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Author Topic: Insignia
Russ Benneweis
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posted 22 June 2021 14:58      Profile for Russ Benneweis   Email Russ Benneweis   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What outfit would have worn a yellow crescent shaped badge with Royal Canadian Armoured Corps in red writing?
When did troops wear a diamond shaped divisional badge? Most pictures and descriptions show rectangular shapes.
What sort of badge would the 1st and 2nd Armoured Brigades have worn?

Posts: 1 | From: Weyburn, SK, CANADA | Registered: Jun 2000
pronto
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posted 22 June 2021 23:13      Profile for pronto   Email pronto   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Assuming that you're asking about WW11 formation insignia, here's some info for you:

No idea about your first query; more specifics?

1st and 2nd Armoured Brigade badges were triangular as follows:

1 Bde- green backing, red centre, yellow lettering except for RCCS which were white,

2 Bde-green backing,blue centre, yellow lettering except RCCS which were white.

Other triangular badges (Cdn Army) were: 1,2,3,Tank Brigades, 1st Cdn Army, 1st Cdn Corps, 2nd Cdn Corps. Atlantic Command, Pacific Command and 31 Recce Regt.

As far as my research allows me, I can find no examples of triangular Div patches.

Check out Clive M. Law's pub DISTINGUISHING PATCHES Formation Patches of the Canadian Army. I don't have his e-mail address at hand but punch up "service publications" on a search engine and I'm sure you'll find it.

Hope this helps.


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madorosh
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posted 22 June 2021 23:27      Profile for madorosh   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Clive, if you're lurking out there, I see you've got ALL KINDS of people in "hard sell" mode for you! LOL!

Thanks, pronto - good answers. The first badge he was talking about was discussed on another messageboard and we've determined it was a postwar badge. Actually, Russ, the Canadian Armoured Corps didn't get the "Royal" designation until - - anyone know the specific date? I think it might have been after the war, actually. As an aside, the Canadian Infantry Corps wasn't even created until halfway through the Second World War.

In all seriousness, Clive's books are highly recommended to anyone interested in uniforms. Khaki is a look at World War One uniforms, Distinguishing Patches is what pronto says, and Clive will be publishing a book on World War Two Canadian Army uniforms (authored by myself) hopefully later this year.


Posts: 43 | From: Calgary, AB | Registered: Jun 2000
Michael OLeary
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posted 23 June 2021 13:10      Profile for Michael OLeary   Author's Homepage   Email Michael OLeary   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
2 August 2021 - The prefix "Royal" is granted for the Canadian Armoured Corps by the King.
Posts: 30 | From: Halifax | Registered: Jun 2000
Michael OLeary
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posted 23 June 2021 13:14      Profile for Michael OLeary   Author's Homepage   Email Michael OLeary   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Incidentally, the Canadian Infantry Corps was authorized 2 September, 1942. It was authorized by Royal Assent to adopt the title "Royal Canadian Infantry Corps" effective 30 April, 1947.
Posts: 30 | From: Halifax | Registered: Jun 2000
Bill Alexander
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posted 01 July 2021 16:13      Profile for Bill Alexander   Email Bill Alexander   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
RE formation patches. A couple of points need to be made. The brigade, corps, and army patches are a diamond shape. The patches were made in a particular geometric shape to be easily identifable in the field. (eg a rectangular patch is easy to distinguish from a diamond in the field, at a glance.) Why the army and corps patches were the same geometric has escaped my research so far.
The colour of the armoured brigades / army tank brigades were a red (1st), blue (2nd), and gray (3rd) bar,on a black,(not green)diamond. The designation of army tank brigade changed in late 43 as Clive Law's patch book indicates. Interestingly enough, there are 11 RCAR and 14 RCAR, (supposedly Royal Canadian Armoured Regiment) brigade patches floating around. These raise some questions, if anyone can shed some light. (The war was over and some of these units were repatriating when the Royal designation was granted.)
The Royal Canadian / Armoured Corps flash was worn by personnel of the corps after its creation. (eg not by armoured regiments, as had been the practice with the Canadian /Armoured Corps flash and formation patch in WWII.) These personnel were not a regiment per se, but assigned to training and support type roles.

