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5th Canadian Division

5th Canadian Division
5th Canadian Division formation patch
Active February 1917 – February 1918
Country Canada
Allegiance Queen Elizabeth II
Branch Canadian Army
Type Infantry
Nickname The Mighty Maroon Machine, Maroon 5
Engagements Italian Campaign
North-West Europe
Bert Hoffmeister

The 5th Canadian Division was first created as a formation of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. It was stood down during the war only to be reactivated through the renaming from '1st Canadian Armoured Division' to the 5th Canadian Armoured Division during the Second World War. In both wars the division was recognized by the distinctive Maroon patch worn on the sleeve of its soldiers.


  • First World War 1
    • Infantry Units 1.1
  • 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division 2
    • Commanding officers 2.1
    • Organization until July 1944 and after March 1945 2.2
      • 5th Canadian Armoured Brigade 2.2.1
      • 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade 2.2.2
      • Other Units 2.2.3
    • Organization July 1944 until March 1945 2.3
      • 5th Canadian Armoured Brigade 2.3.1
      • 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade 2.3.2
      • 12th Canadian Infantry Brigade (raised in August 1944) 2.3.3
      • Other Units 2.3.4
  • Land Forces Atlantic Area and 2013 reactivation 3
  • Regular Force 4
    • Operational Units 4.1
    • 5th Canadian Division Support Group 4.2
    • Lodger units supported by 5 CDSG 4.3
      • Combat Training Centre 4.3.1
  • Reserve Force 5
    • 36 Canadian Brigade Group 5.1
    • 37 Canadian Brigade Group 5.2
    • Other reserve units 5.3
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8

First World War

The 5th Canadian Division of the Canadian Corps was formed during World War I. The 5th began assembling in Britain in February, 1917, but was broken up in February 1918 before it was fully formed. Its men were used as reinforcements for the other four Canadian divisions, helping to maintain the over-strength Divisions of 22,000-25,000 with more than 100,000 men Total.It was reactivated in 2013.[1]

Infantry Units

13th Canadian Brigade:

14th Canadian Brigade:

15th Canadian Brigade:

Attached Troops:

5th Canadian (Armoured) Division

5th Canadian (Armoured) Division was a Canadian division during World War II. Following its redesignation from '1st Canadian Armoured Division', the bulk proceeded overseas in one main convoy, arriving in the UK at the end of November 1941.

The 5th Armoured spent two years of the war uneventfully in the UK, finally transferring to the Mediterranean in November 1943 to join I Canadian Corps. The division moved without its tanks and vehicles, inheriting heavily used equipment as a legacy from the British 7th Armoured Division who they relieved in Italy. The majority of the vehicles were completely worn out, having first been issued in North Africa or were two-wheel drive – useless in Italy. It took several months for the division to be fully equipped with new vehicles, including M4 Shermans. Only the 11th Infantry Brigade was committed prior to 31 January 1944..[2]

The 5th Armoured took part in the Italian Campaign until the end of 1944 seeing notable action on the Hitler Line after the Allied breakthrough at Cassino in May 1944 and also during Operation Olive on the Gothic Line in August 1944. During the latter battle its single infantry brigade was augmented by a second, which was raised using reinforcements and units serving in other roles. Among them was 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards – 1st Canadian Division's armoured recce unit. As with other Allied armoured divisions in the Mediterranean, local resources were used to establish an additional infantry brigade, the 12th Canadian Infantry Brigade. Based on the colour of its shoulder patch, the division became known as the "Mighty Maroon Machine".[3]

In January 1945, the division moved by truck, train, and naval transport to Belgium via Livorno and Marseille. After arriving, it disbanded the 12th Brigade, and re-equipped to join the First Canadian Army in time to participate in the final offensives across the Rhine.

