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 CAOF 1945

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JPW
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1034
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PostSubject: CAOF 1945   13/1/2010, 21:26

I am making slow and steady progress on developing my existing contribution on the subject of the Canadian contribution to NORTHAG/BAOR
and the Canadian Army Occupation Force (CAOF) which was formed from the wartime 3 Canadian Infantry Division and was based in the Friesland area of Northwest Germany (Emden /Wilhemshaven/Oldenburg) from July 45 to March 46)

I have however a major problem with the Canadian Gunner Regiments (2/12,2/13 and 2/14 Field Regiments RCA, 2/3 A/Tank and 2/4 LAA Regts RCA). They appear to have been hostilities only Regiments which disbanded when they returned to Canada in late Spring 1946

I cannot trace any relevent units in the current Militia (Volunteer) Canadian Army ORBAT

Can any of our Canadian correspondents help?
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Dan M
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   22/3/2010, 19:48

J,

There was a Canadian Army Historical Report written about the CAOF. It's listed as CMHQ 174 and can be found in pdf here;

http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/rep-rap/doc/cmhq/cmhq174.pdf

I think it will answer most of your questions about the Canadian Army's occupation forces. If not, ask away. Always happy to help.

Cheers,
Dan.
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steve
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   22/3/2010, 21:57

Hi Dan
Many thanks a great document and it certainly 'changes history' as written the British way…do you have appendix H…history is only good as those who wrote it down and thank goodness you guys did!
On a different note there is get together this year in Werl just up the road to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Forces leaving the area…I will be 'on parade'
Regards
Steve
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   22/3/2010, 22:07

Dan

Thank you very much for this tip

I had in fact already downloaded this document and several other similar Canadian archive ones, they make fascinating reading.

Unfortunately none give details of where the Gunner Regiments I listed were deployed in May 1945 nor where they were subsequently based in the CAOF era from July 1945 to Spring 1946 when 3 Canadian Division finally returned to Canada
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Dan M
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   22/3/2010, 23:07

J,

It must be me, but I'm not getting the gist of your inquiry. Are you asking where were the artillery regiments of the CAOF deployed prior to its creation? Or are you asking where were the artillery regiments of the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division deployed in May, 1945?

As for returning to Canada, in reality none of the units of the Canadian Army Overseas returned to Canada. The Army instituted a 'point' system for the soldiers serving in Europe, and returned the highest point scoring soldiers first. These men were taken from their war-time units and posted to those units scheduled to return to Canada first. Usually, if possible, soldiers from the same part of the country were posted to return together. So, an infantry battalion mobilized in 1939 from Ontario and returning early, would have been filled with high-point soldiers from all regiments and corps who had opted for return to Ontario.

Low point score soldiers and volunteers were posted to the CAOF, again from any war-time unit in which they happened to be serving. While returning soldiers were allowed to remain in the their war-time uniforms, soldiers in the CAOF were obliged to adopt the uniform of their new regiment.

Cheers,
Dan.
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   22/3/2010, 23:23

Dan
I am posing two questions

Where were the 3 Canadian Division Artillery Regiments in the last week of the war? (I have traced the locations of the Infantry Battalions and the Recce Regiment)

Secondly where were the Gunner Regiments located in the CAOF era?

Any help you can give would be much appreciated
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Dan M
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PostSubject: Still looking for the answer.   23/3/2010, 21:44

J,

I went to my Canadian artillery expert with your questions. Unfortunately he is out of the country at the moment and away from his references. From memory he was unable to provide anything concrete.

I'm going to add your questions to my 'list of things to look up.' Hopefully I'll be able to find something for you soon.

Cheers,
Dan.
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   24/3/2010, 08:36

Dan

Thank you for your offer

The only Canadian Gunner location I know for certain is Wilhelmshaven. A Canadian Regiment (exact title unknown) was on of the last CAOF units to leave Germany in May 1946.

My source is another of the Canadian archive documents you mentioned earlier

No problems over any delay in response, this project has been going for over two years now!!
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Dan M
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   25/3/2010, 17:42

Steve,

As a matter of fact I do have Appendix H to the report I cited. Years ago, before they were available for free download, I ordered a hard copy of the report. It came with Appendix H, which I've downloaded for you below.



I also made a larger copy of the inset showing the AOR for the CAOF.


The CAOF Zone is that area from Osnabruck in the south to Wilhelmshaven in the north.

I realize that the main map is hard to read at this size. If you would like a higher resolution copy just send me an e-mail and I will forward one to you.

