Canadian Military Headquarters (CMHQ) Reports 1940-1948

During the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force appointed Historical Officers to produce reports for future records and to form the basis of future Canadian Military Official Histories (ie Canadian Army Official History).

The most formal and comprehensive collection of reports were researched and written by Canadian Military Historical Officers at the Canadian Military Headquarters (CMHQ) in London, England (1940-1948).

Major (later Colonel) C.P. Stacey was appointed Historical Officer, General Staff, at the Canadian Military Headquarters in London, England, on 11 October 1940. His task, as conveyed to him by Lieutenant-General H.D.G. Crerar, Chief of the General Staff (the officer responsible for recommending Stacey's appointment) was “the collection and preparation of material for future use of the official historian and the placing on the record of historical material not otherwise recorded or available. 1


1. C.P. Stacey, A Date with History: Memoirs of a Canadian Historian, (Toronto: Deneau, 1982).

The CMHQ Reports below have been declassified and are being made available electronically over time. All hard copies are available at the Directorate of History and Heritage (DHH). Historical documents in their own right, these reports are available in English only.


NOTE: When referencing the on-line versions of these texts, use paragraph numbers rather than page indicators, and be sure to indicate that the electronic version was used. These are all preliminary narratives and should not be regarded as authoritative. They have not been checked for accuracy in all aspects, and their interpretations are not necessarily those of the Historical Section as a whole.

The following historical documents are from the period prior to 1969 and/or are presented in their original language only, with permission from Director Official Languages (DOL).

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Trans-Atlantic Voyage. Conditions in London. 31 Dec 1940  1 
Work of the Public Relations Officer, CMHQ. 7 Jan 1941  2 
Further on Public Relations; Interview with Mr. James Spence, etc. 10 Jan 1941  3 
Visit to Borden Camp; Br. Page's reminiscences of Iceland, etc. The War and the English Countryside. 10 Jan 1941  4 
Canadian Military Headquarters, London: Description 17 Jan 1941  5 
The Records Branch, CMHQ. 20 Jan 1941  6 
Visit to Welwyn. Sketch of Canadian Medical Establishments in the U.K. Further on the wartime aspect of the English Countryside. 22 Jan 1941  7 
Conditions in London. 24 Jan 1941  8 
Canadian Auxiliary Services in the United Kingdom. 31 Jan 1941  9 
Visit to Headquarters Canadian Corps; interview with Lieut-Gen McNaughton. Present state of the Corps, and plans for its development. 18 Feb 1941  10 
Canadian Corps Exercise "FOX"; Redhill by-pass. 22 Feb 1941  11 
Visit to 2nd Divisional Signals, Aldershot. 24 Feb 1941  12 
Canadian Corps Exercise "DOG". 8 Mar 1941  13 
Visit to Canadian Junior War Staff Course. 10 Mar 1941  14 
Activities of Canadian Forces in the U.K. 1939-40. 13 Mar 1941  15 
Canadian Section, G.H.Q., 2nd Echelon. 17 Mar 1941  16 
Renewal of Enemy air activity over Britain. The Present Phase of the War. 18 Mar 1941  17 
Visit to Canadian Light Anti-Aircraft Units, Colchester. 22 Mar 1941  18 
Royal Inspection of 2nd Canadian Division, 27 Mar 41. 3 Apr 1941  19 
Cinema Films Taken at Canadian Corps HQ; Newsreel Films of Canadian Activity 4 Apr 1941  20 
Closing Exercises, Second Course, Canadian O.C.T.U.; Training of Junior Officers. 24 Apr 1941  21 
