Weapons of War Series

The Weapons of War series by Service Publications promises to do what few have done in the past - provide a detailed look at Canadian vehicles in the Second World War and after, both those manufactured at home and those foreign manufactured vehicles used in action overseas.

The format of the series is attractive - affordable, in a handy format (24 pages, soft cover, 6-3/4" x 10"), and with full colour cover photos (either wartime, or of surviving examples in collections), plenty of illustrations between the covers, and scale drawings by renowned AFV artists Chris Johnson and George Bradford making for very nice centrepieces.

The Ram: Development and Variants (Volume I)

The first two books in the series concentrate on tanks; Canadian-manufactured tanks are examined in The Ram: Development and Variants (Volume I) by Paul Roberts. Used as a training tank in WW II, the Ram is perhaps most famous for its role as part of the 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier regiment, where turretless Rams were used to tranport infantry under armour and on tracks for the first time in history. The many variants are described, a scale drawing by Chris Johnson forms the centrepiece, and technical details are given in a table comparing the Cruiser, Ram I; Cruiser, Ram II; and Command, Observation Post models used by the Canadians. Two tables provide major changes to production models, listed by Census Number.

Twenty-two photos are included, almost all wartime shots with the exception of one photo of a surviving example at Worthington tank park at Canadian Forces Base Borden.

Paul Roberts is a mechanical engineer who has published a book on the Valentine tank as well as The Ram: Development and Variants (Volume II).

ISBN 189458113X

Aug 2002

The Sherman in Canadian Service

By Steve Guthrie, this book provides a useful look at the employment of this vehicle in Europe. Like the Ram volume, a table of variants is provided in the back and a variety of topics are discussed, describing various practices adopted by Canadian tank crews as a result of combat experience. A list of Canadian units that used the Sherman is provided, including brief notes on their service. A table of technical data compares the control, command, cruiser, Cruiser Vc ("Firefly"), Observation and Recovery variants used by the Canadians. The centrepiece by Chris Johnson depicts a Sherman V of the 11th Canadian Armoured Regiment (Ontario Regiment) in Italy.

Seventeen wartime photos are included, showing Shermans in Italy and Northwest Europe, highlighting the different models and giving examples of stowage, additional crew-mounted armour, and markings.

Steve Guthrie is a journalist and World War Two military history enthusiast, who for many years produced the Milifax newsletter and at the time of the publication of this book host of the Milifax website.

ISBN 1894581148

Nov 2002

The Halftrack in Canadian Service

The halftrack was used primarily in Canadian armoured divisions in WW II, but were also found in the regular divisions overseas as well. Bill Inglee explores the history of usage by the Canadian Army in World War Two, and again in Korea, and studies the varies models in service. Four different Chris Johnson drawings grace the centrepiece of this volume, depicting a prime mover from the Lake Superior Regiment in Normandy, a self-propelled 75mm gun of the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Italy in 1944, a machine gun carrier of the 1st Hussars in Normandy, and a Gun Position Officer vehicle from the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Korea. Statistical and technical data are included in this volume also, with tables showing prescribed and actual equipment states of Armoured Divisions and for First Canadian Army.

Twenty-six photos show early prototypes and examples of variants, trailers, stowage, camouflage and markings.

Bill Inglee is a journalist and military historian with an interest in Canadian military vehicles.

ISBN 1894581172

Jul 2003

The 6-Pounder Anti-Tank Gun

The 6-pounder gun was the infantry battalion commander's personal artillery in World War Two. The book covers not only infantry usage but also a brief discussion of naval and even air force usage. Statistical data is included on a table comparing the Mk II, Mk III, Mark IV and Mk V models. A detailed discussion of towing vehicles is also presented, comparing the merits of the Universal Carrier, T16, and Windsor Carrier. Other technical discussions include ammunition (with technical data tables on AP, APC, APCBC, APCR, APDS, HE and practice/blank rounds) as well as the "Littlejohn" squeeze-bore adapter used by Canadians in Italy.

Twenty-five photos illustrate the gun in use by the Army and the Navy, with emphasis on infantry usage. Variants such as the Churchill tank mounted gun and the "portee" are illustrated, and a cross-section illustration of ammunition is provided in addition to the photos. A select bibliography of secondary sources is also included for further research.

