Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

The photos on these pages have been gleaned from the Library and Archives Canada collection and a few by the author.  Many of the photos were filed with detailed information missing from the caption section.  This set of photos has been collated and compiled by the author with information added where photos can be compared with existing tanks and armoured fighting vehicles.  There are errors in some of the data, and any additions, corrections or amendments to data concerning the posted photos here would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at hskaarup@rogers.com

Data current to 30 Nov 2016.

1st Canadian Tank Battalion cap badge and collar dogs.  (Anthony Seward Photo)

His Majesty's Land Ship (HMLS) "Canada", Canadian commanded British Mk. II tank of the Great War, June 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395254)

Canadian commanded British Mk. II Supply tank of the Great War having its Maple Leaf war crest and the name "Forage" painted on the glacis plate before battle in France, August 1918.  1st Photo, (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395392); 2nd Photo, NFB.

Canadian-built Ram II tanks in service at Camp Borden, Ontario, ca. 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232758)

Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

Regular Force

The Royal Canadian Dragoons - Three armoured reconnaissance squadrons and one armoured squadron.

Before there was armour...Royal Canadian Dragoons on parade, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1891.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3299297)

Royal Canadian Dragoons, Great War Memorial, NBMHM, CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick.  (Author Photo)

RCD Centurion, Germany, ca 1964.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4234065)

The Canadian Army took delivery of 274 Centurion Mk. 3 tanks between 1952 and 1953.  The Centurion had well-sloped armour, superior mobility and excellent gun and fire control systems compared with its then existing contemporaries.  The first 21 Centurions were delivered to the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Germany in March 1952, where they served with the Canadian contingent of the NATO forces based there.  The Centurions were used for training in Canada in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  The Mk. 3 tanks were modified to Mk. 5 standard with the replacement of the co-axial Besa MG with a .30-calibre Browning MG.  Most of the Centurions in Canada retained 20-pounder main guns, while the Centurions in Europe were upgunned to the Mk. 6 standard with the L7 105-mm main gun and additional armour in 1962. The Centurions in service with 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (4 CMBG) in Germany were brought up to Mk. 11 standard in 1965 by fitting a .50-calibre Browning HMG aligned alongside the .30-calibre Browning MG, the fitting of a 100-gallon fuel tank on the rear hull plance, and the installation  of infrared night-fighting gear.  Nine Centurion Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARV) were purchased by Canada in 1954, and four armoured vehicle laying bridge (AVLB) AFVs in 1966.  Centurions ended their service in Germany on 2 June 1977, and in Canada as late as 1979 when Leopard tanks began to replace them.

Centurion ARVs, Ex Reforger Oct 1974, Germany.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4816325)

Centurion AVLB, 4 Field Sqn, RCE, Ex Reforger 74, Eilheim, Germany, Oct 1974.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4816313), and, Centurion AVBL, Ex Regensprung, Lahr, Germany, 9 Sep 1975.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4748878)

RCD Centurion, Germany, ca 1964.  (Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN Nos. 4234064 and 4234066)

Centurion tanks on exercise in Germany, 1964.  (Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN Nos. 4235688 and 4235750)

Centurion tanks on exercise in Germany, 1964.  (Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN Nos. 4235690 and MIKAN No. 4235689)

RCD Ferrets with gun turrets on UN patrol, Cyprus.  (Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN Nos. 4235954 and 4235956)

RCD Ferret on patrol in Cyprus.  (Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN Nos. 4235955 and 4235957)

RCD Ferret, UN patrol, Middle East.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235204), and RCD M38 A1 CAN3 2¼ -ton 4 X 4 Jeeps on patrol in the Middle East.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235205)

 

Leopard AVBL, Ex Certain Sentinel, Germany, Feb 1979.  MIKAN No. 4849067, 4849070, 4849079 and 4886179)

Leopard C1 tank monument, Armour School, 5 CDSB Gagetown, 2015.  (Author Photos)

   

Leopard C1 tank with 105-mm L7 rifled-barrel Main Gun and two 7.62 MGs, multi-fuel, ten cylinder engine, 830 hp, 10-70-mm of rolled homogeneous armor (RHA), a weight of 42.5 tons, and operated with a four-man crew.  C Tp, RCD, 5 CDSB Gagetown, 2015.  (Author Photos)

Leopard 2A4 with L/44 barrel, C Tp, RCD, 5 CDSB Gagetown, Oct 2016.  (Author Photo)

Leopard 2A4M with L/44 barrel, C Tp, RCD, 5 CDSB Gagetown, Oct 2016.  (Author Photos)

Leopard 2A6M with L/55 barrel, C Tp, RCD, 5 CDSB Gagetown, Oct 2016.  (Author Photos)

(Check out Anthony Sewards description of Leopards in action in Afghanistan here: http://tanknutdave.com/canadian-leopard-2-tanks/)

Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) - Two armoured squadrons and one armoured reconnaissance squadron.

Before they were equipped with tanks - Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) (LdSH (RC)), June 1916.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397634)

M5A1 Stuart Mk. VI light tanks of the Reconnaissance troop, Headquarters Squadron, 2nd Armoured Regiment (Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)), (5th Canadian Armoured Division),  taking part in an inspection and marchpast, Eelde, Netherlands, 23 May 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524784)

M5A1 Stuart recce tank without turret, LdSH (RC) at a crossroads in Italy, ca. 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN  No. 4166584)

LdSH (RC) Sherman V, Zuider Zee, 19 Apr 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3200390)

Sherman Vc Firefly tank, LdSH (RC) with Dutch familes gathered around them at Harderwijk, Netherlands, 19 April 1945.  (Capt Jack H. Smith, Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202553)

Sherman Vc Firefly, LdSH (RC) tank crew, with Dutch women and children at Harderwijk, Netherlands, 19 April 1945.  (Capt Jack Smith, Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524865)

Canadian M4A3(76)W HVSS Sherman tanks (most likely LdSH), in Korea.  A, B and C Squadrons LdSH fought independently in Korea from 19 April 1951 to 27 July 1953 as part of the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group, 1st Commonwealth Division.  D Squadron was from the Royal Canadian Dragoons.  All four Squadrons were equipped with M4A3(76)W HVSS Sherman tanks.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235604)

Canadian Sherman M4A3(76)W HVSS tank "Catherine", C Sqn, LdSH (RC), Imjin River, Korea, 16 July 1952.  The tanks came from US Army stocks.  Canadians also deployed M10s in Korea.  (Paul E. Tomelin, Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA115496)

C Squadron Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) in the snow during the Korean War.  (Stan Lucian, Tanks Encyclopedia Photo)

A Squadron Tanks had triangle markings on the side of the turret, B Squadron had square markings and C Squadron had circle markings. The inside was painted black to cover up the US White five pointed star. 

Canadian Sherman M4A3(76)W HVSS tank "Dalmatian", Royal Canadian Dragoon’s D Squadron in Korea.  (Stan Lucian, Tanks Encyclopedia Photo).  D Squadron was a mixed unit but their Sherman tanks had spare tracks fitted onto the Sherman’s turret, where the Squadron marker would normally be painted. A ‘lazy D’ symbol was painted on the rear of the turret instead. The D was turned 90 degrees. The curve of the D at the bottom and the straight line of the D at the top.

Canadian Sherman M4A3(76)W HVSS tank in Korea, firing at enemy bunkers on Napalm Ridge, in support of the 8th ROK Division, May 1952.  (Stan Lucian, Tanks Encyclopedia Photo)

Canadian Sherman M4A3(76)W HVSS tank in a mine crater with damaged running gear, Koreaca 1952.  (Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN Nos. 3883681 and 3883687)

Canadian Sherman M4A3(76)W HVSS tank "Argyle II", Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), 2nd Armoured Regiment, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC) in Korea.  (Stan Lucian, Tanks Encyclopedia Photo)

Canadian Sherman M4A3(76)W HVSS tank "Cheetah", C Squadron, LdSH (RC) in Korea.  There is a White Star visible under the circle Squadron identity marker painted on top.  (Stan Lucian, Tanks Encyclopedia Photo)

Canadian Sherman M4A3(76)W HVSS tanks of A Squadron, Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), 2nd Armoured Regiment in Korea.  (Stan Lucian, Tanks Encyclopedia Photo)

Canadian Sherman M4A3(76)W HVSS tank, Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), 2nd Armoured Regiment, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC) in Korea.  (Stan Lucian, Tanks Encyclopedia Photo)

Canadian Sherman M4A3(76)W HVSS tanks of A Squadron, Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), 2nd Armoured Regiment in Korea.  (Stan Lucian, Tanks Encyclopedia Photo)

Canadian Sherman M4A2(76)W HVSS tank fitted with a dozer attachment performs roadwork, training in preparation for deployment to Korea, ca 1951-53.  (Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN Nos. 3883691, 3883694 and 3883690)

