4th Canadian Armoured Division September 1944

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by MPILOT, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. MPILOT

    MPILOT Junior Member

    Hello

    I'm looking for a map or the route of this unit after the Somme crossing to Saint-Omer.

    Regards
     
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Are you talking the 4th United States Armored Division or the 4th British Armoured Brigade?
     
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    4th CANADIAN Armoured, I imagine.
     
  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Owen,

    You are right! Another possibility?

    David
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    This thread is in the Canadian sub forum.
    ;)
     
  6. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I was just reading it in the main portal and forgot to look at the top entry. I'll see if I can answer after lunch. I have the RCAC history plus a few others that should help.
     
  7. MPILOT

    MPILOT Junior Member

    Hello

    Right, it is the Canadian one. I'm trying to draw a map with as many places crossed as possible. Avalaible online inormations are poor between Pont Rémy crossing and Saint-Omer.

    Sincerly
     
  8. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Notes from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada War Diary:
    3/9/44 - Companies left Hallencourt in the early hours after midnight and crossed the Somme without incident. Battalion marched to Ballancourt five miles beyond the Somme.
    4/9/44 - At midday the battalion left Ballancourt and moved a short distance to Buigny L'Abbe. Battalion received reinforcements to allow it to go back to a four-company organization.
    6/9/44 - Battalion left Buigny L'Abbe after a period of rest and moved near St. Omer near the Belgian border. Prepared to cross the Canal de l'AA two miles north of St. Omer (St. Momelin). Companies marched through St. Omer, crossed the completed bridge, and moved into a heavily wooded area to the north.
    7/9/44 - Unit left St. Omer area and crossed into Belgium at 1400 hours at Oost Cappel. Continued onward until 1730 hours, when the convoy halted for the night in some farmland.

    Notes from the Algonquin Regiment's War Diary:

    3/9/44 - At 0200 the rifle companies, 'A' and 'B' followed by 'D' began to cross the River Somme at Pont Remy and took up defensive positions beyond the town. Sent out infantry tank patrols. BHQ and F Echelon vehicles crossed the river at 1700 hours. After crossing the battalion proceeded to a wood north of Pont Remy until 2000 hours then moved to a bivouac area in a woods near Vauchelles-les-Quesnoy, where it settled for the night.
    4/9/44 - Rest and reorganized during the day.
    5/9/44 - Continued to rest and reorganize at Vauchelles-les-Quesnoy. During the day the battalion was reorganized into four rifle companies with 'C' Company restored.
    6/9/44 - Battalion moved off at 0700 hours and crossed the Canal de Laa at St. Momelin. During the day and night the entire battalion crossed and then consolidated in the area of l'Erkelsbrugge.
    7/9/44 - Battalion moved off at 0900 hours and advanced until it hit the road junction at MR Square 2773, where it encountered enemy fire from the area of Bergues. The Lake Superior Regiment engaged the enemy near the town. Rather than attack the town as first planned, the battalion outflanked the town with 'A' Company protecting the town flank. At 1600 hours the battalion continued on, passed through Rexpoede and crossed the Belgium frontier at MR 4077. It then moved through Leysale to a bivouac area near St. Ricquiers, Belgium for the night.

    From the Official History:

    By noon of 4 September they were reported in Hesdin. In accordance with the orders previously issued, the 4th Division concentrated immediately east of Abbeville to rest and reorganize.

    In the meantime the refreshed 4th Canadian Armoured Division had resumed the advance early on the 6th and pushed forward from St. Omer on the Poles' left, directed on Bruges and Eecloo. Organized in two ad hoc battle groups named after Brigadier Moncel of the 4th Armoured Brigade and Lt.-Col. J. D. Stewart, who was commanding the 10th Infantry Brigade in Brigadier Jefferson's absence through illness, the division pushed forward rapidly.

    My Comments:
    From these entries, there appears to be a period of rest for the division after the crossing at Pont Remy and before it returned to the advance at Saint-Omer.
     
  9. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Mpilot:

    The Canadian Official Histories of the Second World War can be downloaded from this site:

    DHH - Official Histories
     
  10. MPILOT

    MPILOT Junior Member

    Hello

    Vauchelles-les-Quesnoy is a new place for me. Thanks a lot. However it's a long road to Saint-Pol and my quest continue. The link o the official history is fine !

