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The 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade was an infantry brigade of the Canadian Army that saw active service during World War I and World War II as part of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. The brigade fought on the Western Front during World War I from January 1916 to November 1918, and in Normandy and north-west Europe in 1944–1945 during World War II. It was a square formation of four infantry battalions during World War I, but was reduced to a triangular formation of three battalions during World War II.

9th Canadian Brigade
9th Canadian Infantry Brigade
Follow-up waves of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade disembarking with bicycles from landing craft onto 'Nan White' sector of Juno Beach at Bernieres-sur-Mer, 6 June 1944. A23938.jpg
9th Canadian Infantry Brigade troops coming ashore at Juno Beach on D-Day, 6 June 1944
Active1916–1918
1940–1945
Country Canada
Branch Canadian Army
TypeInfantry
SizeBrigade
Part of3rd Canadian Division
EngagementsWorld War I

World War II

Contents

HistoryEdit

World War IEdit

FormationEdit

During World War I, the brigade was formed as part of the 3rd Canadian Division. Placed under the leadership of Brigadier-General Frederic William Hill,[1] it initially consisted of the 43rd, 52nd, 58th and 60th Battalions, which came respectively from Winnipeg, Port Arthur, the Niagara area and Montreal.[2] The unit sailed to France from Southampton late in February. Thereafter, it travelled to its billets in the vicinity of Eecke.[3] The different battalions were then attached to other Canadian brigades already in the line, near Locre and Dranoutre, for trench familiarisation and training.[4]

By late March 1916, the unit was complete, except for the divisional artillery, which would be available by the middle of July of the same year. In the meantime, as part of the 3rd Division, its artillery support was assured by the Indian 3rd (Lahore) Division.[2] The unit spent the next months rotating in and out of trenches in the Ypres area, where other units of the Canadian Corps were located. It witnessed the German gas attacks at Hulluch and at Wulverghem, without taking part.[5] In the last few days of May, the Brigade suffered casualties as a result of German artillery fire.[6]

Battle of Mont SorrelEdit

 
A map of the situation before and after the Battle of Mont Sorrel

Then, on June 2, the Germans launched an attack, in an attempt to divert Allied ressources from the upcoming offensive in the Somme region and to gain a tactical advantage in the Ypres salient by capturing the only part of the Ypres ridge that was still in British hands.[7][8] The brigade not being in the front line at the time of the attack, two battalions (the 52nd and the 60th)[9] were ordered to strengthen the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade.[10] The brigade then relieved the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade and parts of the 7th, which had borne the brunt of the German attack.[11] From the 4th through to the 10th, no significant action happened except for repeated shelling and a German attack by about 100 men in the evening of the 4th on positions held by the 43rd battalion, which was repulsed. Further attempts, on the 10th and 11th, were again repulsed.[9] On the night of the 12 and 13th, the Brigade's 58th Battalion participated in a counter-attack, in conjunction with other forces from the Canadian Corps, to attempt to recapture lost positions on the heights of Mont Sorrel and Tor Top. After prolonged artillery fire, the troops went over the top at 1:30 AM.[12] Despite achieving objectives, the attack being described as an "unqualified success"[13], the battalion nevertheless incurred 165 casualties.[14][12] After the battle, the brigade was relieved by two battalions from the 2nd Guards Brigade on the night between the 15th and the 16th and moved behind the front line. In all, the brigade suffered 1083 casualties from June 2 to June 16.[9]

Battle of the SommeEdit

Flers–CourceletteEdit
Ancre HeightsEdit

World War IIEdit

Order of battleEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Personnel Records of the First World War". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b Nicholson 1962, p. 134.
  3. ^ Hill 1916, February 20 to February 26.
  4. ^ Hill 1916, March 1 to March 10.
  5. ^ Hill 1916, March 27 to April 30.
  6. ^ Hill 1916, May 18 to May 31.
  7. ^ "Land Battles - Mount Sorrel". Canada and the First World War. Canadian War Museum. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  8. ^ Granatstein 2011, p. 88.
  9. ^ a b c Hill 1916, Narrative of events from June 2nd to June 16th, inclusive.
  10. ^ Nicholson 1962, p. 151.
  11. ^ Nicholson 1962, p. 149.
  12. ^ a b Nicholson 1962, p. 153.
  13. ^ Edmonds 1932, p. 241.
  14. ^ Hill 1916, Appendix B, Operations 9th Canadian Infantry Bde, Night June 12th/13th 1916.
  15. ^ "3rd Canadian Division". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  16. ^ "3rd Canadian Infantry Division". Canadian Soldiers.com. Retrieved 27 November 2016.

BibliographyEdit