Mike Braham’s Fact Sheets

The following are links to 18 of Mike Braham’s Fact Sheets, short histories about some of the critical events and aspects of the Cold War that impacted Canada. Below is a brief description of Mike Braham’s background which is extracted from the Diefenbunker Alumni Association’s List of Members.

“Mike served in the Navy from 1960 to 1987. His early years were spent at sea in destroyers and submarines. He later re-mustered to Logistics and filled a number of staff positions including an exchange posting with the USN in California, and a tour at NATO Headquarters. His final posting was to NDHQ as Director, Logistics Operations with responsibility for the national support of all CF deployed operations. He retired as a Capt (N) in 1987.

He immediately took up a position as Civil Mobilization Coordinator with Emergency Preparedness Canada. At that time we were still trying develop the very ambitious and unpopular (at least with the Provinces) National Emergency Agency concept. That changed in 1988 when the War Measures Act was replaced by the Emergencies Act. He was appointed Director for National Plans, Policies and Exercises and we shifted our focus from war planning to an all hazards approach. During this brief period (1987-1990) he expected that he would have been deployed to the bunker in an emergency, although he thinks that by then, formal designation had ceased to be practiced.”

(Sample short extracts are quoted from each document to illustrate their content.)

Fact Sheet #1 – The Diefenbunker – 26 Aug 2011

“Designed by the Canadian Army, and built by a construction company from Montreal, the Diefenbunker was built between 1959-1961. It was built on time and on budget for about $20M (1961)”

Fact Sheet #2 – The Cold War – 26 Aug 2011

“The Cold War is generally considered to cover the period from the end of the Second World War in 1945 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It was characterized by a nuclear standoff between the two superpowers—the United States and the Soviet Union—and their allies.”

Fact Sheet #3 – The Doomsday Clock – 26 Aug 2011

“The Doomsday Clock conveys how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction–the figurative midnight–and monitors the means humankind could use to obliterate itself. First and foremost, these include nuclear weapons, but they also encompass climate-changing technologies and new developments in the life sciences that could inflict irrevocable harm.”

Fact Sheet #4 – The War Measures Act – 26 Aug 2011

“The War Measures Act was a statute that allowed the Canadian government to assume sweeping emergency powers in the event of “war, invasion or insurrection, real or apprehended”. Enacted in August 1914, the act remained in force until being superseded by the Emergencies Act in 1988.”

Fact Sheet #5 – The Berlin Wall – 26 Aug 2011

“The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) in 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The wall was torn down in 1989 with the collapse of the Warsaw Pact”

Fact Sheet # 6 – The AVRO CF 100 – 26 Aug 2011

“The Avro Canada CF-100 takes its place in Canadian aviation history as the only home-grown interceptor design to attain operational status. Between 1950 and 1958, 692 CF-100s were built and flown by nine Canada-based RCAF all-weather fighter squadrons, and four European-based squadrons. Fiftythree CF-100s were sold to Belgium, the only other country to use the aircraft operationally.”

Fact Sheet # 7 – The Bomarc and the Missile Crisis – 26 Aug 2011

“The supersonic Bomarc missiles (IM-99A and IM-99B) were the world’s first long-range anti-aircraft missiles, and the first missiles that Boeing mass produced.”

Fact Sheet #8 – Honest John – 26 Aug 2011

“Developed at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Honest John was a large but simple fin-stabilized, unguided artillery rocket weighing 5820 pounds in its initial M-31 nuclear-armed version. Mounted on the back of a truck, it was aimed in much the same way as a cannon and then fired up an elevated ramp, igniting four small spin rockets as it cleared the end of the ramp.”

Fact Sheet #9 – Igor Gouzenko – 25 Aug 2011

“Igor Sergeyevich Gouzenko (January 13, 1919 – June 28, 1982) was a cipher clerk for the Soviet Embassy to Canada in Ottawa. He defected on September 5, 1945, with 109 documents on Soviet espionage activities in the West. This forced Prime Minister Mackenzie King to call a Royal Commission to investigate espionage in Canada. Gouzenko exposed Joseph Stalin’s efforts to steal nuclear secrets, and the technique of planting sleeper agents. The “Gouzenko Affair” is often credited as a triggering event of the Cold War.”

Fact Sheet #10 – The CF- 105 AVRO Arrow – 26 Aug 2011

“The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft, designed and built by Avro Aircraft Limited (Canada). The CF-105 was intended to serve as the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) primary interceptor in the 1960s and beyond. Not long after the start of its flight test program, the development of the Arrow (including its Orenda Iroquois jet engines) was abruptly and controversially halted, sparking a long and bitter political debate.”

Fact Sheet #11 – October Crisis – 26 Aug 2011

“The October Crisis was a series of events triggered by two kidnappings of government officials by members of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) during October 1970.”

Fact Sheet #12 – National Emergency Planning 1959 to 1988 – 26 Aug 2011

“The development of National Emergency Agencies in Canada was stimulated by the fear of a nuclear war and based upon the civil mobilisation experience of the Second World War. However, there was little enthusiasm for such planning in a country tired of war and trying to return to a state of normalcy. Within the constitutional framework of Canada, National Emergency Agencies were viewed with suspicion and distrust by the Provinces who viewed them as a Federal intrusion into their domains of responsibility”

Fact Sheet #13 – A Cold War Time Line of Major Events – 26 Aug 2011

“The following is an attempt to provide some connection to 1945 and 1991 through a brief description of some of the principal activities of the Cold War that shaped the nuclear standoff, its eventual conclusion, and the nature of the post-Cold War world. This chronology is by no means a complete compendium of world events during the period 1945-1991.”

Fact Sheet # 14 – The Korean War – undated

“This paper provides a brief overview of the Korean War and, in particular, the Canadian role in the conflict. Almost 27,000 Canadians served under United Nations command in Korea or Japan. They won no fewer than 156 Commonwealth and 6 United States decorations. The Korean War involved more Canadian troops than any other war in the country’s history other than the two World Wars.”

Fact Sheet #15 – The Tupolev Tu-95 “Bear” Bomber – 07 Dec 2011

“The Tupolev Tu-95 (NATO code-named BEAR) was one of the iconic aircraft of the Cold War. Pictures of the Bear frequently graced the pages of Western magazines and newspapers, usually with a NATO jet interceptor in close company, as it patrolled the fringes of NATO airspace”

Fact Sheet #16 – Exercise Able Archer 83 – 07 Dec 2011

“Able Archer 83 was a ten-day NATO command post exercise starting on November 2, 1983 that spanned Western Europe. Able Archer exercises simulated a period of conflict escalation, culminating in a coordinated nuclear release. The 1983 exercise incorporated a new, unique format of coded communication, radio silences, participation by heads of government, and a simulated DEFCON 1 nuclear alert.”

Fact Sheet #17 -A Frightening Comparison – 07 Dec 2011

Fact Sheet #18 – PROFUNC – Prudence or Witch Hunt – 22 Jun 2012

“Following the revelations of the Gouzenko Affair1 and with the threat of the Korean War expanding into a third world conflict, the Canadian Government determined the need for a blacklist of Canadian communists and communist sympathisers.”