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Canadian Army Trophy

Canadian Army Trophy

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The Canadian Army Trophy (CAT) was a tank
Tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

 gunnery competition established to foster excellence, camaraderie and competition among the armoured forces of the NATO countries in Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

.

The trophy itself is a miniature sterling silver
Sterling silver
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by mass of silver and 7.5% by mass of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925....

 replica of a Canadian Army Centurion tank
Centurion tank
The Centurion, introduced in 1945, was the primary British main battle tank of the post-World War II period. It was a successful tank design, with upgrades, for many decades...

.

Origins


The Canadian Army Trophy (CAT) competition started in 1963 when the Canadian government donated a silver replica of a Centurion tank to the country that obtained the highest score during a tank gunnery that was hosted by the Canadian Army 4th Mechanized Brigade forward deployed in West Germany. This tank replica later became known as the Canadian Army Trophy for NATO Tank Gunnery. The competition was established to foster excellence, comraderie and competition among the armor forces of the NATO countries in Western Europe. The winner of the Canadian Army Trophy, which remains the property of Canada, retains it until the next competition and is responsible for its safe custody. The competition was held annually through 1968; and in 1970 it was decided that it would be held every two years at Bergen-Hohne, West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 beginning with a competition in 1973; later the competition would also be held at Grafenwöhr. Each member country was invited to field a 'team' (a tank company of four platoons of 3 AFVs) to represent their respective Armies. Nations represented included Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the Netherlands, West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Since 1963 the competition format has undergone numerous changes. Originally, single tanks fired from fixed points at known ranges. Following the 1968 and again after the 1975 competitions, the rules and procedures of the competition were changed to more accurately reflect combat conditions. The 1970, 1973 and 1975 competitions incorporated tank sections, consisting of two tanks; while beginning in the 1977 competition, 3-tank platoons (or strong sections for 5-tank platoons) are now required to fire and move over a course, termed a "battle run," designed to test their gunnery skills under more realistic conditions. Each battle run consists of firing from stationary positions and while on the move, at both stationary and moving targets. 4-Tank platoons were incorporated beginning with the 1981 competition. The trophy and awards were given to the best scoring team.

After the 1981 competition, additional changes were made to provide better means of achieving the aims of the CAT competition and to reflect the intended nature of the event, namely, a competition among the land forces of the Central Region. Accordingly, the 1983 CAT competition format organized units from the six participating nations (Belgium, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the United States) in teams corresponding to their army group assignments within the Central Region. Units were therefore either members of the Northern Army Group
Northern Army Group
The Northern Army Group was a NATO military formation comprising four Western European Army Corps, during the Cold War as part of NATO's forward defence in the Federal Republic of Germany.- History :...

 (NORTHAG) or Central Army Group (CENTAG). The Canadian Army Trophy is now presented to the winning Army Group and awards were given to the three best scoring platoons of each Army Group. The winner of the Canadian Army Trophy,
which remains the property of Canada, retains it until the next competition and is responsible for its safe custody.

NORTHAG consisted of the British Army of the Rhine
British Army of the Rhine
There have been two formations named British Army of the Rhine . Both were originally occupation forces in Germany, one after the First World War, and the other after the Second World War.-1919–1929:...

 (BAOR)'s British I Corps, American 2nd Armored Division (Forward), German I Corps, Netherlands' I Corps, and Belgian I Corps. CENTAG consisted of the German II and III Corps, the American V and VII Corps, and the Canadian 4th Brigade.

The responsibility of organizing and hosting the competition rotated between the different participating nations. In 1981 the responsibility shifted to the two Army Groups, Central Army Group (CENTAG) or Northern Army Group (NORTHAG). When CENTAG hosted the competition, it was held in Grafenwöhr; likewise when NORTHAG hosted, it was in Bergen-Hohne.

The failures of a nation's entrant to place well at the CAT have had considerable defence industry impact. The showing of the UK's Royal Hussars at the 1987 competition was the subject of a front page story in London's Sunday Telegraph
Sunday Telegraph
The Sunday Telegraph is a British broadsheet newspaper, founded in February 1961. It is the sister paper of The Daily Telegraph, but is run separately with a different editorial staff, although there is some cross-usage of stories...