LdSH (RC) Centurion.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235490)

LdSH (RC) Ferrets on patrol with the 2nd Bn QOR.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4234429)

LdSH (RC) Ferret, Cyprus.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235910)

LdSH (RC) Ferret, Cyprus.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235911)

LdSH (RC) M38 A1 CAN3 2¼ -ton 4 X 4 Jeep on patrol in Cyprus.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235914)

Leopards on parade, Edmonton, Alberta, 2016.  (Anthony Sewards Photo)

12e Régiment blindé du Canada - Three armoured reconnaissance squadrons (with additional members serving with the RCD armoured squadron)

The Three Rivers Regiment (Tank), CASF

The regiment mobilized as The Three Rivers Regiment (Tank), CASF, for active service on 1 September 1939. It was redesignated as The Three Rivers Regiment (Tank), CAC, CASF, on 13 August 1940. It was converted to armour on 23 November 1940, and to an army tank battalion on 11 February 1941, designated as the 12th Army Tank Battalion (The Three Rivers Regiment (Tank)), CAC, CASF. It was redesignated as the 12th Army Tank Regiment (Three Rivers Regiment (Tank)), CAC, CASF, on 15 May 1942; as the 12th Armoured Regiment (Three Rivers Regiment), CAC, CASF, on 26 August 1943; and as the 12th Armoured Regiment (Three Rivers Regiment), RCAC, CASF on 2 August 1945.

On 21 June 1941 it embarked for Britain. After two years of training, the 12th Armoured Regiment (Three Rivers Regiment) landed in Sicily on 10 July 1943.  The Regiment supported 1st Canadian Infantry Division throughout Operation Husky almost exclusively and gained a reputation for tenacity and courage.  The 12th CAR was the first Canadian armoured regiment to destroy panzers in battle; a Panzer III and one of the Mark IV "Specials" were destroyed by its men at Grammichele on 15 July.  The regiment also took part Operation Baytown, landings on the Italian mainland on 12 September 1943 as part of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade and were often called upon to support British infantry battalions.  On 8 March 1945 the regiment moved with the 1st Canadian Corps to North-West Europe as part of OPERATION GOLDFLAKE.  There it fought until the end of the war. The overseas regiment disbanded on 30 November 1945.  After the war, the regiment was given a (partially) French name: Le Régiment de Trois-Rivières (24th Armoured Regiment).  (Official Lineages: Volume 3, Part 1: Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments – Armour Regiments. Directorate of History and Heritage. 11 June 2010).

Churchill tank, Three Rivers Regiment on exercise in England, 8 Mar 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3209253)

Sherman III tank, Three Rivers Regimentt, Termoli, Italy, 15 Oct 1943.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3238631)

Sherman III of the Three Rivers Regiment in Ortona, December 1943. The stowage scattered about the tank is typical of an armoured unit in combat conditions.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo)

Major Jimmy Walker, "B" Squadron commander, and his crew atop their Sherman tank of the Three Rivers Regiment near Lucera, Italy, 21 October 1943.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3574231)

Primary Reserves

The Governor General's Horse Guards - household cavalry/armoured reconnaissance.

The Governor General's Horse Guards is an armoured reconnaissance Infantry regiment in the Primary Reserve of the Canadian Army, part of 4th Canadian Division's 32 Canadian Brigade Group.  Based in Toronto, it is the most senior reserve regiment in Canada, and the only Household Cavalry regiment of Canada's three Household units.

Details from the regiment were called out on service on 26 August 1939 and on active service on 1 September 1939 as The Governor General's Horse Guards, CASF (Details), for local protection duties.  Those details called out on active service disbanded on 31 December 1940.  Subsequently, the regiment mobilized as the 2nd Canadian Motorcycle Regiment, CASF (GGHG) for active service on 24 May 1940.  It converted to armour and was redesignated as The Governor General's Horse Guards, CASF on 9 February 1941; as the 3rd Armoured Regiment (The Governor General's Horse Guards), CASF on 11 February 1941; as the 3rd Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (The Governor General's Horse Guards), CAC, CASF on 1 January 1943; and as the 3rd Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (The Governor General's Horse Guards), RCAC, CASF on 2 August 1945.  It embarked for Britain on 9 October 1941 and landed in Italy on 19 December 1943 as part of the 5th Armoured Brigade, 5th Canadian Armoured Division.  On 20 February 1945 the regiment moved with the 1st Canadian Corps to North-West Europe as part of OPERATION GOLDFLAKE, where it continued to fight until the end of the war.  The overseas regiment disbanded on 31 January 1946.

Stuart recce tank minus the turret, 1st Tp, C Sqn, Governor General's Horse Guards, Cervia, Italy, 19 Jan 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3240406)

Sherman tanks, Governor General's Horse Guards. 9 March 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191784)

Governor General's Foot Guards

The Governor General's Foot Guards (GGFG) is one of three Royal Household regiments in the Primary Reserve of the Canadian Army (along with The Governor General's Horse Guards and the Canadian Grenadier Guards) and the most senior militia infantry regiment in Canada.  Civitas et Princeps Cura Nostra ("Our Care is Queen and Country") is the regiment's motto.

The regiment has an operational role that encompasses both the territorial defence of Canada and supporting regular Canadian forces overseas.  It also performs the mounting of the Ceremonial Guard on Parliament Hill and at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, a task it shares with the Canadian Grenadier Guards. This gives the regiment a role similar to that of the guards regiments of the British Army. The GGFG were formally allied with the Coldstream Guards of the United Kingdom after being informally allied with them since the formation of the regiment. The regimental dress uniform has buttons in pairs, similar to the Coldstream Guards, with a red plume (of different material and lengths, dependent on the rank of the soldier) worn on the left side of the bearskin.

The GGFG perpetuate the 2nd Canadian Battalion (Eastern Ontario Regiment), CEF, and 77th (Ottawa) Battalion, CEF.

Details from the regiment were called out on service on 26 August 1939 and then placed on active service on 1 September 1939 for local protection duties. The details were disbanded on 31 December 1940.

The regiment mobilized The Governor General's Foot Guards, CASF, for active service on 24 May 1940. On 26 January 1942, it was converted to armour. It embarked for Great Britain on 23 September 1942. On 24 July 1944, it landed in France as part of the 4th Armoured Brigade, 4th Canadian Armoured Division, and it continued to fight in North-West Europe until the end of the war. The overseas regiment was disbanded on 31 January 1946.

Sherman Vc Firefly tank, Governor General's Foot Guards, Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands, 6 Nov 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3207585)

Personnel of The Canadian Grenadier Guards stacking 75mm. shells near the regiment's positioned Sherman tanks south of Emmerich, Germany, 28 March 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3208278)

Sherman Ic Hybrid Firefly tank, 21st Canadian Armoured Regiment, Governor General’s Foot Guards (GGFG),  21 CAR, with the long barrel of the 17-pounder disguised with foliage.  There is an 8-barreled smoke grenade discharger mounted above the gun mantlet.  Germany, 11 April 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN No.)

Sherman tank, Governor General's Foot Guards, Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands, 6 Nov 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405744)

Orders Group in front of a Sherman tank, Governor General's Foot Guards, Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands, 6 Nov 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199723)

 (Author Photos)

A Second-World War era Sherman tank nicknamed "Forceful III" in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, is dedicated to the memory of the members of the Governor General's Foot Guards killed during the Second World War while operating as an armoured regiment.

The Canadian Grenadier Guards

The Canadian Grenadier Guards (CGG) is a reserve infantry regiment in the 34 Canadian Brigade Group, 2nd Canadian Division of the Canadian Army.  The regiment is the second most senior and oldest infantry regiment in the Primary Reserve of the Canadian Army.  Located in Montreal, its primary role is the provision of combat-ready troops in support of Canadian regular infantry. However, as it is also a Household regiment, it performs similar ceremonial duties to the Guards regiments of the British Army, which primarily entails mounting the guard on Parliament Hill and at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, a task it shares with Canada's other Household infantry regiment, the Governor General's Foot Guards.  The Canadian Grenadier Guards is an allied regiment to the British Grenadier Guards.

During the Second World War, the regiment mobilized The Canadian Grenadier Guards, CASF on 24 May 1940.  It was redesignated as the 1st Battalion, The Canadian Grenadier Guards, CASF on 7 November 1940.  It was converted to armour and redesignated as the 22nd Armoured Regiment (The Canadian Grenadier Guards), CAC, CASF on 26 January 1942 and as the 22nd Armoured Regiment (The Canadian Grenadier Guards), RCAC, CASF on 2 August 1945.  It embarked for Britain on 25 September 1942.  On 26 July 1944, it landed in France as part of the 4th Armoured Brigade, 4th Canadian Armoured Division, and it continued to fight in North West Europe until the end of the war.  The overseas regiment was disbanded on 15 February 1946.