Commanding officers

B.M. Hoffmeister

Organization until July 1944 and after March 1945

Formation sign used to identify vehicles of the 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division

5th Canadian Armoured Brigade

11th Canadian Infantry Brigade

Other Units

Organization July 1944 until March 1945

5th Canadian Armoured Brigade

  • 2nd Armoured Regiment (Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians))
  • 5th Armoured Regiment (8th Princess Louise’s (New Brunswick) Hussars)
  • 9th Armoured Regiment (The British Columbia Dragoons)

11th Canadian Infantry Brigade

  • 11th Independent Machine Gun Company (The Princess Louise Fusiliers)
  • The Perth Regiment
  • The Cape Breton Highlanders
  • The Irish Regiment of Canada
  • 11 Canadian Infantry Brigade Ground Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots)

12th Canadian Infantry Brigade (raised in August 1944)

Other Units

Land Forces Atlantic Area and 2013 reactivation

LFAA was created on 1 September 1991, taking command of what was previously the militia areas and the Regular Force Army units and formations in Atlantic Canada. At that point in time, the Militia Areas ceased to exist, and the subordinate Militia Districts were reorganised.[4]

Later that decade, the reserve force districts were again reorganized into two Canadian Brigade Groups.

In 2013, it LFAA was renamed 5th Canadian Division. With this change of name, the formation was also granted the identifying patch and historical lineage of the division that served in the two world wars.

Regular Force

Structure of the 5th Canadian Division

Operational Units

C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Armour Oromocto, New Brunswick (under command of 2 CMBG)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Mechanized Infantry Oromocto, New Brunswick (under command of 2 CMBG)
4th Air Defence Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery Air Defence Moncton, New Brunswick
4 Engineer Support Regiment Engineers Oromocto, New Brunswick
3 Military Police Unit Military Police Halifax, Nova Scotia
5th Canadian Division Training Centre Oromocto, New Brunswick

5th Canadian Division Support Group

5th Canadian Division Support Group Headquarters Gagetown, New Brunswick
5th Canadian Division Support Group Gagetown, New Brunswick

Lodger units supported by 5 CDSG

Combat Training Centre

Royal Canadian Armour Corps School
Royal Canadian Artillery School
Royal Canadian Infantry Corps School
Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering
Tactics School

Reserve Force

36 Canadian Brigade Group

36 Canadian Brigade Group Halifax, Nova Scotia
36 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters Halifax, Nova Scotia
36 Canadian Brigade Group (NS) Band Music Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) Reconnaissance Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Prince Edward Island Regiment (RCAC) Reconnaissance Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
1st (Halifax-Dartmouth) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA Artillery Halifax, Nova Scotia
84th Independent Field Battery, RCA Artillery Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
36 Combat Engineer Regiment Combat Engineer Sydney, Nova Scotia and Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Princess Louise Fusiliers Light Infantry Halifax, Nova Scotia
The West Nova Scotia Regiment Light Infantry Aldershot, Nova Scotia
1st Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders (North) Light Infantry Truro, Amherst and Springhill, Nova Scotia
The Cape Breton Highlanders Light Infantry Sydney, Nova Scotia
36 Service Battalion Combat Service and Support Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia
36 Signal Regiment Communications Halifax and Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

37 Canadian Brigade Group

37 Canadian Brigade Group Moncton, New Brunswick
37 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters Moncton, New Brunswick
8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) Reconnaissance Moncton, New Brunswick
3rd Field Artillery Regiment, RCA Artillery Saint John, New Brunswick
37 Combat Engineer Regiment Combat engineer St. John's, Newfoundland and Fredericton, New Brunswick
1st Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (Carleton and York) Light infantry Fredericton, New Brunswick
The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment Light infantry Bathurst, New Brunswick
1st Battalion, The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Light infantry St. John's, Newfoundland
2nd Battalion, The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Light infantry Corner Brook, Newfoundland
37 Service Battalion Service and support Saint John, New Brunswick
37 Signal Regiment Communications Saint John, New Brunswick, and St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Other reserve units

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Dancocks p208-209
  3. ^ Mark Zuehlke, The Liri Valley: Canada's World War II Breakthrough to Rome, Douglas & McIntyre Ltd., Vancouver, 2003, p 58.
  4. ^ "Domestic Military Organization 1900-1999". Canadian 22 February 2013.  and


  • Dancocks, Daniel G. (1991). The D-Day Dodgers. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc.  
  • Groningen, J. Niemeijer "History of 17th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, 5th Canadian Armoured Division" by (J. Niemeijer Groningen, 1946)
  • Zuehlke, Mark, "The Liri Valley: Canada's World War II Breakthrough to Rome", Douglas & McIntyre Ltd., Vancouver, 2003
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