, June 21, 1987, titled "NATO Allies Outgun Britain's New Battle Tanks".

CAT '77


The 1977 competition was the first time an American team had participated, C Company 2-81 Armor; but came in last place.

CAT '79


The 1979 competition was held at Range 9, Bergen Hohne. The US built Range 10 at Grafenwöhr for the CAT competition training, it was used later for the actual 1981 competition. There were 20 platoons competing from Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the United Kingdom, West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The Netherlands team did not compete due to a contractual issue with their military union. This was the first year that the USA team finished other than last place (4th place) - M Company, 3rd Squadron 2nd ACR - an especially noteworthy effort by Lieutenants (later Captain) David Andersson, William Ewing, Howard Krause, and Randy Socha, - the M60A3 TTS MBT being used by the USA. The first time the vehicle was used in competition. Additionally, M Co. 3/2 ACR was the first unit in Germany to receive this version, specifically because it had been chosen to compete in CAT '79.

CAT '81


The 1981 competition was held on Range 10 at Grafenwöhr. There were 24 platoons competing from Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The M60A3 used by the USA entry was the final development of the M60A3 until the 2001 IFCS modification produced by Raytheon and sold to Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

.

CAT '83


Held on Range 9 at Bergen-Hohne, teams competed corresponding to their army group assignments within the Central Region, from Northern Army Group
Northern Army Group
The Northern Army Group was a NATO military formation comprising four Western European Army Corps, during the Cold War as part of NATO's forward defence in the Federal Republic of Germany.- History :...

 (NORTHAG) or Central Army Group (CENTAG). NORTHAG consisted of the British Army of the Rhine
British Army of the Rhine
There have been two formations named British Army of the Rhine . Both were originally occupation forces in Germany, one after the First World War, and the other after the Second World War.-1919–1929:...

 (BAOR)'s British I Corps, American III Corps Forward, German I Corps, Netherlands' I Corps, and Belgian I Corps. CENTAG consisted of the German II and III Corps, the American V and VII Corps, and the Canadian 4th Brigade. This was the first year that the M1 Abrams
M1 Abrams
The M1 Abrams is a third-generation main battle tank produced in the United States. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of US military forces in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972. The M1 is a well armed, heavily armored, and highly mobile tank designed for...

 participated in the competition used by C Company 3-64 Armor of 3rd Infantry Division, stationed in Schweinfurt but the two remaining American tank companies still used the M60A3 Patton tank. The United States placed second in the competition.

CAT '85


The M1IP Abrams made its debut in the 1985 competition held on Range 9 at Bergen-Hohne, which contained small upgrades to the M1 Abrams that was previously used for the first time in the 1983 competition. This was the first direct competition of the German Leopard II and the US M1 Abrams. For the first time an American platoon, 1st Platoon of A Company 3-64 Armor, had scored 2nd overall in the competition and the United States' teams ranked third for the entire competition. B Company 3-32 Armor, of the 3rd Armored Division, used the M-60A3; the oldest generation of tanks during the competition.

CAT '87


In the 1987 competition held on Range 301 center lane at Grafenwöhr, there were a total of 24 platoons competing (12 from NORTHAG and 12 from CENTAG). There were significant rules and conditions changes made that governed the preparation and conduct of the competition, each Army Group would designate a minimum of one company from two different battalions; each separate brigade designates a minimum of two companies per country's Corps. The random selection of the tank companies to compete would be made by AFCENT (Allied Forces Central Europe) no later than 1 April 1987. NORTHAG fielded teams from Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, UK, the Netherlands, West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. CENTAG fielded teams from Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The British (3-tank) tank platoons were presented 24 targets, while the other countries' 4-tank platoons were presented with 32 targets during the battle runs. Scoring was based on target hits, hit times, ammunition bonuses (only if all targets were hit), and hit bonuses (only if all targets were hit), machine gun hits, and penalties with a maximum platoon score of 22,600 points. The main gun targets were at ranges between 1,600-3,000 meters and would remain standing after being hit until presentation time, 40 seconds, had expired. No target would be presented twice, so the judges could actually count holes in the targets to verify target hits; "cookie bites" did not count as hits. This was the first year that United States won the CAT and had two platoons placing among the top three; 1st platoon D Company 4-8 Cavalry took top tank platoon honors and 1st Platoon A Company 3-64 Armor, scored third in the competition.