On 1 June 1945, a second Active Force component of the regiment was mobilized for service in the Pacific theatre of operations as the 22nd Canadian Tank Battalion (The Canadian Grenadier Guards), CAC, CASF6.  It was redesignated as the 22nd Canadian Tank Battalion (The Canadian Grenadier Guards), RCAC, CASF and was disbanded on 1 November 1945.

Sherman tanks, Canadian Grenadier Guards, Emmerich, Germany, 28 Mar 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN No. 3208278)

Centaur Mk. II anti-aircraft vehicle, Elbeuf, France, 28 August 1944, Canadian Grenadier Guards.  The 1st Canadian Centaur Battery was formed on 6 August 1944 and disbanded on 30 August 1944.  Manned by Canadian reinforcements and British Royal Artillery gunners, the unit consisted of three troops and a Headquarters.  The establishment for each troop included a Sherman Observation Post (OP) tank and three Centaur Mk. 4.  The battery saw action in mid-August before it was disbanded the same month.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3593377)

Sergeants L.B. Armstrong and L.H. Stephens with the Canadian Grenadier Guards, mounting a movie camera on their Sherman tank "Liza", Donk, Belgium, 3 Oct 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3401871)

The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) - armoured reconnaissance

 (Author Photos)

Canadian Sherman M4A2(76)W HVSS (Serial No. 78-778), “Hellfire”.  This tank was on display on the West side of the Halifax Armoury.  It is currently stored at CFB Shearwater, Nova Scotia.

8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) - armoured reconnaissance

M3 Stuart Mk. I light tank of C Sqn, 5th Armoured Regiment (8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars), 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade, 5th Canadian Armoured Division, Aldershot, England, May 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607530)

Soldier, possibly a Cape Breton Highlander, examining the treads of a Sherman V tank, possibly of "B" Squadron, 8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars, during the assault on the Gothic Line, Italy, ca. 31 August 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3512561)

Sherman V tank armed with a 75-mm Gun, 5th Canadian Armour Regiment, 8th Princess Louise (New Brunswick) Hussars, Italy, 2 Mar 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN No. 3599666 and 3599664)

Sherman tank armed with a 75-mm Gun, 5th Canadian Armour Regiment, 8th Princess Louise (New Brunswick) Hussars, Putten, Netherlands, 18 Apr 1945.  Churchill tank tracks attached to this tank as add-on armour.  (Capt Jack Smith Photo, Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396461)

Sherman Ic Hybrid Firefly tank armed with a 17-pounder Gun, 8th Princess Louise (New Brunswick) Hussars, 5th Canadian Armour Regiment, Putten, Netherlands, 18 Apr 1945.  Firefly crews attempted to disguise the length of the 17-pounder gun barrel to confuse German anti-tank gunners by fitting a false muzzle brake half-way up the barrel and painted the forward portion in a counter-shaded pattern.  (Capt Jack Smith, Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396461b)

HRH Princess Margaet inspecting Princess Louise, 8 CH, Camp Gagetown, New Brunswick, 1958.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4301771)

8th Canadian Hussars, Ferret, Germany.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4234829)

8th Canadian Hussars, Ferret, Germany.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4234835)

8th Canadian Hussars, Germany.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4234827)

The Ontario Regiment (RCAC) - armoured reconnaissance

Churchill Infantry Tank Mk. I of the 11th Army Tank Battalion (The Ontario Regiment (Tank)), 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, being inspected by General McNaughton, right, and Brigadier Worthington, left, July 1941.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607575)

Sherman tank, C Sqn, The Ontario Regt, Paterno, Italy, 3 Aug 1943.  Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3204885)

Sherman tank, Ontario Regiment, Colle d'Anchise, Italy, 26 Oct 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3576479)

Sherman V tank cammed up, Ontario Regimentt, San Angelo, Italy, May 1944.  (Alexander Stirton, Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA114462)

Sherman tank with the Ontario Regiment during the advance to Rome, Italy, 12 May 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3574989)

Troopers with a Sherman tank of the Ontario Regiment on a railway flatcar en route from Italy to Northwest Europe, Mouscron, Belgium, 24 March 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3378550)

The Queen's York Rangers (1st American Regiment) (RCAC) - armoured reconnaissance

G-Wagon in the service of the The Queen's York Rangers (1st American Regiment) (RCAC) - armoured reconnaissance, Toronto, Ontario, 2009.  (Photo courtesy of Joshua Paquin)

Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment

The Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment was a Second World War Canadian armoured regiment created in 1940 with officers and men from two Militia regiments in Sherbrooke, Quebec.  The name is a blend of Les Fusiliers de Sherbrooke, a francophone infantry unit, and the Sherbrooke Regiment, an English-speaking machine gun unit. The armoured corps lineage of the Sherbrooke Fusiler Regiment is carried forward by the present-day The Sherbrooke Hussars.

Ram II tank, 27th Armoured Regiment, (the Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment), 2nd Armoured Brigade training with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, 9th Infantry Brigade, in England, 13 Apr 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN No. 3255723)

The regiment was formed as an infantry unit, The Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment in 1940. It was converted to an armoured regiment in 1942 becoming 27th Armoured Regiment (The Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment) initially as part of the 4th Armoured Brigade. By the time it went into action it was in the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade.  The unit was demobilized in 1946 and its battle honours shared equally by the two predecessor units the Sherbrooke Hussars and the Sherbrooke Fusiliers.

Tank crew of the Sherbrooke Fusiliers, 27 Canadian Armoured Brigade, changing the tracks on a Sherman III tank in England, 20 April 1944.  The soldier in front of the tank has directed the driver to reverse the drive sprockets to pull the T49 steel tracks to the rear while the soldier at the side of the tank is guiding the tracks over the steel suspension units.  (Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN No. 4542721 and 3514116)

Sherman Vc Firefly tank with turret reversed (larger storage box on the back of the turret), Sherbrooke Fusiliers, Caen, France, 11 July 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN No. 3226823)

Humber Mk. I scout car, Sherbrooke Fusiliers, England, 20 Apr 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3514121)

Sherbrooke Fusiliers Sherman tank, Caen, Normandy, 10 July 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3623559)

Sherbrooke Fusiliers Sherman tank, Caen, Normandy.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA 192258)

The most prominent former member of the SFR is Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters who was later Director-General Training and Recruiting Canadian Forces.

Sherman V tank, (Serial No. 8007), built by Fisher, Build No. 898, WD No.  T-152656, (Bomb), Sherbrooke Fusiliers, Zutphen, Netherlands, 8 June 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN No. 3397558 and 3514141)

The second most important artifact from WWII, after the guidon, is a Sherman tank named "Bomb". This M4A2 Sherman landed in Normandy on D-Day, served on the front lines throughout the campaigns from June 1944 to May 1945 in Germany without being destroyed or knocked out. It was returned to Canada after the war, and has been a strong reminder of the sacrifices of the regiment.

  (Author Photos)

In his 2004 book, No Holding Back about Operation Totalize in Normandy in August 1944, author Brien A. Reid states that it is most likely that it was a Sherman Firefly belonging to A Squadron of the Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment that actually destroyed the German Tiger tank number 007 that was commanded by SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Michael Wittmann on 8 August 1944. Wittman was one of the highest scoring German tank commanders of the war. His death is usually attributed to a Firefly of the 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry.

Sherbrooke Hussars - armoured reconnaissance.

12e Régiment blindé du Canada (Milice) - armoured reconnaissance

 

 LAV-25 Coyote, 12e régiment blindé du Canada.  (Photo courtesy of Jimderkairsser)

Leopard C1 (Late) tank charge, CFB Gagetown, 1995.  (Author Photo)

1st Hussars - armoured reconnaissance

Sherman Vc Firefly tank, 1st Hussars, Zetten, Netherlands, 20 Jan 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3207720)

Major A. D'Arcy Marks and Captain A. Brandon Conron with a Sherman tank of "C" Squadron, 1st Hussars Regiment, Colomby-sur-Thaon, France, 28 June 1944.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205393)

The Prince Edward Island Regiment (RCAC) - armoured reconnaissance

  (Author Photo)

Canadian Sherman M4A2(76)W HVSS (Serial No. 65040), built by Fisher, with full skirts, Reg. No. 30123019.  Charlottetown Armoury.

 (Author Photo)

Ferret Scout Car Mk 1, Charlottetown Armoury.