Posts: 26 | From: North Bay Ont. | Registered: Jul 2000
madorosh
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posted 01 July 2021 21:40      Profile for madorosh   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bill;

I know the original intent of battle patches was to provide instant recognition in the field - mostly for infantrymen in World War One - which is why the patches were originally intended to be sewn on the back of tunic collars. I believe some British units did in fact adopt that practice. Canadian units wore large geometric shapes on both arms, as well as on steel helmets, so that when advancing over featureless terrain, one could tell what battalion a man was from.

During the Second World War, I would submit that the need for Corps Troops to be distinguished from Army troops "at a glance" simply did not exist. Hence the similiraties between corps and div patches. Further, I don't see that formation patches of any kind were a necessity in the field, even by infantrymen, by 1939. Strome Galloway recounted that one of his troops remarked in Sicily that they looked like a field of poppies on the move, with their Old Red Patches proudly sewn on their sleeves.

In reality, though, the closer you got to the front line, the more often you saw all badges removed - especially badges of rank, but also the brightly coloured regimental and divisional patches. Fear of death by sniper fire outweighed any pride the troops may have had in a couple of pips on their shoulder, or a battle patch on their sleeve. It was universal; even German Army officers took steps to look more like enlisted men, covering their shoulder straps, wearing enlisted men's uniforms, and colouring their brown leather gear (before the war a symbol of authority) black.

Clothing wore out and was replaced with new clothing (sans badges), and many soldiers were ordered to take down their badges (ie when the Canadians in Italy were moved to the coast for Goldflake, the repatriation to First Canadian Army, they removed all formation and unit insignia for security reasons).

That was probably a consideration when designed the army patch - there was no need to have a hexagon or octagon or something equally dissimilar to a rectangle or a diamond. Army troops would not be likely to be in the front line, and even if they were, no one would be relying on the patches on their sleeves to provide them necessary information (excepting perhaps German snipers (if they were alive) or German intelligence officers (if they got killed or captured))

If you look at the div patches for 6, 7 and 8 divisions, you can see they used a similar shape to the other divs, but combined the colours. The Canadian Army Pacific Force patch also combined the colours of all the div patches of the 5 overseas divs (and added black - the original colour of the 3rd Div patch in World War One). Not entirely imaginative. Perhaps you can say that the First Canadian Army patch, and its designer, was part of that same trend of unimaginativeness. Also called, in the Army, "uniformity."

Just my random thoughts, anyway.


Posts: 43 | From: Calgary, AB | Registered: Jun 2000
Bill Alexander
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posted 02 July 2021 08:43      Profile for Bill Alexander   Email Bill Alexander   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Flashing Around. Mike, your comments are valid. Many regimental histories and personal recollections relate the tedious requirement to put up (sew on) and pull down flashes and patches. Whichever theatre, this task appears to have been the bane of the private, who spent endless hours with his housewife and needles on his lap making sure the flash was "right up on the seam". (Of course the seam moved all over the arm depending on the scrutinity of the senior nco's.)

It is agreed that the value of the formation patch shape is a big question. As you indicate there was not the same need for quick identification in WWII as WWI. Even Canadian formations varied from the geometric pattern. For a short period of time the 1st and 2nd Army Tank Brigades had a "ram" goat and the French cross (cross fitchy)respectively, but were then changed to the diamond pattern. British patches were all kinds of shapes and styles, more to create unit pride and identity than for battlefield identification. However, they did have a arm of service strip and formation patch combination for identification.

As to the practice of wearing formation patches and flashes in action, the record is all over the place. Photographic evidence suggests that the individuals in the same unit would have a full shoulder of colour, while the next soldier to him had nothing "up" at all. Even when sewn on they got dirty or ripped off. A captain of the Algonquin Regiment related to me that they had a problem keeping supplies of flashes on hand, and that they ran out in Holland. For a time no Algonquin had flashes to wear, regardless of the RO's. I have also read of complaints about the canvas patches, where they faded to the point of being useless after one or two washes. (This bringss to mind the Bing cartoon of the "new" fellow from Canada with an arm load of insignia and the derision it drew from Herbie.)