    Sincerly
     
  11. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Governor General's Foot Guards Regimental History:

    At noon the following day, September 3rd, the Regi- ment in brigade column crossed the Somme, led by Lieut. Conlon who later took his troop to Abbeville, reporting it clear.
    A harbour was formed on the high ground east of Abbeville and the Regiment prepared for a much needed rest. The following two days were passed in maintenance, sleep, bath parades and refitting. The echelons rejoined the Regiment and the squadron quartermaster-sergeants had a busy time equipping the crews, while Supervisor Koelln, of the Auxiliary Services, organized a movie and a band concert for the troops. Here Lieut. Adams joined the Regiment, bringing with him 12 tanks. The Regiment was then reorganized. No. 3 Squadron was reconstituted under Major Fern Major, with Capt. Mooers second-in- command and Capt. Henry, who also rejoined the Regiment, as battle captain. No. 2 Squadron remained under command of Major Baylay, with Capt. Duguid as
    second-in-command, while Capt. Conlon became battle captain. No. 1 Squadron remained unchanged with Major Smith commanding, Capt. Alexander second-in- command and Capt. Jessup battle captain. Capt. Hyde took over Capt. Duguid's post as second-in-command of Headquarters Squadron and Lieut. A. O. Burke, later to be adjutant, became Regimental rear link.
    Belgium
    On the afternoon of September 5th orders Were received for the next advance. The enemy was pulling out and 2 Canadian Corps was to push forward to the Dutch
    140
    border. The Polish Division was to advance on the right, with 4th Division in the centre, while 3rd Division advanced up the coast line. The immediate Brigade objective was Bruges, in Belgium.
    To lead the Brigade advance, "Smith Force" was organized, consisting of No. 1 Squadron under Major Smith, the Recce Troop, and a company of the Lake Superior Regiment. This force was to move as a vanguard in advance of the Brigade column. At 1800 hours the tanks moved to the Lake Superior Regiment area to form up.
    Early the following morning the advance began, with Lieut. Crocker leading and the Recce Troop fanning out in front. The route lay through Domvast, Le Boisle Hesdin, Fruges, Famquembergues to Lumbres, and at 1100 hours the leading elements were at the outskirts of St. Omer. The town was reported clear but the canal crossing had been blown. By early morning a bridge had been improvised and the two groups concentrated in areas just beyond the town.
    After a short halt the advance continued to Soex, where enemy were first encountered and his infantry in platoon strength were destroyed by the vanguard.
    Approaching Bergues, "Smith Force" then came under heavy fire. The enemy suddenly opened up with 88's, knocking out two tanks of the Recce section led by Lieut. Gibson and killing Cpl. Baillargeon, Cpl. Lecompte, L/Cpl. McDonald and Gdsm. Ondracka. The lead troop under Lieut. Taylor returned the fire and Cpl. Warren succeeded in destroying a pill box. The destroyed tanks now blocked further advance and Major Smith ordered the force to turn about in order to seek a new route. The nature of the ground made this manoeuvre difficult and meanwhile the enemy began to shell the road with 15 cm naval guns. One of these monster shells struck Lieut. Taylor's tank, setting it on fire, but the crew was able to evacuate without casualty. Under this heavy fire the force moved a short distance south and reformed. All crews from knocked out tanks were successfully located and evacuated despite the shell fire, with the exception of Sgt. Stunden of the Recce Troop, who was later reported a prisoner.
    141
    Brigade now received information that Bergues was strongly held, S.S. troops having shot the Wehrmacht commander and organized for a fanatical stand. Accord- ingly, the vanguard was ordered to by-pass to the east. A hurried orders group for his force was called by Major Smith in a little roadside cafe and orders were issued while a French girl danced on the map-strewn table and the rejoicing crowd sang "La Marseillaise".
    At five o'clock the vanguard moved off again, led by Lieut. Higginson and No. 2 Troop, proceeding to the east of Bergues through Quaedypre and Houdshoote. Nearing the Belgian border, Lieut. Higginson was met by a French gendarme who escorted the tanks to the border where they were met by a Belgian policeman and the wildly cheering civilians of Leysele. Shortly beyond, the two forces harboured for the night.
    The advance continued the following morning, and passing through Dixmude the force harboured southwest of Bruges. Recce patrols from the vanguard were sent out and established that there were no enemy south of Bruges, but that all bridges were blown over the Ghent Canal to the east. Civilian reports, however, were that Bruges was held by 2,000 troops and the Regiment was visited by civilian deputies begging that their ancient and beautiful city be spared.
    A glance at the maps of the country ahead indicated the revolution in tactics now necessary. Instead of the rolling fields of France that invited cavalry advances in widely deployed formations, the country presented a pattern of marsh and innumerable canals, demanding slow, road-bound advances on a very narrow front.
    The following morning orders were received. The enemy was making a stand on the Leopold Canal to cover his retreat into Holland. 10th Brigade was to establish a bridgehead at Moerbrugge, following which the armour would pass through and clear up the area east of Bruges and south of the Leopold.
     