The Royal Canadian Hussars (Montreal) - armoured reconnaissance

Humber Mk. IV Armoured Car, 17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars, Normandy, 20 July 1944.  (Lt Ken Bell, Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3378681)

Dutch civilians on a WASP of 7th Reconnaissance Regiment (17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars), 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, celebrating the liberation of Zwolle, Netherlands.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191645)

7th Reconnaissance Regiment (17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars), 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, Humber IIIA armoured cars, Vaucelles, France, 18 July 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405642)

Personnel of the 17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars transferring from a "Seep" (waterized jeep) vehicle to the Chevrolet C15A truck which serves as the unit's bus, Weener, Germany, 13 February 1946.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3230150)

The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own) - armoured reconnaissance

Ram II tank being serviced by troopers of the British Columbia Regiment training in England, 15 Jul 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228470)

Personnel of Headquarters Squadron, British Columbia Regiment, with their Sherman tank, Brasschaet, Belgium, 14 October 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3211514)

Sherman tanks of Headquarters Squadron, The British Columbia Regiment, loading ammuntion prior to shelling a German position near Meppen, Germany, 8 April 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396351)

The South Alberta Regiment

The South Alberta Regiment (SAR) was a Canadian regiment which served in the Second World War. The unit was created in 1924 as infantry and mobilized in 1940 as part of the 4th Canadian Infantry Division. When the division was reorganized as an armoured formation to satisfy demand for a second Canadian armoured division, the South Alberta Regiment was named 29th Armoured Regiment (The South Alberta Regiment) and received Ram tanks in February 1942.[2] The unit was again renamed as 29th Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (The South Alberta Regiment) in January 1943.

The SAR was deployed to northern France in mid-June 1944 (Normandy landings, D-Day was 6 June 1944), replacing their Ram tanks to be equipped with Stuart and Sherman tanks. They participated in the later battles of the Invasion of Normandy, taking part in Operation Totalize and finally closing the Falaise pocket in Operation Tractable. The South Albertas went on to participate in the liberation of the Netherlands and the Battle of the Scheldt. In January 1945, they took part in the Battle for the Kapelsche Veer. They spent the last weeks of the war fighting in northern Germany.

Major David Vivian Currie of the SAR received the Victoria Cross for his actions near Saint-Lambert-sur-Dives, as the allies attempted to seal off the Falaise pocket. It was the only Victoria Cross awarded to a Canadian soldier during the Normandy campaign, and the only Victoria Cross ever awarded to a member of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps.

The Freedom of the City was exercised by the South Alberta Regiment in Nanaimo, British Columbia in April, 1941.

The SAR is now incorporated by amalgamation in the reserve reconnaissance regiment the South Alberta Light Horse.

Major David V. Currie, VC, South Alberta Regiment, Humber Mk. I, Halte, Netherlands, 12 Nov 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227188)

Sherman V tank crew, Troopers Holstrom, Lardner and Mitchell on the Sherman Command tank nicknamed "Clanky" of Captain David V. Currie VC, C Sqn, South Alberta Regiment, 4th Armoured Division, France, 28 July 1944.  Clanky was lost in action at Bergen-op-Zoom, Holland, but all the crewmen survived the war.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233163)

M4 Sherman tank, South Alberta Regiment, Bergen-op-Zoom, Netherlands, 29 Oct 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3200973)

M4 Sherman tank, South Alberta Regiment, Bergen-op-Zoom, Netherlands, 29 Oct 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 32007715)

Sherman Ic hybrid Firefly tank, South Alberta Regiment, Calcar, Germany, Feb 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA113675)

Trooper J.C. McEachern hooking a cable between two Sherman tanks of The South Alberta Regiment, Louisendorf, Germany, 26 February 1945. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228469).

Buffalo, North Shore Regiment of New Brunswick near Terneuzen in the Netherlands, 13 Oct 1944. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3230680), and again with the North Shore Regiment near Nijmegen, Netherlands, 8 Feb 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN 3525752)

The Buffalo Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) is an amphibious warfare and amphibious landing craft.  Originally intended solely as cargo carriers for ship to shore operations, they evolved into assault troop and fire support vehicles.

Buffalos transporting Cdn troops, Scheldt, 13 Oct 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3623235), and, Buffalo with German Prisoners of WAR (PW),  Scheldt, Netherlands, 13 Oct 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191675)

In Europe LVTs were mainly used for landings and river crossing operations as well as assaults in swampy zones. By the end of 1943, 200 LVT-1 had been delivered to the British Army for training, in preparation for future operations in Europe. The U.S., British and Canadian armies used the Buffalo in the Battle of the Scheldt (1944), during the Operation Plunder crossing of the Rhine, along the Po River in Italy, across the river Elbe, and in a number of other river crossing operations.

 

Buffalo LVTs and Terrapin Amphibious vehicles operating in the Scheldt, Netherlands, Oct 1944.  (DND Photos)

For the Rhine crossing the British 21st Army Group had some 600 Buffalos available, most of them used to transport the assault infantry. As mud was expected to hamper the Sherman DD tanks, some LVTs were armed with a 20-mm cannon and two machine guns to give fire support until bridges could be constructed across the river. The "Specials" were assigned to the 79th Armoured Division (which operated all specialist assault vehicles), that also provided Buffalos fitted with "Bobbin" carpets to create temporary roadways over the mud.

The South Alberta Light Horse - armoured reconnaissance

The South Alberta Light Horse, or SALH, is a Reserve armoured reconnaissance regiment unit of the Canadian Army based in Medicine Hat and Edmonton, Alberta. The SALH is part of 3rd Canadian Division's 41 Canadian Brigade Group. The "Light Horse" designation comes from its light cavalry and mounted infantry origins.

The 15th Alberta Light Horse contributed to several active service units, including the 31st (Alberta) Reconnaissance Regiment, remaining in the Calgary area until almost the end of the war. The South Alberta Regiment, recruited an active service battalion in the Medicine Hat area in the summer of 1940. This infantry unit trained in Canada until 1942 when it was reorganized as the 29th Armoured Regiment (The South Alberta Regiment) and moved to England in August.

The SAR was granted 15 battle honours for its service overseas, redesignated the 29th Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (The South Alberta Regiment) in 1944. The unit was selected by Major-General F. F. Worthington to be the reconnaissance regiment of the 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division because he wanted "keen-eyed prairie men" as his scouts. The 29th was again converted, with all armoured reconnaissance regiments, to the war establishment of a regular armoured regiment in 1944 and sent to France in July of that year. It fought through Normandy, Belgium, the Scheldt, the Rhineland, the Netherlands and Germany until the end of the war in Europe in May 1945. Of particular note is that Major David Currie was awarded the Commonwealth's highest military award for bravery, the Victoria Cross, for his valour at St. Lambert sur Dives, France, during the battle of the Falaise Gap.

The 22nd Field Battery became part of the 13th Field Regiment, which landed with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division on D-Day at Juno Beach.

The Edmonton Fusiliers raised two active battalions, one for the 6th Canadian Infantry Division and one for the 8th Canadian Infantry Division. Both these divisions were home defence formations that did not go overseas.

Meanwhile, the 31st (Alberta) Reconnaissance Regiment had served in the Calgary area until January 1945 when it was shipped to England. It was disbanded a month later and broken up for reinforcements.

The end of the war saw the re-emergence of The South Alberta Regiment (infantry) in Medicine Hat and the 15th Alberta Light Horse (armoured) in Calgary. The 15th however, was not to keep its name, and it was united with the 22nd Field Battery and renamed 68th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA. This remained until 1954 when it united with The South Alberta Regiment of Medicine Hat and the 41st Anti-Tank Regiment out of Calgary to become The South Alberta Light Horse (29th Armoured Regiment) out of Calgary. In 1958 "29th Armoured Regiment" was dropped from the name, and two years later, in 1960, the regiment was moved back to its old headquarters in Medicine Hat. The regiment remained an army reserve armoured unit until 1968 when it lost its tanks and was retasked as an armoured reconnaissance unit.

The two Edmonton units (19th Alberta Dragoons and The Edmonton Fusiliers) merged in 1946 as the 19th (Alberta) Armoured Car Regiment, RCAC. This regiment was renamed back to 19th Alberta Dragoons in 1958, but in the 1965 reorganization of the Reserves it was transferred to the Supplementary Order of Battle.  Although it still legally existed, but had no personnel assigned to it.

In 1978 the SALH established an independent B Squadron in Edmonton to train out of Griesbach Barracks. Originally roled as reconnaissance, B Squadron transitioned to AVGP and was reroled as armoured in the early 1980s. The rest of the regiment followed suit and by 1985 the entire regiment was out of reconnaissance and back to being armoured.

In 2006 the South Alberta Light Horse and the nil-strength 19th Alberta Dragoons amalgamated, and the regiment now maintains the battle honours and traditions of its Edmonton predecessors.

