Military History

Maps of Allied invasion North Africa and pursuit to Tunisia

Maps courtesy of the USMA, Department of History (WWIIEurope38Combined)

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Canadian Infantry in North Africa, January–May 1943

by R. Daniel Pellerin

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R. Daniel Pellerin, Ph.D, is an historian and museum consultant based in Ottawa. In 2016, he completed his doctorate in history at the University of Ottawa. His thesis examined Canadian infantry combat training during the Second World War.


Loaning soldiers to serve with allied forces can be an effective means of providing practical operational experience. During the Second World War, Canadian divisions began to arrive in the United Kingdom in December 1939. By the end of 1942, the Canadian Army had well over 100,000 troops stationed in the United Kingdom. Yet, aside from the catastrophic Dieppe Raid in August 1942, Canadian formations were kept out of active theatres of war. The vast majority of Canadian soldiers had no combat experience, had grown bored with their training, and were frustrated with their inaction, while British and other Commonwealth forces fought in North Africa. However, in early 1943, a small number of Canadian soldiers participated in a little-known troop lending program. Nearly 350 Canadian soldiers served with forward units in the British First Army in Tunisia for three months in order to give them combat experience.

Historians have paid little attention to this episode of Canada’s military history. C. P. Stacey devoted a short discussion of the program in Volume 1 of the army’s official history, Six Years of War (1957), in which he concluded that the experience in North Africa was highly beneficial.1 Strome Galloway of the Royal Canadian Regiment published his diary and memoirs on his experience in North Africa in With the Irish against Rommel (1984), although the book made little immediate impact. In Instruire une armée (2007), Yves Tremblay discussed the program, but relied heavily upon Stacey’s work.2

Book cover, ‘With the Irish against Rommel’ by Colonel Strome Galloway

The present study examines the origins of the troop loan program and the experiences of some of its participants. It argues that this scheme succeeded in allowing Canadian infantrymen to gain first-hand combat experience, which they could not have acquired while stationed in the United Kingdom and which they then brought back to their units. Galloway, along with Alex Campbell of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, kept diaries of their time in North Africa, and others submitted reports to their units upon their return. All these sources are useful for understanding the Canadians’ experiences there, and the overall success of the endeavour.

The Program

The British had been fighting the Germans and Italians in Egypt and Libya since the summer of 1940. After the Americans entered the war in December 1941, the British managed to convince them to commit forces to North Africa in 1942. On 8 November, the British and the Americans invaded French Morocco and Algeria in Operation Torch.3 The Axis forces were thus threatened from two sides: while Montgomery’s Eighth Army continued to chase Rommel’s forces through Libya, the British First Army and the US II Corps pushed from the west. Over the late autumn and early winter of 1942–1943, Rommel withdrew his forces to Tunisia, where he had the ports of Tunis and Bizerte at his disposal for resupply and reinforcements.

© War Archives/Alamy Stock Photo, Image ID DTYWTJ

Lieutenant General Bernard Montgomery commanding the British Eighth Army in Africa.

The senior Canadian general in the United Kingdom, Lieutenant-General A. G. L. McNaughton, saw Torch as an opportunity. He was famously averse to having Canadian divisions fight separately, so he did not wish to devote substantial forces to support the campaign in North Africa. But the Canadians absolutely needed combat experience. Perhaps a number of Canadian personnel could be loaned to the British temporarily. This could not occur at the start of Torch because there was not enough shipping space available for large numbers of Canadian troops to be sent to North Africa.4

It was only at the start of December 1942 that arrangements could begin to be made. By that time, First Army had already managed to penetrate into Tunisia. McNaughton was able to convince the War Office to allow 150 Canadian troops to be loaned to the British First Army for three months. Spaces were apportioned on a pro rata basis to the various arms of Canada’s four divisions (a fifth was on the way), two armoured brigades, and corps and army ancillary troops, as well as its reinforcement units in the United Kingdom. The men selected were to be the most capable officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) that units had to offer. NCOs would be of the rank of sergeant or above, while officers would be of the rank of major or below, except for two spaces reserved for lieutenant-colonels, who would perform staff duties.5 Selected men would be on loan to First Army for about three months. They were not to be merely “attached” to British units: the men selected would actually be inserted into First Army’s reinforcement pool and used to fill positions as required. Their task was to gain first-hand combat experience and pass on the lessons they learned to their units upon their return.6

DND/CFJIC photo PL-10956 UK-2699

Lieutenant General A.G.L. McNaughton (right)

In the end, the first serial contained 141 Canadian soldiers, including 25 officers and 20 NCOs from the infantry.7 At the end of December, it was decided that further serials of about 50 Canadian soldiers would be sent each month, starting in late-January, and would also be on loan to the British for three months. The infantry would provide nine officers and nine NCOs, or 36 percent of these smaller serials.8 By the end of December, all the necessary arrangements were settled. The first batch of Canadians was ready to go to North Africa in the new year.

