Armoured Cars

The term Armoured Car can be freely applied to a variety of vehicles performing a variety of roles on the battlefield. This page lists all the trucks, propelled by partially or fully by wheels, to which armour plate has been added. The Lynx C&R vehicle, while not an armoured car by this definition, is included here for completeness, as it was intended to perform the same role as many of the "Light Reconnaissance Cars" and "Armoured Cars" that had preceded it.

First World War

The Autocar was conceived by Major Raymond Brutinel, who introduced the concept of fighting machine guns as mobile units rather than as individual weapons. He put his concept into practice by fitting armoured plate to commercial truck chassis and mounting guns on pedestals. Two Vickers Guns could be fired to the sides of the vehicles and a Lewis Gun was mounted forward, fired by the crew commander. The crew of the 3-ton vehicle was 8 men with a top speed of 25 miles per hour. The vehicles were used by the Canadian Machine Gun Corps.

Canadian Autocar of the CMGC in Bonn, Germany, 1919. Second from right Private Harold Fowler, to his right possibly Private James Grinham, to his left possibly Private Paddon. Photo courtesy Harold Fowler's grandson, Les Fowler.

Interwar Period

During the interwar period, the concept of armoured cars didn't receive attention until 1932. While suggestions on their acquisition and use had been made as early as 1927, the first feelers toward acquisition were made when a Canadian officer in England enquired as to the cost of obtaining a vehicle. With the necessary conversion to left hand drive, the price was considered prohibitive and Major Noble Carr of the Royal Canadian Artillery investigated the possibility of producing armoured cars in Canada, with the desire to follow the British lead in mechanizing the cavalry. Money for two experimental cars was approved in 1934/35 and by the end of Apr 1935, one Ford prototype and one Chevrolet prototype had been completed. The cars were of a 6x4 configuration (ie 6 wheels but only the rear 4 were powered), with a crew of 3 and intended to mount two water cooled Vickers Guns. In 1936, after field trials, DND opted not to proceed with additional vehicles, feeling that armoured car design had not evolved sufficiently to warrant their construction. Armoured car design moved rapidly to 4x4 models. The two prototypes served in Canada, with weapons finally being added in 1937, one car serving with the Royal Canadian Dragoons and the other with Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) as well as being loaned to Militia units. By Jan 1941 both cars were in possession of the RCD and it is believed they were scrapped once the RCD left for England in May 1941.1

Drawing of the Ford model, and photo of the Royal Canadian Dragoons using the Chevrolet model during the Second World War.

Second World War

During the Second World War, several types of armoured cars were brought into service, primarily for reconnaissance duties.2 There were two main types of units equipped with armoured cars - the Armoured Car Regiment and the Reconnaissance Regiment. Armoured cars and trucks saw widespread service in other roles by the end of the war, being used as command vehicles, ambulances, ammunition and troop carriers, and gun tractors.

Armoured Car Regiments
  • 1st Armoured Car Regiment (Royal Canadian Dragoons) - served as the I Canadian Corps reconnaissance asset, and from Jul 1944 to Mar 1945 as 1st Canadian Division Reconnaissance Regiment

  • 18th Armoured Car Regiment (12th Manitoba Dragoons) - served as the II Canadian Corps reconnaissance asset.

Reconnaissance Regiments
  • 4th Reconnaissance Regiment (IV Princess Louise's Dragoon Guards) - served as the 1st Canadian Infantry Division reconnaissance asset.

  • 7th Reconnaissance Regiment (17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars) - served as the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division reconnaissance asset.

  • 8th Reconnaissance Regiment (14th Canadian Hussars) - served as the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division reconnaissance asset.

Armoured Regiments and Armoured Reconnaissance Regiments were both organized with tanks rather than armoured cars, though armoured cars were used in the intercommunication troop of regimental headquarters.

Many other units also utilized armoured cars, including infantry battalions (as headquarters vehicles), engineers, service troops, etc.

