1944 War Establishment for First Canadian Army?

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by JackGe, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. JackGe

    JackGe Junior Member

    There was a general breakdown posted here:
    Canadian forces

    ... but am wondering if something more in depth with vehicle types and numbers has been drawn up, or I just have not found it yet?

    Main reason is trying to find where and what scout/armoured cars would be located in 1944, as well as possibly carriers. I think the Royal Montreal Regiment (downsized and assigned as the HQ Defence Company) is a good candidate, but am interested in more specifics, as well as any other possibilities elsewhere within 1st Canadian Army.


    Attached Files:

  2. Pronto91

    Pronto91 Canadian Signals Researcher

    Jack, I'm not aware of such an effort. It would be conceivably possible to do if you took the order of battle and then figured out the establishment of each unit or type of unit at the time and tabulated them all but it would be a significant effort. As an example, earlier this year I collected the RCCS orders of battle and the establishments that I could find. I found 55 different establishments and even at that, I'm missing a few in order to flush out the order of battle completely. The orders of battle are available online if I recall but the establishments aren't.

    It would be easier to pick a unit and find it's establishment and go from there rather than "top down" in my opinion. That would give you the theoretical holdings of vehicles but reality may have differed. To verify, the unit's WD may give clues on other types of vehicles being assigned to the unit. As an example, one of the Divisional Signals units had Staghounds for a period of time even though they never appear on the establishment.

    Let us know how you fare!
    Aixman likes this.
  3. JackGe

    JackGe Junior Member

    Joe, thank you for checking in.

    I have my doubts that I will be able to come up with something that can compare to the stellar work that has been posted in these forums. Though I haven't checked all the pertinent files at the Heritage Canadian War Diaries, I see a pattern developing after viewing 10k pages, such that I'm not hopeful.

    As for the Royal Montreal Regiment, I did find this photo, but no associated date:

    Gen. Crerar with Lt. Clifford Smith of the Royal Montreal Regiment.jpg

    No doubt about the WD number, but with no date it could just as easily be something other than a platoon vehicle from the HQ Defence Company.

  4. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Heh, I checked LAC and there is no specific date on it there. There's also a photo from April 11 1945 with the same model armoured car (Daimler):

    Archives Search - Library and Archives Canada

    What you might want for them is their actual war diary (which would not be on the Heritage site) to see if there are references to changes in their WE or anything like that.
  5. JackGe

    JackGe Junior Member

    Hi Chris, yes the Montreal unit is probably not the best when trying to pin down their equipment.

    They started the war as a machine gun battalion, then were re-designated the 32nd Reconnaissance Regiment in early 1943. Two months before the Normandy landings (with unit actually landed July 28), they were downsized to become 1st Canadian Army Headquarters Defence Company. A couples months in, they began switching out with rifle companies of The Regina Rifle Regiment in order to gain combat experience. In April the following year, they expanded back to battalion size.


    On another note, have found one Ford built Bren Carrier T9525, but no idea where it was allotted within First Canadian Army:
    War diaries : T-7090 - Héritage

    Most interesting is this vehicle chart, indicating the GOC-in-C had an armoured escort of three vehicles:

    This chart shows two Humber Armoured Cars, and one each of White Scout Car and M14 half-track with the GOC-in-C:
    War diaries : T-6680 - Héritage

    Another White Scout Car assigned to Capt "J" IO (inteligence officer?), but no WD number:

  6. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member


    I'm not quite sure what info you're after. Is it a case of knowing which units were authorised armd and scout cars and in what numbers? And then possibly extending that to carriers of all types? And are you looking at First Cdn Army and II Cdn Corps HQ and HQ Troops in particular, or all HQs and formations with First Cdn Army?

    Armd cars are perhaps the easiest to try and quantify. They are listed in "Statement of 21 Army Group...Holdings" (WO165/135) for June 1944

    18 Cdn Armd C Regt - 72 armd cars of all types (5 Humber AA and 67 Staghound).
    II Cdn Corps Defence Coy - 3 Staghounds.
    First Cdn HQ - 1 Staghound, 2 Humbers.
    II Cdn Corps Sigs - 3 Staghounds.
    4 Cdn Armd Div - 3 Staghounds.
    HQ Cdn AGRA - 1 Staghound.
    2 & 3 Cdn Inf Div Sigs, each - 3 Staghounds.
    2 & 3 Cdn Inf Div Recce Regts, each - 28 Humbers.

    A Canadian document for the same date reckons WEs required 88 Staghounds (above I think is 84) and 63 Humbers (which matches above if AA types are counted). See CMHQ141 at the following Canadian Military Reports

    Once you get to scout cars the number of units involved increases markedly, and Canadian requirements for all types of carriers easily exceed 1200 across all units.

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  7. JackGe

    JackGe Junior Member

    Hi Gary, thank you for the above listing as I am interested in all things Canadian.

    For this particular thread, it would basically be any scout or armoured car that would carry the formation sign of the First Canadian Army.

    Here's a few more of Crerar standing in front of armoured cars, first two are Humber, and third is the Daimler?

    6 May 1880.jpg gettyimages-785376471-2048x2048 may 44.jpg july 44 twitter verteran affairs.jpg


    EDIT, btw - every single pdf link from that CANADIAN REGISTER results in:
    Not Found
    The requested document was not found on this server.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
  8. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    I just noticed the info on the dead links that Jack pointed out a while ago. Thankfully the files have been moved and not lost. The current link is here;

    Canadian military reports - Canada.ca

    CMHQ141 is under the CMHQ reports 1940-48 section, report no 141.

    ecalpald, Aixman and JackGe like this.

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