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 BRITISH ARTILLERY IN WORLD WAR 2

 

Updated 14 June 2014

 

 

 

CONTENTS

 

AGRA

 

RCHA

 

FIELD REGIMENT RCA

 

MEDIUM REGIMENTS RCA

 

SURVEY REGIMENTS RCA

 

ANTI-TANK REGIMENTS RCA

 

AOP SQUADRONS RCAF

 

OTHER UNITS

 

 FIELD ARTILLERY REGIMENTS OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN ARTILLERY IN WORLD WAR 2

Between the Wars the Canadian Army comprised a very small Permanent Force and a Non-Permanent Active Militia.  In 1939 there was one PF unit (1 RCHA) and approximately 36 NPAM field artillery units.  These were all part of a planned Mobile Force of one cavalry and 6 infantry divisions, although only two armoured and three infantry divsions served overseas.  At the outbreak of war units were mobilised as the Canadian Active Service Force (CASF).  

However, the peacetime NPAM batteries were very small (35 all-ranks) and required a large number of recruits to bring them up to strength.  Canadian practice was to select NPAM batteries, recruit them to strength and then create new CASF regiments (initially in 1939 they were still called 'Field Brigades RCA' with 4 batteries).  The National Resources Mobilisation Act (NRMA) provided conscripts, but only volunteers could serve overseas unless an 'Order in Council' was issued by the Governor-General.  The dates on which regiments were 'created' by appointing a commander and the dates their batteries came together varied quite widely.

ARMY GROUPS ROYAL ARTILLERY (AGRA) 

 Formation

 Origin

  Where - When - With

1 Cdn AGRA

F UK 10/42 fm HQ Med Arty 1 Cdn Corps

UK 1942-3
Italy 1943-5 - 1 Cdn Corps
NW Europe 1945 - 1 Cdn Corps

2 Cdn AGRA

F UK 11/42

UK 1942-4
NW Europe 1944-5 - 2 Cdn Corps

 ROYAL CANADIAN HORSE ARTILLERY (FIELD) REGIMENT

Regiment

Type

Origin/Change

 Where - When - With

Disposal

1 Fd Regt RCHA

PF

 

UK 1939-43 - 1 Cdn Div
France 1940 - 1 Cdn Inf Bde
Sicily 1943 - 1 Cdn Div
Italy 1943-5 - 1 Cdn Div
NW Europe 1945 - 1 Cdn Div 

 

 FIELD REGIMENTS RCA

Regiment

Type

Origin/Change

 Where - When - With

Disposal

1 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Ottawa, Ont

 

1 Army Fd Bde

CASF

F Ottawa 9/39

 

To 1 ATk Regt 10/39

2 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Montreal, PQ

 

2 Fd Regt

CASF

F as 2 Fd Bde RCA in Montreal 11/39

UK 1939-43 - 1 Cdn Div
Sicily 7/43 - 1 Cdn Div
Italy 1943-5 - 1 Cdn Div
NW Europe 1945 - 1 Cdn Div

 

3 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Toronto, Ont

 

3 Fd Regt

CASF

F as 3 Fd Bde RCA in Edmonton 11/39

UK 1939 - 1 Cdn Div
Sicily 7/43 - 1 Cdn Div
Italy 1943-5 - 1 Cdn Div
NW Europe 1945 - 1 Cdn Div 

 

3 Army Fd Bde

CASF

F Guelph 11/39

UK 1940 - 1 Cdn Div

To 11 Army Fd Regt 2/40

4 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Cobourg, Ont

 

4 Fd Regt

CASF

F Petawawa 5/40

UK 1940-4 - 2 Cdn Div
NW Europe 1944-5 - 2 Cdn Div 

 

4 Army Fd Bde

CASF

F Regina 12/39

UK 1940 - 1 Cdn Div

To 8 Army Fd Regt 2/40

5 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Winnepeg, Man

 

5 Fd Regt

CASF

F Petawawa 5/40

UK 1940-4 - 2 Cdn Div
NW Europe 1944-5 - 2 Cdn Div  

 

5 Army Fd Regt

CASF

F Petawawa 9/39 as 5 Army Fd Bde

 

To 21 Fd Regt 7/40

6 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Sherbrooke, PQ

 

6 Fd Regt

CASF

F Shilo 5/40

UK 1940-4 - 2 Cdn Div
NW Europe 1944-5 - 2 Cdn Div  

 

7 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

London, Ont

 

7 Army Fd Regt

CASF

Fm 21 Army Fd Regt 8/40

UK 1941-2

To 7 Med Regt 6/42

8 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Hamilton, Ont

 

8 Army Fd Regt

CASF

Fm 4 Army Fd Bde 2/40
Fd Regt SP 8/43

UK 1940-3 - 1 Cdn Corps, 5 Armd, 1, 2, 3 Cdn Divs, 1 & 2 Cdn AGRA
Italy 1944-5 - 5 Cdn Armd Div
NW Europe 1945 - 5 Cdn Armd Div

