Canadian Machine Gun Corps


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) Officers Other Ranks Machine Guns
Headquarters, C.M.G.C. 4 7
1st and 2nd C.M.M.G. Brigades 52 812 80
C.M.M.G. M.T. Coy. For 2 Motor Brigades 7 312
4 Battalions, C.M.G.C. 252 5980 384
C.M.G.C.R.D. Staff 14 98
C.M.G.C.R.D. Reinforcements maintained 88 1118
C.C.M.G. School Staff 5 22
C.M.G. Corps – Total 422 8349 464

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:

Company Attached to:
1st C.M.G. Company 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division
2nd C.M.G. Company 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division
3rd C.M.G. Company 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division
4th C.M.G. Company 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division
5th C.M.G. Company 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division
6th C.M.G. Company 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division
7th C.M.G. Company 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division
8th C.M.G. Company 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division
9th C.M.G. Company 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division
10th C.M.G. Company 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division
11th C.M.G. Company 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division
12th C.M.G. Company 12th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division
13th C.M.G. Company Divisional Reserve, 1st Canadian Division
14th C.M.G. Company Divisional Reserve, 2nd Canadian Division
15th C.M.G. Company Divisional Reserve, 3rd Canadian Division
16th C.M.G. Company Divisional Reserve, 4th Canadian Division
17th C.M.G. Company Corps Reserve (previously 5th Canadian Division)
18th C.M.G. Company Corps Reserve (previously 5th Canadian Division)
19th C.M.G. Company Corps 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 focused 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:

Battalion Attached 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:


Motor Machine Guns

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


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”.

SAVE3831


Sources