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The 14th Army Tank Regiment (The Calgary Regiment (Tank))

The 14th Army Tank Regiment (The Calgary Regiment (Tank)) was mobilized on 11 February 1941. Within only a couple of weeks, 400 members from the Reserve unit, along with more than 100 men from the Seaforth Highlanders and the Edmonton Regiment were formed into one complete unit under the command of Lt.-Col. G.R. Bradbook. These men were then sent to the Mewata Armouries in Calgary to begin their training. Only a short time passed before they were sent, on 7 March 1941, to Camp Borden in Ontario, where they immediately started training with tanks and gunnery.

On 20 June 1941, the unit, known as the junior tank battalion of the 1st Army Tank Regiment, left Canada and embarked on a ship bound for the United Kingdom.

Over the next few months, the Regiment moved to various locations overseas and trained intensely. More than one year passed, however, before the Regiment actually saw a battle with the enemy. On 19 August 1942, the Calgary Tanks, as the Regiment became known, found themselves committed to Operation Jubilee, the Dieppe Raid.

Though the Regiment was supposed to be timed to follow an air and naval bombardment, the soldiers were put to shore 10 minutes too late, leaving the infantry without support during the first and most critical minutes of the battle. As the tanks came to shore on the beach at Dieppe, they were not only brought to a halt by German fire, but found themselves immobilized due to the rough condition of the shingle banks and sea-wall. Despite this fact, the immobilized Calgary Tanks continued to support the infantry and managed to withdraw many soldiers from the battle. In the end, however, most of the tank crews were either captured as prisoners of war or died in action. The raid at Dieppe proved fatal for some 13 soldiers of the Calgary Regiment, two of which were officers. Thirty-three others were wounded, and 138 taken prisoner.

After the raid on Dieppe, The 14th Army Tank Regiment (The Calgary Regiment (Tank)) went into history as the first tank regiment of the Canadian Army to go into battle with the enemy as well as the first engaged in amphibious assault during the Second World War.

As the next few years passed, the Regiment received necessary reinforcement, reorganization, and training while supporting other regiments in battle. Finally, in 1945, after various administrative moves, the Calgary Regiment returned home to Canada where they were disbanded on 15 December 1945, and made the transition back to reserve status.

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