The Saskatchewan Dragoons - armoured reconnaissance

The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC) - armoured reconnaissance

Churchill Infantry Tank Mk. IIIs of C Sqn, 14th Army Tank Regiment (The Calgary Regiment (Tank)) on parade in England, July 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3404613)

Churchill tank of the Calgary Regiment being examined by German troops after the raid on Dieppe, France, 19 Aug 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 319473)

Sherman’ tank ‘Adjunct’ of ‘A’ Squadron, 14th Armoured Regiment (The Calgary Regiment), firing on Potenza in support of the advance of the West Nova Scotia Regiment, left, and being towed out of trouble on the right.  (Alexander M. Stirton, Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-144103, left, LAC Photo, right)

Captain F.M. Ritchie of The Calgary Regiment climbs out of his camouflaged Sherman tank, San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, 10 December 1943. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3229204)

The British Columbia Dragoons - armoured reconnaissance

M3 Lee medium tanks, British Columbia Dragoons, Headley Down, UK, 12 Mar 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3223022)

Sherman tanks of the British Columbia Dragoons being inspected by General Harry D.G. Crerar, Eelde, Netherlands, 23 May 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3223023)

General H.D.G. Crerar, taking the salute during a marchpast of Sherman V tanks of the British Columbia Dragoons, Eelde, Netherlands, 23 May 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3223025)

The Fort Garry Horse - armoured reconnaissance

Fort Garry Horse, Flail tank, Operation TRACTABLE, Bretteville-le-Rabet, France, 14 Aug 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396203)

Fort Garry Horse, Shermans & Mail Jeep, Putte, Belgium, 11 Oct 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206454)

Sherman Vc Firefly tank of The Fort Garry Horse near the Beveland Canal, Netherlands, ca. 29 October 1944.  (Lt Ken Bell, Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228088)

Sherman V of the 10th Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Fort Garry Horse), near Vaucelles, Normandy, July 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233133, 4233128 and 4233129)

Sergeant P. Harrison and Lieutenant J. Swainson with a Sherman tank of The Fort Garry Horse, which was the first Canadian tank to enter Germany, in the Hochwald, Germany, 3 March 1945.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3229612)

Queens Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada supported by Sherman V tanks of the Fort Garry Horse, South of Hatten, Germany, 22 Apr 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3209748)

Infantrymen of Le Régiment de Maisonneuve riding on a Sherman tank of The Fort Garry Horse entering Rijssen, Netherlands, 9 April 1945. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524187)

Sherman tanks of "C" Squadron, The Fort Garry Horse, passing infantrymen of Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal, Munderloh, Germany, 29 April 1945. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3228083)

Trooper J.L. Dumouchelle and Corporal W.L. Corn cleaning a Sherman tank of The Fort Garry Horse used as a monument in Fort Garry Park, Doetinchem, Netherlands, 22 November 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405701)

Le Régiment de Hull (RCAC) - armoured reconnaissance

Canadian Sherman M4A2(76)W HVSS tank with Le Régiment de Hull on exercise, Camp Petawawa 1954.  Lt Henri Langlois (signal operator), LCol George Addy (left). Unknown Lt on right.  (Photo courtesy of Dennis Giguere)

The Windsor Regiment (RCAC) - armoured reconnaissance

Officers of the Essex Regiment (fore-runner to the Windsor regiment) with a Loyd CTSC Tracked Starting and Charging Carrier, England, 27 January 1944 (L-R): Lieutenants R.S. Willis, F.A. Knight.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo PA-188967)

Supplementary Order of Battle

Units on the Supplementary Order of Battle legally exist, but have no personnel or materiel.

4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards

Humber Mk. IV Armoured Car, 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards, Matrice, Italy, 27 Oct 1943.  (Alexander Mackenzie Stirton,  Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206255)

4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guard Standard Presented by Princess Alice (before 1965) on Parliament Hill, Ottawa.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235515, left and MIKAN No. 4235517, right)

12th Manitoba Dragoons

General Motors Staghound T17E1, A Sqn, 12th Manitoba Dragoons, advancing towards Xanten, Germany near the Hochwald, 2 March 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202099).  The Chevrolet T17E1 version of the Staghound was powered by two 97-hp GMC Hercules engines with a hydraulic transmission.  It was served by a five-man crew with three men fitting inside the fully-enclosed, power-traversed turret.  It weighed 14 tons and had a maximum speed of 90 kmh (55 mph) and a range of 720 km (450 miles).  It was armed with a 37-mm tank gun and co-axial and bow-mounted .30-inch Browning machine-guns.  A total of 2,687 Staghound T17E1s were built as well as 789 T17E2 AA vehicles.  The two Canadian armoured car regiments initially received 72 Staghounds each plus a number of additional vehicles allocated to HQ and various other organizations which were in service overseas during the Second World War.  A number were brought back to Canada after the war and at least 85 of these served until they were retired in 1964. 

General Motors T-17E1 Staghound, 12th Manitoba Dragoons, UK, 30 Dec 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224498)

General Motors T-17E1 Staghound, 12th Manitoba Dragoons, Elbeuf, France, 28 Aug 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524437)

General Motors Staghound T-17E1 armoured car of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, Blankenberghe, Belgium, 11 September 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202102)

German soldiers mounted on a Sd.Kfz.222, Reconnaissance Armored Car, surrendering to the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, one of whose General Motors Staghound T-17E1 armoured cars is seen at right, near Sogel, Germany, 10 April 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202100)

14th Canadian Hussars

Universal Carrier, 14th Hussars, Beveland, Holland, 1 Nov 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3237870)

Tank Support to the Canadian Corps in the First World War (1914-1918)

 (Anthony Sewards Photo)

1st Canadian Tank Battalion cap badge, collar dogs and shoulder flashes.

2nd Canadian Tank Battalion, 3rd Canadian Tank Battalion and Canadian Tank Corps badges.  (E Bay Photos)

His Majesty's Land Ship (HMLS) Canada, Canadian commanded British tank of the Great War June 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395254)

British First World War tank.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.  3395261)

On 15 September 1916, seven British tanks attached to Brigadier-General Brutinel’s Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade supported the Canadian attack on Courcellette, France during the Battle of the Somme.  British tanks also supported the Canadian Corps during the 8 August 1918 Amiens offensive.[1]

One detachment of three tanks was tasked to support the 2nd Canadian Division‘s 4th Infantry Brigade.  Another detachment of three was to work with the 6th Brigade, while the seventh tank was held in reserve.  One of the first tanks Brutinel inspected was a male tank, which meant that it was equipped with two 6 pounder Hotchkiss guns, was given the nickname Crème de Menthe.  The second tank, named Cordon Rouge, was a female version with a complement of Vickers machine-guns.  Two more tanks in the section were named Cupid, a male, and Cognac, a female.  During the battle, only one of the tanks, Crème de Menthe, was able to get into the German lines.  A soldier described seeing “a landship named the L.S. Crème de Menthe pass ahead, and go right up to the walls…its guns blazing…and the monster roared into the fort, while we could see the Germans streaming out behind it, offering an excellent target to the riflemen in the shell holes.”[2]

Although the 1st Canadian Tank Battalion was formally created by an Order-in-Council on 19 April 1918, the war ended before it could be employed.  Canada raised three tank battalions that together with a brigade headquarters, supply and workshop companies and a depot, would have comprised the Canadian Tank Brigade.  The 2nd Canadian Tank Battalion was formed in the UK and the 3rd Canadian Tank Battalion was being organized in Canada when the armistice was signed.  Originally, these tank units were designated as part of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps, but on 29 Nov 1919, they were assigned to the very short lived Canadian Tank Corps.[3]

[1] Roger V. Lucy, Early Armour in Canadian Service, (Ottawa, Service Publications, 2009), p. 5.

[2] Michael R. McNorgan, Great War Tanks in Canadian Service, (Ottawa, Service Publications, 2009), p. 5.

[3] Roger V. Lucy, Early Armour in Canadian Service, (Ottawa, Service Publications, 2009), p. 6.

British First World War tank with Canadian soldiers on board, Amiens, Aug 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.  3405525). 

British First World War tank marked TORONTO, Aug 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN No.  3395386)

 

Canadian soldiers advancing with a British Mk. II Male tank at Vimy, April 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3522713)

British tank fresh from the factory, Wm. Foster & Co, Lincoln, UK.  ((Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395115)

British tank, Nov 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN No. 3395259)

British tank, Nov 1916.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397301)

British tank, July 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395260)

British First World War  tank, Vimy, Nov 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada  Photo, MIKAN No. 3522071)

British late First World War  tank.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.  33521931)

British First World War  tank, July 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.  3395263)

British Mark V “male” tank, showing short 6-pounder (57-mm) Hotchkiss gun in right sponson.  (Photo courtesy of United Kingdom Government)

British Tanks on the Western Front, July 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA001493)

Canadians mounted on a British Tank, 5th Canadian Mounted Regiment, ca. 1918.  (Archives of Ontario Photo, I0004843)

Tanks preparing to go into actoin, July 1917.  .  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395271)

British Great War tank "Britannia" in the Victory Loan parade, Toronto, 2 Nov 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395405)

According to Robert Robinson, this tank visited over 40 Cities, towns and camps in the USA and Canada between Oct 1917 and Jan 1919 (some more than once).  "Britannia" visited Canada twice, in 1917 and 1918.  She was in Toronto on both occasions and also in Hamilton and Montreal on at least one.  The early photos show she did not have the name "Britannia" on her front glacis plate during the first visit.  The tank underwent a makeover in Chacago after mid-1918.  "Britannia" was used to recruit British and Canadian soldiers (and some Jewish and Armenian volunteers as well).  It helped sell very large amounts of war bonds in both countries and even starred in a Broadway Musical!  Four US presidents (past, present and future) were involved in the visit these being Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, Coolidge and Eisenhower.