 

9 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Kingston, Ont

 

10 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Regina, Sask

 

11 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Guelph, Ont

 

11 Army Fd Regt

CASF

Fm 3 Army Fd Bde 2/40
SP regt

UK 1940 - 1 Cdn Div
Italy 1943-5 - 1 Cdn AGRA, 2(NZ), 6 Armd, 8 Indian Divs, 5 Cdn Armd Div
NW Europe 1945 - 1 Cdn AGRA

To Fd Regt 7/44

12 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Fredericton, NB

 

12 Fd Regt

CASF

F Petawawa 9/40
SP regt

UK 1941-4 - 3 Cdn Div
D-Day 6/44 - 3 Cdn Div
NW Europe 1944-5 - 3 Cdn Div 

 

13 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Quebec, PQ

 

13 Fd Regt

CASF

F Shilo 10/40
SP regt

UK 1941-4 - 3 Cdn Div
D-Day 6/44 - 3 Cdn Div
NW Europe 1944-5 - 3 Cdn Div

 

14 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Yarmouth, NS

 

14 Fd Regt

CASF

F Petawawa 8/40
SP regt

UK 1941-4 - 3 Cdn Div
D-Day 6/44 - 3 Cdn Div
NW Europe 1944-5 - 3 Cdn Div

 

15 Fd Regt

CASF

F Shilo 7/41

UK 1942-4 - 4 Cdn Armd Div
NW Europe 1944-5 - 4 Cdn Armd Div

 

16 Fd Regt

CASF

F 1/41

 

To 8 LAA Regt 1/41

17 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Saskotoon, Sask

 

17 Fd Regt

CASF

F 1/41

UK 1941-3 - 5 Cdn Armd Div
Italy 1943-4 - 5 Cdn Armd Div
NW Europe 1945 - 5 Cdn Armd Div

 

18 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Lethbridge, Alb

 

18 Fd Regt

CASF

F 6/41

 

To 2 Med Regt 1/42

19 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Calgary, Alb

 

19 Fd Regt

CASF

F 9/41
SP regt 4/43

Canada 1941-3 - 8 Div
UK 1943 - 5 Cdn Armd Div, 3 Cdn Div
NW Europe 1944-5 - 2 Cdn AGRA

 

20 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Edmonton, Alb

 

20 Fd Regt

CASF

F 8/41

Canada 1941-4 - 7 Div

Disb 12/44

21 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Listowel, Ont

 

21 Fd Regt

CASF

Fm 5 Army Fd Regt 7/40
F 9/41

Canada 1941-2 - 6 Div
UK 1943

To 7 Army Fd Regt 8/40
Disb 10/43

22 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Moosomin, Sask

 

22 Fd Regt

CASF

F 3/42

Canada 1942-3 - 8 Div

Disb 10/43

23 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Moncton, NB

 

23 Fd Regt

CASF

F 3/42
SP regt 4/43

Canada 1942-3 - 7 Div
UK 1943-4 - 4 Cdn Armd Div
NW Europe 1944-5 - 4 Cdn Armd Div

 

24 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Cranbrook, BC

 

24 Fd Regt

CASF

F Shilo 3/42

Canada 1942-3 - 6 Div
Aleutians 1943 - 13 Inf Bde Gp
Canada 1944

Disb 2/45

25 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Simcoe, Ont

 

25 Fd Regt

CASF

F 7/42

Canada 1942-5 - 6 Div

Disb 1/45

26 Fd Bde

NPAM

 

Brandon, Man

 

26 Fd Regt

CASF

F 7/42

Canada 1942-3 - 7 Div

Disb 11/43

27 Fd Regt

CASF

F 7/42

Canada 1942-3 - 8 Div

Disb 10/43

 MEDIUM REGIMENTS RCA

Regiment

Type

Origin/Change

 Where - When - With

Disposal

1 Med Bde

NPAM

 

Charlottetown, PEI

 

1 Med Regt

CASF

F 12/39 as 1 Med Bde

UK 1940-3 - 1 Cdn Div
Italy 1943-4 - 1 Cdn AGRA
NW Europe 1944-5 - 1 Cdn AGRA 

 

2 Med (2 Montreal Regt) Bde

NPAM

 

Montreal, PQ

 

2 Med Regt

CASF

F 10/39
F 1/42 Petawawa fm 18 Fd Regt

UK 1942-3 - 1 Cdn AGRA
Italy 1943-4 - 1 Cdn AGRA
NW Europe 1944-5 - 1 Cdn AGRA

To 2 HAA 5/41

3 Med Regt

CASF

F 4/42 Petawawa

UK 1942-4 - 1, 2 Cdn AGRA
NW Europe 1944-5 - 2 Cdn AGRA

 

