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Portal:Canadian Armed Forces

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The Canadian Armed 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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A medal awarded for participation in repelling the Fenian raids, with the image of Queen Victoria, denoting the monarch's place as fount of honour.
The place of the Canadian Crown in relation to the Canadian Armed Forces is both constitutional and ceremonial, the sovereign of Canada being the supreme commander of the forces, while he or she and the rest of the Canadian Royal Family hold honorary positions in various branches and regiments, embodying the historical relationship of the Crown to its militia. This modern construct stems from Canada's origins as a colony of the United Kingdom and France, through 200 years of associations with the Royal family, and is today evidenced through royal symbolism, such as crowns on military badges and coats of arms, as well as the bestowing of a royal prefix.

The role of the Canadian Crown in the Canadian Armed Forces is established through both constitutional and statutory law; the National Defence Act states that "the Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada," and the Constitution Act, 1867, vests Command-in-Chief of those forces in the sovereign – presently Queen Elizabeth II – though, the sovereign's representative, the Governor General of Canada carries out the duties and bears the title of that position on the monarch's behalf.

The Canadian Forces have derived many of their traditions and symbols from the military, navy and air force of the United Kingdom, including those with royal elements. Contemporary icons and rituals, however, have evolved to include elements reflective of Canada and the Canadian monarchy. Members of the country's Royal Family also continue their two century old practice of maintaining personal relationships with the forces' divisions and regiments, around which the military has developed complex protocols.

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A Handley Page Halifax, of No. 4 Group, over Caen's burning northern suburbs following the previous night's bombing.
Operation Charnwood was a Second World War Anglo-Canadian offensive that took place from 8–9 July 1944, during the Battle of Normandy. The operation was intended to at least partially capture the German-occupied French city of Caen (French pronunciation: ​[kɑ̃]), which was an important Allied objective during the opening stages of Operation Overlord. It was also hoped that the attack would pre-empt the transfer of German armoured units from the Anglo-Canadian sector to the lightly-screened American sector, where a major US offensive was being planned. The British and Canadians advanced on a broad front and by the evening of the second day had taken Caen up to the Orne and Odon rivers.

Preceded by a controversial bombing raid that destroyed much of Caen's historic Old City, Operation Charnwood began at dawn on 8 July, with battalions of three infantry divisions attacking German positions north of Caen behind a creeping artillery barrage. Supported by three armoured brigades, the forces of the British I Corps made gradual progress against the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend and 16th Luftwaffe Field Division. By the end of the day the 3rd Canadian and British 3rd and 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Divisions had cleared the villages in their path and reached Caen's outskirts.Moving into the city at dawn the following morning, the Allies encountered resistance from remnants of German units who were beginning a withdrawal across the Orne. Carpiquet airfield fell to the Canadians during the early morning and by 18:00, the British and Canadians had linked up and were on the Orne's north bank. Discovering Caen's remaining bridges to be defended or impassable and with German reserves positioned to oppose their crossing, I Corps closed down the operation.

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Mynarski.jpg
Andrew Charles (Andy) Mynarski VC (14 October 1916 - 13 June 1944) was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for bravery in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Mynarski was 27 years old and flew with 419 "Moose" Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War when he gave his life attempting to help rescue a trapped crew member. The recommendation worked its way up the command structure of the RCAF and RAF. On 11 October 1946, a Victoria Cross was posthumously awarded for "valour of the highest order" to Andrew Charles Mynarski, by then, also awarded the rank of Pilot Officer.
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Royal Canadian Air Force Second World War recruiting poster.

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HMCS Montreal FFH336.jpg
HMCS Montréal, is a Halifax-class frigate that has served since 1993.
The frigate is assigned to Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) and is homeported at CFB Halifax

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