Closing Exercises, Canadian Junior War Staff Course. 24 Apr 1941  22 
Canadian Corps Exercise "HARE". 26 Apr 1941  23 
Recent Enemy Air Raids on London. 30 Apr 1941  24 
Canadian Casualties in Recent London Raids. 5 May 1941  25 
Representation of the War in Art in the UK. 8 May 1941  26 
Present Phase of the War. Recent Enemy Air Raids on Britain. 23 May 1941  27 
The Loss of the S.S. “Nerissa”. 31 May 1941  28 
Visit to Units of the Canadian Forestry Corps, Scotland. Notes on the History and Work of this Corps 31 May 1941  29 
Canadian Tunnelling Detachment at Loch Laggan. 4 Jun 1941  30 
No. 1 Canadian Convalescent Depot, Brixham, Devon 7 Jun 1941  31 
Canadian Base Depot - Activities of Personnel of this Depot During Merseyside Air Raids. 13 Jun 1941  32 
Situation of the Canadian Forces in the United Kingdom, Summer of 1941: I - Position and Role of the Canadian Forces. 23 Jun 1941  33 
South-Eastern Command Exercise "WATERLOO". 21 Jun 1941  34 
Co-operation of Canadian Base Depot with Home Guard Units. 21 Jul 1941  35 
Situation of the Canadian Forces in the United Kingdom, Summer, 1941. Part II: Recent Changes in Commands and Staffs. 7 Jul 1941  36 
Presentation of Colours by HM The King to Carleton and York Regiment and Edmonton Regiment, Dominion Day, 1941. 15 Jul 1941  37 
Situation of the Canadian Forces in the United Kingdom, Summer, 1941. Part III: The Problem of Accommodation. 28 Jul 1941  38 
Mock Attack in City of London, 27 Jul 1941. 30 Jul 1941  39 
55th Division Exercise "ALBERT" (Divisional phase): 31 Jul - 2 Aug 41. 7 Aug 1941  40 
Movement of Second Canadian Division to South Coast. 9 Aug 1941  41 
Visit to Canadian Army Tank Brigade. 13 Aug 1941  42 
Arrival of Main Body of Third Canadian Division in the United Kingdom, Jul 1941. 15 Aug 1941  43 
Demonstration of "Offensive Demolitions" by 5 Corps, 18 Aug 41. 20 Aug 1941  44 
Situation of the Canadian Forces in the United Kingdom, Summer, 1941. Part IV: Growth of Canadian Military Force in the United Kingdom. Progress of Canadian Overseas Army Programme, 1941. Notes on Sea Transport. 2 Sep 1941  45 
Situation of the Canadian Forces in the United Kingdom, Summer, 1941. Part V: The Problem of Equipment. 19 Sep 1941  46 
Visits of Rt. Hon. W.L. Mackenzie King to Canadian Troops in England. 23 Sep 1941  47 
Royal Inspection of Third Canadian Division, 18 Sep 41. 23 Sep 1941  48 
Home Forces Exercise "BUMPER" (Army Manoeuvres), 29 Sep - 3 Oct 41. 27 Oct 1941  49 
Presentation of Colours by Her Majesty The Queen to Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.), 24 Oct 41. 31 Oct 1941  50 
Censorship of Mail, Canadian Army Overseas. Field Censors' Notes as Material for History. 31 Oct 1941  51 
Visit of Minister of National Defence and Chief of the General Staff to the Canadian Army Overseas, Oct 41. 12 Nov 1941  52 
The Educational Programme of the Canadian Army Overseas, 1940-41. 30 Nov 1941  53 
Arrival of Fifth Canadian (Armoured) Division in the United Kingdom, Oct-Nov 41. 30 Nov 1941  54 
Situation of the Canadian Forces in the United Kingdom, Winter, 1941. Part I: Recent Changes in Commands and Staff. 9 Dec 1941  55 
The Spitzbergen OPERATION, August-September 1941 (Special Expedition 111; Exercise "HEATHER"; OPERATION "GAUNTLET"). 20 Dec 1941  56 
Canadian Anti-Aircraft Units Deployed in Air Defence of Great Britain. 30 Dec 1941  57 
Situation of the Canadian Forces in the United Kingdom, Winter, 1941-42. Part II: Position and Role of Canadian Forces. 19 Jan 1942  58 
Situation of the Canadian Forces in the United Kingdom, Winter, 1941-42. Part III: Growth of Canadian Military Force in the United Kingdom, September 1941 - January 1942. 29 Jan 1942  59 
