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Why Not Canadian Amphib/Marine Capability? (merged)

Paul Gagnon

Jr. Member
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Not sure if this should be here or in the history forum...

At one time we had a Navy that could transport them so why don‘t we have Marines?
Hmmm, Marines is a projection force which is a shock troop like the paras. We dont even have airplanes to transport PPCLI to Afgahnistan let alone having amphibious operation. I dont see the need for Marines in Canada, any infantry can fufill the Marines tasking which is amphibious assault with a bit of training. And also to upkeep a Marine unit is very expensive. Marines tend to develop their own ethos like the airborne and can lead to inter-unit rivalry to see which unit will see most combat which is good.
But we do have marines. If you‘re speaking in French about the Navy.. :p
Marines need ships to use for amphibious landings. Our navy can‘t afford to sail.
Ghost, the Navy technology wise and capabilities is the most advance of all the branchs. If Canada goes to war against Iraq, the US probaly needs more the Navy than the army or air force. The air force with their F-18 fighters is outdated because of the lack of sophisticated weapons and the comms are not compatible with our allies while the army with their logistic problems bring more trouble than benefits to the US. Example; the PPCLI had to use American Chinooks to fly in theater of operation, Yanks had to support in every aspect the PPCLI, thats a shame. Overall our Armed Forces are not self-sufficient except for the Navy.
The Navy will probably go down the drain too, when the replenishers ships get decommissioned, Halifax needing upgrades and Iroquois also probably getting decommissioned in few years.

Or is the Liberals going to pull a Sea King on navy ships, too?
When it come‘s to supply ship‘s we should be like the U.K. as they have the Royal Fleet Auxiliary which are manned by merchant navy crew‘s and are used for commercial use and navel use.

During the Falkland‘s there was a number of merchant seaman killed when, if I remember right the Sir Galahad was hit and some of them were Hong Kong chinese.They had a few R.F.A. ship‘s down there.

The U.S. has such a set up were they have supply ship‘s used in case of war but manned by merchant seaman but also used for commercial use to off set the cost‘s.

The above still may be going on.
Any more input on up to date info. welcome.
Pugil, we could have aircraft carriers and seawolf class attack submarines, but we still can‘t aford to put our ships out to sea. As technoligically advanced as they may be, they still run on fuel. If a stealth bomber has no fuel to fly it‘s a 2 billion dollar paper weight.

I always thought our cf 18s were these great multi role fighter aircraft with advanced electronices and such. when did they become outdated?
It‘s been in the news recently that the communications equpiment in them is outdated. They‘re currently being (very slowly) upgraded.
Ghost, Canada probably wont have enough personnel and money to sail its entirely fight into but it got enough for some ships. Like I said before the Navy is the only branch that is self-sufficient and the most advanced technology wise so much that one of our frigate is integrated in a US aircraft carrier battlegroup. While our CF-18 are not updated to the latest technology and comms. The US technology is advancing so fast that even other powerful countries like England cant even keep up. Canada with little money we put in the military wouldnt make much difference.
Remember our CF-18 were parcipating actively during the Kosovo air campaign? But that was 3 years ago.
I think any "help" we give will be purely for show, so it does not look like the americans are at war but the free world or whatever is at war.

One american carrier has roughly the same amount of sailors as we have infantry soldiers in the entire canadian foces (regs). I can‘t in all honesty see us making that much of a difference.
The US would have to give us fuel to get across the atlantic so they could put a show of us "being an important role in the war on terrorisim"

The US lost the vietnam war because they had no clear mission victory objectives. They could not gauge when they won or lost. How can we "win" a war against terrorisim? Were going to be at war with terrorists for the next 500 years. And we can use it as an excuse to invade other countries. If we really wanted to help fight terrorisim we don‘t need to send a single ship or two in a fleet of a hundred, we should make it harder for terrorists to enter the country. heh hope thats not too far off topic
You forgot to mention that a single aircraft carrier also has almost as many operational fighter and attack aircraft as we have in the CF....
Ghost, the CF18, afaik, does not have air-to-ground armament (unless something changed), and is not equipped with the latest upgrades as to radar, IFF, and comms.

This "multi-role" aircraft used in the CF variant has only guns and air-to-air (AIM-9 sidewinder) missiles. This limits it entirely to air-to-air combat.

Although not as glorious and romantic as air-to-air combat, the main role of modern military aircraft of this type is the ground attack role, and very few of the world‘s air forces possess a capable air force to counter the major powers.

