Mobilized in September 1940, the 4th Canadian Division contained in its order of battle, the 10th, 11th and 12th Infantry Brigades. In 1942 Ottawa took the decision to convert the entire division to an armoured formation, a move that required a considerable amount of re-organisation. At that time an armoured division called for just two brigades (in the case of 4th Armoured Division these would be the 3rd and 4th Armoured Brigades) and so only six of the original nine infantry battalions became armoured regiments, the remaining three battalions being diverted to other formations. In 1943 a further reorganisation took place when an infantry brigade, the 10th, replaced one of the armoured brigades in each armoured division. This move left the division with just one armoured brigade, the 4th.

As of 1942 the 4th Canadian Armoured Brigade comprised; the Governor General's Foot Guards, The Canadian Grenadier Guards and the British Columbia Regiment.

Arriving in Normandy in July 1944, the Brigade saw service in the battles that took the Canadians from Caen to Falaise. Unlike their peers in 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade, the 4th almost always fought in support of i Read More
Mobilized in September 1940, the 4th Canadian Division contained in its order of battle, the 10th, 11th and 12th Infantry Brigades. In 1942 Ottawa took the decision to convert the entire division to an armoured formation, a move that required a considerable amount of re-organisation. At that time an armoured division called for just two brigades (in the case of 4th Armoured Division these would be the 3rd and 4th Armoured Brigades) and so only six of the original nine infantry battalions became armoured regiments, the remaining three battalions being diverted to other formations. In 1943 a further reorganisation took place when an infantry brigade, the 10th, replaced one of the armoured brigades in each armoured division. This move left the division with just one armoured brigade, the 4th.

As of 1942 the 4th Canadian Armoured Brigade comprised; the Governor General's Foot Guards, The Canadian Grenadier Guards and the British Columbia Regiment.

Arriving in Normandy in July 1944, the Brigade saw service in the battles that took the Canadians from Caen to Falaise. Unlike their peers in 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade, the 4th almost always fought in support of its affiliated 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade.

Following the Normandy campaign the Brigade saw service in Belgium, Holland and Germany before being disbanded in Holland in 1946.

For further reading see: John Marteinson and Michael McNorgan, The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps: An Illustrated History, Robin Brass Studio, 2000.



© 2001, Canadian War Museum

Uniform Sleeve Patch,4th Canadian Armoured Brigade

Uniform Sleeve Patch,4th Canadian Armoured Brigade

Canadian War Museum

© 2001, Canadian War Museum


Battle Honours: Second World War
Falaise, Falaise Road, The Laison, Chambois, The Scheldt, The Lower Maas, The Rhineland, The Hochwald, Veen, Bad Zwischenahn, North-West Europe, 1944-1945.

Historical Sketch of the Governor General's Foot Guards in Normandy
The Governor General's Foot Guards were raised on 7 June 1872 in Ottawa. The regiment served during the North West Rebellion of 1885 and in the South African War as well as the Great War of 1914 - 1918 where two of its members won the Victoria Cross. Mobilized for the Second World War in 1939 and later allocated to the 4th Division, the unit was converted to armour in 1942 with the remainder of the division.

The Governor General's Foot Guards landed in Normandy on 25 July 1944 as the senior regiment in the 4th Canadian Armoured Brigade. They saw action during Operations Totalize and Tractable, including the capture of Falaise.

Following the Normandy campaign they served in Belgium, Holland and Germany including much intense fighting during the Rhineland campaign of February - March 1945.

Post-war the regiment reverted to its infantry origins and today serves as a compon Read More
Battle Honours: Second World War
Falaise, Falaise Road, The Laison, Chambois, The Scheldt, The Lower Maas, The Rhineland, The Hochwald, Veen, Bad Zwischenahn, North-West Europe, 1944-1945.

Historical Sketch of the Governor General's Foot Guards in Normandy
The Governor General's Foot Guards were raised on 7 June 1872 in Ottawa. The regiment served during the North West Rebellion of 1885 and in the South African War as well as the Great War of 1914 - 1918 where two of its members won the Victoria Cross. Mobilized for the Second World War in 1939 and later allocated to the 4th Division, the unit was converted to armour in 1942 with the remainder of the division.

The Governor General's Foot Guards landed in Normandy on 25 July 1944 as the senior regiment in the 4th Canadian Armoured Brigade. They saw action during Operations Totalize and Tractable, including the capture of Falaise.

Following the Normandy campaign they served in Belgium, Holland and Germany including much intense fighting during the Rhineland campaign of February - March 1945.

Post-war the regiment reverted to its infantry origins and today serves as a component of 33 Brigade in Ottawa.

For further reading see: G. T. Baylay, The Regimental History of the Governor General's Foot Guards, Ottawa, 1948 and John Marteinson and Michael McNorgan, The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps: An Illustrated History, Robin Brass Studio, 2000.


© 2001, Canadian War Museum

Badge for The Governor General's Foot Guards

Badge for The Governor General's Foot Guards

Canadian War Museum

© 2001, Canadian War Museum


Second World War Uniform Shoulder Flash

Second World War Uniform Shoulder Flash

Canadian War Museum

© 2001, Canadian War Museum


Battle Honours: Second World War

Falaise, Falaise Road, The Laison, Chambois, The Scheldt,The Lower Maas, The Rhineland, The Hochwald, Veen, Twente Canal,Bad Zwischenahn,North-West Europe, 1944-1945.

