Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

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Royal Canadian Armoured Corps
Canadian Armoured Corps.png
Active 13 August 1940 – present
Country Canada
Branch Canadian Army
Type Personnel branch
Size 3 Regular Force regiments, 18 Reserve Force regiments
Motto Through the mud and the blood to the green fields beyond
March "My Boy Willie"

The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC) is the armoured corps within the Canadian Army, including regular and reserve force regiments.[1]

History[edit]

Canadian-manufactured Ram tanks during World War II. These tanks were used for training and never saw combat.

Originally formed as the Canadian Cavalry Corps in 1910,[2] they were then designated as the Canadian Tank Corps during the First World War. The modern Canadian Armoured Corps was created on 13 August 1940 with Major-General (then Colonel) F. F. Worthington as its first colonel-commandant. The Corp was subsequently bestowed the honour of the 'Royal' designation by King George VI in 1945.

Initially its equipment was 219 US M1917 tanks – a First World War design – obtained at scrap prices. They were sufficient for some training and familiarisation, but otherwise of limited combat use. To form the 1st Army Tank Brigade, Valentine tanks were ordered. This British design was to be built in Canada. Aside from the necessary adjustments to the design to incorporate local engineering standards and available components, the Canadian Valentines used a GMC engine. This engine, being an improvement over the original, was later applied to British production. In practice, Canada never used most of the 1,400 Valentines they built as they were supplied under lend-lease to the Soviet Union.

In early 1941 the 1st Tank Brigade was sent to Britain and equipped with the Matilda tank. For the formation of two armoured divisions it was expected that 1,200 cruiser tanks were needed. The United Kingdom was not in a position to supply them, as it had shortfalls in supply for its own needs. This meant that Canada had to develop its own production. To this end a tank arsenal was set up under the management of a subsidiary of a US firm engaged in tank production.

Canadian armour regiments split their heritage between two primary sources. The first being the cavalry, from which many armoured regiments were created, and the second being the infantry. This began in 1936 with the creation of "infantry (tank)" regiments and continued on from 1940 when many infantry regiments were mobilised as armour units for the Second World War, and were then subsequently transferred from the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps into the Royal Canadian Armour Corps.

In 1968, with the unification of the Canadian Army into the Canadian Armed Forces, the name of the Royal Canadian Armour Corps was changed to simply the Armour Branch. Despite the change however, the Corps continued to use its traditional title. As of April 2013, the traditional designation of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps has been officially restored.[2]

Training[edit]

Royal Canadian Armoured Corps School[edit]

The Armour School at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, sustains and conducts armour advance qualifications, advanced armour leadership qualifications, basic armour officer requirements, and specialized qualifications on behalf of the Army. [3]

Tactics School[edit]

The Tactics School at CFB Gagetown develops, conducts and monitors combined arms operations. Within a battle group context, the tactics school focusses on tactics, techniques, and procedures at the combat team level. The Tactics School's mission is to educate and train army junior officers in the integration of combat functions at the combat team level on the tactical battlefield.[3]

Regular Force[edit]

  1. The Royal Canadian Dragoons — Three armoured reconnaissance squadrons and one armoured squadron.
  2. Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) — Two armoured squadrons and one armoured reconnaissance squadron.
  3. 12e Régiment blindé du Canada — Three armoured reconnaissance squadrons (with additional members serving with the RCD armoured squadron)

Primary Reserves[edit]

  1. The Governor General's Horse Guards — household cavalry/armoured reconnaissance
  2. The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) — armoured reconnaissance
  3. 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) — armoured reconnaissance
  4. The Ontario Regiment (RCAC) — armoured reconnaissance
  5. The Queen's York Rangers (1st American Regiment) (RCAC) — armoured reconnaissance
  6. Sherbrooke Hussars — armoured reconnaissance
  7. 12e Régiment blindé du Canada (Milice) - armoured reconnaissance
  8. 1st Hussars — armoured reconnaissance
  9. The Prince Edward Island Regiment (RCAC) — armoured reconnaissance
  10. The Royal Canadian Hussars (Montreal) — armoured reconnaissance
  11. The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own) — armoured reconnaissance
  12. The South Alberta Light Horse — armoured reconnaissance
  13. The Saskatchewan Dragoons — armoured reconnaissance
  14. The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC) — armoured reconnaissance
  15. The British Columbia Dragoons — armoured reconnaissance
  16. The Fort Garry Horse — armoured reconnaissance
  17. Le Régiment de Hull (RCAC) — armoured reconnaissance
  18. The Windsor Regiment (RCAC) — armoured reconnaissance

Supplementary Order of Battle[edit]

Units on the Supplementary Order of Battle legally exist, but have no personnel or materiel.

  1. 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards
  2. 12th Manitoba Dragoons
  3. 14th Canadian Hussars

Equipment[edit]

The main vehicles operated by the RCAC include:

Order of precedence[edit]

RCHA on parade without guns: (See note below)

Preceded by
Army elements of
Royal Military College of Canada
Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Succeeded by
Royal Canadian Artillery

RCHA on parade with guns: (See note below)

Preceded by
Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Succeeded by
Royal Canadian Artillery

Note: The honour of "The Right of the Line" (precedence over other units), on an army parade, is held by the units of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery when on parade with their guns. On dismounted parades, RCHA units take precedence over all other land force units except formed bodies of Officer Cadets of the Royal Military College representing their college. RCA units parade to the left of units of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Regiments and Corps of the Canadian Army (Queen's Printer, 1964)
  2. ^ a b Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada (19 April 2013). "Restoring the historical designations of Canadian Army organizations". National Defence and the Canadian Forces. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b http://www.rockymountainrangers.ca/?p=eductraining Canadian Forces Schools
  • John Marteinson & Michael R. McNorgan "The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps - An Illustrated History" The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Association 2000