The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC; (フランス語:Corps blindé royal canadien)) is the armoured corps within the Canadian Army, including regular and reserve force regiments.〔The Regiments and Corps of the Canadian Army (Queen's Printer, 1964)〕
Originally formed as the Canadian Cavalry Corps in 1910, they were then designated as the Canadian Tank Corps during the First World War. The modern Canadian Armoured Corps was created on 13 August 1940 with Major-General (then Colonel) F. F. Worthington as its first colonel-commandant. The Corp was subsequently bestowed the honour of the 'Royal' designation by King George VI in 1945.
Initially its equipment was 219 US M1917 tanks – a First World War design – obtained at scrap prices. They were sufficient for some training and familiarisation, but otherwise of limited combat use. To form the 1st Army Tank Brigade, Valentine tanks were ordered. This British design was to be built in Canada. Aside from the necessary adjustments to the design to incorporate local engineering standards and available components, the Canadian Valentines used a GMC engine. This engine, being an improvement over the original, was later applied to British production. In practice, Canada never used most of the 1,400 Valentines they built as they were supplied under lend-lease to the Soviet Union.
In early 1941 the 1st Tank Brigade was sent to Britain and equipped with the Matilda tank. For the formation of two armoured divisions it was expected that 1,200 cruiser tanks were needed. The United Kingdom was not in a position to supply them, as it had shortfalls in supply for its own needs. This meant that Canada had to develop its own production. To this end a tank arsenal was set up under the management of a subsidiary of a US firm engaged in tank production.
Canadian armour regiments split their heritage between two primary sources. The first being the cavalry, from which many armoured regiments were created, and the second being the infantry. This began in 1936 with the creation of "infantry (tank)" regiments and continued on from 1940 when many infantry regiments were mobilised as armour units for the Second World War, and were then subsequently transferred from the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps into the Royal Canadian Armour Corps.
In 1968, with the unification of the Canadian Army into the Canadian Armed Forces, the name of the Royal Canadian Armour Corps was changed to simply the Armour Branch. Despite the change however, the Corps continued to use its traditional title. In 2003, Canada planned to replace all its tanks with lightweight Mobile Gun Systems.〔
〕 In 2007, due to experience gained during Afghanistan, Leopard tanks were purchased.〔
〕 As of April 2013, the traditional designation of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps has been officially restored.〔
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