Select a letter to browse an alphabetical listing of terms and definitions.
Unit of infantry grouping several companies into a larger unit. During the French Regime, companies of colonial regular troops or militiamen were sometimes formed into temporary battalions during campaigns. From 1755, battalions of French Army regular regiments served in Canada consisting of 13 companies each - 12 of fusiliers and one of elite grenadiers. Until the 1860s, British infantry regiments usually had one battalion per regiment, each battalion having 10 companies including two elite companies - the grenadier company and the list company. Battalions of Canadian Volunteer Militia formed from 1859 are the origin of many regiments in the present Canadian Militia. Battalion strength varied but usually gathered about 500 men in the 18th and 19th centuries. Canadian infantry battalions during the Second World War had 800 men organized into an HQ company, four rifle companies, a carrier platoon, a scout platoon and a support company.
Group of artillery pieces installed in one location, under one tactical commander or otherwise operating as an entity. In the French Regime, a battery was a number of guns mounted in a part of a garrison's fortifications, as in the "Batterie Royale" which mounted up to eleven cannons.
Organizational term for an artillery unit of guns, men and vehicles, equivalent to an infantry company or a cavalry troop. In the War of 1812, British brigades of mobile field artillery came to be called "batteries" and usually consisted of five brass 6-pounder guns and a 5 2/1 inch brass howitzer, six ammunition wagons, two reserve ammunition wagons, two stores wagons, a mobile forge, a wheel carriage and at least five spare carriages. In the First World War, a battery usually consisted of 150 to 180 soldiers, commanded by a major and armed with eight guns.
Warship of higher speed and lighter armament than a battleship.
Soldier's everyday uniform of blouse and trousers, often called BD. British-designed battle dress became the uniform of Canadian soldiers when its manufacture in Canada began in September 1939. Made from durable khaki serge, the Canadian battle dress had a slightly more olive green hue and was considered of better quality than its British counterpart. With some alterations, such as the open collar introduced in 1945, BD remained the basic uniform of the Canadian Army until the unification of the armed forces and the introduction of the universal 'Green' uniform by the Canadian Forces in 1968.
See also: Uniform
Official recognition of a unit's honourable participation in a battle or campaign. In armies, the name of the engagement or campaign is placed on the regimental colours. The colours of some Canadian regiments are nearly covered by the many honours won during the two world wars. Honours for navy battles or campaigns are applied to a ship and its forbearers of the same name. Air forces have battle honours inscribed on their standard, a practice that has been in place for the RCAF since 1958.