The Régiment de Maisonneuve provided one of the 36 infantry battalions which served in the Canadian army during the campaign in Northwest Europe. It was one of four French-Canadian battalions raised in the province of Quebec during the first months of the war. Originally the Department of National Defence had intended to create a French-Canadian brigade but when it was decided that the Royal 22eme Régiment had to be included in 1st Division the plan for a French language brigade was abandoned. The Maisonneuves were ultimately linked with the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), an English-speaking Montreal battalion, and the Calgary Highlanders. Together these oddly matched units constituted the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade.

The Maisonneuves arrived in England in December 1940 and went into action on 19 July 1944 at the height of the battle of Normandy. On their first day of operations they had 17 fatal casualties. By the end of the war, 197 Maisonneuve other ranks had died in combat in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.