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Weapons & Arms
Canadian Weapons & Arms of the Second World War. This page is currently under construction.
Infantry Weapons

Pte. C.R. Rizzo, Highlanders Light Infantry, cleaning rifle while seated on tank trap during visit of landing beaches, Normandy Beachhead. 7-8 July 1944.
Canadain Rifleman in Ortona, Italy, December 1943
Lee-Enfield SMLE No.4 Mk.1
The Lee-Enfield No.4 Mk. 1 was the standard rifle of the Canadian Army in the Second World War. The No. 4 rifle is a development of the No. 1 rifle,  redesigned for mass production. Production of the No. 4 Mk. 1 in Canada started in 1941.
  • Caliber: .303
  • Action: Manually operated, rotating bolt
  • Overall length: 1129 mm
  • Barrel length: 640 mm
  • Weight: 4.11 kg
  • Magazine: 10 rounds in detachable box magazine

Infantry men with a Bren gun looking out for snipers on a street corner, Caen. 10 July 1944 / Caen, France.
Private H. E. Goddard, of the Perth Regiment, carrying a Bren gun as he advances through a forest north of Arnhem with the 5th Canadian Armored Division.
Bren Light Machine Gun
The Bren Light Machine Gun was the main Machine Gun used by the Canadian Army in the Second World War. While it did not have the rate of fire comparable to the German MG34 and MG42, it was lighter, smaller, very accurate, reliable and hard hitting.
  • Caliber: .303
  • Action: Gas-operated, tipping bolt
  • Weight: 10.35 kg
  • Rate of Fire: 500–520 round/min
  • Effective Range: 600 yd (550 m)
  • Magazine: 30 round detachable box magazine, 100 round detachable pan magazine


Platoon Commander Lieutenant I. Macdonald (with binoculars and Thomspon SMG) ready to give order to attack at S. Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, 10 December 1943.
Corporal E.H. Pruner of The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, who carries both a PIAT anti-tank weapon and a Thompson sub-machine gun, Motta, Italy, 2 October 1943.
Thompson Submachine Gun

Adoped by the Canadian Army after the fall of France in 1940, the Thompson SMG was distributed to section commanders of infantry platoons. The first use of the weapon in combat by the Canadian Army was in 1941at Hong Kong. Due to it's cheaper cost to manufacture, the Sten Gun gradually replaced the Thompson in 1942 - however the Thompson was used throughout the Italian campaign where the Sten was not used at all due to logistical problems. The Thompson was the main SMG used by Canadians in the FSSF.

  • Cartridge: .45 ACP
  • Action: Blowback-operated
  • Weight: 4.9 kg
  • Rate of Fire: 600-800 rpm
  • Effective Range: 600 yd (550 m)
  • Magazine: 20 or 30-round detachable box magazine or 50- or 100-round drum magazine


Unidentified soldier, possibly of Les Fusiliers Mont Royal, on patrol. August 9, 1944, May-sur-Orne, France.
Signalman A. McNeil entering Caen in a captured German half-track. 10 July 1944, Caen, France.
Sten Mk.2 (Canadian) Submachine Gun
The Canadian version of the Sten SMG Mk. II was manufactured in Long Branch (Toronto), Ontario. It was very similar to the regular Mk. II, but it was of better quality and had a different stock. The Sten Gun was not used in the Italian Campaign due to logistical reasons - it saw action in the North West European theatre of operations.
  • Calibre: 9mm
  • Length: 76.2 cm
  • Weight: 3 kg
  • Feed System: 32-round magazine
  • Rate of Fire: 550 rounds per minute

An unidentified member of the West Nova Scotia Regiment firing a PIAT anti-tank weapon.
Private Edmund Arsenault of The West Nova Scotia Regiment aiming a PIAT anti-tank weapon from a slit trench near Ortona, Italy, 10 January 1944.
PIAT (Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank)

The PIAT was a short-range infantry anti-tank weapon used by the Canadian Army in the Second World War. The PIAT round was propelled by a huge spring and spigot which ignited a cartridge within the tail of the projectile. It was heavy and difficult to handle, but in the right circumstances it was very effective. Private Ernest Alvia "Smokey" Smith of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada earned the Victoria Cross after crawling to within thirty metres of a Panther to destroy it with a PIAT.

  • Weight: 14.4 kg
  • Projectile weight: 1.35 kg
  • Muzzle velocity: 450 ft/s
  • Effective range: 110 yd armour, 350 yd "house-breaking"
  • Penetration: 4 in armour at 115 yd

Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa machine gunners firing through a hedge during the attack on Carpiquet, July 4th, 1944.
An unidentified gunner of the Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.) laying down harrassing fire with a Vickers machine gun. January 7, 1944. Ortona, Italy (vicinity).
Vickers Machine Gun
The Vickers .303 maching gun was the same used in the First World War, but had a dial site to increase it's accuracy. The Vickers was the main heavy machine gun of the Canadian army in the Second World War. It was hard hitting and reliable. In an attack it was difficult to transport so it was better suited for defense purposes. One machine gun battalion was assigned per division. A machine gun battalion consisted of 3 companies, with 3 platoons and a heavy mortar company.
  • Weight: 33-50 kg
  • Calibre: .303
  • Muzzle velocity: 450 ft/s
  • Effective range: 740 m, 2,440 ft
  • Action: recoil with gas boost
  • Feed: 250 round canvas belt
  • Rate of Fire: 450 rounds per minute

Canadian Built Tanks, Sherman Tank, Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Under Construction

Artillery, Mortars
Under Construction

Last updated on Feb 1, 2007 22:00. Page viewed 46270 times.