Raymond Brutinel

Brigadier-General Raymond Brutinel, CB, CMG, DSO, geologist, journalist, soldier and entrepreneur, a pioneer in the field of mechanized warfare (b at Alet, Aude, France 6 Mar 1872; d at Couloume-Mondebat, Gares, France 21 Sept 1964).

Brutinel, Brig-Gen Raymond

Brigadier-General Raymond Brutinel, CB, CMG, DSO, geologist, journalist, soldier and entrepreneur, a pioneer in the field of mechanized warfare (b at Alet, Aude, France 6 Mar 1872; d at Couloume-Mondebat, Gares, France 21 Sept 1964). He immigrated to western Canada 1904, surveyed the route for the GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY and edited Le Courrier de l'Ouest (Edmonton), the first French-language newspaper west of Winnipeg.

In 1914 he raised a motorized automobile machine-gun unit for service on the Western Front which, by 1918, had grown into a Motor Machine-Gun Brigade that played a significant part in halting the great German offensive of March 1918. From October 1916 until March 1918, Brutinel was Corps MG Officer of the Canadian Corps and, in addition to his decorations, he was 7 times mentioned in despatches. He pioneered the virtues of mobility and concentration of firepower and developed the concept of indirect machine-gun fire.

In 1920 he returned to Europe, where he was a Creusot sales representative in the Balkans, but he retained many Canadian ties. Major-General Georges VANIER, Canadian ambassador to France, recorded the "considerable help" Brutinel provided in evacuating embassy staff from Paris, June 1940. In 1961 he became a member of the Canadian Institute of Mines and Metallurgy Fifty-Year Club.