British Army Training in Canada: Flying Above the Prairie

Author(s): Guy Warner

ISBN: 9781781557051
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A behind-the-scenes look at British Army all-arms battlegroup training in Alberta, Canada.
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  • Profusely illustrated with many rare and unpublished colour and mono period and contemporary photographs
  • A unique insight into British Army training and weapons
  • Includes many first-hand accounts and interviews
  • Of historic and technical detail, this is of much interest to military and aviation historians as well as modellers 

British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) is situated in Alberta, Canada, amidst the dry, semi-barren, rugged and undulating prairie where the Blackfoot, Cree and Sioux tribes once hunted buffalo and engaged in combat.

The training area measures 39 miles west to east and 32 miles north to south with a total area of 1,038 square miles. It is slightly larger than Luxembourg and seven times the size of Salisbury Plain.

The prime purpose of BATUS is to provide realistic all-arms, battle group manoeuvre training with live firing. Four major ‘Prairie Storm’ exercises are held every year between April and October, involving infantry, armour, artillery, aviation and support arms.

Up to 2,500-3,000 personnel may be on the ground, along with as many as 1,200 vehicles of all types from main battle tanks to 4x4s. BATUS was formally established in 1972, making up for the loss of training areas in Libya in 1969.

Right from the start, it was envisaged that there would be an Army Air Corps element. The original aircraft were replaced by Westland AH1 Gazelles in 1977 and they continue in service 40 years later.


BOOK ISBN 9781781557051
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING paperback
PAGES 176 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 25 October 2018
TERRITORY World
ILLUSTRATIONS 34 black-and-white and 170 colour photographs






Guy Warner is a retired schoolteacher and former Ministry of Defence civil servant from Northern Ireland. He is the author of some thirty books and booklets on aviation and has written hundreds of articles for magazines in the UK, Ireland and USA. He also reviews books and has given more than 200 talks on aviation history over the past decade in the UK and Irish Republic. He has taken part in many television and radio broadcasts and acted as a consultant to museums and universities on aviation, military, naval and historical topics.