Cheers,
Dan.
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steve
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   25/3/2010, 18:52

Many thanks I Corps District were south of Osnabrück and took over command of the area Sep 46 when 52nd (Lowland) Division and XXX Corps District disbanded...that is if the records are correct!
Regards
Steve cheers
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JPW
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Number of posts : 1034
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Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   25/3/2010, 22:31

Dan

Fantastic

Now all we have to do is prove Regiment de la Chaudiere were based in Osnabruck in the CAOF era and named Quebec Barracks
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steve
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   26/3/2010, 18:05

Nice one JPW
One for your BARRACK NAMES IN SCHLESWIG HOLSTEIN - LUBECK Cambrai Barracks the Gordon Highlanders have a Battle Honour with that name!
Regards
Steve
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Dan M
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PostSubject: Canadian 3rd Infantry Division Artillery location 8 May 1945   26/3/2010, 21:12

Peter and Steve,

After the end of hostilities most of the Canadian Army units in Germany published unit histories for their members and for posterity. My club's library happens to have the publications produced by the 3rd Infantry Division's three Field Regiments and the LAA Regiment. I couldn't find anything for the A/T Regiment.

The details for the 8 May locations (and the sources) are:

12 Field was in Aurich ('Into Action With the 12th Field 1940-1945' by Capt TJ Bell, MC, No Date).

13 Field was in Westerloog ('The History of 13 Canadian Field Regiment, RCA, 1940-1945' by Lt WW Barrett, No Date).

14 Field was in Plaggenburg ('The History of the 14 Field Regiment, RCA, 1940-1945' by Lt GEM Ruffee, Sept 1945).

4 LAA was in Aurich ('History of 4th Canadian LAA Regiment WWII' No Author, No Date).

I'm still looking so if I find anything for 3 A/T Regiment, RCA, I'll let you guys know.

Cheers,
Dan.
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PostSubject: Locations for CAOF Artillery 1945-1946   26/3/2010, 21:37

Peter and Steve,

This was actually easier to find. There were several pages devoted to the artillery of the CAOF in Volume 2 of 'The Gunners of Canada' by GWL Nicholson. It's a standard reference here in the colonies, probably harder for you guys to find a copy 'over 'ome.

2/12 Field and 2/13 Field were initially quartered west of Varel. 2/14 Field was located at Rastede. 2/4th LAA's HQ was just outside Wilhelmshaven. 2/3 A/T was located from Varel to Sengwarden. Divisional Artillery HQ was located in Godens Schloss.

In August of 1945 the units went into winter quarters. (I'm guessing that this meant the early locations may have been totally or partially under canvas.) 1/12 Field, 2/3 A/T and 2/4th LAA were placed into Ebkeriege Barracks in Wilhelmshaven. Artillery HQ, 2/13 and 2/14 Field were located at Jever Airport. This was 10 miles NE of the Sea Base. The airport location was later renamed McNaughton Barracks. This was the units locations until the personnel were withdrawn for repatriation.

By the way, check out the District (Landkreis) of Friesland in Lower Saxony. It's almost an exact image of the Canadian occupation area in the map I have. Maybe it's possible that the Occupation authorities used the existing German political divisions to assign occupation zones. Just a thought.

Cheers,
Dan.
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Dan M
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PostSubject: 3rd Bn, Le Régiment de la Chaudière (CAOF)   26/3/2010, 21:49

Steve,

Good news and bad news on this front. There was a regimental history of the Chaudières published in Europe after the war. The bad news is that it doesn't mention the 3rd Bn at all, just the 1st Bn.

I have no idea where the battalion was located, but I'm still looking.

IF, and it's a big IF, the Chaudières were located in a place called Quebec Barracks, it would have to have been a Canadian designation to honour the Regiment's home province. (If it was a British designation to commemorate the Battle of Quebec, there could have been trouble.)

Cheers,
Dan.
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   26/3/2010, 21:56

Dan

A master piece you have scored a bulls eye in more ways than one

The airfield at Jever was truly a confusing place to be
First the Canadian Gunners who named it Mc Naughton (who was he?)

Then the British 11th Hussars who renamed the complex Cardigan Barracks

Then the Danish Brigade HQ and Infantry Battalion of the Danske Kommando (who did not rename the site)

and finally the RAF took possesion in 1949 to redevelope the complex as an operational airfield with concrete runways
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   29/3/2010, 22:21

Dan

To answer my own question

Would I be right in thinking that it was Lieutenant General Andy McNaughton , the first Commander of 1st Canadian Army and a former Gunner officer who was commemorated by the Jever name?
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Dan M
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PostSubject: Who is McNaughton?   2/4/2010, 22:59

Peter,

Sorry for the delay in replying but I've just now woken up from fainting after reading your question; Who's McNaughton?


Andrew McNaughton began a bit of a military dynasty over here. His son Edward (who changed his surname to Leslie) was also an Artillery officer who retired a Brigadier-General.

McNaughton's grandson, Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie (late Artillery), is the current Chief of the Land Staff (read Army).


Say, who is this Montgomery chappie I keep reading about?

