While the Cold War carried on across the globe, the concept of troops for peacekeeping was developed as well. Later to become Prime Minister, Lester Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in resolving the Suez Crisis as foreign minister at the time and proposing international soldiers as peacekeepers. Canadians have served in that capacity in multiple missions, and some of them, such as Cyprus, are examined in this area of the War Museum.
The Cold War was also an era of espionage between both sides, and that was true in Canada. A display case contains a pen gun, a last resort weapon for a spy, as well as a pistol that belonged to Michael Gregovitch, a Yugoslavian agent who defected and worked for MI-5 before immigrating to Canada in 1957.
Canada wisely stayed out of the Vietnam War. Yet it was certainly touched by the conflict. Protest marches against the war were held here, and other protests at events like Expo '67 in the case of the American pavilion, a moment that occupies the centre of these panels. Many young Americans, seeking to avoid the draft for many reasons, came north into Canada. Some stayed until amnesties for draft dodgers were issued. Others stayed permanently, settled down, raised families, and became Canadian citizens. Phan Thi Kim Phuc, the South Vietnamese girl whose image haunted the world (the shot itself is seen at the upper right) in a Pulitzer prize winning photograph taken after a napalm attack, ended up becoming a Canadian citizen.
Two very different uniforms stand here- the protective padding for an explosives operator and one of the standard Army uniform options for a woman.
Aside from regular forces, the military has reserve units, and the C2 105mm Howitzer is standard equipment for such units. This particular Howitzer was retired from active use in the Canadian Forces in 1998 and now resides here.
Nearby is this Warsaw Pact tank. Note the photographs in the background- I'll show them tomorrow.
The dramatic events of the fall of 1989 brought an end to the Cold War. One of the legacies of that ending stands here, a section of the Berlin War. The Canadian government hosted a summit of foreign ministers in the aftermath of those months to shape the way forward for the two Germanys to reunite. This portion of the Wall was given to Canada as thanks, and resides here. Graffiti is on the side that faced West Berlin. There's enough room at the back to see the other side- completely blank of graffiti. Had you tried to approach that side in the bad old days of the Cold War, you'd have been cut down by gunfire.
The Canadian military took part in the international coalition that made up Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-91 in the Middle East, mostly in terms of air and naval assets. This sign was originally at their base of operations in Qatar, noting the distance to home towns of some of those who were serving there.
The fallout of the Cold War left Yugoslavia in particular upheaval as civil war broke out in the former republic during the 1990s. Canadian forces served as peacekeepers, but too often found themselves trading shots in the Balkans. Panels and artifacts of the time are found here. This display features a 1984 Olympic torch, a gift from a local family to a Canadian officer for his help. Major John Russell smuggled 298 people out of Sarajevo and out of harm's way in his capacity as military assistant to the UN.
The Canadian military went to war in Afghanistan from 2001-2014, engaging the Taliban and other insurgents throughout the deployment. The Museum covers that era in detail, and I leave off today with these panels.