Revolt of the Admirals

Canada’s armed forces were about to be rolled into one — same training, same ranks, and same (gasp!) uniforms. For the proud leaders of the Royal Canadian Navy, this could only mean war.

Written by Nelle Oosterom

September 21, 2010

“I should have followed my instincts”

Former defence minister Paul Hellyer does not regret unifying Canada’s armed forces, but he would do a few things differently if he had to do it again. Hellyer unified the army, navy, and air force in the 1960s under a storm of controversy.

The navy in particular opposed unification. An article by Jack Granatstein entitled “Revolt of the Admirals” — published in Canada’s History magazine in October-November 2010 — outlines why naval brass were so against the move..

Hellyer was eighty-seven-years-old when he spoke with Canada’s History associate editor Nelle Oosterom about what he did right — and what he did wrong.

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