Select a letter to browse an alphabetical listing of terms and definitions.
Operations involving the employment of lethal and incapacitating agents and the warning and protective measures associated with such offensive operations.
The first large scale use of chemicals in battle was during the First World War at the Battle of Ypres. The German army launched clouds of chlorine gas to break the Allied line. The 45th French Algerian Division was first hit by the surprise and the division broke and fled. Approximately one third of the 15,000 men died. The 1st Canadian Division struggled to close the gap. Two days later, the Germans launched another gas attack. The Canadians continued to fight until reinforcements arrived, wearing urine soaked handkerchiefs over their lower faces for protection. One Canadian in three, over 6,000 men, perished within 48 hours.
The use of gas was risky due to the north-western prevailing winds on the Western Front, but effective gas masks were quickly issued and both sides continued to use gas on occasion. The Germans first used "mustard gas", which attacked the skin, on July 12, 1917. The allies soon adopted its use, although it did not acheive major battlefield results despite the severe casualties.
Experiments with gas continued after the First World War, until an international treaty to ban its use was made at La Hague in 1925. Neither the United States nor Japan chose to ratify the agreement, but the fear of retaliation was predominant and gases were not used as a weapon during the Second World War. The Americans used chemicals, most notably the defoliant "Agent Orange", during the Vietnam war with regrettable humanitarian consequences and no tangible military results.
More recently, Saddam Hussein in Iraq used lethal chemical gases on Kurdish villages in Northern Iraq causing the deaths of thousands of civilians, and bringing forth universal condemnation on the international stage.
See also: Gas
Interlaced initials of a sovereign, used on standards, flags, ordnance, buttons, etc. Also, a cryptographic system in which arbitrary symbols represent plain text, creating secret or disguised writing.
See: Capot, Khaki, Mitasses, Shako, Uniform.
State of international tension wherein political, economic, technological, sociological, psychological, paramilitary and military measures short of overt armed conflict involving regular military forces are employed to achieve national objectives; the prime example of which is relations between the Soviets and Western Europe and North America after the Second World War. Four days after the surrender of Japan, a USSR embassy employee in Ottawa, Igor Gouzenko, defected and subsequently confirmed British and American suspicions about a Soviet spy network.
The installation of communist governments in eastern Europe by the USSR and the posting of Soviet troops to these nations quickly added to the growing distrust. Western European countries joined with the United States and Canada to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and troops were posted near Soviet borders. Both sides had nuclear capabilities and, since there was fear that direct conflict would result in mutual destruction, methods of indirect conflict through foreign revolutions and political coups to achieve gains for the communist or "free world" countries were adopted. Starting in the 1970s, arms limitation agreements were negotiated out of fear of nuclear war, even as sizeable conflicts were fought in Vietnam and Afghanistan. The Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989-1991.
See also: DEW Line, Missile, Mid-Canada Line, NATO, NORAD, Pine Tree Line
Collège Militaire Royal de Saint-Jean (CMR)
Military college opened in 1952 at Saint-Jean, Québec, to train francophone cadets to become officers in the Canadian armed forces. Officer cadets completed their university courses on site, except for those in engineering or other specialisations that required them to complete the last two years at the Royal Military College in Kingston. CMR closed due to government budget restrictions in 1995, and its staff and activities were moved to RMC in Kingston, Ontario.
See also: Royal Military College