Canadian Nuclear Weapons: The Untold Story of Canada's Cold War Arsenal
"We are thus not only the first country in the world with the capability to produce nuclear weapons that chose not to do so, we are also the first nuclear armed country to have chosen to divest itself of nuclear weapons."
Pierre Trudeau United Nations, 26 May 1978
From 1963 to 1984, US nuclear warheads armed Canadian weapons systems in both Canada and West Germany. It is likely that during the early part of this period, the Canadian military was putting more effort, money, and manpower into the nuclear commitment than any other single activity. This important book is an operational-technical history and exposÃ? of this period.
Its purpose is to bring together until-recently secret information about the nature of the nuclear arsenal in Canada, and combine it with known information about the systems in the US nuclear arsenal. The work begins with an account of the efforts of the Pearson government to sign the agreement with the US necessary to bring nuclear weapons to Canada. Subsequent chapters provide a detailed discussion of the four nuclear weapons systems deployed by Canada: the BOMARC surface-to-air guided interceptor missile; the Honest John short range battlefield rocket; the Starfighter tactical thermonuclear bomber; the VooDoo-Genie air defence system. Each chapter also includes a section on the accidents and incidents which occurred while the weapons were at Canadian sites. The final chapter covers the ultimately futile efforts of the Maritime Air Command and the Royal Canadian Navy to acquire nuclear weapons. An appendix includes the text of the until-now secret agreements Canada signed with the USA for the provision of nuclear weapons.
Illustrated throughout with photographs and diagrams, and supported by extensive transcriptions of original documents, Canadian Nuclear Weapons will be of great value both to scholars and interested laypersons in its presentation of what has been a deeply hidden secret of Canadian political and military history.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
As a military historian, I wish everyone could read this book if for no other reason than to be forced once and for all to forget the ‘theory’ that our Canadian Forces have only been about ‘Peacekeeping’. This well written history of Canadian Nuclear Weapons will take the reader through the political intrigue of when Canada acquired its first nuclear weapons system to how at one point, our entire military defence and offence was almost totally nuclear. The author also points out the other weapons systems possesed by Canada such as the Argus Long Range Patrol bomber which although not armed with them, was fully equipped to deliver a nuclear payload. I highly recommend this book to any student of Canadian military history or the Cold War. For those who have not read much on the subject, prepared to be surprised.
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Chapter 1 Pearsons Cabinet and the Political Agreement to Acquire Nuclear Weapons for the Canadian Military
the Weapon and the Squadrons
the Weapon and the Batteries
Chapter 6 The CF101B VooDoo and Genie Rocket
Chapter 7 AntiSubmarine Warfare