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Capbadge Canadian Intelligence Corps WW2

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€ 35,00
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The Canadian Intelligence Corps (C INT C) was an administrative corps of the Canadian Army

Many Canadians were active in the Intelligence field as early as 1939. Major John P. Page GSO3 (Intelligence) at CMHQ in Ottawa was tasked “to evaluate Intelligence and consider how to promote the idea that the Canadian Army should form its own Canadian Intelligence Corps (C Int C).” His proposals were initially refused or set aside and it was not until 29 October 1942, that Canadian Army Intelligence was officially recognized as a Corps.

The initial elements of the Intelligence Corps included the “Intelligence Sections at HQ 1st Canadian Army, 1st Canadian Corps; 1st, 2nd and 3rd Infantry Divisions, 5th Armoured Division; No. 1 and No. 2 Canadian Special Wireless Sections Type B; seven Field Security Sections (Army, Nos. 1,2,3,7,11,12); I9X at CMHQ“ and the Intelligence “Pool.” Additional field Units were in service in Canada, such as the “Security Intelligence Sections at the Districts.”

With the formation of the 1st Canadian Army in Europe on 6 April 1942 and 2nd Canadian Corps on 14 January 1943, additional Intelligence staff were required and in due course added to the Canadian military establishment. Intelligence staff duties at CMHQ also continued to expand, as it became the clearinghouse for all security-clearance cases initiated in Canada and investigated in Britain.

To facilitate cooperation “throughout the period of hostilities, personnel in the Canadian Intelligence Corps formed part of the Canadian Army Staff in Washington and worked in close co-operation with the Intelligence Staff of the United States War Department.” They were linguists for the most part, proficient in German, Japanese and many other foreign languages.

Canada’s Naval and Air Intelligence Staffs were equally busy fighting the war. Canadian Naval Intelligence officers studied German naval telecommunications, exchanging through 1943 for example, a daily U-boat Situation Report. (See John B. McDiarmid) Special Intelligence from the UK was also provided to Ottawa and Washington. The level of cooperation between the three nations and their Naval Intelligence (NI) organizations was extremely close and both the American and Canadian officers paid visits to the Senior British Naval Intelligence Officer. All three nations promulgated the processed information to ships and commands within their zone of control. The UK recorded that formal integration of the three nation’s NI staffs was never necessary, because the Anglo-American organization worked as one against the U-boat threat.

Throughout the war, foreign radio messages were being intercepted by Canadian Army, Navy (RCN), Air Force (RCAF) and Department of Transport (DOT) Radio Division stations, located in places such as Forest (and later Winnipeg), Manitoba and, Point Grey, British Columbia. Following the collapse of France in 1940 for example, the RCN continued to monitor French naval frequencies at Britain’s request in order to determine the fate of the French fleet. German communications intercepted by the Canadians also “helped the British in mounting” their “successful attack on” the famous battle-cruiser “Bismarck“ in May 1941.

In May 1943, as well as receiving the Intelligence summaries issued by Whitehall to the naval commands at home and overseas, the (radio interception) Tracking Room in Ottawa began to receive a full series of Enigma decrypts. The material allowed Ottawa to carry on a completely free exchange of communications by direct signal link with the Tracking Room in the Operational Intelligence Centre (OIC). The results were such that, “Canadian...intercept stations and Direction Finding (DF) organizations...made an indispensable contribution to the Allied North Atlantic SIGINT network.”

The Intelligence Staffs of both the First and Second Canadian Infantry Divisions in England and other newly inducted C Int C personnel in theatre, continued to be sent to British Intelligence Schools for advanced training. On conclusion of their courses, they were attached to the Intelligence staffs of some of the more experienced British formations, while British Intelligence officers filled their places in the Canadian Army temporarily. As the Canadians became more proficient, they gradually replaced their British colleagues. By 1943, (most of) the Intelligence appointments in the First Canadian Army were filled by Canadian personnel. There was a War Intelligence School where courses were given to officers who had been selected for Intelligence duties in Canada.

