The Canadian Forces mobilized as soon as the first nukes hit. Reserve units (the Militia) went to their designated rendezvous points ready to provide aid-to-civil-power as was the plan for nuclear strikes. When it became apparent none were on the way, they began organizing into battle-groups mostly based on their Militia District Headquarters. These provisional brigades, some of only one battle-group, some of two to three, were designated from 31 to 41 with 40 omitted. The provisional battle-groups, which eventually became full battalion sized units, were numbered in a series that began with the brigade number i.e. London Militia District became 311 and Windsor became 312. Eventually, there were ten full brigade groups organized from the Militia to go with the three Regular Force Brigade Groups*. They were organized identically, though with some variation in equipment. As kit came off British and American assembly lines we were able to replace Cougar squadrons and 105 mm batteries with M1A1 and M109A2 regiments. Except for some pre-war regular units, most APC's and support vehicles were GM Canada-made LAV's.
A typical formation was 32 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group formed from TMD (the Toronto Militia District}:
32 CMBG HQ & SIG SQN (TMD HQ, 709 COMM REGT)
32 ARMD REGT (GGHG, ONT R)
32 RECCE SQN (QY RANG)
32 TORONTO REGT, RCA (7 TOR RCA)
32 FD ENGR REGT (2 FER)
321 INF BN "3rd Toronto Battalion CEF" (QOR OF C, R REGT C)
322 INF BN "Toronto Highlanders" (48TH HIGHRS, LORNE SCOTS, TOR SCOT R)
32 SVC BN (25 SVC BN, CFB TORONTO)
32 TAC HEL SQN (400, 411 AIR RES SQN)
32 FD AMB (25 MED COY, CFB TORONTO)
32 MP PL (25 MP PL, CFB TORONTO)
* The three regular formations were:
1 CMBG - EDMONTON, CALGARY, WINNIPEG, SHILO, CHILLIWACK, ESQUIMAULT
- 3 Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
- Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)
- 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
- 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
The West Germans in Shilo provided a squadron of Leopard 2 and some Marders. The German personnel were forbidden to join in at this time and their government protested the CF's confiscation of their kit. The Strathcona's, though, were somehow able to raise a C squadron to man those vehicles almost immediately and for some reason, no one in 1 CMBG thought it odd that Charlie Schwadron's internal radio chatter was not in one of Canada's official languages.
SSF (the Special Service Force) - PETAWAWA, LONDON (when the Canadian Airborne Regiment battle-goup joined the British Airborne formation, it reverted to it's old name, 2 CMBG)
- 2 RCHA
- 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's)
- 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment
- Canadian Airborne Regiment
5 CMBG - VALCARTIER, QUEBEC CITY, GAGETOWN.
- 5e Régiment d'artillerie légère du Canada
- C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons
- 12e Régiment blindé du Canada
2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (later attached to 2 CMBG to replace the CAR)
1e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
3e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
5 CMBG Had the only Canadian tank squadron, C Sqn RCD.
4 CMBG started the war in Germany and joined the party when US and British formations came over.