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Organization > National Defence

Subject > Wars, Battles and Conflicts > Canada, the nation, since 1867

Canadian POWs

Type: Document

During the First World War nearly 3,000 Canadians became prisoners of war.

Site: National Defence

Corporal, Royal 22e Régiment, Italy, 1943

Type: Image

During the summers in southern Italy, the Canadians wore tropical uniforms like the rest of the British 8th Army. This reconstruction by Ron Volstad shows a corporal of the Royal 22e Régiment, the only Francophone regular infantry regiment in the Canadian army during the war. The unit saw its first action of the war during the landings in Sicily in 1943. Note the famous red patch of the 1st Canadian Division on the upper shoulder. This formation badge dates from the First World War. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Weapons

Type: Document

This section illustrates a selection of firearms and bladed weapons used by British and Canadian military units during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Site: National Defence

Assertion of Canadian Identity

Type: Document

The development of a Canadian army overseas promoted the growth of a Canadian identity that was separate from the British model. Canada's military independence on the battlefield would be succeeded, over the decades, by gradual political independence.

Site: National Defence

Concluding Phase of Operations by the 1st Cdn Army - Part I - The Operations of First Cdn Army, 2-11 Apr 45

Type: Document

This official report deals with the operations of the First Canadian Army in North-West Europe during the last phase of the campaign from April 2, 1945, when General H.D.G. Crerar's headquarters assumed control of Canadian operations east of the Rhine, to the signing of the instrument of surrender by plenipotentiaries of the German High Command at Field Marshal Montgomery's Tactical Headquarters on May 4, resulting in the cease fire order.

Site: National Defence

Fighting in the Rivera

Type: Document

In fighting along the Cote d’Azur at the end of WW2, the Canadian officer Ralph Wilson Becket won the American Silver Star, along with Sergeant Thomas Price, the most decorated Canadian aboriginal soldier.

Site: National Defence

Other Canadian Participants

Type: Document

Outside the Canadian Corps, Canadians served with British forces in a number of roles - in the Cavalry Division, as Railway troops, in the Forestry Corps, as sappers, and in medical units. After the war a Canadian brigade was sent to Archangel and Vladivostok, during the Russia Civil War, to protect allied supplies.

Site: National Defence

Supermarine Spitfire L.F. Mk. IX fighter in the markings of 421 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force

Type: Image

The Spitfire Mk. IX was the third-generation of Supermarine's famous fighter, and the final one equipped with a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. The L.F. Mk. IX was an aircraft optimised for combat at lower altitudes - note the clipped wings shown in this photograph of a surviving example in the collection of the Canadian Aviation Museum. The aircraft bears the 'AU' code letters of 421 'Red Indian' Squadron, Royal Canadian Airforce. 421 Squadron was one of several Canadian fighter squadrons stationed in Europe. (Canadian Department of National Defence, PCN-5234)

Site: National Defence

Lord Strathcona’s Horse

Type: Document

The Canadian government allowed individuals to raise private military formations to serve in South Africa. Lord Strathcona raised a regiment of mounted rifles under Sam Steele. The British also recruited over 1,000 men to serve in the British South African Police as mounted policemen.

Site: National Defence

Army Participation in Measures taken by the Three Services for the Security of the Gulf of St Lawrence and the Lower River during the Period of German Submarine Activity, 1942-45

Type: Document

This report discusses the measures taken by the Army to safeguard the civil population and vital installations in the Lower St. Lawrence region as a result of the incursion of German submarines into the Gulf and River in 1942. After Japanese forces struck at Pearl Harbour, the whole perspective of the war was changed and the Allied powers had to redistribute their naval resources to cover the new areas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The German enemy's response to this new situation was to mount more agressive U-boat attacks from the Atlantic and heading westward.

Site: National Defence