Month: April 1996

Defence Today

Reserves On Deck

by Bill Fairbairn Naval reserve crews are being challenged to show what they can do at sea aboard Canada’s newest warships. The 970-tonne HMCS Kingston was accepted by the navy late last year after completing her contractor sea trials off Canada’s east coast. She is the first of 12 general purpose maritime coastal defence vessels or MCDVs with minesweeping capabilities. The second MCDV, HMCS Glace Bay, was launched Jan. 23. Vice-Admiral Lynn Mason, commander of Maritime Command, is confident the Kingston-class warships "will give Canada’s maritime forces an enhanced operational capability and provide the naval reserve with a focused seagoing role." Built at Halifax Shipyard, the ships are being delivered to the navy by Fenco MacLaren Inc. of Nepean, Ont., the prime contra...
Army

The Early Days Of WW II: Army, Part 7

For most Canadians WW II began on Sept. 1, 1939, when Hitler’s armies invaded Poland. That event, coupled with the sinking of the passenger liner Athenia on Sept. 3, provided ordinary Canadians with all the incentive they needed and thousands rushed to enlist. The Canadian government was much more cautious. Prime Minister Mackenzie King had promised Parliament would decide Canada’s foreign policy so it was not until Sept. 10, after a brief debate, that Canada was officially, and very tentatively, at war.The government hoped it could avoid sending an expeditionary force overseas and had done as little as possible to prepare one. Last minute additions to defence estimates in 1939 provided $7.5 million for the Royal Canadian Air Force to buy aircraft, but less than one million dollars for the...

Sign up today for a FREE download of Canada’s War Stories

Free e-book

An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.