CAT '87 Teams


NORTHAG
, Royal Hussars, B Company, 3rd Platoon, PzBtl 324, 4th Company, 3rd Platoon, 43 TkBat, C Company, 1st Platoon, 2-66 Armor, D Company, 1st Platoon, 4 Lanciers, A Company, 3rd Platoon, 2-66 Armor, D Company, 2nd Platoon, 43 TkBat, C Company, 3rd Platoon, PzBtl 324, 4th Company, 1st Platoon, Royal Hussars, B Company, 1st Platoon, 2-66 Armor, D Company, 3rd Platoon, 4 Lanciers, A Company, 1st Platoon, Royal Hussars, B Company, 2nd Platoon

CENTAG (awarded the trophy)
, 3-64 Armor, A Company, 2nd Platoon, 4-8 Cav, D Company, 3rd Platoon, RC Dragoons, C Company, 1st Platoon, PzBtl 124, 4th Company, 2nd Platoon, PzBtl 363, 3rd Company, 1st Platoon, RC Dragoons, C Company, 2nd Platoon, 3-64 Armor, A Company, 3rd Platoon, 4-8 Cav, D Company, 2nd Platoon, PzBtl 363, 3rd Company, 2nd Platoon, PzBtl 124,4th Company, 1st Platoon Second Place, 3-64 Armor, A Company, 1st Platoon, Third Place, 4-8 Cav, D Company, 1st Platoon, First Place

CAT '89


The United Kingdom did not field a team during the 1989 competition held on Range 9 at Bergen-Hohne. It was the first time that night battle runs were incorporated into the competition.

CAT '91


The United States and United Kingdom did not field teams due to Operations Desert Shield and Storm, thus it was a competition solely between the Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 tanks. This was to be the last competition since the Canadian 4th Mechanized Brigade left Germany in 1993, resulting in the end of the CAT competitions. The Trophy is now located at CFB (Canadian Forces Base) Gagetown
CFB Gagetown
Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, referred to as CFB Gagetown is a large Canadian Forces Base located in southwestern New Brunswick.- Construction of the base :...

 in New Brunswick, Canada; home of the Canadian Armour School.

CANAM Cup


In 1997 the competition began again, but only between the United States and Canada as the CANAM Cup. The Canadians won in 1997, 2000, and 2002. The American teams won in 1999 and 2003.

