New Brunswick Military History Museum (NBMHM) centuries of Canadian service in uniform
New Brunswick Military History Museum
5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown
(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3614555)
An M14 Halftrack marked marked for HQ Squadron, 1st Hussars of 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade. The H&C book suggests that it had only two halftracks, one for the Medical Officer and one for the Signals officer. The fighting squadrons each had an ambulance and workshop halftrack. Note that the Canadian soldier climbing up has his left hand bandaged, Bretteville, France, c1944.
Friends of the NBMHM recently put the museum's M3 Halftrack into running order!
Once upon a time, or "back in the day" as my generation likes to say, I served as a Military Intelligence Officer in the Canadian Army. I was fortunate in having a career that gave me a chance to see some interesting parts of the word while on duty, including Germany, Cyprus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colorado, Afghanistan and of course here at home and across Canada. During those 40 years with the Canadian Forces, I had the privilege of taking part in history making events and having interesting experiences with incredibly talented people from many different countries. As a result, I like to think that I have a bit of insight into some of the military history that Canadian soldiers, sailors, airmen and women have made in the past, are making in the present and will make in the future, both here at home and overseas. I have written and researched some of our stories and experiences, and if you have similar interests, you will find a good deal of it here, shared from my perspective.
When I retired from the Army in 2011 at CFB Gagetown, now renamed 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, New Brunswick, I took an interest in the New Brunswick Military History Museum (NBMHM) on base. Now settled down at our home in Fredericton, I became a volunteer researcher and tour guide at the museum, and also currently serve on the Board of Directors at the Fredericton Region Museum. In the process, I have met some wonderful people and heard many of their stories, fielded questions from a a myriad of visitors and continue to learn somethng new about our history every day. I would like to share some of these stories with you here. I have collected a fair amount of data that will be of interest to historians and like-minded enthusiasts, but I am not the expert on all things military. What I do have is a wonderful collection of colleagues who do have some expertise in specific military subjects, and if I can't find an answer to your question, I may know someone I can refer you to who can help.
This initial web page has grown over time, and it tends to crash when it is overloaded with data, so the subject headings found here link to other pages to make it easier to navigate. I have tried to collect the subject material into Army, Navy and Air Force sections, and if those are your interest, jump to the Index section of this page. I have a wide variety of general interests as well, and hope you find something that will catch your interest. Good hunting.
New Brunswick Military History Museum (NBMHM) is located near the town of Oromocto, on 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, New Brunswick. The Fredericton Region Museum is located in the former Barracks of the Royal Canadian Regiment in the city of Fredericton. Come and visit us.
5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, New Brunswick is open to the public, you do not need a special pass to visit the two military museums on base, the NBMHM located on Hawthorne Street, and the Canadian Military Engineers Museum, located in the Mitchell Building (J-10) at the corner of Turner and Champlain Streets.
Diagram of Artillery and Armoured Fighting Vehicles on display around 5 CDSB Gagetown.
The NBMHM is open to visitors, and it is where you will occasionally find the author taking guests (like these Army Cadets taking part in training at Camp Argonaut in the summer, examining the Museum's Soviet-built ex-East German T-72 Main Battle Tank), on a guided tour of the military exhibits. You are most welcome to join us!
If you have a question for me on any of the subject matter here, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Russian T-72 Main Battle Tank
The T-72 is a Soviet-designed main battle tank that entered production in 1970. It was the most common tank used by the Soviet Army from the 1970s to the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has been widely exported and is in use by more than 40 countries.
Laser rangefinders have equipped T-72 tanks since 1978. The T-72 is equipped with the 125-mm 2A46 series main gun and is capable of firing anti-tank guided missiles, as well as standard main gun ammunition, including HEAT and APFSDS rounds. The main gun of the T-72 has a mean error of one metre (39 inch) at a range of 1,800 m (2,000 yd). Its maximum firing distance is 9,100 m (10,000 yd), due to limited positive elevation. The limit of aimed fire is 4,000 m (4,400 yd) (with the gun-launched anti-tank guided missile, which is rarely used outside the former USSR). The T-72’s main gun is fitted with an integral pressure reserve drum, which assists in rapid smoke evacuation from the bore after firing. The 125 millimetre gun barrel is certified strong enough to ram the tank through forty centimetres of iron-reinforced brick wall, though doing so will negatively affect the gun’s accuracy when subsequently fired. One with the NBMHM came to CFB Gagetown in the early 1990s from East Germany.
The Canadian government/CF received gifts of Ex-East German armour in the 1990s. T34,T54/55 and T72 tanks went to Borden, a BTR-152 and BRDM2 went to Gagetown. A second batch of five T72M1 tanks came to Canada afterwards for Trials and Evaluations (Not museum vehicles). These fives tanks were again ex East German but made in the Czech Republic. (Terry Warner)
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has members serving on Operation REASSURANCE in Central and Eastern Europe. They are there as part of NATO assurance and deterrence measures, with the aim of reinforcing NATO’s collective defence and demonstrating the strength of Allied solidarity. During this operation, the CAF has conducting training and NATO-specific tasks.