Canadian Corps Study Week, 19-23 Jan 1942. Corps Training Programme, Winter, 1941-42. 29 Jan 1942  60 
Correspondence of General McNaughton with British Officers, etc., 1940-1941. 13 Feb 1942  61 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces in the United Kingdom, Winter, 1941-42. Part IV: Progress in Equipment. 22 Feb 1942  62 
Passing-out ceremony, eighth course, Canadian Officer Cadet Training Unit, 7 Mar 42. Transfer of Canadian O.C.T.U. to Canada. 18 Mar 1942  63 
War Artists Programme, Canadian Army Overseas. 18 Mar 1942  64 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces in the United Kingdom, Spring, 1942. Part I: Recent Changes in Commands and Staffs. 31 Mar 1942  65 
Further Material on Educational Programme of the Canadian Army Overseas. 10 Apr 1942  66 
Plans for British Official Histories of the Present War. 17 Apr 1942  67 
Visit of Their Majesties The King and Queen to Fifth Canadian (Armoured) Division, 24 Apr 42. Progress of Canadian Armoured Formations. 29 Apr 1942  68 
Formation of Headquarters, First Canadian Army (6 Apr 42). 18 May 1942  69 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces in the United Kingdom, Spring, 1942. Part II: Training Programme of 1st Canadian Corps. Exercises "BEAVER III", 22-24 Apr 42, and "BEAVER IV", 10-13 May 42. 18 May 1942  70 
Taking of Conscription Plebiscite for Canadian Forces Overseas 18 May 1942  71 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces in the United Kingdom, Spring, 1942. Part III: Position and Roles of Canadian Forces. 3 Jun 1942  72 
South Eastern Command Exercise "TIGER", 19-30 May 42. 24 Jun 1942  73 
Further material on the Spitzbergen OPERATION Aug-Sep 1941. 24 Jun 1942  74 
Material on General Activities of Canadian Army Overseas, 1941-1942. 30 Jun 1942  75 
Further material on British Plans for Preparation of Official Histories. Present state of Canadian Army Historical Activities Overseas. 2 Jul 1942  76 
Canadian Confederation Anniversary Service, Westminster Abbey, Dominion Day, 1942. 6 Jul 1942  77 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces in the United Kingdom, Summer, 1942. Part I: Recent Changes in Commands and Staffs. 31 Jul 1942  78 
Courses for Canadian Service Personnel at Oxford and London Universities. 12 Aug 1942  79 
Work of Canadian Tunnelling Units at Gibraltar, 1940-1942. 17 Aug 1942  80 
Canadian Participation in OPERATION "ABERCROMBIE", 22 Apr 42. 26 Aug 1942  81 
Further Material on Work of War Artists, Canadian Army Overseas. 19 Sep 1942  82 
Preliminary Report on OPERATION "JUBILEE" (The Raid on Dieppe) 19 Aug 42. 19 Sep 1942  83 
Project for Preliminary Historical Narrative, Canadian Army Overseas, 1939-40. 14 Oct 1942  84 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces in the United Kingdom, Autumn, 1942. Part I: Growth of the Force in the United Kingdom, January-September, 1942. 30 Oct 1942  85 
Further Material Relative to Canadian Participation in OPERATION "ABERCROMBIE" 22 Apr 42, and to Projects for Cross-Channel Raiding by Canadian Troops, Sep 1941 - Apr 1942. 21 Nov 1942  86 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces in the United Kingdom, Autumn, 1942. Part II: Recent Changes in Commands and Staffs. 21 Nov 1942  87 
Third Anniversary of Landing of First Flight of 1st Canadian Division. 28 Dec 1942  88 
The OPERATION at Dieppe, 19 Aug 42: Personal Stories of Participants. 31 Dec 1942  89 
The OPERATION at Dieppe, 19 Aug 42: Further Personal Stories of Participants. 18 Feb 1943  90 