Doug Knight is a retired Army officer with an engineering degree and a deep knowledge of technical matters germane to the Royal Canadian Artillery and Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

ISBN 1894581180

Aug 2003

 

The Ram: Development and Variants (Volume II)


This book discusses employment of the Ram in Canadian armoured regiments, as well as the Kangaroo variant (an Armoured Personnel Carrier utilizing the Ram chassis), the Badger (a flame throwing Kangaroo variant), Command/Observation Posts, and a brief look at the Sexton self-propelled 25 pounder. Many previously unpublished photos from the public archives complement the text, as does a Chris Johnson scale drawing of a Ram II. The centrepiece illustration by Johnson also has a camouflage painting guide of interest for scale or 3D modellers.

Twenty-eight photos show details of external stowage, marking, as well as variants such as the weapons mount on the flame-throwing Badger and the driver's compartment of the troop carrying Kangaroo. As always, a variety of perspectives of the vehicle are shown, giving a look at different parts of the tank.

Paul Roberts is a mechanical engineer who has published a book on the Valentine tank as well as The Ram: Development and Variants (Volume II).

ISBN 1894581199

Nov 2004

The Land Mattress

The Land Mattress was Canada's answer to the terrifying German Nebelwerfer or Russian Katyusha that is still in use today, the forerunner of the MLRS in the United States. The book is divided logically into several sections, covering the early days of rocket weaponry in the British and Canadian Armies, a discussion of the roles of guns vs. rocket artillery, the development of the Land Mattress in particular, the production of the weapon, the trials in the field, and the combat employment of the weapon, as well as an epilogue describing RCEME support to the artillerymen using this equipment.

Doug Knight is a retired Army officer with an engineering degree and a deep knowledge of technical matters germaine to the Royal Canadian Artillery and Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

ISBN 1894581261

Mar 2005

The 25-Pounder

The 25-pounder Gun was one of the best guns of its type in the world, and helped the Commonwealth Armies build a world class artillery system which the First Canadian Army in Europe depended on for victory in the Second World War. The book covers technical aspects of the design and employment of this weapon. Well illustrated with wartime photos, supported by current sketches.

Doug Knight is a retired Army officer with an engineering degree and a deep knowledge of technical matters germaine to the Royal Canadian Artillery and Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

ISBN 1894581245

Nov 2004

 

Armoured Trains

Armoured trains were used in British Columbia when the threat of Japanese invasion was seen as imminent and real. Utilizing rare archival sources, Lucy presents maps showing the employment of these vehicles, as well as discussions of technical data, armament, and armour and communications equipment.

Roger Lucy is well known in the collecting community as "the helmet guy", and in addition to his seminal work on Canadian helmets, Tin Lids, is also researching helmets as used by forces around the world.

ISBN 1894581253

Mar 2005

 

The Kangaroo in Canadian Service

This book looks at the world's first fully tracked and purpose built armoured personnel carrier, the brainchild of Canadian Lieutenant General Guy Simonds in the summer of 1944. The genesis of this vehicle is well described, and both the Priest and Ram models are discussed. A brief history of the 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment (nicknamed "the Kangaroos") is given, and other extras, aside from the scale line drawing in the centrepiece, include a table of regimental lift capabilities as well as a War Establishment for the regiment showing the numbers and types of vehicles.

Twenty-three photographs complement the text, showing different aspects of the Kangaroo and highlighting markings and external stowage.

Mark W. Tonner is a retired member of the Royal Canadian Regiment and scholar of Second World War History.

ISBN 189458130X

Aug 2005

 

1935 Armoured Car in Canadian Service

This book looks at the chaotic world of the inter-war Canadian military, discussing government policy and equipment needs, focusing on just two vehicles by Ford and Chevrolet. The text is complemented by rare period photos, and of course the usual superb line drawings in the centrepiece by Chris Johnson. Even more rare is the colour photo, a still taken from a contemporary motion picture showing the 1935 Armoured Car in use.

The text is accompanied by two nice tables, one showing vehicle specifications and the other markings for both the prototypes. A brief bibliography of secondary sources is also provided.

Roger Lucy is well known in the collecting community as "the helmet guy", and in addition to his seminal work on Canadian helmets, Tin Lids, is also researching helmets as used by forces around the world.

