THE CANADIAN AIRBORNE REGIMENT
The Canadian Airborne Regiment had its roots in two fighting units, the 1st and 2nd Canadian Parachute Battalions. The Minister of Defence approved the formation of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion in July 1942, largely because of the effectiveness of airborne units earlier in the war. The battalion fought under British command with the 6th British Airborne Division and took part in the D-Day invasion, landing behind the lines to attack enemy positions and secure captured areas. It also fought in the Battle of the Bulge, crossed the Rhine and, on May 2, 1945, became the first Allied unit to meet the Russian army on German soil, in Wismar. The battalion returned to Canada after V-E day and was disbanded as the war in the Pacific was drawing to a close.1
The 2nd Canadian Parachute Battalion, formed on July 10, 1943 (and renamed the First Canadian Special Service Battalion in 1943), along with a U.S. parachute battalion, formed the First Special Service Force. Known as the Devil's Brigade, this force was unique, in that the two nationalities were not separated into different units or sub-units. The First Special Service Force fought in Italy; its members were the first Allied troops to enter Rome in June 1944. The Force was disbanded in December 1944, and the Canadian battalion was disbanded after the war.
The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was established on July 1st, 1942 with a Battalion headquarter, headquarters company, three rifle compagnies, and a total strengh of 26 officers and 590 other ranks. Initially designated as a Home Guard Unit, the Battalion trained in Fort Benning, Georgia and then, at the newly established Parachute Training Center in Shilo, Manitoba. The unit was redesignated for active services and in July 1943 it left Canada for the United Kingdom where it joined the 6th British Airborne Division.
The Battalion's service in the European theatre included the Airborne invasion on D-Day, a short reinforcement stint in Belgium and Holland, the Airborne crossing of the Rhine and the subsequent advance to Wismar where they met the Russians. Its battle honours include: Normandy Landing, Dives Crossing, The Rhine and Northwest Europe 1944 - 45.
In June 1945 the Battalion returned to Canada, where, as it was the first unit to do so, it was greeted with a special "Welcome Home". The unit was disbanded in the next months at Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The first Special Service Force began its history on July 10th, 1942 as a joint Canadian-United States formation for special operations in Europe. This unit later became known as the "Devil's Brigade". Joint training was carried out in Helena, Montana prior to being sent into action. The First Special Service Force was initially deployed in the Aleutian Islands in the summer of 1943. In November of that year it was deployed to Italy where it distinguished itself in the successful assault on Monte LaDifensa and Monte Remetanea. During its tour in Italy, the force saw action at Anzio and was the first allied unit to enter Rome. It was subsequently deployed to Europe where it saw the remainder of its action. On December 5th, 1944 the Force was disbanded near Menton, France. It had received the following battle honours: Monte Camino, Monte La Difensa, Monte La Remetanea, Monte Majo, Anzio, Rome, Advance to the Tiber, Italy 1943-44, Southern France and Northwest Europe.
History of the Canadian Airborne Regiment
The Canadian Airborne Regiment traces its roots back to two distinguished units formed during World War II, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and the First Special Service Force.
- 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, 1942-45
- First Special Service Force (Devil's Brigade), 1942-44
- Canadian Special Air Service Company, 1947-49
- Mobile Strike Force, 1948-58
- Defence of Canada Force, 1958-68
- Canadian Airborne Regiment, 1968-95
- Joint Task Force II, 1993-Present
- Three independent parachute companies within light infantry battalions, 1995-Present
The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was formed on 1 July 1942 with the initial purpose of defending Canada. The battalion began training in Fort Benning, Georgia, then moved to the Parachute Training Center in Shilo, Manitoba. In July 1943, the unit was designated with active service in Europe and joined the 6th British Airborne Division in the United Kingdom.In Europe, the battalion participated in the D-Day invasion, fought in Belgium and Holland, joined in the Airborne crossing of the Rhine and advanced to Wismar. 1st Can Para received the following battle honours;
- Normandy Landing
- Dives Crossing
- The Rhine
- Northwest Europe 1944-45
1st Can Para returned to Canada in June 1945 and was disbanded a few months later.
On 10 July 1942, the United States and Canada formed the joint unit, the First Special Service Force (FSSF). The unit began training in Helena, Montana for special operations in Europe. In the summer of 1943, the FSSF was rapidly deployed to the Aleutian Islands, off Alaska in the North Pacific, to participate in the invasion of Kiska.
Next, after being reenforced by a fresh batch of volunteers from Canada and the united states, the FSSF was rushed to Italy to be used as a fire brigade by the U.S. Fifth Army. There it distinguished itself in the successful assaults on Monte LaDifensa and Monte Remetanea.
The force went on to fight during the long standoff at Anzio, carrying out incessant night raids into the German rear. They were soon dubbed Schwartzer Teufel (Black Devils) by the Germans and came to be known as the Devil's Brigade. After the breakout from Anzio, men from the FSSF were the first Allied Soldiers to enter Rome
The First Special Service Force was subsequently deployed to Europe where it was often misused as line infantry. The force suffered disproportionate casualties and was eventually withdrawn from combat and shut down. The Canadian contingent was dispersed as reenforcements for other units.
During the war, the First Special Service Force received the following battle honours;
- Monte Camino
- Monte La Difensa
- Monte La Remetanea
- Monte Majo
- Advance to the Tiber
- Italy 1943-44
- Southern France
- Northwest Europe
What manner of men are these who wear the maroon beret?
They are, firstly, all volunteers and are toughened by hard physical training. As a result they have that infectious optimism and that offensive eagerness which comes from physical well being. They have "jumped" from the air and by so doing have conquered fear.
Their duty lies in the van of the battle; they are proud of this honour and have never failed in any task. They have the highest standards in all things whether it be skill in Battle or smartness in the execution of all peacetime duties. They have shown themselves to be as tenacious and determined in defence as they are courageous in the attack. They are, in fact, men apart. 'Every man an Emperor.'
Of all the factors which make for success in battle the spirit of the warrior is the most decisive. That spirit can be found in full measure in the men who wear the maroon beret.
- Field Marshall Montgomery
THE CANADIAN AIRBORNE REGIMENT
Ten Commandments Canadian
||You are the elite of the Canadian Army. For you action shall be fulfilment and you must train yourself to stand every test.|
||Cultivate true comradeship, for together with your comrades you will triumph or die.|
||Be shy of speech and incorruptible. The strong act, the weak chatter; chatter will bring you to the grave.|
||Calmness and caution, thoroughness and determination, valour and a relentless spirit of attack will make you superior when the test comes.|
||Face to face with the enemy, the most precious thing is ammunition. The man who fires aimlessly merely to reassure himself has no guts. He is a weakling and does not deserve the name of "Paratrooper."|
||Never surrender. Your honour lies in victory or death.|
||Only with good weapons can you achieve success. Look after them therefore, on the principle, "First my weapons, then myself."|
||You must grasp the full meaning of each operation so that, even if your leader should fall, you can carry it out coolly and warily.|
||Fight chivalrously against an honourable foe; fifth columnists and civilian snipers deserve no quarter.|
||With your eyes open, keyed up to the highest pitch, agile as a greyhound, tough as leather, hard as steel, you will be the embodiment of a Canadian Paratrooper.|
MY LIFE YOU! AIRBORNE!
Sgt Eagle , August 2004 , with special thanks to Wikipedia and :