Approximately1,455 Canadian Armed Forces Members are deployed in support of Operation REASSURANCE, making it Canada’s largest current international military operation. This includes approximately 500 sailors onboard two frigates, operating with NATO; 695 soldiers leading a NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia; 140 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and approximately 5 CF-188 Hornet aircraft participating in NATO enhanced Air Policing, and one CP-140 Aurora long range patrol aircraft. 120Canadian soldiers are in Poland to assist with efforts to support and care for Ukrainians fleeing violence.
Operation UNIFIER is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) mission to support the Security Forces of Ukraine. The operation’s focus is to assist with security force training. This will help them improve and build their capability and capacity. The CAF coordinates its efforts with the U.S. and other countries that support in the same way. Military training is one part of Canada’s overall support to Ukraine.
The CAF launched Operation UNIFIER in response to requests from the Government of Ukraine. The intent is to help Ukraine remain sovereign, secure, and stable.
The training mission harmonizes its efforts with other nations through a Multinational Joint Commission. This commission includes Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Canada became a member in January 2015.
The Ukrainian Army has captured or destroyed a considerable number of Russian tanks in the ongoing war in 2022, including these T-80BVM and T-80BV trophy tanks used by the 93rd Mechanized Brigade, Kholodnyi Yar, Ukraine, May 2022.
Due to the Russian attack on Ukraine on 24 February 2022, all training activities have been paused, and the CAF personnel who were deployed on Op UNIFIER temporarily returned to Canada until conditions permit a resumption of operations.
Canada sent a group of about 200 CAF members to Ukraine every six months, with the ability to deploy up to 400 members. It is planned that CAF members will return to continuing training the Ukrainian Army until the end of March 2025. The instructors come from all parts of Canada and have been selected based on the skills that they bring to the training program.
As of 31January 2022, 33,346 Security Forces of Ukraine (SFU) candidates have participated in the training provided via 726 course serials spanning all lines of effort since the start of the mission in September 2015. This number includes members of the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU). To date, the CAF has provided training to 1,951 members of the NGU.
As of 18March 2022, all members of Operation UNIFIER have returned to Canada until the resumption of training activities can take place. (Government of Canada)
We are watching history repeat itself as the Russo-Ukrainian War between Russia (together with pro-Russian separatist forces) and Ukraine plays out in real time. It was started by Russia in February 2014 following the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, and initially focused on the status of Crimea and the Donbas, internationally recognised as part of Ukraine. The first eight years of the conflict included the Russian annexation of Crimea (2014) and the war in Donbas (2014–present) between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists, as well as naval incidents, cyberwarfare, and political tensions. Following a Russian military build-up on the Russia–Ukraine border from late 2021, the conflict expanded significantly when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
Following the Euromaidan protests and a revolution resulting in the removal of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014, pro-Russian unrest erupted in parts of Ukraine. Russian soldiers without insignia took control of strategic positions and infrastructure in the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, and seized the Crimean Parliament. Russia organized a controversial referendum, whose outcome was for Crimea to join Russia. This led to the annexation of Crimea. In April 2014, demonstrations by pro-Russian groups in the Donbas escalated into a war between the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk republics.In August 2014, unmarked Russian military vehicles crossed the border into the Donetsk republic. An undeclared war began between Ukrainian forces on one side, and separatists intermingled with Russian troops on the other, although Russia attempted to hide its involvement. The war settled into a static conflict, with repeated failed attempts at a ceasefire. In 2015, the Minsk II agreements were signed by Russia and Ukraine, but a number of disputes prevented them being fully implemented. By 2019, 7% of Ukraine was classified by the Ukrainian government as temporarily occupied territories.In 2021 and early 2022, there was a major Russian military build-up around Ukraine's borders. NATO accused Russia of planning an invasion, which it denied. Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the enlargement of NATO as a threat to his country and demanded Ukraine be barred from ever joining the military alliance. He also expressed irredentist views, questioned Ukraine's right to exist, and falsely stated that Ukraine was established by Vladimir Lenin.
On 21 February 2022, Russia officially recognised the two self-proclaimed separatist states in the Donbas, and openly sent troops into the territories. Three days later, Russia invaded Ukraine. Much of the international community has condemned Russia for its actions in Ukraine, accusing it of breaking international law and violating Ukrainian sovereignty. Many countries implemented economic sanctions against Russia, Russian individuals, or companies, especially after the 2022 invasion. (Wikipedia)
Defence position overlooking Bell Bridge, CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, ca. 1996. (Author's Artwork)
The New Brunswick Military History Museum is centred on 5 Canadian Division Support Base (5 CDSB) Gagetown, New Brunswick. For details on its activities and collection please view their website: http://nbmilitaryhistorymuseum.ca/en/new-brunswick-military-history-museum-home.html.
This list af artifacts on display in the province of New Brunswick has been compiled by the author (Vice President of the Friends of the NBMHM). Corrections, amendments and updates are most welcome. Additional photos of the tanks, artillery and major weapon systems and displays in museums in the province may be viewed in the Armoured Fighting Vehicles preserved in Canada section and in the Artillery preserved in Canada section on this website.