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Portal:Canadian Armed Forces

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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 Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft, designed and built by Avro Aircraft Limited (Canada) in Malton, Ontario, Canada, as the culmination of a design study that began in 1953. Considered to be both an advanced technical and aerodynamic achievement for the Canadian aviation industry, the CF-105 held the promise of Mach 2 speeds at altitudes exceeding 50,000 ft (15,000 m), and was intended to serve as the Royal Canadian Air Force's primary interceptor in the 1960s and beyond.

Avro Arrow replica at CASM Arrow rollout, 8 October 2006

Not long after the 1958 start of its flight test program, the development of the Arrow (including its Orenda Iroquois jet engines) was abruptly and controversially halted before the project review had taken place, sparking a long and bitter political debate. The controversy engendered by the cancellation and subsequent destruction of the aircraft in production, remains a topic for debate among historians, political observers and industry pundits. "This action effectively put Avro out of business and its highly skilled engineering and production personnel scattered... The incident was a traumatic one... and to this day, many mourn the loss of the Arrow."

A replica Arrow built by Allan Jackson was used in The Arrow, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) production. He began building a full-scale replica of the Arrow in 1989, and was approached by the producers of the Arrow miniseries in 1996, then about 70% complete, who made an offer to complete the construction if the replica could be used for the production. It was used on the miniseries and several public appearances at air shows.

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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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