Press Conference Concerning Organization of First Cdn Army and Arrangements for Press Representatives, 25 Feb 43. 16 Mar 1943  91 
General Activities, Canadian Army Overseas, Jun 1942 - Apr 1943. 27 Apr 1943  92 
Combined Operations Training, 1st Canadian Corps. 29 Apr 1943  93 
G.H.Q. Exercise "SPARTAN", March 1943. 12 May 1943  94 
Attachment of Canadian Officers and Soldiers to First British Army in Tunisia, 1942-1943 12 May 1943  95 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces in the United Kingdom, Spring, 1943. Part I: Recent Changes in Commands and Staffs. 20 May 1943  96 
The Canadian Forestry Corps, 1941-1943. 1 Jun 1943  97 
Article Dealing with the OPERATION at Dieppe, 19 Aug 42. 15 Jul 1943  98 
Progress of War Artist Programme, Canadian Army Overseas. 15 Jul 1943  99 
OPERATION "JUBILEE": The Raid on Dieppe, 19 Aug 42. Part I: The Preliminaries of the OPERATION. 16 Jul 1943  100 
OPERATION "JUBILEE": The Raid on Dieppe, 19 Aug 42. Part II: The Execution of the OPERATION. Section 1: General Outline and Flank Attacks. 11 Aug 1943  101 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces Overseas, Summer, 1943. Part I: Recent Changes in Commands and Staffs. 3 Sep 1943  102 
Canadian Operations in Sicily, July-August 1943: Preliminary Report. 8 Oct 1943  103 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces Overseas, Autumn, 1943. Part I: Position and Roles of Canadian Forces in the United Kingdom. 13 Oct 1943  104 
The Work of the Canadian Tunnelling Units at Gibraltar, 1942-43. 26 Oct 1943  105 
Enemy Air Action and the Canadian Army in the United Kingdom, 1939-43. 29 Nov 1943  106 
The OPERATION at DIEPPE, 19 Aug 42: Further Personal Stories of Participants. 29 Nov 1943  107 
OPERATION “JUBILEE”: The Raid on Dieppe, 19 Aug 42. Part II: The Execution of the Operation. Section 2: The Attack on the Main Beaches. 17 Dec 1943  108 
OPERATION “JUBILEE”: The Raid on Dieppe, 19 Aug 42. Part III: Some Special Aspects. 17 Dec 1943  109 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces Overseas, Autumn, 1943. Part II: Growth of the Canadian Army Overseas, October 1942 – October 1943. 20 Dec 1943  110 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces Overseas, Autumn, 1943. Part III: Recent Changes in Commands and Staffs. 31 Dec 1943  111 
Policy with Respect to Honours and Awards, Canadian Army Overseas, 1939-44. 25 Jan 1944  112 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces Overseas, Winter, 1943-4. Part I: Progress in Equipment (Feb 1942 - Dec 1943). 26 Jan 1944  113 
War Artists’ Activities, Mediterranean Area. 6 Mar 1944  114 
Contributions of Canadian Tunneling Companies to the War Effort in the British Isles, 1942-43. 5 May 1944  115 
OPERATION “JUBILEE”: The Raid on Dieppe, 19 Aug 42. Additional Information from German Sources. 10 May 1944  116 
The Canadian Forestry Corps, 1943-1944. 25 May 1944  117 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces Overseas, Spring, 1944. Recent Changes in Commands and Staffs. 13 Jun 1944  118 
Canadian Relations with the People of the United Kingdom, and General Problems of Morale, 1939-44. 30 Jun 1944  119 
The Canadian Women’s Army Corps Overseas. September 1939 – June 1944. 31 Jul 1944  120 
Canadian Operations in the LIRI Valley (Italy), May – June 1944. 8 Aug 1944  121 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces Overseas, Spring, 1944. Growth of the Canadian Army Overseas, October 1943 – May 1944. 29 Aug 1944  122 
Battle Drill Training. 31 Aug 1944  123 
Return and Leave to Canada for Personnel of the Canadian Army Overseas. 12 Oct 1944  124 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces Overseas, Summer, 1944. Recent Changes in Commands and Staffs. 25 Oct 1944  125 
