Portal:Canadian Armed Forces

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The Canadian Forces Portal

Introduction

The emblem of the Canadian Forces topped by a St. Edward's Crown to indicate from where the military's authority stems.
The Canadian Forces (CF) (French: Forces Canadiennes; FC), officially the Canadian Armed Forces (French: Forces armées canadiennes), are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces." This single institution consists of the sea, land, and air environmental commands called the: Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), which together are overseen by the Armed Forces Council, chaired by the Chief of the Defence Staff. At the pinnacle of the command structure is the Commander-in-Chief, who is the reigning Canadian monarch, Elizabeth II, represented by the governor general.

Prior to Confederation in 1867, residents of the colonies in what is now Canada served as regular members of French and British forces and in local militia groups. The latter aided in the defence of their respective territories against attacks by other European powers, Aboriginal peoples, and later American forces during the American Revolution and War of 1812, as well as in the Fenian raids and North-West Rebellion. Consequently, the lineages of some Canadian army units stretch back to the early 19th century, when militia units were formed to assist in the defence of British North America against invasion by the United States.

The current iteration of the Canadian Forces dates from 1 February 1968, when the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force were merged into a unified structure. Its roots, however, lie in colonial militia groups that served alongside garrisons of the French and British armies and navies; a structure that remained in place until the early 20th century. Thereafter, a distinctly Canadian army and navy was established, followed by an air force, that, because of the constitutional arrangements at the time, remained effectively under the control of the British government until Canada gained legislative independence from the United Kingdom in 1931, partly due to the performance and sacrifice of the Canadian Corps in the First World War.

The Canadian forces were then heavily involved in the Second World War (which, as with the previous world war, involved conscription) and Korean War, and, from the 1950s on, actively worked with her NATO Allies to counter the threats of the Cold War. Land Forces during this period also deployed in support of peacekeeping operations within United Nations sanctioned conflicts. The nature of the Canadian Forces has continued to evolve. They are currently engaged in Afghanistan, under the NATO-led United Nations International Security Assistance Force, at the request of the Government of Afghanistan.

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The Second Battle of Passchendaele was the culminating and final attack during the Third Battle of Ypres of the First World War. The battle took place in the Ypres Salient area of the Western Front, in and around the Belgian town of Passchendaele, between 26 October 1917 and 10 November 1917. The Canadian Corps was tasked with relieving the exhausted II Anzac Corps, continuing the advance started with the First Battle of Passchendaele and ultimately capturing the town of Passchendaele itself. Beyond gaining favorable observation positions, the battle was intended to gain drier winter positions on higher ground.

Second Battle of Passchendaele - 16th Canadian Machine Gun Company.jpg

The assault position was directly south of the inter-army boundary between the British Fifth Army and Second Army. As a result the Canadian Corps was to attack with support of formations from the British Fifth Army to the north and I Anzac Corps to the south. The offensive was executed in series of attacks each with limited objectives, delivered at intervals of three or more days. The execution dates of the phases were tentatively given as 26 October, 30 October and 6 November with a final smaller action on 10 November. To permit time to facilitate inter-divisional reliefs, there was a planned seven day pause between the second and third stage during which time British Second Army was ordered to take over the section of the British Fifth Army front adjoining the Canadian Corps, so that the central portion of the assault could proceed under a single command.

Nine Victoria Crosses, the highest military decoration for valour awarded to British and Commonwealth forces, were awarded for actions during the battle. For the Canadian Corps, participation in the Second Battle of Passchendaele is commemorated with the Passchendaele Memorial located at the former site of the Crest Farm on the southwest fringe of Passchendaele village.

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Infantry from the Loyal Edmonton Regiment and Tanks from the 12e Régiment blindé
The Battle of Ortona (December 20–28, 1943) was a small, yet extremely fierce, battle fought between a battalion of German Fallschirmjäger (paratroops) from the German 1st Parachute Division under Generalleutnant Richard Heidrich, and assaulting Canadian forces from the 1st Canadian Infantry Division under Major General Chris Vokes. It was the culmination of the fighting on the Adriatic front in Italy during "Bloody December". The battle, dubbed "Little Stalingrad" for the deadliness of its close-quarters combat, took place in the small Adriatic Sea town of Ortona, with its peacetime population of 10,000.

The Canadians faced elements of the renowned German 1st Parachute Division. These soldiers were battle-hardened after many years of war, and were ordered by Hitler to defend Ortona at any cost.The initial Canadian attack on the town was made on December 20 by Canadian 2nd Brigade's Loyal Edmonton Regiment with elements of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada under command. Meanwhile elements of the division's 3rd Infantry Brigade launched a northerly attack to the west of the town in attempt to outflank and cut off the town's rear communications but made slow progress because of the difficult terrain and the skilful and determined German defence.

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Angus L Macdonald portrait.jpg
Angus Lewis Macdonald, PC, QC (August 10, 1890 – April 13, 1954), popularly known as 'Angus L.', was a Canadian lawyer, law professor and politician from Nova Scotia. He served as the Liberal premier of Nova Scotia from 1933 to 1940, when he became the federal minister of defence for naval services. He oversaw the creation of an effective Canadian navy and Allied convoy service during World War II. After the war, he returned to Nova Scotia to become premier again. In the election of 1945, his Liberals swept back into power while their main rivals, the Conservatives, failed to win a single seat. The Liberal rallying cry, "All's Well With Angus L.," was so well received that the Conservatives despaired of ever beating Macdonald. He died in office in 1954.
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World War I poster for 1918- Canadian victory bond drive, depicts three French women pulling a plow.

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McMillan Tac-50 with scope, used by the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry that holds the recorded for longest sniper kill in action.

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