4 Med (7 Toronto Regt) Bde

NPAM

 

Toronto, Ont

 

4 Med Regt

CASF

F 2/42 Petawawa

UK 1942-4 - 2 Cdn AGRA
NW Europe 1944-5 - 2 Cdn AGRA

 

5 Med Regt

CASF

F UK 9/41

UK 1941-3 - 1 Cdn AGRA
Italy 1943-4 - 1 Cdn AGRA
NW Europe 1944-5 - 1 Cdn AGRA

 

6 Med Bde

NPAM

 

Levis, PQ

 

7 Med Bde

NPAM

 

Winnepeg, Man

 

7 Med Regt

CASF

Fm 7 Army Fd Regt 6/42

UK 1942-4 - 2 Cdn AGRA
NW Europe 1944-5 - 2 Cdn AGRA

 

SURVEY REGIMENTS RCA

Regiment

Type

Origin/Change

 Where - When - With

Disposal

1 Svy Regt

CASF

F Montreal 12/39 fm 2 Svy Bty

UK 1940-3 - 1 Cdn Div, 1 Cdn Corps
Italy 1943-4 - 1 Cdn Corps
NW Europe 1945 - 1 Cdn Corps 

 

2 Svy Regt

CASF

F UK 9/43

UK 1943-4 - 2 Cdn Corps
NW Europe 1944-5 - 2 Cdn Corps

 

ANTI-TANK REGIMENTS RCA

Regiment

Type

Origin/Change

Where - When - With

Disposal

1 ATk Regt

CASF

Fm 1 Cdn Army Fd Bde 10/39

UK 1939-43 - 1 Cdn Inf Div
Sicily 7/43 - 1 Cdn Div
Italy 1943-5 - 1 Cdn Div
NW Europe 1945 - 1 Cdn Div

 

2 ATk Regt

CASF

F Shilo 5/40

UK 1940-4 - 2 Cdn Inf Div
NW Europe 1944-5 - 2 Cdn Div 

 

3 ATk Regt

CASF

F Debert 10/40

UK 1941-4 - 3 Cdn Inf Div
D-Day 6/44 - 3 Cdn Div
NW Europe 1944-5 - 3 Cdn Div

 

4 ATk Regt

CASF

F Petawawa 1/41

UK 1941-3 - 5 Cdn Armd Div
Italy 1943-4 - 5 Cdn Armd Div
NW Europe 1945 - 5 Cdn Armd Div

 

5 ATk Regt

CASF

F New Brunswick 9/41

UK 1942-4 - 4 Cdn Armd Div
NW Europe 1944-5 - 4 Cdn Armd Div

 

6 ATk Regt

CASF

F Petewawa 4/42

UK 1943 - 2 Cdn Corps
Italy 1943-4 - 1 Cdn Corps
NW Europe 1945 - 1 Cdn Corps 

 

7 ATk Regt

CASF

F UK 7/42

UK 1942-3 - 1 Cdn Corps
Italy 1943-4 - 1 Cdn Corps
NW Europe 1945 - 1 Cdn Corps 

 

  AIR OBSERVATION POST SQUADRONS RCAF

Squadron

Origin/Change

 Where - When - With

Comments

664 AOP Sqn

F UK 12/44

NW Europe 1945 - 1 Cdn Army

Disb 7/46

665 AOP Sqn

F UK 1/45

NW Europe 1945 - 1 Cdn Army

Disb 10/45

666 AOP Sqn

F UK 3/45

 

Disb 10/45

OTHER UNITS

 In addition 1 Cdn Army had a Calibration Troop, in August 1944 an Army Radar Bty was formed in it and in early 1945 a Rocket Bty added.  Perhaps the shortest lived unit was 1 Cdn Centaur Bty that existed for a very few weeks in Aug-Sep 1944, this battery took over 12  95-mm Centaurs SPs and 3 Sherman OP tanks from the Royal Marines when the RM batteries disbanded and continued to support 6 Abn Div.

In early 1945 the Canadian Army Occupation Force formed for the occupation of Germany.  It comprised a new 3 Cdn Inf Div with units formed from men in the theatre who either volunteered or had a low priority for demobilisation.  The artillery regiments wer 2/12, 2/13 and 2/14 Fd Regts and 2/3 ATk Regt.

Finally in mid 1945 Canada started to form the Canadian Army Pacific Force in the form of the 6 Cdn Inf Div to be organised and equipped on US Army lines for the war against the Japanese islands.  The only artillery unit that started forming was 1 Cdn Fld Arty Bn.  With the defeat of Japan and the demise of the CAPF this unit became 2/1 Fd Regt RCHA. 

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  Copyright 2002 - 2008 Nigel F Evans. All Rights Reserved.