The Tunisian Campaign

The conditions in Tunisia were far different than anything the Canadians had yet experienced. The North African desert was an entirely alien landscape. Although the temperature would rise during the day, nights were extremely cold. That the Allies had been unable to destroy the Axis forces in Tunisia by the end of December meant that they would have to spend the next few months fighting in terrible winter weather. The rainy season in Tunisia normally lasted from December to February, but this particular winter saw plenty of rain as late as April. The rain turned the ground into mud for days afterward, which presented an obstacle to vehicles.

The Tunisian geography only complicated matters. In the north, the Medjerda River Valley is criss-crossed by “wadis,” creeks that cut across the plains, had steep banks, and which could not normally be seen from a distance. Wadis were unpredictable because they would be dry one day, then after rain, would become fast-moving, deep rivers. They often served as serious vehicle obstacles. South and southeast of the valley was the Tunis Plain, and to the west and south of the plain were two chains of rocky hills: the Eastern Dorsale, stretching southward from the vicinity of Tunis, and the Western Dorsale, which cuts across the Algerian border.9 All this meant that mobile warfare in Tunisia was impossible. The result was that both sides relied heavily upon patrol work. Units, often in contact with the enemy for months, would dig in and hold important positions. Consequently, most fighting was by patrols, which were normally done at night, as the terrain offered the enemy excellent visibility in the daylight.10

Race for Tunisia, and Axis Initiative

Maps courtesy of USMA, Department of History (WWIIEurope40Combined)

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Captain Alex Campbell was among the first batch of Canadian personnel, which arrived at Algiers on 3 January 1943. Most of the Canadians were not assigned to any units for weeks until vacancies could be found.11 In fact, as of 20 January, Campbell was still at a camp at Souk-el-Arba in northern Tunisia, and still had not been told exactly what his job was in North Africa. He only found out the next day that he and his comrades would be posted to British units for front-line service.12 Campbell was eventually posted to 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, part of 1st Guards Brigade, 78th Infantry Division. Predictably, he soon found himself participating in patrols. On the night of 23 January, only a day after arriving at his adopted unit, Campbell went on a patrol with No. 14 Platoon. The objective was to locate a German observation post, cut its telephone wire, and, if possible, capture a prisoner. At 0300 hours, the platoon had successfully cut the wire, but no German came out to repair it. The patrol returned safely, albeit without a prisoner.13

© IWM (NA528)

A German army Panzer IV tank with the gun turret blown away near Bou Arada, 18-19 January 1943.

While Campbell was busy with the Coldstream Guards, the second batch of Canadians had already arrived in North Africa and its members were awaiting assignment to forward units. On 13 February, Captain Strome Galloway and two other Canadians were posted to 2nd Battalion, London Irish Rifles (2 LIR), part of 38th (Irish) Infantry Brigade, 6th Armoured Division. Galloway was assigned to “F” Company, which was made up of mostly new men after losses suffered in a battle at the end of January. That night, Galloway heard the ominous sounds of battle for the first time.14

On 14 February, the Germans launched Operation Frühlingswind (Spring Wind), an attack with two armoured divisions against a large stretch of the US II Corps’ frontage on the southern portion of a mountainous ridge known as the Eastern Dorsale. The attack was directed at Sidi Bou Zid and Kasserine. On the first day of the offensive, the Americans took heavy losses and were driven back to the west and southwest. The attack threatened the Allies’ entire position in Tunisia: First Army was now at risk of being completely outflanked from the south. Anderson and Eisenhower agreed that the Eastern Dorsale should be sacrificed; US II Corps would stop its attempts to reclaim lost ground in the south and instead hold fast, while the bulk of First Army shifted southward to Sbiba to halt the German advance and cover the French and American withdrawal.15

