For forty years during the Cold War, Canada garrisoned troops and tanks near the Iron Curtain. In the late 1960s, Pierre Trudeau announced plans to remove these tanks and focus on home defence, but allies resisted this decision. After six years of overt and subtle pressures, Trudeau was at last convinced that Canadian tanks in Europe were necessary to support foreign policy objectives, and the Leopard tanks, purchased in 1976, symbolized an increased Canadian commitment to NATO.
Drawing on interviews and records from Canada, NATO, the US, and Germany, The Price of Alliance tells the story of the purchase, balancing high politics with military requirements in the first major reappraisal of Trudeau’s defence policy. Frank Maas illuminates the problem of defence policymaking in a multi-country alliance as well as the opportunities and difficulties of defence procurement. At the same time, he challenges the relevance of NATO to Canada – and the influence that Canada wields within it.
1 The 1964 White Paper on Defence: Responding to a New Strategic Context
2 The Traditionalists at Work: Renegotiating NATO Commitments in 1967
3 Trudeau Takes the Reins: The Triumph of the Revisionists
4 The Summer of 1969: Consultations with Allies
5 The Revisionists Assert Control: Defence in the 70s
6 The Scorpion and the Centurion: The Nadir of the Civil Military Crisis
7 Tanks, Trade, and Strategy: Trudeau Relents
8 “From a Beetle to a Porsche”: The Purchase of the Leopard
Frank Maas teaches in the School of Language and Liberal Studies at Fanshawe College, and also works at a factory which paints armoured vehicles.
This is a solid work based on extensive research. There is much new material presented that historians will want to access. It is also well-written for the general reader and underscores the fact that the light/heavy debate continues into the present given recent controversies over yet another Leopard tank and the associated Close Combat Vehicle
~Dr. Peter Kasurak, CDA Institue Website