Scout Cars

By 1944, there were three main types of wheeled AFV, or Scout Car, not including the Humber I. The "Otter", built by General Motors, was officially a "light reconnaissance car" and the first models arrived overseas in 1942. The Lynx was similar to the British Daimler Dingo but was built in Canada by Ford Motor Company, featuring a rear-mounted engine and four-wheel-drive. The Ford V8 engine made it more powerful than its British counterpart, though the transmission and independent suspension of the British vehicle was superior to the Canadian Lynx. General Motors also produced the Fox armoured car on a hull patterned after the Humber, mated with a Humber turret and General Motors chassis. On 1 Dec 1943, the Canadian Army overseas had 256 Fox armoured cars, 534 Lynxes and 468 Otters.

Car, Light, Reconnaissance, Morris Mark I

The Morris Mark I was used in infantry division reconnaissance regiments in the United Kingdom, and the 1st Canadian Infantry Division used them in Sicily and Italy. The Morris LRC was built by Morris Motor Company, and had an unusual configuration in that the three-man crew sat side by side, with the driver in the middle, a Bren Gun turret on the right side, and another crewman on the left with access to both a Boys Anti-Tank Rifle and a radio. The Mark I was a 2-wheel drive machine. Armour: 8-14mm.

British Morris in North Africa. IWM Photo.

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Max Speed: 50 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: Morris
  • Type: petrol, 4 cylinder
  • Power: 72 bhp
  • Power to weight ratio: 22 bhp per ton

Car, Light, Reconnaissance, "Otter"

Otter I, 4x4, 101" wheelbase

Operational Role: Used by Royal Canadian Engineers field squadrons and companies, as well as Royal Canadian Army Service Corps bridging companies for short special reconnaissance missions, as well as RCASC Motor Transport companies and transport platoons for anti-aircraft protection (convoy patrol).

Equipment: Armament .303 Bren Gun on AA mounting (also used for ground fire), sub MG, 2 rifles, 4-in smoke discharger. Other equipment - No. 19 Wireless Transmitter set, signal pistol. Carries tools, spare gun parts, POW containers, rations, camouflage net, spare wheel. Armour thickness - turret cone 8mm, hull front 12mm, sides 8mm, rear 10mm, roof 12mm.

A total of 877 Otter armoured cars were delivered overseas, nine of those lost in transit, the last three arriving on 26 November 1943. Production was cut when the Canadian Army (Overseas) eliminated the requirement for a light reconnaissance car. The vehicles were nonetheless utilized in First Canadian Army in a variety of roles. Having failed trials as a signals vehicle in both turreted and turretless form, the vehicle was used by some artillery units to carry Forward Observation Officers, in lieu of the armoured car called for by establishment. A major usage of the vehicle was as an anti-aircraft escort vehicle in RCASC motor transport companies, and the vehicle was issued two to a motor transport company headquarters and one to each transport platoon, and eventually RCASC bridging companies came to have them as well. While establishments for First Canadian Army called for 260 Otter vehicles (388 total including 1st Canadian Corps after their return to the Army in 1945), it appears that the actual number of vehicles on hand "was rarely more than 170."

Over 100 units remained in Canada in reconnaissance units, including the 24th Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Borden and the 6th Division's 31st (Alberta) Reconnaissance Battalion based in British Columbia. After the war, surplus Otters went to the Dutch Army and some passed from the British Army to Jordan. By 1952, a total of 45 were still in Canadian service and a number allocated to Canadian recce units as late as 1955, until placed in the "run-down maintenance" category in November of that year, indicating that there would be no further issue of spare parts.3 The Otters were not well liked, at least not by their post-war users, and one history referred to them as "wretched" and "arguably the worst military vehicle ever produced in Canada."4

