In the 1950s any Soviet paratrooper who attempted to land in the Northwest Territories would have faced the Canadian Rangers, a crack team of marksmen assigned to wage guerrilla-style “hit and run” operations on the tundra.
The Russians never landed. By the laws of inertia, the Rangers remained. Historian P. Whitney Lackenbauer celebrates these Cold Warriors who in 72 years never fired a shot in anger. Instead, they became a caricature.
“Clad in their red sweatshirts, they appeared regularly in media photographs,” Lackenbauer writes without irony; “Rangers greeted Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip when they arrived in Iqaluit to begin their Golden Jubilee visit. The Queen made particular note of the Rangers’ presence and told them how much she liked their uniforms.”