Historical Sketch of the Canadian Grenadier Guards in Normandy

Canada’s oldest infantry regiment, The Canadian Grenadier Guards was raised on 17 November 1859 in Montreal. This regiment saw active service during the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870, the South African War and the Great War of 1914 - 1918. They were converted to armour, along with the remainder of the 4th Canadian Division in 1942, becoming a part of the 4th Canadian Armoured Brigade.

The unit arrived in France on 26 July 1944 and saw hard service in Normandy during Operations Totalize and Tractable leading to the capture of Falaise.

Following the Normandy campaign the regiment fought in Belgium, Holland and Germany. Following the cease-fire in Europe, when Canada began preparing a 6th Canadian Division for service in the Far East against the Japanese, that division’s armoured component was slated to be the Canadian Grena Read More

Battle Honours: Second World War

Falaise, Falaise Road, The Laison, Chambois, The Scheldt,The Lower Maas, The Rhineland, The Hochwald, Veen, Twente Canal,Bad Zwischenahn,North-West Europe, 1944-1945.

Historical Sketch of the Canadian Grenadier Guards in Normandy

Canada’s oldest infantry regiment, The Canadian Grenadier Guards was raised on 17 November 1859 in Montreal. This regiment saw active service during the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870, the South African War and the Great War of 1914 - 1918. They were converted to armour, along with the remainder of the 4th Canadian Division in 1942, becoming a part of the 4th Canadian Armoured Brigade.

The unit arrived in France on 26 July 1944 and saw hard service in Normandy during Operations Totalize and Tractable leading to the capture of Falaise.

Following the Normandy campaign the regiment fought in Belgium, Holland and Germany. Following the cease-fire in Europe, when Canada began preparing a 6th Canadian Division for service in the Far East against the Japanese, that division’s armoured component was slated to be the Canadian Grenadier Guards. The atomic bombing of Japan brought the war to an end before the 6th Division began its training.

Today, the Canadian Grenadier Guards are once again an infantry unit, a part of 34 Canadian Brigade Group headquartered in Montreal.

For further reading see: A. F. Duguid, History of The Canadian Grenadier Guards: 1760 - 1964, Gazette Printing, Montreal, 1965 and John Marteinson and Michael McNorgan, The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps: An Illustrated History, Robin Brass Studio, 2000.


© 2001, Canadian War Museum

Crest

22nd Armoured Regiment

Canadian War Museum

© 2001, Canadian War Museum


Shoulder Patch

Second World War Uniform Shoulder Flash

Canadian War Museum

© 2001, Canadian War Museum


Battle Honours: Second World War

Falaise, Falaise Road, The Laison, Chambois, The Scheldt, The Lower Maas, The Rhineland, The Hochwald, Veen, Twente Canal, Küsten Canal, Bad Zwischenahn, North-West Europe, 1944-1945.

Historical Sketch of the British Columbia Regiment
(Duke of Connaught's Own) in Normandy

Raised in Vancouver on 12 October 1883, The British Columbia Regiment served as artillery and as an infantry unit before being converted to armour in 1942. It was as infantry that they supplied soldiers for service in South Africa and in the Great War of 1914 - 1918 where three of their members were awarded the Victoria Cross.

When the unit, as a part of the 4th Canadian Division, became armoured in 1942, the regiment served in the 4th Canadian Armoured Brigade.

The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own), affectionately known as 'The Dukes', arrived in Normandy on 26/27 July 1944. The unit's first major action, on 9/10 August, saw it practically wiped out in an heroic stand on Hill 140. In the course of a night move the Dukes had become lost and ended up, along with two co Read More

Battle Honours: Second World War

Falaise, Falaise Road, The Laison, Chambois, The Scheldt, The Lower Maas, The Rhineland, The Hochwald, Veen, Twente Canal, Küsten Canal, Bad Zwischenahn, North-West Europe, 1944-1945.

Historical Sketch of the British Columbia Regiment
(Duke of Connaught's Own) in Normandy

Raised in Vancouver on 12 October 1883, The British Columbia Regiment served as artillery and as an infantry unit before being converted to armour in 1942. It was as infantry that they supplied soldiers for service in South Africa and in the Great War of 1914 - 1918 where three of their members were awarded the Victoria Cross.

When the unit, as a part of the 4th Canadian Division, became armoured in 1942, the regiment served in the 4th Canadian Armoured Brigade.

The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own), affectionately known as 'The Dukes', arrived in Normandy on 26/27 July 1944. The unit's first major action, on 9/10 August, saw it practically wiped out in an heroic stand on Hill 140. In the course of a night move the Dukes had become lost and ended up, along with two companies of the Algonquin Regiment, cut-off behind enemy lines. The re-built unit later participated in Operation Tractable, which was followed by the capture of Falaise.

Following the Normandy campaign it fought in Belgium, Holland and Germany.

Today 'The Dukes' are a reconnaissance regiment in Vancouver's 39 Canadian Brigade Group.

For further reading see: D. E. Harker The Dukes: The Story of the Men who have served in Peace and War with the British Columbia Regiment (D.C.O.) 1883 - 1973, n.p., Vancouver, 1974 and John Marteinson and Michael McNorgan, The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps: An Illustrated History, Robin Brass Studio, 2000.


© 2001, Canadian War Museum

28th Armoured Regiment Crest

28th Armoured Regiment Crest

Canadian War Museum

© 2001, Canadian War Museum


Second World War Uniform Shoulder Flash

Second World War Uniform Shoulder Flash

Canadian War Museum

© 2001, Canadian War Museum


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • find out more information about the final days of the Normandy Campaign of 1944;
  • identify at least 4 patches or badges used in the Second World War;
  • explain most of the terms used in the glossary.

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