The Canadian divisions (6,7,8)repeated the sequence of colours assigned to the overseas formations. (Both the divisions and armoured brigades followed the same sequence of colours.) As you indicate the colours were diagonally split on each patch. 6th = red over blue, 7th = french gray over green, but, then the 8th = green over maroon. (Appears they ran out of colours and invented a new sequence.)

Regarding the Pacific volunteers patch, it was my understanding that the colours of the patch were to represent the army overseas, the five divisions, red, blue, gray, green, maroon, and black to represent the independent armoured brigades. This patch supposedly exists in "left" and "right", with the colour sequence reversed.

This is one area of military history which denies generalizations. The moment that I think I have the answers something turns up to contradict it.


Posts: 26 | From: North Bay Ont. | Registered: Jul 2000
madorosh
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posted 02 July 2021 11:15      Profile for madorosh   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
First off, thanks for correcting me the CAPF patch and the meaning of the black colour.

You make good points - and your last one is especially apt; just when you think you've got something down to a science, something else turns up to make you wonder if it is an exception to the rules you've already figured out - or if it is an example of a new rule you never even heard of before!


Posts: 43 | From: Calgary, AB | Registered: Jun 2000
Dwayne
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posted 08 July 2021 11:20      Profile for Dwayne   Email Dwayne   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have been collecting Canadian insignia for some time and I have never heard nor seen an example of a left and right CAPF patch. It has been my understanding that only one type was made (although it is available in 2 sizes).General Order 5833 (GO 5833)doesn't make any mention of left and right variants. Anyone out there with more info would be appreciated.
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Bill Alexander
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posted 08 July 2021 15:38      Profile for Bill Alexander   Email Bill Alexander   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Re CAPF patches. In years of collecting I have been assured by various collectors and dealers that the opposite patch exists. I have never seen physical evidence of it. Can someone shed light on this?
Posts: 26 | From: North Bay Ont. | Registered: Jul 2000
Dwayne
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posted 08 July 2021 19:41      Profile for Dwayne   Email Dwayne   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I went through the examples in my collection on the CAPF patch. I have an orginal RCEME 2nd corps BD with the CAPF patches. I also have a set of 5th div patches with the CAPF on them. Since they are sets, it should follow that a left and right exist. They are ALL the same. I also have another 3-4 that all match the above.
I live in Ottawa and go to the archives regularly where I have been through the original documents concerning cloth insignia. There was nothing to suggest a left and a right. The patches were to be sewn with the division between the black and red colours being at 12 O'clock. The colours follow in sequence in the same order as the divisions, Red for first , Blue for second, etc. The last is black which represents the independant armour brigades.

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Servicepub
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posted 24 July 2021 23:41      Profile for Servicepub   Author's Homepage   Email Servicepub   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I only just got directed to this forum today (thanks Mike) so have missed out on some of the posts.
The poster which I researched, designed and had printed has a couple of glaring errors*, one of which is repeated in an early post. The Armoured Brigade patches have a coloured bar on a BLACK diamond-shaped background. When proofing the poster I didn't notice the green background which is WRONG!!
The CAPF was NOT available in Left and Right versions Period!!! Any thing else is a fabrication and should be avoided.
As to Armoured Corps patches with the letters RCAC. These do NOT appear on the poster because I found NO evidence that these were ever official issue in WW2. As the Royal designation only came abouit in August 1945, there would not have been any support to produce these.
The short-lived patches worn by the Canadian-based 6th, 7th and 8th Divisions DID have Left and Right side versions.
A great deal of original research went into the book "Distinguishing Patches" and the poster which was supplied with it. Many new CEF patches, especially the specifics for the 5th Div and the 5th Div Officers patch, were uncovered as was the early WWII 2nd Cdn Tk Bgde patch. Hardly anyone knew the MuskOx or Eskimo patches and the Reinforcement units were a complete mystery to all collectors.
It disturbs me greatly that new books and web pages have come out and have re-drawn the patches to avoid copyright infringement and don't give appropriate credit. I have always permitted use of my images at no cost but would appreciate getting my ego stroked in return. 'Nuff said.

* An errata slip was included with every book and will be forwarded by e-mail or snail mail upon request.


Posts: 7 | From: Ottawa, ON Canada | Registered: Jul 2000

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