1st Guards Brigade and the US 18th Regimental Combat Team moved to Sbiba on the 17th of February. The Coldstream Guards arrived at 2300 hours and spent the next day digging in. The battle for Sbiba began at 1000 hours on the 19th. While with the carriers on a reconnaissance patrol, Campbell was chased away by four enemy tanks, including a captured Sherman, but thankfully, the patrol made it back to friendly lines without any casualties. Both sides exchanged heavy artillery and mortar fire, resulting in the destruction of four Allied and eight German tanks. The next day, the battalion beat back a German infantry attack, suffering six killed and nine wounded and losing four tanks. One company had been caught in the open by friendly mortars. The Germans continued their attacks on the 21st; No. 14 Platoon suffered one more wounded and lost three Churchill tanks. Then, the Allies began a counter-attack, only to find that the Germans were falling back.16

Situation 22 April and operations since 26 February 1943/Final Allied offensive.

Maps courtesy of USMA, Department of History (WWIIEurope42Combined)

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Meanwhile, the Irish Brigade remained at Bou Arada in the north during the German offensive, and as such, it was spared from intensive fighting. On the night of 21 February, a week after joining 2 LIR, Galloway conducted his first reconnaissance patrol. It consisted of just himself and a rifleman. Over the course of five-and-a-half hours, the two men reconnoitred eight features to see if they were occupied by Germans. They searched the buildings of half a dozen farms, were fortunate not to encounter any Germans, and returned safely after midnight.17

But Galloway would soon get his first taste of combat, for the Germans saw an opportunity to hit the Allies hard while they were still reeling from Frühlingswind. The Germans hoped that their previous attack had prompted the Allies to shift enough of their strength south to stabilize the situation at Kasserine, and that Rommel’s forces would be able to strike hard in the north. At dawn on 26 February, Operation Ochsenkopf (Ox Head) commenced. It was a three-pronged attack: one formation would strike at Béja; another would encircle British forces at Medjez el Bab; and the third would conduct a pincer movement in the Bou Arada valley and drive through El Aroussa to Gafour.18

2 LIR was still at Bou Arada at the time, and they were right in the Germans’ path. The day would be filled with close calls for Galloway. When the Germans attacked in the morning, “F” Company was soon in total disarray. Upon receiving word that the Germans were coming, Major Colin Gibbs, the company commander, organized a counter-attack. Galloway took command of No. 12 Platoon and was ordered to take a position on a hill to prevent the Germans from reaching a place nicknamed “Stuka Farm.” While on the hill, Galloway’s platoon came under machine gun fire; the Germans had penetrated the boundary between “F” and “G” Companies. Galloway’s platoon went to ground and came under mortar fire, which killed four and wounded two. Galloway led his men in a charge across open ground, fire-swept by machine guns, on the farm itself, which he believed to be held by the Germans, but was, in fact, already occupied by some members of the company headquarters. Once they realized the Allies had possession of the farm, the Germans poured mortar and machine gun fire into the farm buildings. Galloway’s men turned the farm into a fortress; they would try to hold it until the battalion commander could organize a proper counter-attack. Just before noon, the Germans attempted to take the farm. The platoon managed to withstand the attack, but the Germans did manage to capture three stretcher bearers. That afternoon, Galloway pulled his men back to a cactus grove behind the farm. This was to take cover from a British artillery barrage in support of a counter-attack, which ultimately went unopposed because the Germans withdrew from the area. The situation was thus restored to the Allies’ favour. That night, “F” Company was able to regroup. It had lost two officers wounded, eight other ranks killed, and nine other ranks wounded.19

With the Irish against Rommel by Colonel Strome Galloway, p.75

Captain Strome Galloway in the field.

Campbell also participated in withstanding Ochsenkopf. On the 28th, the Coldstream Guards’ No. 3 Company was ordered to put in an infantry-tank attack. The company left at 1300 hours on Churchill tanks and encountered the Germans at a place called Steamroller Farm. The attack began at 1545 hours, and within minutes, five Churchills were destroyed. At 0500 hours, the attacking force was recalled. The company returned to El Aroussa, having lost two killed and ten wounded, including an officer. In his diary, Campbell expressed disappointment “…that we did not finish the job,” but also wrote with glee, “I got my first German.”20 However, Campbell would not get to participate in another battle in Tunisia. On 10 March, he received his orders to make his way to the rear echelon and return to the United Kingdom.21 Galloway, meanwhile, was posted to 38th Brigade’s headquarters, and his tour in Tunisia ended on 14 April.22

The experiences of Alex Campbell and Strome Galloway demonstrate that the Canadian infantrymen did not have it easy in Tunisia. They did not merely observe the major operations in winter and early spring 1943, but actively participated in them. The infantry’s life in Tunisia was marked by miserable weather, nightly patrols, constant enemy air attacks, and violent battles.