The tank crew, under Captain Richard Haig (no relation to the Field Marshal) left for Britain after the 1918 visit, but the tank which had been transferred to the US Army went back to the USA.  The officer marching in front of the tank (shown below) is Captain Haig .  His stiff walk, due to his being shot through the knee in 1917 is apparent. He was the author of "Life in a Tank" (which is now available on the Internet for free down load). 

The 301st Us Tank battalion which had operated with British heavy tanks alongside the British Tank Corps in 1918 brought their surviving Mk V and V* tanks back to Camp Colt in Oregon and it joined them. The First Battalion Canadian Tank Corps were still training in Britain when the war ended and returned without their tanks. 

"Britannia" was located at Camp Polk, Oregon, in January 1919 after the crew had gone home.  It was one of a number of tanks which were transferred to the new US Army training camp at Camp Colt, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  The US 301st heavy tank battalion carried  out a number of destructive tests of Anti-Tank (AT) mines in the early 1920s using one or more Mk IV tanks and this may have been the final fate of "Britannia".  

The U.S. Army Ordnance Training and Heritage Center at Aberdeen, Maryland, has claimed that their tank is the former "Britannia" but as "Britannia" had a cab roof hatch (probably being a converted Mk IV supply tank with female sponsons) and the Aberdeen tank has no such hatch this is unlikely.  The US Army took delivery of a number of Mk IVs in Nov 1918 and the tank at Aberdeen is likely to be one of these.

British Great War tank Britannia in the Victory Loan parade, Toronto, 2 Nov 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3408624)

British Great War tank "Britannia" in the Victory Loan parade, Queen Street, Toronto, 2 Nov 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3362109)

British Great War tank Britannia in the Victory Loan parade, Sherbrooke Street, Montreal, 19 Nov 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395404)

British Great War tank Britannia in the Victory Loan parade, Toronto, 2 Nov 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395404)

Factory fresh Whippet tank, Wm. Foster & Co, Lincoln, England, ca. 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395114)

Turreted 4-wheel drive Jeffrey armoured truck, armed with two Colt machine-guns.  Originally developed for use by the Eaton Machine Gun Battery, T40 were ordered by Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence, at a cost of $242,000.  This vehicle is on display at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, Toronto, Ontario, 1 Sep 1915.  Initially sent to the UK, they went unused until shipped to India and Ireland a year later.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395133)

The Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade, also known as Brutinel's Brigade or the Brutinel Brigade, was the first fully motorized unit of the Canadian Army.   It was established on August 24, 1914 in Ottawa, Canada, as Automobile Machine Gun Brigade No. 1 by Canadian  Brigadier-General Raymond Brutinel, who initiated the program and was the unit's first commander.  The unit played a significant part in halting the major German offensive of March 1918.

The Brigade was originally equipped with eight Armoured Autocars mounting two Colt Model 1914 machine guns (later replaced with the standard British..303-inch Vickers MG) manufactured by Autocar in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.  Autocar also supplied six unarmoured support vehicles, four "roadsters" for the Brigade's officers, and an ambulance.

In 1918 Brutinel's force consisted of 1st and 2nd Canadian Motor MG Brigades (each of 5x8 gun batteries), Canadian Cyclist battalion, one section of medium trench mortars mounted on lorries (plus an assumed wireless and medical support).  This totalled 80 machine guns and about 300 cyclist infantry.

Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade.  A few of the eight carriers of Brutinel's Brigade, April 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395367, and (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395368)

Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade,  Amiens, France, Aug 1918.  Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3522240), and 3395366)

Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade vehicles being inspected by HRH the Duke of Connaught, ca 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3522760)

Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade vehicle casualties, ca 1918.  (German Army Photo)

Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade, Arras-Cambrai Road, France, Sep 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada Photos, MIKAN No. 3522326 and 3522327)

Rolls Royce armoured car, No. 8 Armoured Car Sqn, March 1916, German East Africa.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395063)

Renault tank, Arras, France, Sep 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3522273)

Renault tank in Allied service during the Great War, Sep 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3522286)

French First World War Schneider CA 1 tank loaded on a train in Toronto, Ontario, 2 Nov 1918.  (Library  and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3401750). 

Accordingto research by Robert Robinson, a French Schneider tank that had served with Groupe AS 17 du Groupement n° IV and that had seen action in France, was presented to Boston.  For some reason this tank was shipped through Canada on the Grand Trunk Railway as shown here in the railway yards in Toronto.   Its unit markings can be seen.  It was eventually displayed as the Soldiers and Sailors monument on Boston Common for a number of years.  Its history afterwards is murky, but it may have been the Schneider tank located at Aberdeen for a while.  That tank is now restored and on display at the Musee des Blindes, Saumur, France.

  (Photos courtesy of Alf van Beem)

Schneider CA-1, Musee des Blindes, Saumur, France, possibly the same one that passed through Toronto in 1918. 

The Schneider CA 1 (originally named the Schneider CA) was the first French tank.  The Schneider tank was inspired by the need to overcome the stalemate of trench warfare which on the Western Front prevailed during most of the Great War.  It specifically had to open passages for the infantry through barbed wire and then to suppress German machine gun nests.  After a first concept by Jacques Quellennec devised in November 1914, the type was developed from May 1915 onwards by engineer Eugène Brillié, paralleling British development of tanks the same year.  Colonel Jean Baptiste Eugène Estienne in December 1915 began to urge for the formation of French armour units, leading to an order in February 1916 of four hundred Schneider CA tanks, which were manufactured by SOMUA, a subsidiary of Schneider located in a suburb of Paris, between September 1916 and August 1918.  The tank was of the "box" type, lacking a turret, with the main armament, a short 75 mm cannon, in the right side.  Generally it is considered a very imperfect design, even for its day, because of a poor lay-out, insufficient fire-power, a cramped interior and inferior mobility due to an overhanging nose section.  Improved designs were almost immediately initiated but the production of these, the Schneider CA 2, CA 3 and CA 4, was eventually cancelled.  The Schneider CA 1 tanks were widely used in combat during the last war years.  Their first action on 16 April 1917 was largely a failure, the tank units suffering heavy losses, but subsequent engagements were more successful.  In 1918 the Schneider tanks played an important role in halting the German Spring Offensive and breaking the German front in the French summer offensives.  They were active until the end of September 1918, less than two months before the Armistice of 11 November 1918, their numbers having dropped considerably due to attrition.  After the war the surviving tanks were mostly rebuilt as utility vehicles but six Schneider tanks were deployed by Spain in the Rif War in Morocco, and the type saw its last action in the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.  Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schneider_CA1.

Armour used by Canadians between the wars

Mk VIII Liberty tanks in operation.


Canadian armour and infantry observing the aerial bombing of German positions from a forming up point (FUP) in preparation for continued heavy fighting through Normandy on the Caen-Falaise Road, France, 8 Aug 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4164905)

Canadian Tanks and Armour in the Second World War

M1917 tanks arrive at Camp Borden, Oct 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3563837)

The M1917 was operated by a two-man crew and was armed with either a short 37-mm gun or a Browning .30-calibre machine-gun.  The tank was powered by an American four-cylinder 42-hp water-cooled Buda engine.  It had a top speed of 7 kmh (5 mph).  The Department of Munitions and Supply (DMS) was authorized to purchace 250 of these tanks.  A total of 236 were actually acquired and sent to Camp Borden.

M1917 tanks arrive at Camp Borden, Oct 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3325255)

M1917 tank, Camp Borden, Maj Gordon Churchill, 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3613389), and M1917 tank being examined by Col F.F. Worthington, Camp Borden, Oct 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3325256)

Valentine (Cruiser) tank armed with a 2-pounder gun under construction in Montreal, 23 May 1941.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 31925884). 

