Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
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Glossary

Select a letter to browse an alphabetical listing of terms and definitions.

Armourer

Soldier specializing in the maintenance of weapons. In the early days of New France, armourers could be civilian artisans working remote forts, repairing military, fur trade and hunting muskets.

Arms control

Plan or arrangement governing the numbers or types of weapons in use and the strength or deployment of armed forces (includes disarmament). The first tangible and successful arms control treaty in Canada was the Rush-Bagot Agreement of 1817, which limited the number of American and British warships on the Great Lakes.

See also: Cold War, Nuclear Warfare

Army

Organized force armed for fighting on land. Used as an organizational term during the First and Second World Wars meaning two or more corps under the command of a general, averaging between 120,000 and 200,000 troops of all ranks.

Army group

Organizational term of the First and Second World Wars meaning two or more armies under the command of a field marshal, averaging between 400,000 and one million troops of all ranks (the largest land force formation).

Artillery

Originally used to describe large guns used in fighting on land and the troops that used them. Now, generally refers to all missile type weapons other than small arms. Artillery arrived in Canada with the 16th century explorers, and many types of artillery were mounted in Canadian forts from the 17th century onward. There were some attempts to cast guns at the Forges du Saint-Maurice in the late 1740s, but it was not until the First World War that artillery was successfully manufactured in Canada.