© IWM (NA2245)

Guns of Field Regiment in action between Chaouach and Toukabeur, near Longstop Hill, 22 April 1943.

Lessons Learned

The Canadians sent to North Africa were not required to submit regular reports to Canadian Military Headquarters (CMHQ) in London with respect to their experiences. Rather, they were instructed simply to keep their notes on their person and bring them back to their units.23 Consequently, there are only a limited number of surviving accounts. Nevertheless, Canadian officers were able to deduce important lessons from their experience with front-line units. These lessons were centred around patrol work, fire discipline, training, junior leadership, and attack doctrine.

The Canadians sent to North Africa certainly believed they had gained valuable experience. In a letter to a friend in the Royal Regiment of Canada that was reproduced in a CMHQ file, Captain G. M. MacLachlan wrote, “I have learned as much in 5 days as one learns in 3 mths [months] in England. If I am able to get back and pass on a few things it will all have been very worthwhile [sic].”24 On his return to the United Kingdom, Campbell wrote to his mother, “…for the first time in some years I felt that I was really doing something to help win. I have learned a great deal that should be of value later on.”25 Looking back decades later, Galloway said, “There is no doubt but that experience is the best teacher.”26

The Canadians also provided great help to the British. One of the Canadian staff officers, Lieutenant-Colonel W. A. Bean of the Highland Light Infantry of Canada, had filled in as Deputy Adjutant and Quartermaster General for 78th Infantry Division, and had spent some time at V Corps headquarters. In his report to CMHQ, he wrote: “It appears certain that the attachments of the first group [of Canadians] were extremely useful, not only to the Cdns themselves but to the units with which they served. The experience gained should be valuable. At one time Cdn offrs [officers] comd [commanded] 3 coys [companies] and supplied a coy 2 i/c [second in command] in one bn [battalion]. While this is not typical, it is an example of the work done.”27 Bean was referring to a point in early March when four of 2 LIR’s companies were commanded by Canadians, including Galloway, and in fact, very few of the battalion’s officers at the time were actually from the regiment itself.28

Given that the Tunisian Campaign was characterized by patrol warfare, many of the ‘lessons learned’ related to patrol work. Major Nick Kingsmill of the Royal Regiment of Canada had served with 6th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, which was also part of 38th Brigade. His report to his superiors discussed patrol work in Tunisia at length. He found that reconnaissance patrols of two-to-three men were ideal: one man would watch the enemy, while another would keep watch of the surrounding area. Fighting patrols were normally conducted by an officer or NCO and about ten men; this was a force big enough to capture a prisoner. Kingsmill found that patrols should be lightly equipped, but definitely armed with automatic weapons and grenades. The general policy was to send out a patrol at dusk or very late at night; otherwise, the patrol would likely run into a German patrol.29

photo: akg-images/ullstein bild, image AKG425815

General Erwin Rommel (right), Commander-in-Chief of the Afrikacorps, speaking with soldiers of the Italo-German tank divisions.

Campbell recorded some notes in his diary with respect to things he learned. He was much more critical than Kingsmill of the way in which patrols were conducted. Fighting patrols were very dangerous and they risked losing good men, something that needed to be factored in before a patrol was ordered. In fact, he believed that fighting patrols should be used only as a last resort when there was no better way to obtain information. He wrote that patrol work overall needed to be improved, that men “did not carry out lessons learned in training,” and that they were a terrific strain on platoon commanders.30