Cheers,
Dan.
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   6/4/2010, 16:10

7 Days extra Orderly Officer for ignorance!!

Dan

One more public question you may be able to help with

HQ 2 Canadian Corps were in Bad Zwischenahn at the end of the shooting war. They clearly requisitioned the Town Hall for their use as Headquarters Office Accommodation and the German Commander of Forces based in Ostfriesland formally surrendered all troops under his command there to the Canadian Commander a few days before the final Surrender of the entire German nation

Subsequently HQ CAOF was based in the town from July 1945 to March 1946

Do you or any of your sources know the name of the associated barracks (former airfield?) where the majority of troops would have been based/accommodated? Undoubtedly it would have had a Canadian theme
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PostSubject: RCAMC Units in CAOF   23/4/2010, 20:11

Paul,

The following comes from the official history of the RCAMC; 'Seventy Years of Service - A History of the RCAMC' (1977) by Col GWL Nicholson.

Page 240: "On May 8 No. 16 General Hospital moved from St Michielsgestel to Sögel, where for nearly four months it was busy treating prisoners liberated from German concentration and military camps."

"For three weeks in May, No. 7 CGH was at Bassum, only 15 miles from the great port of Bremen, ministering to former inmates of concentration camps."

"Both Nos. 7 and 16 General Hospitals would extend their stay in Germany through the following winter, as part of the Canadian Occupation Force."

Page 241: "Besides the two hospitals the RCAMC contributed to the Occupation Force four field dressing stations (to which was added a British FDS), a field hygiene section, one company of a motor ambulance convoy, and eighteen regimental medical officers."

"The two general hospitals, No. 16 at Oldenburg and No. 7 eventually at Sanderbach, near Wilhelmshaven, treated cases likely to recover within six weeks."

Page 242: "In Holland all medical units of the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions had been disbanded by early October, those of the two armoured divisions ceasing to exist by the end of the year. When No. 1 General Hospital closed its doors at Nijmegen on January 18, 1946, the only Canadian hospitals left in continental Europe were the two with CAOF. The last Canadian medical unit to serve in Germany was No. 7 CGH, which on June 6 embarked at Cuxhaven for disbandment in England."

I'll keep looking to see if I can find anything else.

Cheers,
Dan.
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   23/12/2011, 18:18

JPW wrote:

HQ 2 Canadian Corps were in Bad Zwischenahn at the end of the shooting war. They clearly requisitioned the Town Hall for their use as Headquarters Office Accommodation and the German Commander of Forces based in Ostfriesland formally surrendered all troops under his command there to the Canadian Commander a few days before the final Surrender of the entire German nation

Subsequently HQ CAOF was based in the town from July 1945 to March 1946

Do you or any of your sources know the name of the associated barracks (former airfield?) where the majority of troops would have been based/accommodated? Undoubtedly it would have had a Canadian theme

Hello!

I'm living in this town and maybe I can answer some questions.
Don't expect too much. I'm neither a military expert nor a historian but something
between. I'm interested in the history of the town and the airfield and
the people around (on both "sides") ;-)

You asked for the name of the airfield?
It is simple "Fliegerhorst Bad Zwischenahn". It is on the west side of the Zwischenahner Meer in
the district Rostrup. After the War it was a British military hospital.

Regards,

Carsten
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   23/12/2011, 19:31

Carsten

Thank you very much

The team and I have gained more information on the Canadian units in the Bad Zwischenahn area in 1945

I will contact you privately in the New Year regarding certain other locations
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   23/12/2011, 20:02

JPW wrote:

I will contact you privately in the New Year regarding certain other locations

JPW

Ok!
But remember I'm not a contemporary witness (hope it's the right word)! I'm 42 years old! Wink

Nice Christmas Days!

Regards,

Carsten
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   2/12/2014, 13:39

Current state of play is that thanks to a truly international effort involving Canadian and German as well as British contributors and contacts I now have virtually a complete ORBAT/LOCSTAT (including the logistic units) and the two British Artillery Brigades under command (4 AGRA and 31 Anti Aircraft Brigade) for the entire existence of the CAOF.

Sadly owing to technical problems with this site I cannot publish details but as ever am very happy to answer any queries via a pm or Forum topic.

Next step is to establish details of 2nd Canadian Infantry Division who were the predessors of the CAOF (have also a fair amount of info on the original 3rd Canadian Infantry and 4th Armoured Divisions who stayed only briefly on in Germany in May/June 1945 after the German Surrender).
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PostSubject: Re: CAOF 1945   2/12/2014, 18:50

I'm not sure If I understand everthing but it's good to read some news here!
And maybe somebody has some Fotos from the allied occupation.
In an old chronik I read from Peter Holmes from England who visit our town in the 80s.
His Lancaster is going down here and he was arrested.
And from Rudy Zimmermann who fly the Komet here. After the war he go to Canada.
Now he's a Canadian.

Carsten
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