Canadian Army Trophy Competition Results


From 1963 to 1991
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. 4e LANCIERS Belgium
2. PANZERBATAILLON 83 Germany
1963 3. 11/41/43/101 TANKBATALJON (COMBINED) Netherlands
4. FORT GARRY HORSE Canada
5. 5th ROYAL TANK REGT United Kingdom
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. 4e LANCIER Belgium
2. PANZERBATAILLON 83 Germany
1964 3. 11th HUSSARS United Kingdom
4. 43 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
5. FORT GARRY HORSE Canada
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. THE ROYAL SCOTS GREYS United Kingdom
2. 4e LANCIERS Belgium
1965 3. FORT GARRY HORSE Canada
4. 11 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
5. PANZERBATAILLON 83 Germany
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. 13th/18th ROYAL HUSSARS CMO United Kingdom
2. 4e LANCIERS Belgium
1966 3. PANZERBATAILLON 324 Germany
4. LORD STRATHCONA’s HORSE (RC) Canada
5. 101 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. LORD STRATHCONA’s HORSE (RC) Canada
2. 15th/19th THE KING’s ROYAL HUSSARS United Kingdom
1967 3. 4e LANCIERS Belgium
4. PANZERBATAILLON 83 Germany
5. 41 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. 1er LANCIERS Belgium
2. PANZERBATAILLON 33 Germany
1968 3. THE ROYAL SCOTS GREYS United Kingdom
4. 43 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
5. LORD STRATHCONA’s HORSE (RC) Canada
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. 16th/5th QUEEN’s ROYAL LANCERS United Kingdom
1970 2. PANZERBATAILLON 33/34 Germany
3. LORD STRATHCONA’s HORSE (RC) Canada
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. PANZERBATAILLON 83 Germany
1973 2. QUEEN’s ROYAL IRISH HUSSARS United Kingdom
3. 11 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. PANZERBATAILLON 84 Germany
1975 2. ROYAL HUSSARS (Prince of Wales Own) United Kingdom
3. 2e LANCIERS Belgium
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. ROYAL CANADIAN DRAGOONS Canada
2. 11 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
1977 3. 1er LANCIERS Belgium
4. PANZERBATAILLON 64 Germany
6. 17th/21st LANCERS United Kingdom
6. 2nd BATTALION 81st ARMOR U.S.A.
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. PANZERBATAILLON 284 Germany
2. 2e LANCIERS Belgium
1979 3. 4th/7th ROYAL DRAGOON GUARDS United Kingdom
4. M Co. 3rd Squadron, 2nd ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT U.S.A.
5. ROYAL CANADIAN DRAGOONS Canada
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. PANZERBATAILLON 294 Germany
2. 2e LANCIERS Belgium
1981 3. 1st BATTALION 32nd ARMOR U.S.A.
4. ROYAL CANADIAN DRAGOONS Canada
5. QUEEN’s OWN HUSSARS United Kingdom
6. 41 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. CENTAG:
PANZERBATAILLON 2/293 Germany
PANZERBATAILLON 3/153 Germany
1st BATTALION 32nd ARMOR U.S.A.
3rd BATTALION 64th ARMOR U.S.A.
1983 ROYAL CANADIAN DRAGOONS Canada
2. NORTHAG:
4e LANCIERS Belgium
ROYAL SCOTS DRAGOON GUARDS United Kingdom
PANZERBATAILLON 74 Germany
11 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
2nd BATTALION 66th ARMOR U.S.A.
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. NORTHAG:
2e LANCIERS Belgium
2nd BATTALION 66th ARMOR U.S.A.
PANZERBATAILLON 24 Germany
43 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
1985 ROYAL SCOTS DRAGOON GUARDS United Kingdom
2. CENTAG:
3rd BATTALION 64th ARMOR U.S.A.
3rd BATTALION 32nd ARMOR U.S.A.
PANZERBATAILLON 63 Germany
ROYAL CANADIAN DRAGOONS Canada
PANZERBATAILLON 244 Germany
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. CENTAG:
4th BATTALION 8th CAVALRY U.S.A.
3rd BATTALION 64th ARMOR U.S.A.
ROYAL CANADIAN DRAGOONS Canada
PANZERBATAILLON 124 Germany
1987 PANZERBATAILLON 363 Germany
2. NORTHAG:
43 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
4e LANCIERS Belgium
THE ROYAL HUSSARS United Kingdom
2nd BATTALION 66th ARMOR U.S.A.
PANZERBATAILLON 324 Germany
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. NORTHAG:
41 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
PANZERBATAILLON 203 Germany
2e REGIMENT DE GUIDES Belgium
1989 3rd BATTALION 66th ARMOR U.S.A.
2. CENTAG:
PANZERBATAILLON 123 Germany
2nd BATTALION 64th ARMOR U.S.A.
8th CANADIAN HUSSARS Canada
4th BATTALION 32nd ARMOR U.S.A.
Year Rank Unit Nation
1. NORTHAG:
PANZERBATAILLON 84 Germany
43 TANKBATALJON Netherlands
1991 3e REGIMENT DE LANCIERS Belgiumn
2. CENTAG:
PANZERBATAILLON 153 Germany
8th CANADIAN HUSSARS Canada

External links