The Canadians also emphasized the importance of fire discipline in Tunisia. This North African nation’s climate and open plains made visibility exceptionally good, and this was the reason patrols and any other type of movement had to be done at night. Because visibility was so good, it was easy for the infantry to underestimate distances and fire on the enemy too soon. Kingsmill stressed that fire discipline had to be enforced.31 In a detailed report to his unit on his experience with 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, Captain P. F. Ramsay of 1st Battalion, Canadian Scottish Regiment, made similar remarks about fire discipline and visibility.32 On the subject of cover, the Canadians emphasized the importance of making “digging in” automatic. Indeed, what struck MacLachlan was that the unit to which he was posted, 5th Battalion, The Buffs, had a habitual instinct to dig in whenever it moved to a new location. He wrote, “If our bn [battalion] can be trained to do this automatically, we will save dozens of casualties in our first show.”33 Ramsay emphasized the same sentiments, as did Galloway in his memoirs.34

Some officers suggested that more be done to train the Canadian infantry in minor tactics, desensitize soldiers to battle conditions, and develop the initiative of junior leaders. Campbell discussed “battle drill,” a type of training that had emerged in late 1941 and had since become popular with Canadian troops. It involved “…the reduction of military tactics to bare essentials which are taught to a platoon as a team drill, with clear explanations regarding the objects to be achieved, the principles involved, and the individual task of each member of the team.”35

According to Campbell, in Tunisia, “Battle drill training was not always used. Where no cover is available, men must be willing to cross open ground, cover by arty [artillery], smoke & fire. As soon as coy is committed coy commander looses [sic] control. Every man must work as a team.”36 With respect to developing the initiative of junior leaders, MacLachlan wrote: “We must give our NCOs much more of a show in the way of responsibility. The NCOs here do well, many things we would give an officer to do.” After gaining combat experience in Tunisia, he also believed battle drill training could afford to be even tougher: “No scheme we ever did is anything like this for toughness, not so much in the sense of great forced marches but in the way of continual work, alarm, fatigue and nerve strain and unlimited dirt, cold and wet. If I have the chance and a Coy on my return I am going to arrange little shows which will make the impact of the real thing much less severe.”37

As a company commander, Alex Campbell’s notes on attacking provided suggestions for improving offensive doctrine. He wrote that because of shortages of men, most attacks were made by companies, and thus were very weak. He wrote: “Officers & men had plenty of courage but not a great deal of originality.” He believed that there needed to be sufficient time to launch an attack; if the men had to march to a new area and dig in, they would be too exhausted to attack effectively the next morning. Moreover, he emphasized that attacking men must be loaded as lightly as possible; everything had to be sacrificed for more ammunition. His experience during the battle at Steamroller Farm also illustrated how important it was for higher headquarters to plan for keeping forward units supplied: “If infantry can take & hold a position there must be no excuse for ammo & food not being brought forward.”38

The Canadians sent to North Africa thus learned valuable lessons that they could not have learned during their normal training in the United Kingdom. It was one thing to be told by an instructor the importance of instinctively going for cover. It was quite another to take real enemy fire and have to find cover or face certain death. Furthermore, no matter how realistic training methods like battle drill were, no exercise could possibly simulate the exhaustion, stress, and fear of combat. After experiencing combat, Canadian officers and NCOs who participated in the Tunisia program were better equipped to lead their men in battle than those who had not.

DND/LAC PA-160027/Terry F. Rowe

Canadian despatch riders near Tunis, Tunisia, July 1943.


Altogether, 201 Canadian officers and 147 NCOs were sent to North Africa, excluding those sent under special arrangements. However, the troop-lending program was not without a price. The Canadians did suffer casualties; unsurprisingly, the majority of these were infantrymen. Five Canadians were killed in action, including one officer and two NCOs who were infantrymen. Two other Canadians later died of their wounds. Six Canadian officers and three NCOs were wounded in action. Of these, four officers and two NCOs were from infantry units. Three Canadian officers were taken prisoner, one of whom died in captivity.39

Nevertheless, the program was a success, particularly for the infantry. The experience that infantry officers and NCOs gained serving in front-line units marked an important phase in their training. As intended, they were able to bring this experience to their home units to prepare them for upcoming operations in the Mediterranean and Northwest Europe. To understand the experiences of the Canadian infantrymen who served in Tunisia, the value of their diaries, letters, and reports cannot be overstated. In particular, the diaries of Alex Campbell and Strome Galloway are the most comprehensive first-hand accounts of the program.40 Lending Canadian troops to the British First Army in North Africa also foreshadowed the CANLOAN program, a comparable scheme devised in 1944 in which 673 Canadian officers volunteered for service in British units fighting in Northwest Europe.41 The Tunisia program thus serves as a testament to the usefulness of troop loans in providing combat experience to soldiers who would otherwise have been kept out of action.