The Valentine Infantry Tank Mk. III built by the CPR Angus Shops in Montreal, Quebec, was designed for the support of infantry in attack.  It entered production in England in 1940 and in Canada in 1941.  The first examples of this tank with a three-man turret went to the Canadian Armoured Fighting Vehicles Training Centre at Camp Borden where they were used for gunnery and tank commander training.  1,390 Canadian produced Valentines were sent to Russia, while 30 remained in Canada for trials and training.  Valentines were powered by a General Motors 6-cylinder, 2-cycle Diesel Engine and equipped with three-wheel Bogie assemblies.  Its main armament was an Ordnance QF 2-pounder Mk. IX gun and a .30-calibre Brownning M1919A4 machine-gun co-axially mounted on the mantlet.  War department numbers for the 30 Valentines in Canada ran from CT-138916 to CT-148945.

Valentine Bridgelayer tank, near Melfa, Italy, 23 May 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3586332)

Ram I armed with the early 2-pounder gun in 1941  This was the first of these tanks built at the Montreal Locomotive works.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3554045)

Ram I tank crew, 5th Canadian Armoured Division, Aldershot, England, 24 Dec 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3525210)

Ram II tanks armed with 6-pounder guns on maneuvers, ca 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232743)

Ram II tank with 6-pounder gun, marked No. 4, Canadian Armoured Corps Training Establishment, Camp Borden, Ontario, 7 July 1943.  (Lt Ken Bell Photo, Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3587207)

Ram II tanks, Camp Borden.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232610)

Ram II tanks armed with a Mk. V 6-pounder gun mounted in the Mk. II mantlet, Camp Borden, Ontario.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232757)

Ram II tanks, Camp Borden.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232617)

Ram II tanks, Camp Borden.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232753)

.

Ram II tanks on maneuvers, ca. 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, WRC-3176)

Ram II on maneuvers in the UK, 22 Dec 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3587045)

Ram II tanks on manouevres in the UK, ca. 1943. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233146)

Sherman V Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV) Mk. I, Authie, Normandy, France July 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA116535)

Sherman V Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV) Mk. I, moving into position in support of an attack south of Caen, France, June 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3512561)

M3 Lee Tanks on a railway car, Buffalo, New York, ca 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3285309)

M3 Lee medium tank in Canadian service on maneuvers in England, ca 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607523)

M2A4 Stuart light tank with protective cover, England, 27 Mar 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3590671)

M4A4 Sherman V tanks of the Southern Alberta Regiment (SAR) and M5A1 Stuart tanks of the 5th Canadian Armoured Division, a Ram II Observation (OP) tank with false wooden gun, Willys jeeps, Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) trucks and a Humber armoured car in the centre, laagered in the village square of Bergen-op-Zoom in the Netherlands, 31 Oct 1944. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191555)

Ram OP in Normandy.  84 of these were manufactured at the very end of Ram production.  It was a Ram II fitted with a dummy gun in place and two No. 19 Wireless sets inside.  These tanks accompanied the Sexton S.P. gun regiments as mobile observation posts for their FOOs.  (Anthony Seward)

Priest Kangaroo (aka "Defrocked Priest") converted into an Artillery Command Vehicle, 4th Canadian Armoured Division, moving into Delden, Netherlands, 4 April 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194297)

Sexton 25-pounder SP Gun, NW Europe, Nov 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3197576)

M7B2 Priest 105-mm SP Gun, Gothic Line, Italy, Sep 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3512556)

Canadian Skink 20 mm Quad Anti-Aircraft Tank.  (DND Photo courtesy of Clive Law)

Canadian Skink 20 mm Quad Anti-Aircraft Tank.  (DND Photo courtesy of Clive Law)

Daimler Armoured Car, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 28 May 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191619)

Daimler Mk. 1 Scout Car, Sallenelles, France.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233183)

GMC C15TA armoured trucks with RHLI troops, Krabbendijke, NE, 27 Oct 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205115)

The General Motors of Canada (GMC) C15TA Armoured Truck was based on the GMC Otter Light Armoured Reconnaissance Car which married the Chevrolet C15A Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) four-wheel-drive chassis, the GM 270-cubic-inch engine, and an armoured body built by the Hamilton bBidge Company.  From the front the vehicle resembled the Otter, while the rear was similar to the White Scout Car.  Its armour was only shoulder high, with weather protection provided by a canvas cover.  It came with run-flat tires and could hold an eight-man crew and their equipment.  The cab seating had two men facing outwards on each side, two faced the rear and two sat in the driver's compartment.  With some modification it could serve as an eight-man APC or as an armoured ambulance or load carrier.  From late 1943 to June 1945, GMC Oshawa built a total 3,961 C15TAs for British and Canadian contracts.  A number of these vehicles remained in military service in Canada after the war until July 1953.

Heavy Transport Truck, Canadian Army, 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3356798)

Newly manufactured Sherman tank, ca. 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232685)

Infantrymen of The Highland Light Infantry of Canada passing Sherman tanks en route to cross the Orne River near Caen, France, 18 July 1944. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205609)

Sherman Duplex Drive swimming tank with waterproof float screens lowered.  (IWM Photo, Wikipedia)

Sherman Duplex Drive (DD) swimming tanks with waterproof float screens inflated, preparing for launch from a Landing Craft Tank (LCT) on an exercise in England prior to D-Day.  (IWM photo H35179, Wikipedia)

Sherman DD preserved at Courseulles sur Mer, Normandy.  Many of the bronze commemorative plaques fixed on the side of this tank are dedicated to the Canadians who landed at Juno beach on 6 June 1944.  (Photo courtesy of Cevenol2)

On the Canadian Juno Beach, The Fort Garry Horse and the 1st Hussars were equipped with DDs, but only those of the 1st Hussars could be launched.  They were assigned to the 7th Canadian Brigade, at the western end of the beach.  Some of the tanks were launched at 4,000 yd (3,658 m) and some at 800 yards (700 m); twenty-one out of twenty-nine tanks reached the beach.  The 8th Canadian Brigade, at the eastern end of the beach, was forced to land without DD tanks because of rougher seas.  They suffered heavy initial casualties, but were still able to make good progress.   Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DD_tank.

Sherman Flail tank coming ashore from an Landing Craft Tank (LCT), Walcheren Island, the Netherlands, 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3614385)

Sherman Command tank ( nick-named Vancouver) commanded by MGen B.M. Hoffmeister, GOC 5th Canadian Armoured Division, at the Melfa River crossing near Castrocielo, Italy, 26 May 1944.  Command tanks were fitted with an extra radio beside the co-driver.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3574213)

Major-General B.M. Hoffmeister, General Officer Commanding 5th Canadian Armoured Division, in the turret of the Sherman tank "Vancouver" near Castrocielo, Italy, 23 May 1944. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3576486)

Sherman V tank on exercise in the UK, 5-10 June 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3600192)

Sherman Firefly Vc Tank being loaded onto an LST, ca 1944.  This tank has a counterweight on the turret bustle shown as the gun is traversed over the back deck.  The Firefly IC had a cast forward hull.  Also, there is no bow gunner/radio operator position, as that position was used for extra ammo for the main gun.  There is also an added armour plate in from of the drivers position and where the bow gunner used to be.  This particular tank was a "mutt", as it was part VC and part Sherman. They took a Firefly turret off of one that had the hull knocked out and slammed it on a Sherman hull.  Later the unit was issued a proper VC.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 416670).

M4 Sherman tank fitted with a dozer attachment performs roadwork.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3883694)

Canadian Cromwell Tank moving into position for an attack south of Caen, France, June 1944. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233175)

 

Canadian Cromwell Tank moving into position for an attack south of Caen, France, June 1944. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233176)

DUKW with Canadian troops, Normandy, June 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233777)

Dingo Armoured Car, 8th Royal Scots & 1 Canadian Parachute Battalion after crossing the Rhine, Bergerfarth, Germany, 25 Mar 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524486)

Lynx Scout car test, Oshawa, Ontario, June 1943. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3196712)

Lynx Scout car, Bagnacavallo, Italy, 3 Jan 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3240447)

Scout car, 1st Canadian Infantry Division, Apeldoorn, Netherlands, 19 Apr 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396466)

Humber Mk. I Scout car, Falaise, France, 17 Aug 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206554)

Humber light reconnaissance car, Caen, France, 11 July 1944.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206446)

Dieppe Raid, abandoned Scout car.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194752)

MGen Charles Foulkes, 1st Canadian Army in an armoured car named "Bardia".  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233281)

Infantrymen of the North Shore Regiment climbing onto an Alligator amphibious tracked vehicle during Operation VERITABLE near Nijmegen, Netherlands, 8 February 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3525752)

Canadians with Alligator amphibious tracked vehicle, Terneuzen, Netherlands, 13 Oct 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3230680)

Alligator with Universal Carrier, Cameron Highlanders of Canada, Rhine River, west of Rees, Germany, 24 Mar 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199886)

Infantrymen of the Toronto Scottish Regiment in their Universal Carrier, Nieuport, Belgium, 9 Sep 1944.  Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3262696)

Universal Carrier with high box siding, The Highland Light Infantry of Canada, England, 19 May 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199411)

Infantrymen of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment and a Sherman V tank of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division awaiting orders to go through a roadblock, Wertle, Germany, 11 April 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3223903)

A Sherman Vc Firefly of 5th Canadian Armoured Division assists troops of 11th Royal Scots Fusiliers, 49th (West Riding) Division to clear the Germans from Ede, Netherlands, 17 April 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.)