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Bridge Class: 3
  • Max Gradability: 46%
  • Trench Crossing: no channels
  • Fording Depth: 24 inches
  • Angle of Approach: 47 degrees
  • Angle of Departure: 38 degrees
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 8 miles per gallon
  • Max Speed: 45 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: General Motors
  • Type: petrol, 4 cylinder, 6 cyls in line
  • Size: bore 3-25/32", stroke 4 inches
  • Power: 106 bhp at 3000 rpm
  • Ignition: battery, 12 volts
  • Capacity: 30 gallons fuel, 15 quarts water, 7 quarts oil
  • Power to weight ratio: 17.05 bhp per short ton

Lynx Scout Car

Lynx II, 4x4, 81" wheelbase

Operational Role: Used by Armoured Car Regiments, Armoured Reconnaissance Regiments, Armoured Regiments, Reconnaissance Regiments, Armoured Division Headquarters and by Royal Canadian Signals in armoured formations. Described as a small mobile vehicle useful for short recce on regimental front, could also be used by recce troops in lieu of light tanks. Could not operate over heavy going or against anti-tank gun opposition.

Equipment: Armament: .303 Bren Gun, Rifle. Other equipment: No. 19 Wireless Transmitter set, protectoscope. Carries tools, spare gun parts, POW containers, rations, camouflage net. Armour thickness: hull front 30mm, sides 12mm, rear 12mm, roof 6mm. (Engine and radiator rear mounted).

Ford Canada in Windsor, ON built two types of Lynx; the Lynx II featured a strengthened chassis and no roof. A total of 3,255 units were built.

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Bridge Class: 5
  • Max Gradability: 49%
  • Trench Crossing: 30" with channels
  • Fording Depth: 18 inches
  • Angle of Approach: 53 degrees
  • Angle of Departure: 44 degrees
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 9 miles per gallon
  • Max Speed: 50 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: Ford
  • Type: petrol, 4 cylinder, 8 cyls V-8
  • Size: bore 3- 3/16", stroke 3-3/4"
  • Power: 95 bhp at 3600 rpm
  • Ignition: battery, 6 volts
  • Capacity: 24 gallons fuel, 24 quarts water, 4 quarts oil
  • Power to weight ratio: 22.8 bhp per short ton
  • Max tractive effort: 1130 lbs per ton
Image:Drawinglynx.gif

Daimler Scout Car

Daimler, Mark I, 4x4, 102 inch wheelbase

Operational Role: Used by Armoured Car Regiments and Reconnaissance Regiments for short and long distance recce, also for special missions, such as raids, securing tactical features, getting information, etc., and for protective duties, either headquarters or convoys.

Equipment: Armament - 2-lbr gun, 7.92mm MG, .303 Bren Gun, .45 sub MG, two smoke mortars. Other equipment: No. 19 Wireless Transmitter set, periscope, telescopes, interphone. Carries tools, spare gun parts, POW containers, camouflage net, rations, spare wheel. Armour thickness: turret front 16mm, hull front 14mm, sides 10mm. (Can drive backward at high speed by changeover gear and rear steering wheel. Engine and radiator rear mounted.)

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Bridge Class: 7
  • Max Gradability: 44%
  • Trench Crossing: 42" with channels
  • Fording Depth: 36 inches
  • Angle of Approach: 80 degrees
  • Angle of Departure: 70 degrees
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 6 miles per gallon
  • Max Speed: 50 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: Daimler
  • Type: petrol, 4 cylinder, 6 cyls in line
  • Size: bore 3.35", stroke 4.72"
  • Power: 95 bhp at 3600 rpm
  • Ignition: battery, 12 volts
  • Capacity: 36 gallons fuel, 22 quarts water, 18 quarts oil
  • Power to weight ratio: 12.65 bhp per short ton
  • Max tractive effort: 1250 lbs per ton

Humber Light Reconnaissance Car Mark I

Humber I 4x4, 91 inch wheelbase The Humber Mark I is listed in references as both a Scout Car and an Armoured Car.

