Thursday, 19 December 2013

Remember when Canada had the world's third largest navy?

Canada had the third largest navy and the fourth largest air force on earth coming out of World War II.   NextBigFuture writes:  "Diefenbaker agreed to stop making major weapons in 1959 and wound down Canada's military from 5% of GDP to about 2% of GDP over 6 years".  At the same time we outsourced most military tasks to the US with NORAD, purchase of Bomarc missiles, and cancellation of the Avro Arrow.

I don't miss the military might and prefer the lower GDP figure but there's no free lunch if we want to target a secure presence in the arctic.  We've handled a larger budget before.

The chart compares military spending for US and Canada as a percentage of GDP.  Note that the percentage climbed after the war before declining.

And a little teaser:  British Columbia had Canada's only submarine in 1917,HMCS CC-1. With this and one other ship as our sole west coast defence in World War I, guess to whom Britain subcontracted our naval protection?  The Imperial Japanese Navy's North American Task Force. This was before Pearl Harbour.

BC's submarine, HMCS CC-1   1917

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