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The New Brunswick Rangers in the Second World War

The New Brunswick Rangers in the Second World War

In 1943, the New Brunswick Rangers were sent to Britain, converted into a heavy weapons support unit, and shipped off to Normandy.

Originating as a 19th century militia, the New Brunswick Rangers were placed on active service for the first time during the Second World War, serving first in the Maritimes and Newfoundland. In 1943, the Rangers were sent to Britain, where they were converted to a heavy weapons support unit, armed with machine guns and mortars in preparation for the invasion of Normandy.

In this illuminating account, Matthew Douglass uncovers their participation in the war: their arrival in Normandy and their contributions to the battles in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. Present at many of the critical moments of the campaign, the Rangers participated in the Battle of the Falaise Gap, which cleared the way for the advance on Paris and the German border; the Battle of the Scheldt, which secured the vital supply lines of the port of Antwerp; and the Battle of the Reichswald, when German resistance on the west bank of the Rhine was finally broken. Drawing on archival photographs and original source documents, Douglass's account of the Rangers' wartime experiences is a crucial piece in understanding the role of heavy weapons support units on the Western Front.

The New Brunswick Rangers in the Second World War is volume 27 of the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.


Matthew Douglass holds degrees in history from the University of New Brunswick where he carried out fieldwork in France and Belgium. His publications, including articles in Canadian Military History, feature studies of the Royal Canadian Regiment's role in garrisoning Bermuda in the First World War and the Canadian campaigns in Sicily and the Netherlands in the Second World War.



180 pages
Pub date: March 31, 2020