In February 1942 the 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division held eight armoured cars against an establishment of 60. In addition, it possessed 11 Ironsides which were rated as "Improvised AFVs". The Ironside was a conversion of the basic commercial model of the Humber Super Snipe, to meet the need for armoured cars, resulting in the Humberette, otherwise known as the Ironside but more officially as the Humber Light Reconnaissance Car Mark I.5

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Bridge Class: 4
  • Max Gradability: 40%
  • Trench Crossing: 30" with channels
  • Fording Depth: 36 inches
  • Angle of Approach: 70 degrees
  • Angle of Departure: 60 degrees
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 10 miles per gallon
  • Max Speed: 60 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: Humber
  • Type: petrol, 4 cylinder, 6 cyls in line
  • Size: bore 3.35", stroke 4.72"
  • Power: 79 bhp at 3300 rpm
  • Ignition: battery, 12 volts
  • Capacity: 19 gallons fuel, 20 quarts water, 6 quarts oil
  • Power to weight ratio: 25.7 bhp per ton
  • Max tractive effort: 1080 lbs per ton

In practice, Scout Cars were found to be inadequate; the Otter was scheduled for replacement, in the interim by Lynxes and eventually by a "General Utility Project" while the Fox would be replaced by the T17E1 Staghound Armoured Car.6

Armoured Cars

In Feb 1942, the 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division had only 8 armoured cars of an authorized strength of 60, with 11 improvised models known as the Humber Light Reconnaissance Car, Mark I. By the beginning of 1944, US built Staghound T17E1 armoured cars were to be the main equipment of all units equipped with armoured cars except Reconnaissance Regiments who were to use the Canadian Fox and later the more suitable Daimler. The Staghound was too heavy for infantry divisions, in which all vehicles had to be within bridge classification 9. By Feb 1944 the Canadian overseas had 128 Staghounds of an authorized establishment of 149 (including command variants and control variants). White Scout Cars were used to make up the shortfall, while some additional armoured car command vehicles were received in Apr 1944.

The 18th Canadian Armoured Car Regiment (12th Manitoba Dragoons) in particular was equipped entirely with Staghounds, with formation headquarters receiving lighter armoured cars when available. Lieutenant General G.G. Simonds, the commander of II Canadian Corps, had two Staghounds for personal recce and liaison duties.

As for the Reconnaissance Regiments, Humber IV armoured cars had to be utilized due to a shortage of Daimlers. In Jul 1944 the 7th and 8th Reconnaissance Regiments began to be re-equipped with Daimlers as they became available, and in Nov 1944 the turnover was complete, though other units were still using the Humber.

In Oct 1944, 21st Army Group requested all Fox armoured cars in the UK (included about 200 belonging to the Canadian Army) be sent to North-West Europe for security duties.

The 1st Canadian Armoured Car Regiment (Royal Canadian Dragoons) used a mixture of Staghounds, halftracks and Daimlers in early 1944. As well, the US M8 Reconnaissance Car (or "Greyhound") was used in limited numbers in engineer units and in the RCD regimental headquarters.7

Car, Light, Reconnaissance, "Humber" Mark III

Humber, Mark III, 4x4, 112" wheelbase

Operational Role: Used by Royal Canadian Engineers field squadrons and companies, as well as Royal Canadian Army Service Corps bridging companies for short special reconnaissance missions, as well as RCASC Motor Transport companies and transport platoons for anti-aircraft protection (convoy patrol).

Equipment: Armament: .303 Bren Gun on anti-aircraft mounting (also used for ground fire), sub MG, 2 rifles, 4-in smoke mortar. Other equipment: No. 19 Wireless Transmitter set, signal pistol. Carries tools, spare gun parts, POW containers, rations, camouflage net, spare wheel. Armour thickness: turret cone 6mm, hull front 10mm, sides 7mm, rear 7mm, roof 7mm.