The last time this was tried was in 1982, in the Falklands war. The Argies got a severe pasting in the air, wasting some of their most talented pilots, by sending them up in inappropriate aircraft, untrained for the air role.

Lack of IFF means that our aircraft cannot identify themselves to friendly aircraft/ground radar systems (Americans, Brits) and could result in a blue-on-blue.

Plus, the things are really on their last legs... I got an up close look at the recent Toronto air show, and I wouldn‘t want one flying anywhere near me...
As to the original topic, why Canada doesn‘t have marines, I dunno... I imagine we don‘t have a modern marine force because of all the reasons others have mentioned: No troop carrying ability, and it‘s really duplicated anyway by our infantry.

Probably historically, we never needed a marine force.

There would have been a small number of Royal Marines in Canada that went where ever the Royal Navy went, but this probably ended not long after the War of 1812. In those days, a wooden frigate WAS a troop-ship, quite often. It was the single most powerful, mobile way of implementing foreign policy. The Brits never built that many ships here, and the naval activities were really kept to the East Coast (until much later on).

In the interior, we needed a good militia, backed by British regulars, when they could be spared from the war in France. The original purpose of the marines was to provide an infantry force capable of protecting the ship and it‘s crew, and was very limited in it‘s offensive role. The whole ship‘s crew would often be used for offense, for example boarding a ship, or attacking a town or fort from the water. The infantry was used for more serious land-based maneuvers, and could be ferried if possible, but not often used in a marine role.
the CF18, afaik, does not have air-to-ground armament
the CF18 does indeed carry air-to-ground armament... We even helped bomb Kosovo...

Asa to my answer why Canada doesn‘t have marines? Maybe the Government never thought we needed marines? After all (especially during the UN Times..) Marines scream out war-making, not peace-keeping.

Just a thought.
I dont see the need for Marines in Canada, any infantry can fufill the Marines tasking which is amphibious assault with a bit of training.
it‘s really duplicated anyway by our infantry.
I disagree with the above to an extent. While the role of a Marine, once they have hit the beach, is that of an Infantryman, the existence of specialized naval troops is more an issue of having people (ex: officers and landing vehicle operators) who are highly proficient in the planning and the support of an amphibious assault. Amphibious operations are some of the most difficult a force can carry out, and if there isn‘t expertise all around there will probably be a lot of dead bodies littering the beach.
We don‘t have Marines because as a nation we were born of a Garrison style military.

Look at the nations who have marines, they have historically used their navies to extend their might or defend themselves. The marines have been a natural element of all their armada and fleet operations.

Whereas we have had strong navies, they where not used to touch shores per se (lets not go near the beach landings-in all reality we have little experience and that that we do utilized conventional land forces). They sailed the seas, cleared lanes of commerce and conducted coastal guard.

Marines historically are an extension of the nations might, and historically these are nations whose might was declared on the open seas. And to reiterate, we came of birth as a Garrisoned nation.

As for the 18‘s. They are the original design A models (with mods) and have been predated 6 times in US inventories. They where originally bought as an air superiority fighter for Europe.

When deployed to the Gulf in 90-91, their limitations became blazingly obvious and the US kept them out of the big game. IE firing an AA missile at a small patrol vessel, hmm.

We deployed to the Kosovo Campaign and had to beg, borrow steal in order to meet the mission. Goes back to the euphemism of the bagged out Iltis. How much can you strap onto a taxed system before performance degrades?

The CF-5 served for a while in the ground attack role, but for whatever reason, the government decided to pay them off. Hear Belgium still loves them. Amazed some whistlehead hasn‘t posed the idea of using Herc‘s for strategic bombing roles in support of our naval operations (tongue in cheek of course).

Speaking of the absurd, what do you guys think of the Snowbirds maintaining their Tutor fleet almost into perpetuity (it would seem). At least we would be known for having one of the best flying antique aerial demonstration teams on the world circuit. :blotto:
Steel, what about the invasion of Normandy, Sicily? Most of the regiments that took part were infantry. It is in their own interest and survival that marines promote amphibious assault.
Pugil, the European invasions where large scale, involved various bulky open and what not landing craft piloted by naval pers.

Amphibious only in the fact that large masses of conventional land forces got dumped into a fight.

Marines practice much more than that and are seaborne based and lodged while not fighting. Grunts/legs/lawndarts live in hootchie hotels or rear area digs.

Different cultures, training and roles.
Yeah, I heard they brought a couple of cf-18s to kosovo solely for canabalizing for spare parts.

A shame.