In Canada there are currently two schools of thought on Arm of Service markings on Canadian armour in the post 1943 period of World War II. Barry Beldam, a respected Canadian armour authority in his own right, maintains that the coloured square was green over blue with white numbers for armoured regiments of armoured divisions, mirroring that used by armoured reconnaissance regiments. Another group of enthusiasts maintain that Canadian units followed the British pattern and used red squares with white numbers.
Mr. Beldam has based his position on photo interpretation he has done over the years in addition to interviews with some thirty veterans of these units who have unanimously stated that the markings were green over blue. Those who disagree with him base their beliefs on archive documents, assuming that what was used in the field would reflect administrative orders of the period.
Where do I stand in all of this? To be frank; I really don't know for sure. Mr. Beldam and those who disagree with him are far more accomplished in this field than I. I take no side in this debate, preferring to await definative proof to put this issue 'to bed' once and for all. I have shown the squares as red in colour simply to reflect the 'administrative orders' of the period. No more and no less.
I welcome any information, specifically photographs, that will settle this debate once and for all.
1st Canadian Infantry Division
2nd Canadian Infantry Division
3rd Canadian Infantry Division
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© Chris Johnson, 1997