  1. C. P. Stacey, Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War, Vol. 1, Six Years of War: The Army in Canada, Britain and the Pacific (Ottawa: Queen’s Printer, 1960), pp. 248–249.
  2. Yves Tremblay, Instruire une armée: Les officiers canadiens et la guerre moderne, 1919–1944 (Outremont, QC: Athéna, 2007), pp. 318–322.
  3. Detailed accounts of Operation Torch include I. S. O. Playfair and C. J. C. Molony, The Mediterranean and Middle East, Vol. 4, The Destruction of Axis Forces in Africa (London: HMSO, 1966), Chapters 5–6; George F. Howe, Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West (1957); reprint, (Washington: Center of Military History, US Army, 1993), Chapters 6–13; and Rick Atkinson, An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942–1943 (New York: H. Holt, 2002), Chapters 2–3.
  4. Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Record Group (RG) 24, vol. 12185, reel T-17477, file 1/Attach Ops/1: LGen K. Stuart (Chief of the General Staff), tel. CGS 603 to LGen A. G. L. McNaughton (General Officer Commanding-in-Chief First Cdn Army), 9 Nov 1942; McNaughton, tel. GS 3875 to Stuart, 16 Nov 1942.
  5. Ibid. McNaughton to Brig N. E. Rodger (Brigadier, General Staff, CMHQ) re: “Attachment – Canadian Personnel, First (British) Army – Tunisia,” 1 Dec 1942; McNaughton, tel. GS 4008 to Stuart, 1 Dec 1942; Rodger to Deputy Adjutant General, CMHQ, 2 Dec 1942, para 2; MGen P. J. Montague (Senior Officer, CMHQ), circular letter re: “Attachments – British Army,” 3 Dec 1942, para 2.
  6. Ibid. Montague, circular letter re: “Attachments – British Army,” 3 Dec 1942, para. 4.
  7. Ibid. Rodger to HQ, First Cdn Army re: “Attachment – Cdn Personnel to First Army, Tunisia,” 10 Apr 1943, para 3.
  8. Ibid. Montague, circular letter re: “Attachments – British Army,” 28 Dec 1942; CMHQ, tel. GS 104 to National Defence Headquarters, 15 Jan 1943, para 4; Rodger to HQ, First Cdn Army re: “Attachment – Cdn Personnel to First Army, Tunisia,” 10 Apr 1943, para 3; C. P. Stacey, “Attachment of Canadian Officers and Soldiers to First British Army in Tunisia, 1942–1943,” CMHQ Report No. 95, 12 May 1943 (Directorate of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence (DHH)), paras 5–7, 36, and amendment 1, para 1. The second serial, which left in late January, was slightly larger than the subsequent serials, with 57 men, including 11 infantry officers and 10 infantry NCOs. The third and fourth serials included 26 officers and 24 NCOs each. The fifth and final serial, which arrived in mid-May, included 39 officers and 11 NCOs, was mostly comprised of men from supporting arms, as the campaign had already ended by that time.
  9. United Kingdom (UK), War Office (WO), “North Africa: November, 1942–May, 1943,” Notes from Theatres of War (NTW) No. 16 (Oct 1943), sections 1 (1), 2 (1).
  10. LAC, RG 24, reel C-8283, file H.Q.S. 3367-8-3: Maj N. Kingsmill (Royal Regiment of Canada (R Regt C)) to HQ, First Cdn Army re: “Report on N. African Campaign – Lessons, etc.,” 17 Mar 1943, (hereafter “Kingsmill Report”), para 3.
  11. LAC, RG 24, vol. 12240, reel T-17842, file 1/ME/1/2: LCol W. A. Bean (Highland Light Infantry of Canada) to Montague re: “Attachment – First British Army – North Africa: Preliminary A/Q Report” (hereafter “Bean Report”), 11 Feb 1943, para 2.
  12. George Metcalf Archival Collection, Canadian War Museum (CWM), 20100088-025: Capt A. R. Campbell (Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment), “Diary of North African Interlude” (hereafter “Campbell Diary”), 20–21 Jan 1943.
  13. Ibid, 23 Jan 1943.
