The Price of Alliance
188 pages, 6 x 9
10 b&w photos
Release Date:15 Apr 2018
Release Date:01 Nov 2017
Release Date:06 Oct 2017
Release Date:31 Oct 2017

The Price of Alliance

The Politics and Procurement of Leopard Tanks for Canada’s NATO Brigade

UBC Press

Drawing on extensive interviews and records from Canada, NATO, the US, and Germany, The Price of Alliance balances high politics with military requirements in the first major reappraisal of Pierre Trudeau’s defence policy.

For forty years during the Cold War, Canada garrisoned troops and tanks near the Iron Curtain. In the late 1960s, Pierre Trudeau announced plans to remove these tanks and focus on home defence, but allies resisted this decision. After six years of overt and subtle pressures, Trudeau was at last convinced that Canadian tanks in Europe were necessary to support foreign policy objectives. The Leopard tanks, purchased in 1976, symbolized an increased Canadian commitment to NATO and came with the promise of billions of dollars for new armoured vehicles, aircraft, and ships.

Addressing the struggles of the military to equip itself within the constraints of a declining budget and reduced personnel levels, Frank Maas illuminates the problem of defence policymaking in a multi-country alliance as well as the opportunities and difficulties of defence procurement. At the same time, he challenges the relevance of NATO to Canada – and the influence that Canada wields within it.

This book will appeal to students and scholars of Canadian history, particularly Canadian military and political history, foreign policy, the Cold War, and NATO, along with anyone interested in the history of the Canadian Army, especially its armoured capabilities.

This is a solid work based on extensive research.  There is much new material presented that historians will want to access.  It is also well-written for the general reader and underscores the fact that the light/heavy debate continues into the present given recent controversies over yet another Leopard tank and the associated Close Combat Vehicle Dr. Peter Kasurak, CDA Institue Website
This is one of the most important and original contributions to Canadian foreign relations history in years. Robert Bothwell professor of history at the University of Toronto
This book adds a very considerable amount of depth, nuance, and detail to the existing scholarship in this field, all wrapped up in a well written and thoroughly researched package. It may well become the standard work on the subject. Joseph T. Jockel, professor of Canadian studies at St. Lawrence University
Frank Maas teaches in the School of Language and Liberal Studies at Fanshawe College, and also works at a factory which paints armoured vehicles.


1 The 1964 White Paper on Defence: Responding to a New Strategic Context

2 The Traditionalists at Work: Renegotiating NATO Commitments in 1967

3 Trudeau Takes the Reins: The Triumph of the Revisionists

4 The Summer of 1969: Consultations with Allies

5 The Revisionists Assert Control: Defence in the 70s

6 The Scorpion and the Centurion: The Nadir of the Civil Military Crisis

7 Tanks, Trade, and Strategy: Trudeau Relents

8 “From a Beetle to a Porsche”: The Purchase of the Leopard





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