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History of the Canadian Armed ForcesCreation of the Canadian Armed forcesEven though the Europeans that settled in Canada had to fight from the colonization of the lands, it was mainly under the British or French rule. It changed in 1867 when the UK withdrew its last troops, leaving the responsibility of defense to the local powers. British only left naval forces since the newly independent country since it did not have one until 1910, with the creation of the Canadian Royal Navy.The first real fights the Canadians had to face were with the US, during the period of trouble following the US Independence, when the so called “Americans” claimed the ownership of parts of the Canadian lands, as a compensation for the British occupation. Later, they also had to fight the Fenian Raids, led by Irish-Americans, who wanted to pressure the UK to make it leave Ireland – so Canada wasn’t here the real target as itself. Both threats participated in creating the Canadian identity and the very first army-like units. So, the lineages of some Canadian units stretch back to the early 19th century, when militia units were formed for the defence of British North America against invasion by the United States. – Role during the two World WarsThe Canadian army was involved in both of the two World Wars, and it brought a sizable help to the Allied forces, especially the UK, with which Canada has very special ties, since it was, and is still now, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, headed by the Queen, or King of the United Kingdom. • First World War (14-18)The First World War of 1914–1918 was the bloodiest conflict in Canadian history, taking the lives of nearly 61,000 Canadians. Canadian forces entered the conflict as soon as it erupted, like all the British dominions. The only difference was that it was the first time that Canadian soldiers, even though incorporated in the British army, that they fought as a defined group.Canadian men were trained in England and then sent to the battlefield in continental Europe and mainly in the north of France, they mostly took part in 3 famous episodes of the war : the battle of the Somme (1916-1918), the Vamy ridge battle (1917) and the battle of Passchendaele (1917).It is important to know that Canada faced a huge wave of protest in 1917, when conscription was generalized, especially among the French-speaking population, because this war was a British one in their eyes. • Second World War (39-45)Canada entered the Second World War on September 10, 1939, declaring war on Germany. The Royal Canadian Navy supported by Canada’s Merchant Navy played a crucial role during the Battle of the Atlantic, including the Battle of the St. Lawrence between the German U-boats and the Canadian Forces.In Europe, Canadians also participated in the Dieppe landing, which was the operation that saw a division lose the largest number of soldiers in a single day of the entire campaign in Europe. 3,367 Canadians were killed or taken prisoner during the landing. The 1st Canadian Infantry Division participated in the landing in Sicily (1943) and in the campaign that followed. At the end of it, the division took part in the invasion of Italy. Shortly afterwards, in 1944, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division participated in the Normandy landings and Canadian troops made their mark in several battles during the campaign, including the landing at Juno Beach (Normandy – Operation Overlord). Overall, more than 42.000 soldiers died during those campaigns and 50.000 were wounded, by the end of the war more than 0,38% of the population had died, proportionally, it is more than in the USA (around 0,32%).Post World-War II evolution of the Canadian Armed ForcesObviously, the military history of Canada did not stop at the end of the second World War. It also took part in the Cold war, the Korean war and various other wars or military operations that we will not develop here. We will focus on 3 main steps of the evolution of the Canadian Army, that led it to it current form.In the 1960’s/70’s : The structural modification of the Canadian Armed Forces The 1960s and 1970s have often been described as the golden age of Peacekeeping Operations for the Canadian Forces, since it had a great role to play inside the UN, as the instigator of this reform was the Canadian Prime Minister : Lester Pearson & Hellyer, his minister for National Defense.This very prolific appearance hides very deep changes in the structure of the Canadian Armed forces : the main one being the unification of the 3 armed forces in the same command structure. As a matter of facts, before …. the Canadian Armed forces were divided in 3 branches : the Canadian Royal Navy, the Canadian Army and the Canadian Air Force. This new organisation corresponded to 5 different ideas : (1) the need for a single coherent defence policy for Canada; (2) the creation of the office of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) to centralize and strengthen the administration and control of defence policy and of the CF; (3) the creation of a unified system of command complete with the reorganization of the field commands; (4) the introduction of modern management methods and the elimination of triplicate functions to achieve efficiencies; and, (5) the achievement of a single higher loyalty to the CF. In the 1990’s and the Somalia affairThroughout the years, Canada took part in many different intervention in foreign fields of action. But the Somalia intervention of 1992-1993 marked a turning point in the history of the CAF, which had to be profoundly renewed and updated to the values of the post Cold War world. This process was launched by a sandal called the “Somalia Affair” : the Canadian Airborne Regiment was accused of having willingfully perpetrated serious breaches to Human Rights, it even went as far as torturing a teenager to death. This provoked a general outcry and the regiment was dismantled. On the long run, it led to a change in the values promoted by the Army, the fighters have to be diplomats as well and behave as peacekeepers, not thugs.The Manley report (2000′) Manley was given the task of building a report regarding the mission in Afghanistan, in 2008. The CAF were engaged on this field and by 2008 they should have given back the power to the local authorities (police and army), but it soon appeared that the country wasn’t ready to recover its independence and still needed the presence of international troops to ensure the missions of peacekeeping, but the NATO left the entire region of Kandahar into Canadian hands, a responsibility that was too heavy for the number of men involved and that threatened their lives. The Prime Minister Harper, sexy as fucked, decided, in reaction, to leave troops in Afghanistan only until 2011 and to ask the NATO for help on two subjects : more troops to maintain safe and decent work conditions for soldiers and to share the burden of the interventionsmore equipment to protect and help soldiers (especially helicopters to make transports easier) Current functioning and missions the Canadian Armed ForcesMain purposes of the CAFThe Canadian Armed forces have defined 3 main goals, and every intervention inside or outside of the territory must serve those objectives. They are composed of a mix of two visions : “Canada first” but also the more recent idea that Canada has a role to play on the international scene• “Strong at home, with a military ready and able to defend its sovereignty, and to assist in times of natural disaster, support search and rescue, or respond to other emergencies”• “Secure in North America, active in a renewed defence partnership in the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and with the United States to monitor and defend continental airspace and ocean areas”• “Engaged in the world, with the Canadian Armed Forces doing its part in Canada’s contributions to a more stable, peaceful world, including through peace support operations and peacekeeping.” This can be seen through the various international interventions, still led today, that will be developed in another paragraph.The structure of the Canadian Armed Forces

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