Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade

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Members of the Brigade clean some of their armoured cars

The Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade, also known as Brutinel's Brigade or the Brutinel Brigade, was the first fully motorized unit of the Canadian Army.[1] It was established on August 24, 1914 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, as Automobile Machine Gun Brigade No. 1 by Canadian Brigadier-General Raymond Brutinel, who initiated the program and was the unit's first commander.[2] The unit played a significant part in halting the major German Spring Offensive of March 1918.

The Brigade was originally equipped with eight Armoured Autocars mounting two Colt Model 1914 machine guns (later replaced with the standard British Vickers MG) manufactured by Autocar in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Autocar also supplied six unarmoured support vehicles, four "roadsters" for the Brigade's officers, and an ambulance.

Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig wrote that the "work of the 1st CMMG Brigade in recent operations has proved the value that can be obtained from such units, and recommends the formation of a 2nd Brigade be undertaken forthwith."[3] So in May 1918 the 2nd Canadian Motor MG Brigade was added. With the new unit Brutinel's force consisted of the 1st and 2nd Motor Machine Gun Brigade (each of 5x8 gun batteries), Canadian Cyclist battalion, one section of medium trench-mortars mounted on lorries (plus an assumed wireless and medical support).[4] This totaled 80 machine guns and about 300 bicycle infantry. Canadian historian John A. English points out that this "was the first mechanized formation in the Commonwealth armies and the forerunner of the armoured division."[5]


  1. ^ "Formation of the Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade No. 1: Sept. 1914". The Loyal Edmonton Regiment Military Museum. The Loyal Edmonton Regiment Museum. Archived from the original on 13 February 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  2. ^ Pulsifer 2001, p. 46
  3. ^ Pulsifer 2001, p. 51
  4. ^ Griffith 1994, p. 129 - quoting the Official History 1918 vol.4, p42
  5. ^ English 2009, p. 6

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