Canadian Operations in Sicily, July – August 1943. Part I: The Preliminaries of OPERATION “HUSKY” (The Assault on Sicily). 16 Nov 1944  126 
Canadian Operations in Sicily, July – August 1943. Part II: The Execution of the Operation by 1 Cdn Inf Div. Section 1: The Assault and Initial Penetration Inland. 16 Nov 1944  127 
The OPERATION at DIEPPE, 19 Aug 42. Some New Information. 20 Nov 1944  128 
Canadian Operations in Italy. September – December 1943: Preliminary Report. 25 Nov 1944  129 
The OPERATION at DIEPPE, 19 Aug 42: Pictorial and Cartographical Material. 27 Nov 1944  130 
OPERATION “OVERLORD” and its Sequel: Canadian Participation in the Operations in North-West Europe, 6 Jun – 31 Jul 44 (Preliminary Report). 12 Feb 1945  131 
Canadian Operations in Sicily, July – August 1943. Part III: The Story of 1 Cdn Army Tk Bde. 27 Feb 1945  132 
Organization of the Canadian Reinforcement Units (United Kingdom): Historical Outline, 1940 - 45. 29 Mar 1945  133 
Historical Sketch, Rates of Wastage of Personnel, Canadian Army Overseas, 1939-45. 5 Apr 1945  134 
Canadian Operations in Sicily, July – August 1943. Part II: The Execution of the Operation by 1 Cdn Inf Div. Section 2: The Pursuit of the Germans from VIZZINI to ADERNO 15 Jul – 6 Aug. 4 May 1945  135 
Canadian Operations in Sicily, July – August 1943. Part II: The Execution of the Operation by 1 Cdn Inf Div. Section 3: Special Aspects of the Sicilian Campaign. 4 May 1945  136 
Enemy Air Attacks and the Canadian Army in the United Kingdom, 1943-45: The V-Weapons. 29 May 1945  137 
The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion; Organization and Training, July 1942-June 1944. 7 Jul 1945  138 
The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion in France (6 June – 6 September 1944) 7 Jul 1945  139 
Canadian Participation in Civil Affairs - Military Government. Part I: Background and Beginnings. 10 Jul 1945  140 
Situation of the Canadian Military Forces Overseas. Progress in Equipment (January – December 1944). 18 Jul 1945  141 
OPERATION “JUBILEE”: The Raid on Dieppe, 19 Aug 42. Further New Information. 18 Jul 1945  142 
Canadian Operations in Italy. 4 Jun 44 – 23 Feb 45. 4 Aug 1945  143 
Canadian Operations in Italy. September 1943. 8 Sep 1945  144 
The “CANLOAN” Scheme, 1943 to July 1945 27 Sep 1945  145 
Operations of First Canadian Army in North-West Europe, 31 Jul – 1 Oct 44 (Preliminary Report). 10 Oct 1945  146 
Canadian Participation in the Operations in North-West Europe, 1944. Part I: The Assault and Subsequent Operations of 3 Cdn Inf Div and 2 Cdn Armd Bde, 6-30 Jun 44. 3 Dec 1945  147 
Canadian Participation in Civil Affairs - Military Government. Part II: Planning and Training, 31 Jan 44 – 30 Jul 44. 11 Jan 1946  148 
Canadian Participation in Civil Affairs - Military Government. Part III: France, General Historical Survey, July-October 1944. 18 Jan 1946  149 
The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada in OPERATION "SPRING", 25 Jul 44. 12 Feb 1946  150 
The Canadian Forestry Corps 1944-45. 18 Mar 1946  151 
The Concluding Phase: The Advance into North-West Germany and the Final Liberation of the Netherlands 23 Mar - 5 May 45. 21 Mar 1946  152 
Operation "JUBILEE": The Raid on Dieppe , 19 Aug 42. New Light on Early Planning 22 Mar 1946  153 
Clearing the Scheldt Estuary and Opening the Port of Antwerp: Operations of 1st Canadian Army in North-West Europe, 1 Oct - 8 Nov 44 (Preliminary Report). 5 May 1946  154 
OPERATION "VERITABLE": The Winter Offensive Between the Maas and the Rhine, 8-25 Feb 45 (Preliminary Report). 16 May 1946  155 