  14. Strome Galloway, With the Irish against Rommel: A Diary of 1943 (Langley, BC: Battleline Books, 1984), pp. 45–48.
  15. Playfair and Molony, pp. 287–293; Bruce Allen Watson, Exit Rommel: The Tunisian Campaign, 1942–43 (1999; reprint, (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2007), pp. 75–80.
  16. Campbell Diary, 17–21 Feb 1943.
  17. Galloway, pp. 63–64.
  18. Playfair and Molony, pp. 305–306; Watson, pp. 112–113.
  19. Galloway, pp. 73–82, p. 85.
  20. Campbell Diary, 28 Feb 1943.
  21. Ibid, 10–13 Mar 1943.
  22. Galloway, pp. 130–140, 145.
  23. LAC, RG 24, vol. 12185, reel T-17477, file 1/Attach Ops/1: Montague to Undersecretary of State for War re: “Personnel Attached First Brit. Army – Reports to C.M.H.Q.,” 22 Dec 1942, para 4.
  24. LAC, RG 24, vol. 12240, reel T-17842, file 1/ME/1/2: Capt G. M. MacLachlan (R Regt C) to Peter, 23 Jan 1943 (hereafter “MacLachlan Letter”).
  25. CWM, 20100088-030: Campbell to Sarah Jane Railton Campbell (mother), n.d. (ca. Apr 1943).
  26. Galloway, p. 163.
  27. Bean Report, paras 1, 16.
  28. Galloway, pp. 97–98.
  29. Kingsmill Report, para 5.
  30. Campbell Diary, attached notes.
  31. Kingsmill Report, paras 2, 18.
  32. War Diary, 1st Battalion, Canadian Scottish Regiment, Apr 1943: appendix 7, Capt P. F. Ramsay, “Report – Capt. P. F. Ramsay: First Army – North Africa,” 15 Apr 1943 (hereafter “Ramsay Report”), pp. 1, 4.
  33. MacLachlan Letter.
  34. Ramsay Report, p. 3; Galloway, p. 164.
  35. William Boss, “Battle Drill Training,” CMHQ Report No. 123, 31 Aug 1944 (DHH), para 2. For more on battle drill, see John A. English, The Canadian Army and the Normandy Campaign: A Study of Failure in High Command (New York: Praeger, 1991), Chapter 5; Timothy Harrison Place, Military Training in the British Army, 1940–1944: From Dunkirk to D-Day (Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2000), pp. 49–79; Timothy Harrison Place, “Lionel Wigram, Battle Drill and the British Army in the Second World War,” in War in History 7, No. 4 (2000), pp. 442–462; Tremblay, pp. 189–207, pp. 209–214; and R. Daniel Pellerin, “Battle Drill Comes to Canada, 1942–1945,” in Canadian Army Journal Vol.16, No.1 (2015), pp. 49–69.
  36. Campbell Diary, attached notes.
  37. MacLachlan Letter.
  38. Campbell Diary, attached notes.
  39. LAC, RG 24, vol. 12701, file 18/N. Africa/1: Maj A. B. MacLaren (Adjutant, Records, CMHQ), “‘Q’ List Battle Casualty Return,” 30 Jul 1943; Stacey, CMHQ Report No. 95, amendment 1, paras 2–3.
  40. Both men returned to their home units and went on to fight in Italy that summer. After the war, Galloway authored several wartime memoirs: in addition to With the Irish against Rommel, he wrote The General Who Never Was (Belleville, ON: Mika, 1981), Some Died at Ortona: The Royal Canadian Regiment in Action in Italy 1943; A Diary ([London, ON]: RCR, [1983]), and Sicily to the Siegfried Line: Being Some Random Memories and a Diary of 1944–1945 (Kitchener, ON: Arnold, 1995). Campbell went on to be a company commander during the invasion of Sicily. His account of his experience there can be found in Maj A. R. Campbell and Capt N. R. Waugh, “The Hasty Pees in Sicily,” in Canadian Military History 12, No. 3 (2003), pp. 65–71.Tragically, Campbell was killed on Christmas Day, 1943 while leading his company in an attack at Ortona (see Farley Mowat, The Regiment, 2nd edition. (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1973), pp. 58, 60, 79, and 159, and And No Birds Sang (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1979), pp. 78, 110–111, 249–250).
  41. See Wilfred I. Smith, Code Word CANLOAN (Toronto: Dundurn, 1992).