Canadian Military History

Despite being a young country, Canada’s military history stretches long back to when it was first discovered. With the majority of the earlier wars being territorial based between foreign invaders such as France and England, it has certainly given Canada some history and has forged their present day military services.
Below is a timeline of all the major battles and wars that have either taken place on Canadian soil, or as we approach more recent times, wars that the Canadian army has featured in. There are also some other important dates that still affect modern day Canada.


Timeline of Canada’s war history

Mid-17th Century – French and Iroquois War

Mid-17th Century – Civil War in Acadia – Port Royal and (present day) Saint John

1689-97 – King William’s War – This was the first of six colonial wars between New France and New England featured one of the most famous pronouncements in Canadian military history. When called on by Phips to surrender, the aged Governor Frontenac replied, “I will answer … only with the mouths of my cannon and the shots of my muskets.”
(New France/England were at war three times with each other during the 18th century.)

1702-13 – Queen Anne’s War- The second colonial war which saw the British capture Acadia

1744-48 – King George’s War- Because of the treaty of aix-le-chapelle France regained control of Louisbourg in exchange for conquests in Netherlands and India

1754-63 – French and Indian War – The final war which at the end saw France retreating North America giving British colonies full control of eastern Canada. This is the war that featured the great James Wolfe

1763 – Royal Proclamation of 1763 on October 7th, still affects modern day government through governing relations

1776-83 – American Revolutionary War – Saw Revolutionaries try and gain the western lands from British colonies

1812 – War of 1812 – Fought between Americans and the British, it was mainly a war about the territory over Canada.

1871 – British troops withdrew from Canada completely

1914-18 – WW1 – Canada was automatically brought into the war due to GB alliances, enabling Canada to be more independent and fight as its own unit, lost over a third of their troops.

1924 – Canadian Air Force created

1939-45 – WW2 – Small but significant role played

1946-91 – Cold War – As a founding member of NATO, Canada committed to alliance against communist bloc, established that Canada’s international involvement would only be coalition with larger forces

2001 – War on Afghan – Canada joined with USA on the attacks on Afghan
Because of their participation with the Allies in both great wars, Canada also shares Remembrance Day which takes place on 11th November every year. This marks the end of the first World War in which they fought alongside the Allies.

As you can see, the military history of Canada is rich with a variety of wars and battles. All of these battles has shaped the way that Canada has developed and progressed through the years. If you would like to experience some more Canadian records, click here or you can use the search bar if you are looking for any records in particular.

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