The main Canadian Army's battle tank at the start of the war. However after a year of fighting numbers were so reduced that only one regiment - Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) remained equipped with the Leopard C.1.
Some spare parts were obtained from both Australia and Turkey, and some complete tanks from Chile and Brazil. Late in the war the new West German government supplied Leopard 1s from Heer war-stocks.
Taken from United States Army war-stocks. It is a little known fact that militia units in the RCAC frequently travelled to the United States pre-war to train on American tanks, so it was no great problem to issue them with tanks like the Patton when needed.
As with the M48 the M60s issued to the Canadian Army came from United States stocks and were issued to militia regiments of the Canadian Army. As a rule Canadian regiments equipped with United States armor tended to serve alongside American formations.
As the Leopard C.1 fleet declined in numbers rapidly during the Soviet invasion the Department of National Defence (DND) looked desperately for a source of replacement tanks, as mentioned above the United States, while mobilizing itself against invasion was able to provide tanks. However the British were also willing to donate tanks from their reserves, mainly Chieftains to re-equip Canada's regular Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC) regiments.
The Canadians were very fond of the Chieftain with its thick armour and powerful gun. They mainly used it in FIBUA/MOUT warfare where its slow speed was not a handicap.
FV4030/4 Challenger 1
As the British replaced their Chieftain with the Challenger so did the Canadians, however unlike the earlier tank these were fresh from the British tank factories. In 1988 with help from Vickers, a factory to build Challengers in eastern Canada was completed and many Challys used by Canadian and British forces near the end of the war were Canadian built.
The Canadian Army was full of praise for the Challenger's thick armour, good mobility and excellent main gun. They especially liked the HESH round which they felt was more effective than the American 120mm HEAT round in urban warfare.
Like the British the Canadians also dug everything they could out of museums. Some of this ended up on the front-line, but many other vehicles were used for rear area defence. Post-war when Canada was looking to consolidate its disparate fleet it chose to stick with the Challenger 1. Most Chieftains were converted to engineer vehicles, or bridge-layers, though many ended up in museums, or as war memorials. Most of the US tanks were returned to America, but again some were retained for museums and plinths.
FV4034 Challenger 2
When it came to buying a new tank fleet the Canadian experience with British tanks and the fact that a Challenger 1 tank factory already existed would prove a strong factor during the competition which was held in 1995 with other tank manufacturers' designs (including the M1A2 Abrams, Leopard 2A6 and the Leclerc). The Department of National Defence chose the Challenger 2 over the M1A2 Abrams, though the American tank came a close second.