Canadian Army

The Canadians, as part of the Commonwealth, extensively used the Vickers in the same manner as the British.

At the outbreak of the First World War, the Canadians used the Colt ‘Potato-Digger’ Automatic Gun as the principal Machine Gun. However, with the production rates of the Vickers increasing, the Canadian Expeditionary Force became further equipped with the Vickers Mk. I Gun.

In November 1914, 7,000 rounds per machine gun were authorised for training Colonial contingents (initially the Canadian, Newfoundland and Ceylon contingents, with others to be notified later) (Army Council Instruction 135 of 12th November 1914).

The Canadians were pioneers of many techniques with the Vickers, in particular the use of the overhead and barrage fire with brigaded guns. During the First World War, the Canadians had their Vickers MGs brigaded into Machine Gun Companies and formed the Canadian Machine Gun Corps.

Inter-war Period

As of 1 November, 1919, the Canadian Machine Gun Corps was established as part of Canada’s Permanent Force; however, this was short-lived and was subsequently disbanded in 1924. It did survive as part of the Active Militia of Canada until the re-organisations of 1936.

Second World War

In 1936, in line with the Commonwealth doctrine of the time, the Canadians disbanded the C.M.G.C. and converted Infantry and Cavalry Regiments into Divisional Machine Gun Battalions. Whereas British Regiments had multiple battalions, the Canadians had single-Battalion Regiments and therefore had more converted than their British counterparts. They also had a number of Home Service Battalions armed with the Vickers.

Active Service Units, machine gun units:

Home service units, machine gun units:

Active service units, infantry battalions:

Home service units, militia battalions:

The Canadian Parachute Battalion was a Parachute Battalion of the 6th Airborne Division. It had an MMG Platoon as part of its establishment.

Those Infantry Battalions which were established as the Motor Battalions of Armoured Divisions also had an MMG Platoon. These included:

  • Westminster Dragoons, attd. Canadian 5th Armd. Div.
  • Lake Superior, attd. Canadian 4th. Armd. Div.