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Bridge Class: 3
  • Max Gradability: 46%
  • Trench Crossing: no channels
  • Fording Depth: 24 inches
  • Angle of Approach: 63 degrees
  • Angle of Departure: 37 degrees
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 11 miles per gallon
  • Max Speed: 50 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: Humber
  • Type: petrol, 4 cylinder, 6 cyls in line
  • Size: bore 3.35", stroke 4.72 inches
  • Power: 87 bhp at 3300 rpm
  • Ignition: battery, 12 volts
  • Capacity: 18 gallons fuel, 19 quarts water, 6 quarts oil
  • Power to weight ratio: 27.3 bhp per ton
  • Maximum tractive effort: 1135 lbs per ton

Humber Armoured Car

Humber, Mark IV, 4x4, 102" wheelbase

Operational Role: Used by Armoured Car Regiments and Reconnaissance Regiments for short and long distance recce, also for specials missions, such as raids, securing tactical features, getting information, etc., and for protective duties, either headquarters or convoys.

Equipment: Armament: 37mm gun, 7.92mm MG, .303 Bren Gun, .45 sub MG, two 4-in smoke mortars. Other Equipment: No. 19 Wireless Transmitter set, periscopes, telescope, interphone. Carries tools, spare gun parts, POW containers, camouflage net, rations, spare wheel. Armour thickness: turret front 14mm, hull front 14mm, sides 10mm. (Engine and radiator rear mounted).

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Bridge Class: 7
  • Max Gradability: 44%
  • Trench Crossing (with channels): 42 inches
  • Fording Depth: 36 inches
  • Angle of Approach: 50 degrees
  • Angle of Departure: 48 degrees
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 6 miles per gallon
  • Max Speed: 45 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: Humber
  • Type: petrol, 4 cylinder, 6 cyls in line
  • Size: bore 3.35", stroke 4.72 inches
  • Power: 90 bhp at 3400 rpm
  • Ignition: battery, 12 volts
  • Capacity: 30 gallons fuel, 24 quarts water, 11 quarts oil
  • Power to weight ratio: 11.4 bhp per ton
  • Maximum tractive effort: 1340 lbs per ton

Staghound Scout Car

Staghound, T17E1, 4x4, 120" wheelbase

The T17 Staghound was "the first real attempt to produce a vehicle as a result of war experience." From 1940, the British Tank Mission in the United States was responsible for procuring US armoured vehicles, at first by purchase, and later by Lend-Lease. The T17 was designed to suit both British and American operational requirements. In Jul 1941, both Ford and Chevrolet bid on the US Ordnance Department's specifications of a medium armoured car with all-wheel drive and a 37mm main armament in a fully rotating turret. Chevrolet's pilot project, the T17E1, passed the trial phase and 2,000 were originally ordered in Jan 1942, with Britain requesting 300. In Apr 1942, the order was increased to 1,500 vehicles. The first vehicles were produced in Oct 1942, and only 157 were complete by year's end. When the US Army cancelled its order, no longer feeling it needed an armoured car of this size (14 tons), all production went to Britain and 2,687 vehicles were produced and delivered to the British by the end of Dec 1943, when production ceased due to requirements having been filled.8

Operational Role: Used by Armoured Car Regiments and Reconnaissance Regiments for short and long distance recce, also for special missions, such as raids, securing tactical features, getting information, etc., and for protective duties, either headquarters or convoys. Crew of 5.

Equipment: Armament - 37mm gun, two .30 cal MGs, .45 sub MG, 2-in smoke mortar. Other equipment: No. 19 Wireless Transmitter set, periscopes, telescopes, interphone. Carries tools, spare gun parts, POW containers, camouflage net, rations. Armour thickness: turret 1-1/4", hull front 7/8", sides 3/4". (The Staghound had 2 engines, with fluid couplings to a common transfer case. Engines and radiator rear mounted.)

Staghound T17E1 of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons crosses the Seine, 28 Aug 1944.