Selection and Training of Officers for the Canadian Army Overseas - 1940-1945. 31 Jul 1946  156 
Visit of the Prime Minister of Canada to Battlefields in France, August 1946. Notes on topography, etc. 29 Aug 1946  157 
Operations of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade in Italy, May 1944 to February 1945. Part I: The Gustav and Hitler Lines. 27 Sep 1946  158 
OPERATION "JUBILEE": The Raid on Dieppe 19 Aug 42. Additional Information on Planning. 5 Oct 1946  159 
Operations of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade in Italy, May 1944 to February 1945. Part II: The Advance to Florence, 3 Jun - 1 Sep 44. 9 Oct 1946  160 
Canadian Operations in Italy, October - November, 1943. 16 Oct 1946  161 
Canadian Participation in the Operations in North-West Europe, 1944. Part II: Canadian Operations in July. 8 Nov 1946  162 
Canadian Participation in the Defence of Hong Kong, Dec 1941. 14 Nov 1946  163 
The Problem of Selection and Reallocation of Personnel in the Canadian Army Overseas, 1939-1946. 19 Nov 1946  164 
Operations of 1 Cdn Inf Div and 1 Cdn Armd Bde in Italy, 25 Nov 43 - 4 Jan 44. 27 Nov 1946  165 
Administrative Aspects of the Operations of 1 Cdn Inf Div in Italy, Dec 1943. 29 Nov 1946  166 
The Participation of First Cdn Army in Strategical Planning in 1942. 3 Dec 1946  167 
The Organization of First Canadian Army. 12 Dec 1946  168 
Canadian Participation in the Operations in North-West Europe, 1944. Part III: Canadian Operations, 1-23 August. 14 Jan 1947  169 
OPERATION "TIMBERWOLF": The Movement of 1 Cdn Corps to the Mediterranean, 1943. 10 Feb 1947  170 
OPERATION "BLOCKBUSTER": The Canadian Offensive West of the Rhine, 26 Feb - 23 Mar 1945 (Preliminary Report). 5 Mar 1947  171 
Canadian Participation in Civil Affairs - Military Government. Part IV: Belgium and the Netherlands, General History Survey. 11 Mar 1947  172 
The Watch on the Maas 9 Nov 44 - 8 Feb 45. 25 Mar 1947  173 
The Canadian Army Occupation Force in Germany, May 1945 to June 1946. 25 Mar 1947  174 
Operations of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade in Italy, May 1944 to Feb 1945. Part III: The Gothic Line. 26 Mar 1947  175 
Canadian Participation in Civil Affairs - Military Government. Part V: Germany, General Historical Survey. 19 Jun 1947  176 
The Repatriation of the Canadian Military Forces Overseas, 1945-1947. 4 Jul 1947  177 
Canadian Operations in Italy, 5 Jan - 21 Apr 44. 22 Jul 1947  178 
Canadian Operations in the Liri Valley, May-Jun 44. 25 Jul 1947  179 
The Visiting Forces Act 1941-44. 29 Jul 1947  180 
OPERATION "GOLDFLAKE", the Move of 1 Cdn Corps from Italy to North-West Europe, Feb-Mar 1945. 7 Aug 1947  181 
The Strategical Role of First Canadian Army, 1942-1944. 22 Aug 1947  182 
Canadian Participation in the Operations in North-West Europe, 1944. Part IV: First Canadian Army in the Pursuit 23 Aug - 30 Sep. 22 Sep 1947  183 
Canadian Participation in the Operations in North-West Europe, 1944. Part V: Clearing the Channel Ports, 3 Sep 44 - 6 Feb 45. 24 Sep 1947  184 
OPERATION "VERITABLE": The Winter Offensive between the Maas and the Rhine, 8-25 Feb 45. 24 Sep 1947  185 
OPERATION "BLOCKBUSTER": the Canadian Offensive West of the Rhine 26 Feb - 23 Mar 45. 25 Sep 1947  186 
Operations of 1 Cdn Corps, 4 Jun 44 to 24 Sep 44: the Breaking of the Gothic Line and the Capture of Rimini. 26 Sep 1947  187 
Canadian Participation in the Operations in North-West Europe, 1944. Part VI: Canadian Operation, 1 Oct - 8 Nov. The Clearing of the Scheldt Estuary. 7 Apr 1948  188