Canadian Army - History

History

Prior to Confederation in 1867, the British Army, which included Canadian militia units, defended Canada in wartime. After 1867, a Permanent Active Militia was formed, and in later decades several regular bodies of troops were created, their descendants becoming the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, the Royal Canadian Dragoons, and the Royal Canadian Regiment. Regular Canadian troops participated in the North West Rebellion in 1885, the South African War (Second Boer War) in 1899, and, in much larger numbers, constituted the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War I.

In 1940, during World War II, the Permanent Active Militia was renamed the Canadian Army (Active), supplemented by the non-permanent militia, which was named the Canadian Army (Reserve). The Army participated in the Korean War and formed part of the NATO presence in West Germany during the Cold War. In the years following its unification with the navy and air force in 1968, the size of Canada's land forces was reduced, but Canadian troops participated in a number of military actions with Canada's allies, including the Gulf War in 1991 and the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, as well as peacekeeping operations under United Nations auspices in various parts of the world.

Notably, despite Canada's usual strong support of British and American initiatives, Canada's land forces did not directly participate in the Vietnam War or the Iraq War.

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