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4th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group circa 1963

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

The following may be of interest, it being a posting that I made in January of this year to the Cdnregiments discussion list on Yahoo
4th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group circa 1963

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The following found during the weekend in a ancient notebook, referring to a visit to 4th CIBG in Germany in 1963, when it was under the command of BAOR (British Army On the Rhine) 1st Corps.

"Brigade much more powerful than our Bdes, although same basic organisation."

Bde HQ
Armoured Regiment with 47 Centurians
Independent Reconnaissance Squadron with 24 Mk 1 Ferrets and 3 Hiller Helicopters.
Field Regiment with 3 Batteries each 8 M101 105mm howitzers (24 guns, 1 Battery with 8 M114 155mm howitzers.  AOP Flight with 3 Bird Dogs.
1st Surface to Surface Missile Battery with Honest Johns.
Three infantry battalions each four strong companies, each 3 platoons and a support pl with 2 81mm mortars and 2 106mm AT recoilless
Rifles; a support company with heavy mortar pl with 4 4.2inch mortars, a anti-tank pl with 4 106mm guns, heavy machine gun/reconnaissance pl with 8 Jeeps each with .5inch Browning HMG, big
assault pioneer pl.  900(!!) men each, many vehicles, everyone has a vehicle.
Brigade Anti-Tank Company (always from the 3rd Bn the Van Doo‘s) 12 more 106mm, and 9 ENTAC launchers.
Big Field Engineer Squadron.
Normal support units (all bigger than ours), Transport Coy, Ordnance Field Park, Field
Ambulance, Signals Squadron etc

6,400 men."

Oh how things have changed, this one brigade is probably stronger than the nine regular infantry battalions in Canada!

A piece of trivia, but, thought it may be of interest.

Yours G/.

Below are some comments that were posted re this message.

If people are interested, I had further notes on the actual rifle coys, the weapons (from our point of view), and the actual men, so if wanted will post these

From: "Wyn van der Schee"
Sent: Monday, January 22, 2001 7:50 PM
Subject: Re: [cdnregiments] 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group circa 1963

Takes me back 36 years - I joined 4 Bde in 1964. Couple of changes however, to the orbat shown.

For 47 Centurions (note spelling) read 59 - 19 per sqn X 3, plus 2 in RHQ. However, the 4th tk in each tp was only crewed on maj ex, which removes 12 from the total and may account for the lower number of 47.
Each tk sqn also had a Centurion ARV plus (I think) one in the HQ Sqn LAD (RCEME guys) Recce sqn had at least 6 Hiller helicopters - there may have been a 7th, a spare.
Arty Fd Regt had a Loc Bty that was truly amazing technologically for its day - they could detect a mouse at 10,000 m (almost). Total str fd regt was over 1,000. We always referred to the Air OP aircraft as L19s; the appelation Bird Dog was used by the Americans.

I don‘t recall the sp pl in each rif coy but omethings tells me all 106 RL were in sp coy. Comments from others who were there? There was also a HQ coy that included cooks, clerks, stores, RCEME, bn tpt, medics, padres, dent sec, housing, welfare, etc.

Before the infantry acquired M113s in 1964-5, they also had a lot of man-packed .30 Browning MG, in the rif coys I think, but I can‘t remember
if they were in the rif pls or under coy HQ.

Bde Tpt Coy had 4 pls of 20 task vehs ea (2 1/2 ton) for a total of 80.

Ordnance Fd Pk had a Laundry and Bath Pl that actually did exactly that.

This was however in the days before cbt uniforms and, in the armd regt and recce sqn at least, we wore whatever kept us warm and dry, which in most
cases did not include Cdn issue BD. There were pieces of RCAF, RCN, British, US, German and civilian kit in use, which gave us the appearance
of a guerilla army. However our machines ran well and our soldiers were thoroughly professional. We could run rings around most of the other
national forces, but the Brits gave us a few bad moments and could usually outshoot us on the tank gunnery range.

This is also a contest to see who can figure out all the abbrevations, taken mostly from Staff Duties in the Field.

Any other contributers to all this UFI?

Wyn van der Schee
Calgary, Alberta

From: Kathy & Hugh
Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2001 1:46 PM
Subject: Re: [cdnregiments] 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group circa 1963

Hi Wyn,
    I served with 1 RCR in Germany ‘61 to ‘65 and can attest to most you say especially looking like a rag bag army. There were several changes to the
Anti-tank establishment as the Brigade anti-tank component (aCoy of 3R22eR if I remember) were not stationed in Germany and were on fly-over only, they first had ENTAC weapon systems which were changed to SS-11‘s. In ‘62 each coy had it‘s own support weapons but this changed as we received the M113s.
The big problem we had was the number of troops on the ground, the troops signed up for three years, basic training and corps training took one year, result the average soldier was only on the ground for two years, most did not re-enlist, so at the end of our tour I had my driver and two riflemen in my rifle section. Still good times, good soldiering.
                           Cheers,  Hugh Conway
6,400 men."
Oh how things have changed, this one brigade is probably
stronger than the nine regular infantry battalions in Canada!

I hope you said that tongue in cheek as a comparison doesn‘t show 4 CIBG circa 1963 and 1 CMBG (similar structure to 2 and 5 CMBG):

Armd Regt - 19 Leopard C2 vs 47 Centurions (I‘ll grant you the numerical advantage however the fire control system of the new turrented Leopards are amongst the most sophisticated in the world. C Sqn LdSH (RC) outfitted with Coyote (without surveillance gear) see comments below on armd recce.

Armd Recce - 24 Ferrets and 3 Helicopters vs 17 Coyote. The Coyote is one of the most advanced surveillance vehicles in the world vs a couple of guys with binoculars.

Arty Regiment - 12 M109 and 6 LG1 vs 24 105 mm and 8 155 mm and a SSM Bty. Once again I‘ll give you the numerical superiority however the advances in fire control systems more than make up for the difference.

Inf Bns - Not even close...2 Bns kitted with LAV III (one of the most advanced IFVs in the world), TUA, 81mm mortars in Bisons, etc, etc. Todays modern mechanized battalion kicks some serious butt.

Added on top of this is a Tactical Helicopter Squadron.

Well I know what your point is, it really doesn‘t bare out. Comparing the army of yesterday and the army of today are two different fruits.

I do appreciate your comments and read it with interest.


Thanks for the response, but, what I intended was that the 6,400 men of one Bde, is stronger than that strength held by the nine regular bns in the regular army of Canada. No intention was being made in regard to the combat ability to the units of two different eras, that is totally ridiculous.

Jock in Sydney
We seem to have lost some Centurions on the way south to Lahr! When I got there in ‘72, we had 16 each for Alpha and Bravo Sqn‘s (The RCD), none in the SHQ‘s or RHQ. Each sqn had one each of the ARV and we had two Centurion bridgelayers with the Regiment. That gave a total of 32 gun tanks and 4 speciailty vehs for the 4CMBG. The Ferrets were replaced with Lynx. You don‘t know what rail siding everthing is sitting on do you?
Hi Jock,

When I arrived in 4CIBG with our Battalion in 1957, we had an establishment of approximately 1200 all ranks. I assume that the other 2 Battalions were of the same strength. I don‘t know what the strengths of the the other units(Armd & Art) would have been, but it was certainly before the cuts started.