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Bridge Class: 15
  • Max Gradability: 57%
  • Trench Crossing: no channels
  • Fording Depth: 32 inches
  • Angle of Approach: 57 degrees
  • Angle of Departure: 40 degrees
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 3 miles per gallon
  • Max Speed: 55 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: General Motors
  • Type: petrol, 4 cylinder, 6 cyls in line
  • Size: bore 3-25/32", stroke 4 inches
  • Power: 97 bhp at 3000 rpm
  • Ignition: battery, 24 volts
  • Capacity: 90 gallons fuel, 22 quarts water, 6 quarts oil
  • Power to weight ratio: 13.5 bhp per ton
  • Maximum tractive effort: 1470 lbs per ton

Armoured Car, AA

Staghound, T17E2, 4x4 120" wheelbase

A variant of the Staghound designed especially for the British was the T17E2 (known in British service as the Staghound AA). The 37mm gun-armed turret was replaced by an open-topped Frazer-Nash power turret with twin .50 calibre Browning machine guns. A total of 1,000 had been requested, but only 789 were delivered by the time production stopped in Apr 1944.9

Operational Role: Used by Armoured Car Regiments, formation headquarters, Artillery Regiments and convoys for anti-aircraft defence. Crew of 3 (driver, radio operator, gunner).

Equipment: Armament - twin .50 calibre machine guns on co-axial mounting, .45 sub MG, 2-in smoke mortar. Other equipment: No. 19 Wireless Transmitter set, periscopes, binoculars, interphone. Carries tools, spare gun parts, POW containers, camouflage net, rations. Armour thickness: turret 1-1/4", hull front 7/8", sides 3/4". (The Staghound had 2 engines, with fluid couplings to a common transfer case. Engines and radiator rear mounted.)

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Bridge Class: 15
  • Max Gradability: 57%
  • Trench Crossing: no channels
  • Fording Depth: 32 inches
  • Angle of Approach: 57 degrees
  • Angle of Departure: 40 degrees
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 3 miles per gallon
  • Max Speed: 55 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: General Motors
  • Type: petrol, 4 cylinder, 6 cyls in line
  • Size: bore 3-25/32", stroke 4 inches
  • Power: 97 bhp at 3000 rpm
  • Ignition: battery, 24 volts
  • Capacity: 90 gallons fuel, 22 quarts water, 6 quarts oil
  • Power to weight ratio: 13.5 bhp per ton
  • Maximum tractive effort: 1470 lbs per ton
Image:Drawingstaghoundaa.gif

Staghound Command Car

Staghound, T17E1, 4x4, 120" wheelbase

Operational Role: Used by Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in Armoured Division, Infantry Division, Corps headquarters, as well as in Armoured Division headquarters and Armoured Car Regiment (rear link). Equipped with two wireless sets - one forward link and one rear (or flank) link. Identical otherwise to the standard Staghound, with the additional exception that the 37mm gun is a fake.

Equipment: Armament - Two .30 cal MGs, .45 sub MG, 2-in smoke mortar. Main equipment: One No. 19 Wireless Set and one No. 19 set amplifier, generator, intercom. Other equipment: periscope, telescope, interphone. Carries tools, spare gun parts, POW containers, etc. Armour thickness: turret 1-1/4", hull front 7/8", sides 3/4". (The Staghound had 2 engines, with fluid couplings to a common transfer case. Engines and radiator rear mounted.)

Staghound Control Car

Staghound, T17E1, 4x4, 120" wheelbase

Operational Role: Used by Armoured Car Regiments as mobile armoured wireless vehicle for directing operations from advance headquarters and provided link to rear or flank. Crew of 4 (driver, gunner, loader, Wireless Transmitter operator).

Equipment: Armament - 37mm gun, two .30 cal MGs, .45 sub MG, 2-in smoke mortar. Other equipment: Two No. 19 Wireless Transmitter sets, intercom, batteries. Carries tools, spare gun parts, POW containers, camouflage net, rations. Armour thickness: turret 1-1/4", hull front 7/8", sides 3/4". (The Staghound had 2 engines, with fluid couplings to a common transfer case. Engines and radiator rear mounted.)

All other characteristics as for Staghound Armoured Car.