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  13. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    History of the 4th Canadian Armoured Brigade:
     

    Attached Files:

  14. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Notes from Lincoln and Welland Regiment War Diary:


    1/9/44 - Battalion moved to Araines area.
    2/9/44 - Battalion moved to Sorel.
    3/9/44 - Battalion moved to Yaucort-Bussus.
    6/9/44 - Battalion left Yarcort-Bussus.
    7/9/44 - Battalion entered Belgium at Oostkappel and moved to Pollinghove.
    8/9/44 - Battalion moved to Delaere.
    9/9/44 - D Coy crossed Ghent Canal under fire in Moerbrugge area.
     
  15. MPILOT

    MPILOT Junior Member

    Hello

    The Governor General's Foot Guards WD is very helpfull. It was very difficult to find a way between the Poles and the British !

    Regards
     
  16. marino

    marino Junior Member

    hoi
    op 10 september '44 is er in mijn dorp sint joris ten distel aan de brug over het kamaal gent-brugge een sherman tank vermield van de 4 canadian armoured devision ,ik zoek het regiment van die sherman en alle info die mij verder helpt in mijn opzoekingen(st joris is ongeveer 10 km van moerbrugge) dank u
     
  17. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    David,
    Great work.

    Cheers from just north of the 49th parallel.

    Randy
     
  18. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    DRyan 67

    You continue to confuse yourself with the Brit 4th Armoured bde -
    The Canadian Army was composed of FIVE Divisions two of which - the 4th and 5th were Armoured -plus Tow - 1st and 2nd Armoured brigades.

    The 1st Infantry Division( from Sicily landings) and 5th armoured as well as the 1st Armoured Bde served in Italy as the 1st Canadian Corps until they all joined up with the 2nd Canadian Corps in Belgium after February 1945 - to make up the 1st Canadian Army which finished up the war in Germany

    NOTTA LOTTA people know that
    Cheers
     
  19. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    DRyan 67

    You continue to confuse yourself with the Brit 4th Armoured bde -
    The Canadian Army was composed of FIVE Divisions two of which - the 4th and 5th were Armoured -plus Tow - 1st and 2nd Armoured brigades.

    The 1st Infantry Division( from Sicily landings) and 5th armoured as well as the 1st Armoured Bde served in Italy as the 1st Canadian Corps until they all joined up with the 2nd Canadian Corps in Belgium after February 1945 - to make up the 1st Canadian Army which finished up the war in Germany

    NOTTA LOTTA people know that
    Cheers

    Tom, old son:)
    As did the 1st Canadian AGRA from Italy, which took over from the 2nd Canadian AGRA, for the liberation of the Netherlands long left flank up to Groningen and the sea, before crossing back at Emerich into Germany. Most of the 2nd Cdn AGRA's Medium artillery Regts were attached to 4th Cdn Armoured Div after the take over.
    Notta Lotta know that either:D
    Don't forget the Arty Boys chaps:D
    Best
    Rob
     
  20. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Rob
    Many of us already knew that - BUT - the confusion was centred on the Armoured elements of the Canadian Army and inasmuch as the various Artillery units basically originate in the Divisionsl set ups in order to make an Agra - we could be chastised also for not mentioning the RCASC- Pioneers - Medics - Sappers at al

    Point is that NOT too many appreciate the very large contribution made by Canada with such a small population at that time

    Cheers
     

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