Military | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article

    Canada and the Battle of Passchendaele

    The Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was fought during the First World War from 31 July to 10 November 1917. The battle took place on the Ypres salient on the Western Front, in Belgium, where German and Allied armies had been deadlocked for three years. On 31 July, the British began a new offensive, attempting to break through German lines by capturing a ridge near the ruined village of Passchendaele. After British, Australian and New Zealand troops launched failed assaults, the Canadian Corps joined the battle on 26 October. The Canadians captured the ridge on 6 November, despite heavy rain and shelling that turned the battlefield into a quagmire. Nearly 16,000 Canadians were killed or wounded. The Battle of Passchendaele did nothing to help the Allied effort and became a symbol of the senseless slaughter of the First World War.

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    Battle of the Plains of Abraham

    The Battle of the Plains of Abraham (13 September 1759), also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal moment in the Seven Years’ War and in the history of Canada. A British invasion force led by General James Wolfe defeated French troops under the Marquis de Montcalm, leading to the surrender of Quebec to the British. Both commanding officers died from wounds sustained during the battle. The French never recaptured Quebec and effectively lost control of New France in 1760. At the end of the war in 1763 France surrendered many of its colonial possessions — including Canada — to the British. (This is the full-length entry about the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. For a plain-language summary, please see Battle of the Plains of Abraham (Plain-Language Summary).)

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    Canada and the Second Battle of Ypres

    The Second Battle of Ypres was fought during the First World War from 22 April to 25 May 1915. It was the first major battle fought by Canadian troops in the Great War. The battle took place on the Ypres salient on the Western Front, in Belgium, outside the city of Ypres (now known by its Flemish name, Ieper). The untested Canadians distinguished themselves as a determined fighting force, resisting the horror of the first large-scale poison gas attack in modern history. Canadian troops held a strategically critical section of the frontline until reinforcements could be brought in. More than 6,500 Canadians were killed, wounded or captured in the Second Battle of Ypres.

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  • Article

    Canadian Forces Base Borden

    Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden has always been primarily a training base for the Canadian Forces (CF). It is located 80 km northwest of Toronto, and was named after Sir Frederick Borden, Laurier's militia minister (1896-1911).

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    Canadian Forces Base Gagetown

    Canadian Forces Base Gagetown (or CFB Gagetown) functions primarily as the combat-training centre for the Canadian Army and comprises 111,000 hectares between Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick, west of the Saint John River.

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  • Article

    Canadian Forces Base Petawawa

    Renamed Canadian Forces Base Petawawa in 1968, the base has a total population of 5,000. As one of Canada's busiest operational bases, it is economically important to the adjacent town of Petawawa and nearby Pembroke.

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  • Article

    Canadian Forces Base Shilo

    Shilo, Canadian Forces Base (CFB), is located on the western boundary of Manitoba's Spruce Woods Provincial Forest, 195 km west of Winnipeg and 25 km east of Brandon. A portion of the forest is leased to the federal government for the Shilo military reserve. The base is part of Land Force Western Area (LFWA), which was established in 1991, with its headquarters in Edmonton.

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    Canadian Forces Base Trenton

    8 Wing/Canadian Forces Base Trenton is located 167 km east of Toronto on Lake Ontario's Bay of Quinte. Begun in 1929 on 384 ha of flat farmland adjacent to the town of Trenton.

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    Canadian Forces in Europe During the Cold War

    During the Cold War, Canada stationed army and air force units abroad for the first time during peacetime. Soldiers and airmen began to arrive in the early 1950s, shortly after the Cold War began, and remained until 1993, after it ended. In total, more than 100,000 Canadian military personnel served in France and West Germany in that period.

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  • Article

    CFS Shelburne (HMCS Shelburne)

    During the Second World War, a large naval repair base was established at Shelburne, Nova Scotia, where many Allied ships were refitted and repaired following their work maintaining convoy and antisubmarine surveillance in the Atlantic. During the Cold War, HMCS (later CFS) Shelburne played an important role in antisubmarine warfare, part of the SOSUS/IUSS network of passive sonar stations that identified and tracked Soviet submarines. CFS Shelburne was decommissioned in 1995.

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    Dieppe Raid

    During the Second World War, on 19 August 1942, the Allies launched a major raid on the French coastal port of Dieppe. Operation Jubilee was the first Canadian Army engagement in the European theatre of the war, designed to test the Allies' ability to launch amphibious assaults against Adolf Hitler's "Fortress Europe." The raid was a disaster: More than 900 Canadian soldiers were killed, and thousands more were wounded and taken prisoner. Despite the bloodshed, the raid provided valuable lessons for subsequent Allied amphibious assaults on Africa, Italy and Normandy.

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    Fort Amherstburg and the War of 1812

    A key site for controlling the western theatre of the War of 1812, Fort Amherstburg (now Fort Malden) owed its existence to the shifting boundaries on Lake Superior in the wake of British and American diplomatic and military disputes.

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  • Article

    Fort Anne

    For the next 40 years, the British at Fort Anne maintained a precarious position in the Acadian-dominated province and were frequently attacked by French and Indigenou raiding parties. The status of the fort declined with the founding of Halifax (1749) and the expulsion of the Acadians (1755).

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  • Article

    Fort Battleford

    When the settlement of Battleford, in what is now west-central Saskatchewan, was named the capital of the North-West Territories in 1876, the North-West Mounted Police established a post to deal with anticipated problems with Indigenous people.

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  • Article

    Fort Beauséjour

    Fort Beauséjour, on the west bank of the Missaguash River near present-day Sackville, New Brunswick was built 1751-55 by the French as a counter to nearby British Fort Lawrence (near Amherst, NS).

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