CNTHA Status - November 2017

Tags:  cntha 
Author: Don Wilson
Published: Jun 1st 2016
Updated: 3 years ago

CNTHA STATUS - November 2017

Canadian Naval Technical History Association (CNTHA) aims to capture and preserve Canada’s oral and written naval technical history by encouraging the stablishment of a culture in which Canada’s naval technical heritage is preserved and made accessible to future generations. The association was established in 1996 and has been actively engaged since then. The technical history material gathered by CNTHA is archived in the CNTHA Collection held by the Directorate of History and Heritage (DHH) within the Department of National Defence (DND). The information is available to official historians, researchers, authors and casual readers alike.


The Canadian Naval Defence Industrial Base (CANDIB) subcommittee to CNTHA was established between 2001 and 2008 to gather and document as much historical information as possible on Canadian naval construction programs and the effect they had on Canadian industry.

It also traced the legacy of this developmental activity, calling on the experience and recollections of as many people as possible who were involved in any way in these important events in Canada’s history.

In 2004 CANDIB entered into a contract with DHH to run an oral history program. This successful contract was followed up by two further contracts in 2005 and 2016. CANDIB met its mission in a highly productive manner and while its mission continues to be a relevant topic, the acquiring of this information is continuing under the auspices of CNTHA. By 2016 over 50 transcripts of oral first-hand historical accounts had been transcribed and entered into the CNTHA Collection.

In 2004 work was started on a website [] to showcase the work done. The website when fully implemented offered a public area for anyone having an interest in naval technical history and a committee area. The website was upgraded in 2013 and 2016 to enhance the security, search capability and functionality. Photographs, interview transcripts and the entire collection of the Maritime Engineering Journal are some of the items available on the website. The feedback received from users has been very positive.

Since its inception CNTHA has gathered a large quantity of diverse technical history material for the CNTHA collection. The material consists of in excess of 500 items; about 100 concern the Canadian Naval industrial base in some form or another.

Work Remaining

CNTHA is supporting the current priorities of DHH in preparing for the writing of Volume IV (1968-1990) of the official naval history. The information needed includes:
a. Building and trialling the DDH-280
b. Improved Restigouche Class (IRE)
c. Destroyer Life Extension Project (DELEX)
d. Submarine Operational Update Project (SOUP)
e. Tribal Class Update and Modernization Project (TRUMP)
f. CFAV Quest
g. HMCS Cormorant

Other topics include:
a. Developing time lines showing links between R&D and equipment/system development and integration into ships.
b. Background behind major departmental decisions.

CNTHA is also pursuing forging closer ties with DGMEPM. Commodore Page plans to attend the CNTHA meeting on 2017-11-30.