1970 > History

Postwar 1945-1948

The Canadian government deactivated or transferred to the Reserve Force most of the units created during WW2. In 1947, the Canadian government authorized an Active Force of 25,000, with a supplemental Reserve Force of 50,000.

In May 1945, the Canadian Artillery included five artillery regiments in the British Zone of Occupation in Germany. Canada had three field regiments, one anti-tank regiment and one LAA regiment. These five regiments remained in Germany until the summer of 1946.

In 1946, the 1st Field Regiment, RCHA, returned to Petawawa. The Canadian Forces then renamed it the 71st Regiment, RCHA, and moved it to Shilo, Manitoba. CFB Shilo became the permanent site of the Royal Canadian School of Artillery.

Photo of 1RCHA, 1952.

The Cold War 1945-1991

The Cold War started with the defeat of Germany in 1945. It ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1949, Canada was a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

In 1950, NATO established an "integrated defence force" in Europe.  From 1951 to 1992, Canadian regiments rotated service in West Germany.

Canada signed the North American Air Defence (NORAD) treaty with the US in 1958. It was a joint defence agreement against a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union and remains active.

During the 1960s, the Royal Canadian Artillery deployed the 762 mm Rocket. The Honest John Rocket used nuclear warheads and conventional non-nuclear warheads. Canada had weapons capable of firing nuclear weapons into the 1980s.

Over 1,200 Canadians died while serving during the Cold War. The Royal Regiment continues to serve as part of Canada's NATO force.


The First Gulf War 1990-1991

In August 1990, war erupted in Iraq after they invaded Kuwait. On 9 August 1990, Canada sent the 119 Air Defence Battery, RCA, to the Persian Gulf. They were to provide air defence for three Canadian Naval ships in the Arabian Gulf. The ships were part of Canada's UN commitment.

Canada stationed the 119 Air Defence Battery on ships, and the battery held Javelin live-fire practice in September 1990. Canadian ships arrived in the Persian Gulf on 23 September 1990 and completed UN Patrol duties, including boarding ships, as part of Iraq's embargo.

The 119 did not fire at enemy aircraft. On 13 March 1991, they returned to Canada. Canada used no ground units and reported no Canadian casualties during the 1st Gulf War.