4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group

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4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group
BranchCanadian Army (to 1968)
Mobile Command (1968-1993)
TypeMechanized Brigade
Rolemain forward deployed land element of Canada's armed forces
Part ofCanadian Forces Europe
Garrison/HQCFB Lahr

4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group was a formation of the Canadian Army, then Mobile Command of the unified Canadian Forces. It was part of the European formation known as Canadian Forces Europe. The formation served as the main forward deployed land element of Canada's armed forces, and was stationed in West Germany from 1957 until it was disbanded in 1993.

In 1951, 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade arrived in Europe, to be succeeded by the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade in 1953, then 2 CIBG in 1955, then 4 CIBG in 1957. In 1959, when 4 CIBG's tour was due to end, a change was made in the reinforcement policy for Germany. Instead of whole brigades rotating every two years, the decision was made to keep 4 CIBG and its associated brigade units in place, instead rotating the major combat elements to Germany every three years.

The presence of the three mechanized infantry battalions led Canada's brigade in Germany to be renamed as 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group on 1 May 1968, three months after Canada's three separate armed forces were unified into the single Canadian Forces.

Around the same time, a review of Canada's foreign policy was announced by the Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, part of which involved an investigation into the role of 4 CMBG, which was the Canadian military's main overseas force. The ultimate result of the investigation was the announcement by the Prime Minister, as part of an overall cut in defence spending, to reduce the Canadian military commitment in Europe by half. 4 CMBG would also be re-roled – rather than its attachment as an active part of BAOR, it would become a reserve attached to either the VII (US) Corps or II (GE) Corps, relocating to Lahr in Southern Germany.[1] Most notably, this downsizing and re-roling led to the withdrawal of the tactical nuclear weapons capability. 4 CMBG operated a large force of Canadian tanks and armoured fighting vehicles and remained in place as one of NATO's Cold War tank formations. When the 1st Canadian Division was reactivated in 1989, 4 CMBG became the forward deployed brigade of the division assigned to the Central Army Group. The end of the Cold War brought the final draw down of Canada's military presence in Europe when the Brigade was disbanded in 1993.

Organization in 1989[edit]

In 1989 towards the end of the Cold War the brigade was part of the 1st Canadian Mechanized Infantry Division. It had the following structure:[2]

Although the brigade had a small structure it had some of the most updated and new equipment including: Leopard C-1, Lynx, M109A2, M113, Javelin, Blowpipe, Oerlikon 35mm, and CH-136.[2]

Units serving[edit]

The following is a list of major combat units serving in 4 CIBG/4 CMBG:

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Shown as a company-sized unit..


  1. ^ Isby, David C.; Kamps Jr., Charles (1985). Armies of NATO's Central Front. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-0341-X, 79.
  2. ^ a b c NATO's Order of Battle in 1989. p. 165.

Further reading[edit]

  • Sean M. Maloney, War Without Battles: Canada's NATO Brigade in Germany 1951-1993, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd, (Toronto,Montreal, and others) 1997.

External links[edit]