result of constitutional changes in the period before the outbreak of the Second World War.
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The First World War led to Canada’s independent stance within the Empire, a position that was fully severed after the Chanak Crisis of 1922 and the passage of the 1931 Statue of Westminster granting full independence. Pacifism, a product of the terrible losses during the war, became fashionable in society and government policy followed. Prime Minister Mackenzie King sought to prevent foreign entanglements from splitting the country as had happened in 1917.
The Vickers Vedette was the first commercial aircraft built to a Canadian specification for Canadian conditions. The Royal Canadian Air Force needed an aircraft for forestry survey and fire protection patrols, and Canadian Vickers of Montreal responded with the British-designed Vedette with some adjustments for Canada. The RCAF bought 44 aircraft, which entered service in 1925. They were widely used in Canada's wilderness for communications with isolated communities and for making the photographic surveys needed for the preparation of maps by the Geological Survey of Canada. A replica of a Vedette is on display at the Western Canada Aviation Museum. (Department of National Defence photo)
Introduction by W.A.B. Douglas, Director Directorate of History, Program Chairman. Articles in a variety of languages including: English, German, French, Italian, Portugese, Spanish, Russian, Greek.
Eugene Fiset is an example of a unique French Canadian officer who rose to high rank and distinguished recognition while serving his country in the Boer War. He later rose to the position of Director General of the Army Medical Service. Following military service he was a Deputy Minister of Militia and Defence, a Major-General, a Member of Parliament, and finally the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec.
Canada's plan for a fifteen division militia was reduced by budget constraints to six divisions, which became the basis for future mobilization planning. Regiments were disbanded or merged within the budget reductions.
Canadian forces raised in the First World War were disbanded and military affairs resumed their pre-war status. The National Defence Act of 1923 rationalized the three services into one organization that was poorly funded until rearmament began in 1936. The financial crises of the 1920’and 30’s severely restricted budgets and military planning.