C Int C personnel were included in the organizations of “1st Canadian Division (1 Cdn Div) and 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade (1 Cdn Armd Bde).” These “were the first Canadian formations to embark on a regular campaign during the war from the landings in Sicily in 1943” and through the fighting in both “Sicily and Italy.” Shortly afterwards, “1st Canadian Corps went to Italy and took part in the fighting there” along “with 5th Canadian Armoured Division.” More C Int C casualties were added in the Mediterranean Theatre, when Cpl A.D. Yaritch was killed while on duty in the Adriatic. Intelligence operations continued in this theatre until all of the “Canadian Mediterranean Force moved to Belgium in 1945” and then went back “into action in Holland.” In North West Europe, C Int C Sgt G.A. Osipoff and Sgt F. Dummer were killed during operations in France.

In London, Canadian Intelligence Corps staff officers formed part of the group assisting the First Canadian Army Planning Staff. They studied the role the Canadians were to play and assisted in the collation of the voluminous amounts of Intelligence detail, which poured into London from every conceivable source. This information was carefully sifted, examined, analyzed and, if corroborated by similar information provided by other recognized sources, was recorded and passed to the Operations Branch of the Planning Staff to consider what effect the data might have on the overall plan. The innumerable sources and agencies included refugees from Axis occupied countries, members of the various resistance groups, Allied personnel dropped by air into enemy held countries who then transmitted their information by portable wireless sets, raids conducted on the French coast for a specific purpose, air photographs, neutral newspapers, mail censorship, air reconnaissance, interception of enemy wireless radio broadcasts and countless others. All of this effort was directed towards the one object of finding out as much as possible about the enemy, weather and terrain that would be encountered by the assaulting allied forces. Details concerning German Troop Strength, their defences, their armaments, administrative and supply systems, general strengths, dispositions, state of morale, fighting ability, personality studies concerning characteristics of enemy commanders, the German military state of preparedness, and reinforcement capabilities.

During all this planning activity at staff level, the training of Intelligence personnel with field formations and Units continued unabated. The Intelligence Corps staff devoted considerable time and effort during the pre-invasion period conducting a massive “background study” into the organization of the German Army, its weapons, tactics, equipment, civil administration and Party organization, the language, the country and its people. Anything and everything that was considered useful and helpful towards completing the preparation of the invasion plans was actioned. The intensity with which this preparation was undertaken bore fruit, as evidenced by the tactical surprise which the actual assault achieved. During an interrogation after the battle, General-Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, the Commander-in-Chief of Germany’s Army Group West during the Normandy invasion, revealed that although he had expected the invasion to occur daily from March 1944, he had not been prepared to oppose the landings where they actually took place.

Many C Int C personnel went into Europe with the “3rd Canadian Infantry Division (3 Cdn Inf Div) under 1st British Corps (1 Brit Corps)” when it “landed in Normandy on D-Day.” Subsequently, additional Intelligence staff with the “2nd Canadian Corps (2 Cdn Corps)” participated in the operations at Caen while “under the command of the 2nd British Army.” From 23 July 1944, senior C Int C staffs worked in the “Headquarters of the 1st Canadian Army, which was at that time in command of both British and Canadian Corps composed of a great variety of Allied forces.”

Intelligence coordination and passage of information between the British and Canadian formations was successfully conducted at all levels of command. It was essentially uniform in substantial matters because Intelligence at Eighth Army and within 21 Army Group was inspired by the direction of Brigadier E.T. Williams, CBE, DSO, Field Marshal Montgomery’s chief Intelligence Officer in Africa, Sicily, Italy and North West Europe.

The Intelligence organization within First Canadian Army was centralized in the GSO 1 Intelligence. He had no direct relationship to the Director of Military Intelligence in Canada. Any requests or observations, which he had with regard to Intelligence matters, he passed to the DDMI and CMHQ who alone dealt with Canada. On several occasions during the war, HQ First Canadian Army was visited by the DMI and other officers from Canada but they exercised no control over the operational Intelligence within the Army which was entirely the concern of 21 Army Group and the Intelligence Staff Officers at various levels.

Capbadge Canadian Intelligence Corps WW2

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