The following passage is from The Canadian Army 1939-1945:
On 8 November 1942 came the Allied landings in French North Africa. No Canadian units as such took part in this great operation; the British troops sent from the United Kingdom were the First Army, commanded by Lieutenant-General K. A. N. Anderson. Clearly, however, the campaign in Tunisia which followed offered an opportunity for giving battle experience to selected Canadians, and this General McNaughton seized.
An arrangement was made for the immediate attachment to the First Army of 78 officers and 63non-commissioned officers, who reached Algiers early in January 1943. They were treated as though they had been normal British reinforcements and were “posted” to appropriate units. That is to say, a Canadian infantry Captain or Major might (and often did) find himself commanding a company of a British battalion ; a Canadian medical officer might be placed in charge of a section of a Field Ambulance of the R.A.M.C.; while a Sergeant of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals might be found performing the responsible duties of his rank in a Brigade Signal Section. At the time when these Canadians arrived, the First Army was hard pressed. It consisted, essentially, of only two British divisions, the 78th Infantry Division and the 6th Armoured Division. Most of the Canadians were assigned to these formations, and they saw plenty of service, for there were many casualties to be replaced. At one point an infantry unit of the 6th Armoured Division had a Canadian second-in-command and three Canadian company commanders.
Further groups of Canadians were subsequently dispatched to Africa, the procedure continuing until the end of the campaign. In all, 201 officers and 147 N.C.Os. were sent out for three-month periods, and what they learned was invaluable. However sound mere training may be, there is no final substitute for battle experience. These men, returning to England, brought a most useful leaven of such experience to the Canadian Army. The active manner in which they had been employed was reflected in their losses. Fourteen officers and 11 other ranks became casualties during the North African campaign. Four officers and four other ranks lost their lives.
It was not junior leaders only who profited by African experience. In February of 1943 General Crerar, with a group of British generals, flew out from England and attended a four-day study period at General Montgomery’s headquarters. In April, Brigadier G. G. Simonds went out similarly and watched the Wadi Akarit battle from the headquarters of the Eighth Army and of the 10th Corps. Immediately after his return, he was appointed to command the 2nd Canadian Division in succession to General Roberts (who now assumed command of the Canadian Reinforcement Units) ; but a few days later, following the death in an aircraft accident of Major General H. L. N. Salmon, who had succeeded General Pearkes in the command of the 1st Division, General Simonds was transferred to that Division and found himself a prospective divisional commander in the Eighth Army, which he had so lately visited.
Reference: The Canadian Army 1939-1945, Col. C.P. Stacey, pp 87-88