CFSU(O) Public Affairs –
Throughout its history, Canada’s military has always been prepared to answer the call to defend peace, security, and liberty throughout the world. The Department of National Defence has dedicated 11 buildings at its National Defence Headquarters (Carling) location in Ottawa to commemorate some of the significant military events and operations in Canadian history.
Building 10 East
The Battle of Paardeberg – South African War (Boer War)
The South African War (1899-1902) marked the first time that troops raised by the Canadian Government participated in an overseas war. The first contingent raised from different regions of Canada was the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry. In February 1900, the Canadians participated in British operations causing the surrender of a Boer force at Paardeberg Drift on February 27. Named the Battle of Paardeberg, it was the first major Canadian action of the War in South Africa. More than 7,000 Canadians served in South Africa.
The Battles of Ypres (1915, 1917, 1918) – First World War
(April 22 – May 25, 1915; July 31 – November 10, 1917; and September 28 – October 2, 1918)
The Battles of Ypres were a series of battles during the First World War around the town of Ypres that involved both Canadian and Newfoundland soldiers. Despite the devastating use of chlorine gas in 1915, the 1st Canadian Division held the line against the German assault. In 1917, the Canadian Corps suffered enormously during repeated attacks leading to the capture of Passchendaele Ridge. In 1918, The Royal Newfoundland Regiment was part of the 9th Imperial Division advance in the area during the final hundred days of the war. The battles in the Ypres area were defining events in the Canadian and Newfoundland experience of the First World War.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge – First World War
(April 9 – 14, 1917)
The Battle of Vimy Ridge, part of the much larger Battles of Arras in northern France, marked the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought side-by-side during the First World War. The Canadian success pushing the German forces off of the highest point of the ridge permitted the successful advance of the British 3rd Army to the south. The complete capture of
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the ridge and pursuit of the Germans out of the area of the ridge ended April 14, 1917. In part because of this feat of arms, the ridge was chosen as the site for the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.
BATTLE OF BRITAIN Building
The Battle of Britain – Second World War
(July 10 – October 31, 1940)
The Battle of Britain was an air battle to defend the United Kingdom in the Second World War and the first to include a squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force in combat. More than 120 Canadian aircrew are thought to have participated in the Battle of Britain, including those serving in Royal Air Force squadrons, with 23 losing their lives. No. 1 (Fighter) Squadron, RCAF, became operational on August 17, 1940 at Northolt on the western outskirts of London. Later renumbered 401 Squadron, it was credited with the RCAF’s first aerial victories on August 26th when it destroyed two German bombers and damaged two others. Of the 93,844 RCAF personnel who eventually served overseas during the war, 14,541 were killed.
Operation JUBILEE Building
Operation JUBILEE – Second World War
(August 19, 1942)
On August 19, 1942, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division along with British commandos attacked the French port of Dieppe. The raid on Dieppe cost a total of 3,367 Canadian casualties, 907 of which were fatal. The Dieppe Raid was controversial at the time and remains so to this day. Although the soldiers landing on the beaches are most remembered, Canadian sailors were involved in the landing operation and fighters of the RCAF participated in the intense battle in the skies above. Although a tragedy, the regiments, and soldiers that took part distinguished themselves by their determination, courage, and bravery in the face of heavily defended German area.
JUNO BEACH Building
Building 5 East and West
Second World War
(June 6, 1944)
On June 6, 1944, Canadians assaulted a 10-kilometer stretch of French coastline, codenamed Juno Beach, as part of a larger allied assault known as Operation Overlord during the Second World War. Canada played a vital role with squadrons from the Royal Canadian Air Force patrolling the skies, and sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy supporting from the sea, while the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, supported by the 2nd Armoured Brigade, stormed the beach and nearby villages under heavy fire from the German Army. By the end of the day, the division was firmly in place and poised to continue the advance inland at the cost of 961 Canadian casualties.
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Operation HAWK Building
Operation HAWK – Korean War
(July 25, 1950 – May 25, 1954)
Operation HAWK was a Royal Canadian Air Force airlift operation in support of United Nations forces, particularly the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group, fighting in the Korean War. The operation saw the RCAF’s No. 426 (Transport) Squadron and their Canadair North Star aircraft complete 599 round-trip flights, totalling some 34,000 flying hours, across the Pacific Ocean, airlift more than 13,300 personnel and carry more than 7 million pounds of freight and mail. During the operation, over 700 personnel rotated through 426 Squadron.
Operation FRICTION Building
Building 10 West
Operation FRICTION – Gulf War
(August 10, 1990 – April 16, 1991)
Operation FRICTION was the Canadian response to the coalition effort to liberate Kuwait after the Iraqi invasion of August 1990. HMCS Terra Nova, HMCS Athabaskan, and HMCS Protecteur were the first response, hailing vessels in the Persian Gulf in support of the UN embargo on Iraq. With the start of the air campaign, the three ships took on the critical role of coordinating the replenishment of all coalition warships in the Gulf. The CAF also provided 18 CF-18 aircraft, later increased to 24, with pilots from 409, 416, 421, and 439 Squadrons. They initially provided combat air patrols to protect coalition air and naval assets but after 24 February began striking ground targets. About 4,500 CAF personnel took part in the Gulf War.
Operation ECHO Building
Operation ECHO – Balkan Conflict
(June 20, 1998 – December 21, 2000)
To support the UN-sanctioned no-fly zone over the Balkans and the troops of NATO’s Stabilization Force (SFOR), six CF-18 aircraft and about 125 personnel deployed to Aviano, Italy as Op ECHO. On March 23, 1999, NATO launched Op ALLIED FORCE conducting air strikes on Serbian targets to cause Serbian police and security forces to leave Kosovo. Canada was part of the strike force with 18 CF-18s and 300 personnel at a time. When air operations ceased on June 20, 1999, the force size reverted to its original size, tasked primarily with protecting the troops deployed as the Kosovo Force (KFOR). About 1,250 CAF personnel participated in the operation.
Operation APOLLO Building
Operation APOLLO – Canadian support to International Campaign Against Terrorism
(October 7, 2001 – October 2003) National Défense Defence nationale
After the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, an international coalition was formed to combat terrorism. Initial operations were directed against terrorist elements based in Afghanistan and against the Taliban regime that was harbouring them. Canada’s contribution to these operations began with the deployment of a strong naval force – six ships – that helped to seize and maintain control of the sea and air space in, over, and around Afghanistan. Canada also contributed transport and maritime patrol aircraft to support operations as well as helicopter detachments for the warships. In early 2002, a battalion of infantry joined United States forces conducting combat operations out of Kandahar. A small special forces detachment was also committed to Afghanistan in late 2001 and formed the basis of an extended deployment there.
Operation UNISON Building
Operation UNISON – Hurricane Katrina Relief
(September 5 – October 6, 2005)
Operation UNISON was launched to provide assistance to the US Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina left widespread damage. HMCS Athabaskan, HMCS Toronto, and HMCS Ville de Quebec, along with the Coast Guard vessel CCGS Sir William Alexander delivered relief supplies including cots, tents, and insect spray. Sailors from the three warships assisted in various clean-up efforts in the Biloxi / Gulfport area of Mississippi. Divers and construction troops from the navy, and divers and engineers from the army also supported clean-up and construction on land and water while a medical support team assisted the injured. About 1,000 CAF members participated in the operation.
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