ISBN 1894581288

Aug 2005

The Centurion in Canadian Service

This book focuses on Canada's Main Battle Tank from the 1950s up until the acquisition of the Leopard in the 1970s. The text examines the history of the vehicle in Canadian service, upgrades and service modifications to the various Marks, a brief description of disposal of the vehicles in the 1970s, and a section on paint colours and markings. Thirty one photos in black and white support the text, and show the Centurion from different angles and in a variety of markings and situations. Centrepiece consists of line drawings by George Bradford, a well-known name in armour modeling. One photo also acts as a painting guide for scale or 3D modelers.

Much attention is paid to identifying the different models and their associated equipment, and national inventory at different times is presented to the reader.

Don Dingwall is a museum technician, professional model builder and writer specializing in Canadian military subjects; his online forum at the time this book was released was located at http://www.network54.com/Forum/169232

ISBN 1894581202

Aug 2005

The Leopard in Canadian Service

This book explores the history of the Leopard C1 and Leopard C2 tanks in Canadian service. In addition to details of the tank design itself, including variants and trainers, good information is provided on procurement policy, replacement policy, and some very colourful vignettes, including the first dress parade of the Leopard tank in Canada. Centrepiece consists of line drawings by George Bradford, a well-known name in armour modelling.

The volume focuses primarily on the C1 tank though a good photo of the upgraded C2 is included.

Michael R. McNorgan served for 39 years in the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, retiring as a major after service in both the regular force and the reserves. He is co-author of The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps: An Illustrated History and was sole author of The Gallant Hussars: A History of the First Hussars Regiment 1856-2004.

ISBN 1894581318

Dec 2005

The Skink in Canadian Service

Canada's first purpose built, fully-tracked anti-aircraft gun generally shows up in references on armour as an oddity or a footnote. Roger Lucy has provided a complete history of the conceptualization, design, and prototype production of this vehicle. Technical drawings from official documents are reproduced in the book, as well as the usual centrepiece, again in this volume by George Bradford.

Technical details are provided on the last page as well as a bibliography of secondary sources.

Roger Lucy is a retired officer of the Department of External Affairs and an experienced author of Canadian military books; his other works include the landmark survey of protective head gear Tin Lids, as well as the Weapons of War title on Armoured Trains.

As a matter of trivia, no colour photos of actual Skinks exist so the cover photo for this volume is a composite of a colourized black and white photo and a contemporary background.

ISBN 1894581296

Dec 2005

 

The Sexton SP Gun in Canadian Service

The Sexton was a mainstay among armoured formations in the Second World War; this book features information on why Self Propelled Guns were needed, the design and testing of this particular vehicle, how it came to be modified once adopted, and also has information on gun drill, variants (such as observation post vehicles), details of ammunition supply and wireless equipment, a comparison to the Priest, also used by Canadians in the Second World War, and a table of characteristics. A centrepiece by George Bradford and several never-before published photographs illustrate the volume.

ISBN 1894581326

Dec 2006

 

Engineer Assault Boats in Canadian Service

To date, a subject not covered in print (though Bouchery's book The Canadian Soldier did contain some brief information), and a very interesting volume featuring rare photographs and technical drawings by the author. John Sliz is the author of The Storm Boat Kings: The 23rd RCE at Arnhem and is the grandson of Corporal Hugh Barton, a Canadian Engineer during the First World War.

The book contains an introduction to the subject of assault water crossing equipment, discussing early British trials and the (relatively late) Canadian design and testing facilities. Various types of equipment are described, along with pertinent technical data.

ISBN 1894581431

Dec 2006

The Armoured Autocar in Canadian Service

Dr. Cameron Pulsifer provides excellent information on a little known but militarily important vehicle used by Canadians in the First World War. Canada fielded large armoured car units from early in the conflict, and by 1918 were practicing many of the so-called "revolutionary" combined-arms tactics that the Germans were later credited with "inventing" in 1939. Along with a Chris Johnson centrepiece depicting two types of Autocar, several rare photos illustrate this volume.

ISBN 978-1-894581-38-7

Aug 2007

The WWII Jeep in Canadian Service

Eric Booth's examination of the Jeep includes related subjects such as the 10-cwt trailer, colours and markings, Jeep usage in Canada, and interesting photos of specially modified jeeps used as sedans or in winter conditions. The meat of the text focuses on the development of the jeep in the US,  and usage of the vehicle by Canadians overseas in all three services.

ISBN 978-1-894581-34-9

Aug 2007

 

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