Universal Carrier with Vickers  .303-inch machine-gun, Saskatoon Light Infantry, Italy, 8 Mar 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3520400)

Universal Carrier with Vickers .303-inch machine-gun, Saskatoon Light Infantry, Laurenzana, Italy, 19 Sep 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3520408)

Universal Carrier, 4th Field Regt, RCA, Vaucelles, France, 20 July 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3222766)

Universal Carrier, Canadian soldiers 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade & German Prisoners of War, Authie, France, 9 Jul 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3198828)

Loyd Carrier of the Overseas Canadian Training School (note four road wheels and modified box chassis) armed with a .303-inch Vickers machine-gun.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607580)

Universal Carrier on a training exercise in the UK, 18 October 1940.  The crew are demonstrating the use of the 2-inch mortar in the rear and Bren gun on an anti-aircraft mounting.  (Government of the United Kingdom Photo)

Canadian Armour post Second World War

Canadian Sherman M4A2(76)W HVSS tank, Petawawa, Ontario, ca. 1963.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4234038)

Canadian Sherman M4A2(76)W HVSS tank (CFR No. 78-874), Camp Petawawa, ca. 1963.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4234039).  In 1946 the first of 294 M4A2 (76-mm) Wet Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension (HVSS) Sherman tanks arrived at Camp Borden and at the Long Pointe Ordnance Depot in Montreal.  The Canadians referred to this tank as the M4A2E8.  96 Stuart tanks were also delivered at the same time.  The new Shermans were manufactured by the Fisher Tank Arsenal in Grand Blanc, Michigan between May 1944 and May 1945.  M24 Chaffee light tanks were also purchased at this time.  Compared with the Shermans used by Canadians in the Second World War, the ammunition storage in the new tanks was improved by surrounding the racks with water and etheylene glycol-filled jackets to reduce the probability of explosion in the event of penetration of the armour by enemy fire.  The tanks equipped with this protection system were designated "Wet".  The M4A2E8 was powered by a pair of side-by-side mounted General Motors 6046 diesel engines producing 375 hp mounted in the rear of the hull.  The tank could sustain a speed of 48 kmh (30 mph).  Its main armament was a 76-mm M1A2 long-barreled, high-velocity gun fitted with a muzzle brake.  Its secondary armament included one Browning .30-calibre M1919A4 machine-gun mounted co-axially with the main gun, a bow machine-gun in the front of the hull, and a Browning .50-calibre machine-gun mounted on a post between the loader's and commander's hatches for AA protection.  The HVSS system used four wheels per bogie instead of two, which allowed tracks that were wider (165-mm) to be installed, and which made for better performance on soft ground and allowed for a smoother ride.  The M4A2E8 had a five-man crew.  The driver and co-driver sat in the front of the hull with the driver on the left and co-driver on the right.  The crew commander, loader and gunner sat in the turret.  The crew commander's position was on the right side of the turret, the loader sat on his left and the gunner sat in front of the commander.  After the first batch of the new tanks went to the RCD at Camp Borden 1946, another 30 went to the LdSH at Camp Wainwright, Alberta in March 1947.  Training on the tanks by the LdSH was also conducted at Camp Sarcee in Alberta, and at Camp Petawawa when the RCD moved there in the spring of 1948.

Centurion tank on exercise, Camp Gagetown, summer 1963.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235213)

Centurion tank on exercise, Camp Gagetown, summer 1963.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235424)

Centurion tank on exercise, Camp Gagetown, summer 1963.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235505)

Centurion tank on exercise, Camp Gagetown, summer 1963.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235506)

Centurion Main Battle Tank, Armour training, ca 1965.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 42342260)

Officer cadets at Royal Canadian Armoured Corps School prepare ammunition for loading into Centurion tank at Meaford Tank Range, 3 Aug 1967.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4746855)

 

The author was transported on the back of this Centurion tank with other soldiers during a "Waincon" exercise at Camp Wainwright, Alberta in May 1975.

M113 APC, soldier with FNC1 rifle.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235868)

M113 APC, Severn River, Ontario.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235941)

M113 APC, Severn River, Ontario.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235944)

M113 APC, Severn River, Ontario.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235948)

M113 C & R Lynx boarding a barge on exercise, Bavaria, Germany, 1964.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4221652)

Bandvagen BV-206 on operations 1988.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3930991)

AVGP Grizzly on exercise, Brennfjell, Norway, 30 Mar 1984.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3930986)

AVGP Grizzly on exercise, Skibotn, Norway, 1984.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3930983)

LAV III on duty, heading out of the Engineer Compound at 5 CDSB Gagetown, New Brunswick, 5 May 2014.  (Author Photo)

LAV III, Armour School, ready to go to the field 5 CDSB Gagetown, Oct 2016.

The Canadian Army acquired 80 Leopard 2A4 and 20 Leopard 2A6 tanks from the Netherlands in 2007.  Twenty Leopard 2A6M were borrowed from the German Army beginning in mid-2007 to support the Canadian deployment to Afghanistan, with the first tank handed over after upgrading by KMW on 2 August 2007, and arriving in Afghanistan on 16 August 16, 2007.  Two Bergepanzer 3 Büffel were purchased from the German Army for use with the Canadian deployment in Afghanistan.  An additional fifteen Leopard 2A4 tanks were purchased from the German Army as Logistic Supply Vehicles (for spare parts).  A further 12 surplus Pz 87 were purchased from Switzerland in 2011 for conversion to armoured recovery vehicles.  A final total of 112 tanks of all variants is to be fielded by the Canadian Army: 82 gun tanks (42 2A4+, 20 2A4M CAN and 20 2A6M CAN - all delivered as of March 2016),  12 ARVs (11 of 12 delivered as of March 2016) and 18 AEVs (conversion of which is ongoing).

Taurus Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV), 4 CMBG, Ex Certain Sentinel, Germany, Feb 1979.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4849068 and 4886180)

The Taurus armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) is designed to recover and tow vehicles bogged down or disabled by enemy action or mechanical failure.  It is also capable of carrying out bulldozing operations, changing components such as turrets on other vehicles, and fuelling vehicles. The winch has a 35,000 kg pull, up to 100,000 kg at 3 to 1 mechanical advantage.  The Taurus armoured recovery vehicle can pull maximum transmission unit power packs and, in a pinch, can pull the entire Leopard C2 turret, including the 105-mm gun.

Badger armoured engineer vehicle (AEV), 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, New Brunswick, 24 Nov 2016.

The Badger Armoured Engineering Vehicle is designed to provide engineer support to mechanized combat forces. It is capable of performing a wide range of tasks under battlefield conditions including dozing, ripping, excavating, craning, grappling, welding, cutting, winching, and towing”.

The Badger AEV is capable of dozing 270 cubic meters per hour with a maximum dozing speed of 8 km/h. The dozer blade is equipped with two ripper teeth that are used when backing up. The vehicle is also capable of excavating up to 140 cubic meters per hour when fitted with a 1.5 meter wide bucket. It can also be fitted with a smaller 0.8 meter-wide bucket with a capacity of 0.6 cubic meters.  The AEV is capable of operating in a crane mode with a maximum lifting capacity of 7.8 tonnes. The excavator arm can be fitted with two grappling teeth for picking up large objects. The Badger is also equipped with an electric welding and cutting unit and a CAPSTAN winch. The winch as a pulling capacity of 35 tonnes and a cable length of 90 meters.  The Badger is capable of carrying and deploying the class 60 Track Way (portable road sections) as well as fascine (a large bundle of tubes used to fill in anti-tank ditches, creating a crossing site). The class 60 Track Way is carried on the dozer blade and is deployed by the winch. The fascine is carried on the back deck and is placed using the excavator arm with the grappling teeth.  The AEV is powered by a V-10, twin super charged, 830 horsepower, multi-fuelled engine. It is equipped with an NBCD system that provides protection against nuclear, biological, and chemical agents. It is also equipped with eight smoke/HE grenade dischargers.  (TanknutDave.com)

MTV-R (Mobile Tactical Vehicle Recovery) Recovery vehicle, equipped with a 20,000 kg winch and an integrated crane.  This is an M113 ARV variant with Palfinger crane, Armour School lines, 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, New Brunswick.