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The Canadian "Emma Gees"
A History of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps
by
Lt.-Col. C.S. Grafton

Transcribed by Dwight G. Mercer

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Infantry Commanders, whatever their rank, should be impressed with the necessity of initiating and maintaining liaison with the machine guns in such circumstances.

"It is the duty of the Commander of the Infantry force to arrange, automatically, for the protection, particularly of the flanks, of any Machine Gun Units which are co-operating with him and, in consultation with the Machine Gun Commander, to make definite arrangements for any advance, counter-attack or other tactical rnaneuver."

Thus it will be seen that the Machine Gun Service had not only grown in stature but as well in status effecting its tactical independence and in the initiative and latitude defined in the employment of the weapon.

Training continued throughout June.

A spearhead was being polished day by day. The Canadian Corps was now almost as numerically strong as an army. Day by day it purred with more power. Two British Divisions, just back from Palestine, were sent to train with the Canadians.

On July 1st came a memorable break, when Dominion Day was celebrated far behind the lines. It was a typical "back home" program, lacrosse furnishing the purely national touch among the sports. Two squadrons of Canadian pilots droned overhead to prevent any curious German planes from disturbing the day. Thirty-five thousand men, including elements of Scottish Divisions training with them, enjoyed a wonderful program, and among the notables there were the Duke of Connaught and Marshal Petain.

Two weeks later the "rest," which was to be looked back upon as something that must have been a dream, an elysium of the imagination in contrast to days which brought no respite, came to an end.

On July 15th the Canadians went back in the line, relieving the Imperial 17th Corps.

The Germans, fearful of an impending attack they deduced from the Canadians' presence and sure knowledge of the open warfare training the Canadians had been undergoing, gave them a warm welcome back to the Vimy front. The Canadians returned it and more.

War was back for Currie's men.

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Transcript Copyright © 2003 Dwight G. Mercer - Badge Images Copyright © 2003 Ray Adams
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