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Organization > National Defence

Subject > Politics and Society

Date > 1900 > 1950-1959

Officer cadet, Royal Military College of Canada, 1954

Type: Image

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)

Site: National Defence

Cold War Defence

Type: Document

The emergence of the Cold War in 1951 changed the downward slide of Canadian military budgets. Spending and recruiting of the regular force exceeded the strength of the reserves for the first time in Canadian history.

Site: National Defence

Avro CF-105 Arrow Mk.1, on its first flight, 1958

Type: Image

The Canadian-designed Avro CF-105 Arrow Mk.1 was the most advanced fighter in the world at that time, with a top speed of 1,324 knots (2,453 k/ph). It was expensive, however, and the government halted production. The five existing examples of this triumph of Canadian engineering were destroyed. All this stirred up such controversy that it remains a subject of passionate debate in the country more than 40 years later. (Canadian Department of National Defence, 82-384)

Site: National Defence

Sir Eugene Fiset returns to service…

Type: Document

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.

Site: National Defence

The Role of the Regular Forces

Type: Document

Post World War Two, the role and strength of the Canadian Permanent Forces would be influenced by domestic political imperatives and external strategic change.

Site: National Defence

The Quebec Citadel, circa 1950

Type: Image

Built between 1828 and 1856, the Quebec Citadel has remained largely the same ever since, as this 1950s picture shows. It is now the regimental HQ of the Royal 22e Régiment / Royal 22nd Regiment - the famous 'Van Doos'. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Canada and Peace-keeping Operations

Type: Document

A history of Canada's involvement in peacekeeping, including the formation of the League of Nations and the United Nations.

Site: National Defence

2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Kap'yong, Korea, 24-25 April 1951

Type: Image

On 24 and 25 April 1951, the 2nd Battalion of the 'Princess Pats' fought day and night to repel repeated attacks on Kap'yong by the Chinese 118th Division. This action stopped the Chinese advance on Seoul, the Korean capital. Impressed by such gallantry and tenacity, the U.S. president awarded the battalion the American Distinguished Unit Citation, which it has worn ever since. (United States Army Center of Military History, Washington)

Site: National Defence

Canadian Forces Headquarters (CFHQ) Reports, 1965-1980

Type: Document

From 1965-1980, Colonel C.P. Stacey organized the Directorate of History out of the three former separate Service historical sections. He introduced the practice of writing historical narratives of current operations or on topics of contemporary interest. The Canadian Forces Headquarters Reports deal with peacekeeping, naval aspects of the Second World War, and the organization and structure of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence from colonial times.

Site: National Defence

The Effect of NATO

Type: Document

Participation in NATO accelerated Canada’s military rearmament program after the Second World War, and remained a high political priority even when reductions affected the size of the forces in Europe. NATO’s political and economic aspects were seen as essential for Canadian security, and even promoted the 1980’s rearmament programs.

Site: National Defence