Canadian Army Trophy


Canadian Army Trophy

The Canadian Army Trophy ("CAT") was a tank gunnery competition established to foster excellence and competition among the armoured forces of the NATO countries in Western Europe.

The trophy itself is a miniature sterling silver replica of a Canadian Army Centurion tank.

Origins

First held in 1963, the event was so named for the hosts, the Canadian Army 4th Mechanized Brigade forward deployed in West Germany. It was decided to hold the competition every two years at Bergen-Hohne (also at Grafenwöhr starting in 1987), Germany, from 1963 to 1991. Each member country was invited to field a 'team' to represent their respective Corps, or, in case of Canada, their Army. Nations represented included Canada, Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands, West Germany and the United States. Awards were given for best scoring team, either Northern Army Group (NORTHAG) or Central Army Group (CENTAG), and best scoring platoons of each Army Group. NORTHAG consisted of the BAOR-British Army of the Rhine (British I Corps), American III Corps Forward, German I Corps, 2 brigades of the Netherlands' Army, and 2 brigades of the Belgian Army. CENTAG consisted of the German II and III Corps and the American V and VII Corps.

History

In the 1987 competition held at Grafenwöhr, there were 24 platoons competing (12 from NORTHAG and 12 from CENTAG). NORTHAG fielded teams from Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands, West Germany and the United States. CENTAG fielded teams from Canada, West Germany and the United States. 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), machinegun hits, and penalties with a maximum platoon score of 20,600 points. The main gun targets were at ranges between 1600-3000 meters and would remain standing after being hit until presentation time 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.

The 1989 competition was the first time that night battle runs were part of the competition. The Canadian 4th Mechanized Brigade departed Germany in 1994, resulting in the end of the CAT competitions. In 1997 the competition began again, but only between the United States and Canada as the CANAM Cup.

The failures of a nation's entrant to place well at the CAT have had considerable defence industry impact. The showing of the Great Britain's Royal Hussars at the 1987 competition was the subject of a front page story in London's Sunday Telegraph, June 21, 1987, titled "NATO Allies Outgun Britain's New Battle Tanks". Critics have used the results of CATs to criticise the way a nation's army trains, the quality of its soldiers, and its procurement policies.Fact|date=May 2008

CAT '87 Teams

; NORTHAG

*, Royal Hussars
*, PzrBtl 324
*, 43 TkBat
*, 2-66 Armor, D Company
*, 4 Lanciers
*, 2-66 Armor
*, 43 TkBat
*, PzrBtl 324
*, Royal Hussars
*, 2-66 Armor, D Company
*, 4 Lanciers
*, Royal Hussars

; CENTAG

*, 3-64 Armor, A Company, 2nd Plt
*, 4-8 Cav, D Company
*, RC Dragoons
*, PzBtl 124
*, PzBtl 363
*, RC Dragoons
*, 3-64 Armor, A Company, 3rd Plt
*, 4-8 Cav, D Company
*, PzBtl 363
*, PzBtl 124, Second Place
*, 3-64 Armor, A Company, 1st Plt, Third Place
*, 4-8 Cav, D Company, First Place

See also

* Military exercise
* Cold War

External links

* [http://www.3ad.com/history/cold.war/cat.index.htm "3rd US Armored Division at CAT 1987"] - A tribute to the 3AD victory in 1987 at the "World Series of Tank Gunnery"
* [http://www.43tankbataljon.nl/43-CAT-Overzicht/43-CAT-Overzicht.html "43rd Tank Battalion CAT page"] - A Dutch page about the 43rd tank battalion's participations in the competition


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