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Old 15-10-09, 03:07 PM
WJ Miller's Avatar
WJ Miller WJ Miller is offline
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Default 1936-1940 Mechanized Units

1936 Mechanized Cavalry Formations, Non-Permanent Active Militia (NPAM):

Canadian Tank Battalions:
- Argyll Light Infantry (Tank)
- New Brunswick Regiment (Tank)
- Essex Regiment (Tank)
- The Ontario Regiment (Tank)
- Three Rivers Regiment (Tank)
- The Calgary Regiment (Tank)

Canadian Armoured Car Regiments:
-6th Duke of Connaught Royal Canadian Hussars
-2nd Armoured Car Regiment
-The King's Canadian Hussars
-The British Columbia Hussars

Canadian Cavalry Regiments (Mechanized):
-8th Princess Louise's New Brunswick Hussars
-7/11 Hussars
-19th Alberta Dragoons

1939 Additional Mechanized Units (from "Horsed" Cavalry)

-1st Hussars
-The Fort Garry Horse
-Royal Canadian Dragoons
-The Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

By 1940, all the other Horsed Cavalry units were mechanized and some units, along with some units of "Armoured Cars" were converted to other roles and removed from the CAC Order of Battle.
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Old 15-10-09, 05:41 PM
bigpiers bigpiers is offline
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thanks for the lists. I shall read through them with interest
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Old 15-10-09, 05:52 PM
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Bill A Bill A is offline
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Interesting question arises from the orbat. I have spoken, several times with a fellow who was in the ALI Tank during WW2. He never even "smelled gas" during his training. He claimed that he was only given infantry training.
Perhaps the demand for training vehicles etc by the active army left the reserves with only the resources they could get handed down. That meant that they only were able to conduct infantry training?
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Old 15-10-09, 06:57 PM
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Phillip Herring Phillip Herring is offline
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From what I have read, regiments with cavalry/infantry tank origins did not automatically get an armoured role, just as traditionally infantry regiments did not necessarily serve as infantry. For example, the BC Regiment, Governor General's Foot Guards and Canadian Grenadier Guards were all converted from infantry to armour during the 1939-45 War. I believe that the 2nd/10th Dragoons were actually infantry during the war.
John Marteinsen's (sp?) History of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps is an outstanding resource for sorting out which regiments were cavalry/mechanised/armour and when.

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Old 15-10-09, 07:37 PM
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WJ Miller WJ Miller is offline
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Default What's in a name?

Well, in Canada, just because you got called a "tank" regiment, doesn't actually mean you got a tank!

Hmmm, if I had organized my collection by regiments that actually had armoured capability I could have saved myself some money!?

Outside of a few members that attended the Armour School courses between '36 and '40, I am not sure if the ALI Tank actually ever trained as an armoured unit. "Tank" units were not on the Cavalry ORBAT but were on the Infantry ORBAT.

The WE of the 1936 tank battalions included 66 non-existant tanks. Resources available to the Militia were abysmal. Real tanks (surplus WW1) were not available for training until early in the war. By then many of the pre-war Tank battalions like the ALI were converted to infantry roles.

In the RCAC Illustrated history notes how poorly prepared the mounted units were. By the outbreak of the war, "...four of the six fledgling tank battalions had begun to master some of the basic tenets of armoured warfare, progress was uneven, essentially because they had no vehicles. The Argyll and New Brunswick Regiments (Tank), however were judged to have accomplished very little." What they lacked in skills they made up for in enthusiasm. The book notes that the militia units did provide well disciplined and dedicated officers and NCO's for the later overseas units.

There is a photo in the book showing the Calgary Regiment training with a plywood contraption mounted on a Model A, representing a tank. The pre-war militia units were little more than weekends and summer camps away from the wives, whatever the name...

If we are talking a collection of badges representing actively trained units of Canadian Armour in WW2, I would stick to the numbered order (1st -32nd CAR's + 1CACR) after 1940. A collection of units that actually saw combat is much smaller still.
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Old 01-03-18, 11:18 AM
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Adding to the conversation many years later...

The list below is what I put together and I collected the badges when I was an Exchange Officer in Canada in the late 80s. I put up an album which is


1st Armoured Car Regiment (The Royal Canadian Dragoons)
2nd Armoured Regiment (Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians))
3rd Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (The Governor General's Horse Guards)
4th Reconnaissance Regiment (4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards)
5th Armoured Regiment (8th Princess Louise's (New Brunswick) Hussars)
6th Armoured Regiment (1st Hussars)
7th Reconnaissance Regiment (17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars)
8th Reconnaissance Regiment (14th Canadian Hussars)
8th Reconnaissance Regiment
9th Armoured Regiment (The British Columbia Dragoons)
10th Armoured Regiment (The Fort Garry Horse)
11th Armoured Regiment (The Ontario Regiment)
12th Armoured Regiment (The Three Rivers Regiment)
14th Armoured Regiment (The Calgary Regiment)
15th (Reserve) Armoured Regiment (6th Duke of Connaught's Royal Canadian Hussars)
16th (Reserve) Armoured Regiment (7th/11th Hussars)
17th (Reserve) Armoured Regiment (The Prince Edward Island Light Horse)
18th Armoured Car Regiment (12th Manitoba Dragoons)
19th (Reserve) Armoured Regiment (The New Brunswick Regiment)
20th (Saskatchewan) Armoured Regiment
21st Armoured Regiment (The Governor General's Foot Guards)
22nd Armoured Regiment (The Canadian Grenadier Guards)
23rd Armoured Regiment (The Halifax Rifles)
24th Reconnaissance Regiment (Les Voltigeurs de Qu├ębec)
25th Armoured Delivery Regiment (The Elgin Regiment)
26th Armoured Regiment (The Grey and Simcoe Foresters)
27th Armoured Regiment (The Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment)
28th Armoured Regiment (The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own))
29th Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (The South Alberta Regiment)
30th (Reserve) Reconnaissance Regiment (The Essex Regiment)
31st (Alberta) Reconnaissance Regiment (15th Alberta Light Horse)
32nd Reconnaissance Regiment (The Royal Montreal Regiment)
1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment
2nd Canadian Armoured Car Regiment
Argyll Light Infantry (Tank)

I included the Argyll Light Infantry although it was not RCAC as it took my fancy.
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Old 04-03-18, 02:09 AM
lettman lettman is offline
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A very informative thread and some excellent information. I'm curious about the 32nd Recce Regt: I always thought the Royal Montreal Regt was an Army machine gun battalion in WW2, but I see from the regiment's current website that it served in all sorts of roles, usually as very small units. Did all of these 'incarnations' wear the RMR cap badge?
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Old 04-03-18, 11:27 AM
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Bill A Bill A is offline
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Good day.
Some notes. Chris' list represents the seniority of Canadian armoured units in the Second World War. It changed after the war, several times.
In reference to the Royal Montreal Regiment, they mobilized as a MG battalion, but were eventually converted to an armoured reccee and then to a Defence and Employment Platoon, First Cdn Army. (later the strength was increased, and the unit had a dual role, with an infantry and an armoured car element.)
In all the incarnations the Regiment wore their cap badge.
Res ipsa loquitur
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Old 04-03-18, 01:11 PM
lettman lettman is offline
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Thanks for that additional information, Bill.
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