Armoured Trucks

Armoured Command Vehicle, High Power and Low Power

Matador, 4x4, 151" wheelbase

Armoured Command Vehicle, High Power
Operational Role
: Used by Royal Canadian Corps of Signals at Armoured Division headquarters as High Power wireless control terminal for communication between main and rear corps, and between main and rear division. Also served as an office for members of the division staff. High Power equipment provided longer rangers than the Low Power vehicle.

Equipment: Wireless - 53 transmitter, R107 receiver, No. 19 wireless set, RCA amplifier, remote control unit, generator, batteries. Armament - Bren Gun, .45 sub MG, rifles. Body has two compartments, one forward with seats, mapboard and headphones for SOs; rear for wireless operators. Armour thickness: radiator cover 10mm, body sides 12mm, rear 12mm, roof 5mm.

Armoured Command Vehicle, Low Power
Operational Role: Used by Royal Canadian Corps of Signals at Armoured Division headquarters as Low Power wireless control terminal for communication between main and rear corps, and between main and rear division. Also served as an office for members of the division staff. Low Power equipment adopted for shorter longer rangers than the High Power vehicle.

Equipment: Wireless - No. 19 wireless set, also No. 19 set with linear amplifier, generator, batteries. Armament, body and armour as for HP vehicle.

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Bridge Class: 12
  • Max Gradability: 44%
  • Trench Crossing: no channels
  • Fording Depth: 36 inches
  • Angle of Approach: 42 degrees
  • Angle of Departure: 36 degrees
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 9 miles per gallon
  • Max Speed: 37 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: Associated Equipment Co. (AEC)
  • Type: diesel, 4 cylinder, 6 cyls in line
  • Size: bore 4.13", stroke 5.74 inches
  • Power: 95 bhp at 1780 rpm
  • Ignition: compression
  • Capacity: 40 gallons fuel, 24 quarts water, 24 quarts oil
  • Power to weight ratio: 8.65 bhp per ton
  • Maximum tractive effort: 1120 lbs per ton

C15TA

Truck, 15cwt, Armoured, 4x4, 101" wheelbase

General Motors of Canada (in partnership with the Hamilton Bridge Company, who provided the armoured hulls) produced the C15TA Armoured Truck beginning in 1943. The vehicle was a 4x4 built on a standard 15-cwt truck chassis, designed to eventually replace US halftracks and White scout cars then currently in service (for example as vehicles for Commanding Officers of infantry battalions). The vehicle was also used as an armoured ambulance as well as an eight-seat troop transport/personnel carrier. Over 3,900 were produced, most going overseas and 3,000 of those going to the British. Canada left behind large numbers of these trucks at the end of the war rather than shipping them to Canada, and the Dutch Army used the vehicles extensively for many years after the war.

Operational Role: Primarily used as a personnel carrier in forward areas, could also be converted to a General Service or ammunition carrier, or into a 2-stretcher ambulance by covering foot wheels with plates stowed in the rear door panel. An MG could be mounted on the flat floor area.

Body Details: Open type hull with machineable bullet-proof armour covering engine hood and body. Removable superstructure and tarpaulin. Body seats six men, armoured rear and side doors. Vision ports for driver and co-driver, detachable windshields. Stowage includes rifle racks, tools, camouflage net, POW carriers, and kit bins.



Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Bridge Class: 5
  • Max Gradability: 53%
  • Turning Circle (min): 51 ft
  • Fording Depth: 24 inches
  • Angle of Approach: 50 degrees
  • Angle of Departure: 36 degrees
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 7 miles per gallon
  • Max Speed: 45 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: General Motors
  • Type: petrol, 4 cylinder, 6 cyls in line
  • Size: bore 3-25/32", stroke 4 inches
  • Power: 104 bhp at 3000 rpm
  • Ignition: battery, 6 volts
  • Capacity: 40 gallons fuel, 15 quarts water, 8 quarts oil
  • A note in the Mar 1944 data book mentions that later production models were to incorporate a 12 volt electrical system.

