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The 5th Canadian Division is a formation of the Canadian Army responsible for the command and mobilization of most army units in the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador; as well as some units in Kingston, Ontario. It 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.

5th Canadian Division
1st Canadian Armoured Division
5th Canadian (Armoured) Division
5 Canadian Armoured Division patch.png
5th Canadian Division formation patch
ActiveFebruary 1917–February 1918
Country Canada
AllegianceQueen Elizabeth II
Branch Canadian Army
Nickname(s)The Mighty Maroon Machine, Maroon 5
EngagementsItalian Campaign
North-West Europe
Brigadier-General R. Pelletier
Division CWOChief Warrant Officer R.J. Beaudry
Bert Hoffmeister Guy Simonds


First World WarEdit

The 5th Canadian Division of the Canadian Corps was formed during World War I unter Major General Garnet Burk Hughes. The 5th began assembling in Britain in February, 1917, but was broken up in February 1918 before it was fully formed. The Division adopted a coloured formation patch identical in design to that worn by the four combatant divisions of the Canadian Corps. 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.[citation needed] It was reactivated in 2013.[1]

Infantry unitsEdit

13th Canadian Brigade:

14th Canadian Brigade:

15th Canadian Brigade:

Attached Troops:

Second World WarEdit

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

The 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 United Kingdom at the end of November 1941.

The 5th Armoured Division spent two years of the war uneventfully in the United Kingdom, finally transferring to the Mediterranean theatre in November 1943 to join the 1st Canadian Infantry Division as part of I Canadian Corps, under command of the British Eighth Army. The division moved without its tanks and vehicles, inheriting heavily used equipment as a legacy from the veteran British 7th Armoured Division ("The Desert Rats") who they relieved on the Italian Front. 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 Canadian 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 the 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards–1st Canadian Division's armoured reconnaissance regiment. 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]

A Sherman Firefly of the 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division assists British troops of the 11th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, British 49th Infantry Division, to clear the Germans from Ede, the Netherlands, 17 April 1945.

In January 1945, the division, together with the 1st Canadian Infantry Division, as part of Operation Goldflake, moved by truck, train, and naval transport to Belgium via Livorno and Marseille. After arriving on the Western Front, it disbanded the 12th Brigade, and re-equipped to join the First Canadian Army in time to participate in the final advance into Germany.

Commanding officersEdit

B.M. Hoffmeister

Organization until July 1944 and after March 1945Edit

5th Canadian Armoured BrigadeEdit

11th Canadian Infantry BrigadeEdit

Other unitsEdit

Organization July 1944 until March 1945Edit

5th Canadian Armoured BrigadeEdit

  • 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 BrigadeEdit

  • 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)Edit

Other unitsEdit

Land Forces Atlantic Area and 2013 reactivation of the 5th Canadian DivisionEdit

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, 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 ForceEdit

Structure of the 5th Canadian Division

Operational unitsEdit

C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Armour 5 CDSB Gagetown (Oromocto, New Brunswick) (under command of 2 CMBG)
2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Mechanized Infantry 5 CDSB Gagetown (Oromocto, New Brunswick) (under command of 2 CMBG)
4th Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery Air Defence Oromocto, New Brunswick
4 Engineer Support Regiment Engineers 5 CDSB Gagetown (Oromocto, New Brunswick)
3 Military Police Regiment Military Police Halifax, Nova Scotia
5th Canadian Division Training Centre 5 CDSB Gagetown (Oromocto, New Brunswick)
21 Electronic Warfare Regiment, Royal Canadian Corps of Signals Communications 4 CDSB Kingston (Kingston, Ontario)
Canadian Army Intelligence Regiment, Canadian Intelligence Corps Intelligence 4 CDSB Kingston (Kingston, Ontario)

5th Canadian Division Support GroupEdit

5th Canadian Division Support Group Headquarters CFB Gagetown (Oromocto, New Brunswick)
5th Canadian Division Support Group 5 CDSB Gagetown (Oromocto, New Brunswick)

Lodger units supported by 5 CDSGEdit

Combat Training CentreEdit

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

Reserve ForceEdit

36 Canadian Brigade GroupEdit

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 GroupEdit

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 and Woodstock, New Brunswick
37 Combat Engineer Regiment Combat engineer St. John's, Newfoundland and Fredericton, New Brunswick
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 unitsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 14, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  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 February 22, 2013. and


  • Dancocks, Daniel G. (1991). The D-Day Dodgers. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc. ISBN 978-0-7710-2544-0.
  • 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