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Canadian Machine Gun Corps

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Establishment

The Canadian Machine Gun Corps (CMGC) was formed along similar lines to the British Machine Gun Corps and included Infantry and Cavalry, and Motor branches. It also included a Canadian Machine Gun School and Depot and Reinforcements Camp.

It was eventually, as of 1918, by a C.M.G.C. Headquarters, with a General-Officer-Commanding, C.M.G.C., who was supported by a Brigade Major, Staff Captain, Reconnaissance Office and seven Other Ranks.


Strength

As of the Armistice on 11th November 1918, the strength of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps was:
Summary of strength (11.11.1918)OfficersOther RanksMachine Guns
Headquarters, C.M.G.C.47-
1st and 2nd C.M.M.G. Brigades5281280
C.M.M.G. M.T. Coy. For 2 Motor Brigades7312-
4 Battalions, C.M.G.C.2525980384
C.M.G.C.R.D. Staff1498-
C.M.G.C.R.D. Reinforcements maintained881118-
C.C.M.G. School Staff522-
C.M.G. Corps - Total4228349464

Historic establishments were:

  • 21 June, 1915: 24 Officers; 567 O.R.
  • 31 March, 1917: 82 Officers; 3,192 O.R.

    Infantry

    Companies

    As with the British formations, Machine Gun Sections were brigaded into MG Companies on a similar establishment to the British. These were subsequently formed into Battalions.

    The Companies of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps were:
    CompanyAttached to:
    1st C.M.G. Company1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division
    2nd C.M.G. Company2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division
    3rd C.M.G. Company3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division
    4th C.M.G. Company4th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division
    5th C.M.G. Company5th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division
    6th C.M.G. Company6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division
    7th C.M.G. Company7th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division
    8th C.M.G. Company8th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division
    9th C.M.G. Company9th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division
    10th C.M.G. Company10th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division
    11th C.M.G. Company11th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division
    12th C.M.G. Company12th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division
    13th C.M.G. CompanyDivisional Reserve, 1st Canadian Division
    14th C.M.G. CompanyDivisional Reserve, 2nd Canadian Division
    15th C.M.G. CompanyDivisional Reserve, 3rd Canadian Division
    16th C.M.G. CompanyDivisional Reserve, 4th Canadian Division
    17th C.M.G. CompanyCorps Reserve (previously 5th Canadian Division)
    18th C.M.G. CompanyCorps Reserve (previously 5th Canadian Division)
    19th C.M.G. CompanyCorps Reserve (previously 5th Canadian Division)

    Battalions

    The Canadian Machine Gun Corps did not subscribe to the standard four-company Battalion of the British Machine Gun Corps. Instead, it developed a two-company Battalion that focussed the resources on the fighting strength of the companies and reduced the administrative requirement, freeing these personnel up to assist in ammunition carrying roles. It later added an additional Company to the Battalion establishment and increased the number of Vickers MGs to a total of 96 guns, instead of the previous 64.

    With this new establishment, the ratios of MGs to rifles was increased. The ratios as at 1918 were:

  • British 9-Battalion Infantry Division: 1 Vickers to every 141 rifles.
  • Canadian 12-Battalion Infantry Division (with 2-company MG Bn): 1 Vickers to every 206 rifles).
  • Canadian 12-Battalion Infantry Division (with 3-company MG Bn): 1 Vickers to every 138 rifles).

    The Battalions of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps were:
    BattalionAttached to:
    1st Bn, C.M.G.C.1st Canadian Division
    2nd Bn, C.M.G.C.2nd Canadian Division
    3rd Bn, C.M.G.C.3rd Canadian Division
    4th Bn, C.M.G.C.4th Canadian Division
    5th Bn, C.M.G.C.5th Canadian Division


    Cavalry Units

    The CMGC units which formed the Cavalry elements were:

  • Cdn. Cav. M.G. Sqdn.

    Motor Machine Guns

    The CMGC also had Motorised Machine Gun units. These included:

  • 1st C.M.M.G. Brigade
  • 2nd C.M.M.G. Brigade
  • C.M.M.G. M.T. Company

    Canadian Machine Gun School

    Originally, the Canadian Machine Gun School was established at Napier and Riseborough barracks; however, in Summer, 1916, it was amalgamated with the 86th (Machine Gun Battalion) to form the Canadian Machine Gun Depot.

    Whilst there was no Canadian Machine Gun School in the field, Officers and Other Ranks were sent to the British Machine Gun School for courses.

    Later a Canadian Machine Gun School was established as a separate entity to the British Machine Gun School. It, as of November 1918, consisted of 5 Officers and 22 Other Ranks as staff for 125 students (25 officers and 100 other ranks).


    Depot and Reinforcements Centre

    Canadian Machine Gun Reserve and Base Depot

    The C.M.G. Res. and Base Depot (in Crowborough, East Sussex, England) consisted of, as of 11 November 1918, 233 Officers and 4187 O.R.

    Machine Gun Wing, Canadian Corps Reinforcements Camp

    As of 11 November, 1918, the M.G. Wing of the C.C.R.C. consisted of 14 Officers and 98 O.R. maintaining reinforcements of 88 Officers and 1118 O.R.


    Miscellaneous

    As with many units, the Canadian Machine Gun Corps produced an in-house magazine, titled "The Canadian Machine Gunner".

  • Download Volume I, No. 4 - November 1917. 3MB PDF File.

    Sources

  • Grafton, 1938
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