Organization

Canadian Army

Domestic Military Organization

Headquarters

Militia HQ

Canadian Forces HQ

National Defence HQ (NDHQ)

Political Institutions

Dept. of Militia & Defence

►►Minister of Militia & Defence

►►Militia Council

Department of National Defence

►►Minister of National Defence

►►Chiefs of Staff Committee

Reorganizations

1902-1904 Dundonald Reforms
1920 Otter Committee
1936 Reorganization
1954 Kennedy Board
1957 Anderson Report
1964 Suttie Commission
1968 Unification
1995 Special Commission

Organizational Corps/Branches

1900-1968 Organizational Corps
1968-2000 Branches

Field Forces

1914-1919  

Canadian Expeditionary Force
CEF Regional Affiliations

Territorial Reinforcement Regts.

1919

Canadian Siberian Exped Force

1939-1940 (1945) 

Canadian Active Service Force

1945

Canadian Army Pacific Force

1950-1953

Canadian Army Special Force

Field Force Formations

1914-1918  
Canadian Corps
1st Div | 2nd Div | 3rd Div | 4th Div 5th Div
1939-1945

1st Canadian Army

1st Canadian Corps

2nd Canadian Corps

Atlantic Command

Pacific Command
1st Infantry Division
2nd Infantry Division

3rd Infantry Division

4th (Armoured) Division
5th (Armoured) Division
6th Division 

7th Division 

8th Division 
1st Armoured Brigade
2nd Armoured Brigade
3rd Armoured Brigade
3rd Tank Brigade

 1950-1953
1 Com Div | 25 Inf Bde

Foreign Headquarters

Allied Forces HQ (AFHQ)

►►15th Army Group

►►►8th Army

SHAEF

►►21st Army Group

►►►2nd British Army

Special Forces

1st Canadian Para Battalion

First Special Service Force

Pacific Coast Militia Rangers

Canadian Rangers

Special Air Service (SAS) Coy

The Canadian Airborne Regt

Organizational Formations

Reserve Bdes - 1941-1945

13 Cdn Infantry Training Bde

14 Cdn Infantry Training Bde

27th Canadian Brigade

1 CMBG

2 CMBG

3 CMBG

4 CMBG

5 CMBG

1st Cdn Division (1954-1958)

1st Cdn Division (1988-2000)

Special Service Force

Auxiliary Services
Alliances

1914-1918 Triple Alliance
1939-1945 Allies
1949-1999 NATO

Veteran's Organizations

Defence Associations

Canadian Cavalry Association
Canadian Infantry Association
Intelligence Branch Association

National Defence Emp Assoc
RCAC (Cavalry)
RCA Association
RCOC Association
Union of Nat Def Employees

Veteran's Associations

ANAVETS
Royal Canadian Legion

Supplementary Order of Battle

Unit Listings by year

1900 | 1901 | 1902 | 1903 | 1904
1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909
1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 | 1914
1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919
1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924
1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929
1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934
1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944
1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949
1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954
1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959
1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964
1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969
1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974
1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979
1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984
1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994
1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999

Unit Listings by Corps/Branch

Armoured Units 1940-1945

Cdn Dental Corps 1939-1945
Cdn Intelligence Corps 1942-45

Cdn Provost Corps 1940-1945

Infantry Battalions 1939-1945

RCOC 1939-1945

 

Canadian Expeditionary Force

The Canadian Expeditionary Force was the overseas force created by the Canadian government in 1914 and sent to Europe as Canada's contribution to the defence of the Empire in the First World War. The First Contingent was assembled at Valcartier shortly after the outbreak of war in August, sent to England to train, and went into the trenches in 1915. The Contingent fought at Second Ypres in Apr 1915, known as the Canadian Division, and when a second division arrived in France were redesignated 1st Canadian Division. Eventually, four divisions were employed in France, and grouped under a corps headquarters. Collectively, they became known as the Canadian Corps. A 5th Division served in the UK and was eventually broken up for reinforcements.

The Canadian Corps and the Canadian Expeditionary Force are not synonymous terms. The CEF included soldiers in the UK and even a small number in Canada. The Canadian Corps was a combatant formation of the British Expeditionary Force.

The mobilization of the CEF was a haphazard and highly politicized affair. Defence Minister Sir Sam Hughes oversaw the mobilization personally, which was notable for the lack of attention it paid to prewar plans. The dozens of named infantry regiments of the Canadian Militia were ignored in favour of creating numbered battalions, often from more than one regiment.

While new battalions of the CEF continued to be created, the pre-war infantry Regiments retained their part-time status, and continued their existence in Canada under their previous designations.

The CEF eventually came to number 260 separate numbered infantry battalions, 13 regiments of mounted rifles, and many units of the supporting arms including 13 railway troop battalions, 5 pioneer battalions, field and heavy artillery, field ambulance, medical, dental, forestry, labour, tunnelling, cyclist, and service units. By war's end, a Canadian Machine Gun Corps had been formed, and many soldiers had experience flying with the British Royal Flying Corps before it became a separate service known as the Royal Air Force.

The Canadian Expeditionary Force suffered 60,661 dead during the war, or 9.28% of the 619,636 who enlisted.

The CEF was disbanded in 1919. When the entire Canadian Militia was reorganized in 1920, a system of perpetuations was created whereby the new regiments of the Militia were permitted to carry on the traditions, and eventually inherit the Battle Honours, of the wartime battalions.


Welcome Home banner for the 26th Battalion.

Postwar History

In 1919, as units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force returned to Canada, a profound problem faced the military.

Long before hostilities ended, many officers and men in the Canadian Expeditionary Force overseas were giving serious thought as to what place their particular unit might have in the structure of Canada's post-war militia. The problem confronting them had originated in 1914, when the then Minister of Militia, Colonel Sam Hughes, scrapped the mobilization plan drawn up in 1911, under which military districts in Canada would have contributed selected militia units to an overseas contingent. Instead, the mobilization which followed his "call to arms" in August 1914 had created an order of battle of newly-formed (artillery) units whose numerical designations showed their complete lack of identity with regiments and batteries of long standing in Canada's militia organization (webmaster's note: the same situation prevailed among the infantry of the CEF as well). These CEF units quickly established their own individuality; and the part they played in the war had given them a high espirit de corps and traditions of their own. The problem was now was how to preserve these new traditions.1

The Otter Committee was formed specifically to examine the problem, and in 1920 sweeping changes were instituted throughout the Canadian Army, resulting in perpetuation of both prewar Militia Regiments and the units that had fought with the Canadian Expeditionary Force.


Officers and Men of the 26th Battalion, CEF prior to embarkation for Europe, St.John, New Brunswick, 1915. PAC Photo C-026125

Notes

1.  Nicholson, G.W.L. The Gunners of Canada: The History of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery Volume II 1919-1967 (Royal Canadian Artillery Association, 1972)


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