August – Canada

The Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade, was the first fully mechanized unit of the Canadian Army. It was established on August 24, 1914 in Ottawa, Canada, as Automobile Machine Gun Brigade No. 1 by Canadian Brigadier-General Raymond Brutinel, who initiated the program and was the unit’s first commander. The unit played a significant part in halting the major German offensive of March 1918.

Colt M1914
Colt M1914

The Brigade was originally equipped with 8 Armoured Autocars mounting 2 Colt Model 1914 machine guns (later replaced with the standard British Vickers MG) manufactured by Autocar in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Autocar also supplied 6 unarmoured support vehicles, 4 “roadsters” for the Brigade’s officers, and an ambulance.

Vickers MG
Vickers MG

In 1918 Brutinel’s force consisted of 1st and 2nd Canadian Motor MG Brigades (each of 5×8 gun batteries), Canadian Cyclist battalion, one section of medium trench-mortars mounted on lorries (plus an assumed wireless and medical support), this totalled 80 machine guns and about 300 cyclist infantry.

An example of a 'roadster' from the period
An example of a ‘roadster’ from the period