Truck, 15-cwt, Armoured

M3A1, 15-cwt, 4x3, 131 inch wheelbase

Operational Role: Primary role was an armoured personnel carrier in forward areas, but could be used as a command vehicle or ambulance if modified.

Body Details: Armour plate covered engine, hood and body. Folding shield for driver's compartment. Body seats six troops. Removable tarpaulin top. Tourelle gun mount for Browning machine gun (skate rail).

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Bridge Class: 5
  • Max Gradability: 60%
  • Turning Circle (min): 57 ft
  • Fording Depth: 28 inches
  • Angle of Approach: 37 degrees
  • Angle of Departure: 35 degrees
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 7 miles per gallon
  • Max Speed: 45 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: Hercules (White Motor Co.)
  • Type: petrol, 4 cylinder, 6 cyls in line
  • Size: bore 4", stroke 4-1/4"
  • Power: 110 bhp at 3000 rpm
  • Ignition: battery, 12 volts
  • Capacity: 24 gallons fuel, 15 quarts water, 5 quarts oil
  • Also produced with Hercules DJXD diesel engine, 6 cyl, 4x4-1/2, 103bhp#2600 and also with similar Buda diesel.

Truck, 15-cwt, Half-Track

M14, 15-cwt, half-track, 135 inch wheelbase

Operational Role: Armoured personnel carrier in forward areas, but with modification also used as command vehicle, ambulance, ammunition carrier or General Service load carrier.

Body Details: Armour plate covered engine, hood and body. Top section side and rear armour folded down. Body seated 8 troops. Removable tarpaulin top. Partition behind driver's seat. Power driven winch had capacity of 10,000 lbs.

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Bridge Class: 8
  • Max Gradability: 60%
  • Turning Circle (min): 60 ft
  • Fording Depth: 32 inches
  • Angle of Approach: 36 degrees
  • Angle of Departure: 32 degrees
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 3 miles per gallon
  • Max Speed: 42 miles per hour
  • Manufacturer: International Harvester Co.
  • Type: petrol, 4 cylinder, 6 cyls in line
  • Size: bore 4-3/8", stroke 5 inches
  • Power: 141 bhp at 2600 rpm
  • Ignition: battery, 12 volts
  • Capacity: 48 gallons fuel, 25 quarts water, 8 quarts oil

Postwar

Use of the Lynx Mark II and the Staghound continued until approximately 1960 in the Canadian Army. The use of both lighter vehicles, such as Jeeps, and heavier vehicles, like the Lynx C&R vehicle shown below, phased out armoured cars.

Ferret

Canadians serving as part of UNEF in Egypt in 1962 man a Ferret armoured car. Note the Bren Gun still in use. PAC Photo.
Ferret on display at The Military Museums in Calgary. Photographed 2006.

A postwar design used by the Canadian Army was the Ferret; developed in 1949 by the British to replace their wartime fleet of armoured cars. The vehicle was patterned after wartime "Dingo" Daimlers, but with a larger crew compartment and, on later Marks, a small machine gun turret. The body was all-welded steel, and the vehicle was all-wheel drive with "run-flat" tires. In addition to the single machine gun armament, six grenade launchers were also attached to the vehicle. The British produced a total of 4,409 Ferrets of all types from 1952 to 1971. In all, 37 different nations used the Ferret.10

Canada purchased 124 Ferret Mark I Scout Cars in 1954, and used them until 1981. None of the Canadian vehicles had turrets. They were used not only in Canada but also overseas, in West Germany and on Cyprus, for example. Final disposition was:

  • 23 used as range targets

  • 4 to museums

  • 74 sold surplus via CADC (Crown Assets Disposal Corporation)

  • 1 converted to a funeral vehicle

  • 10 sold as a second batch of surplus

  • 10 converted to monuments

  • 1 scrapped (in 1975)

  • 1 unknown

According to Colin MacGregor Stevens: "CFR 54-82596 was listed in 1959 printout as RCD but not listed in Dec 65 printout." (1981 report) Officially 99 survived, with 23 shot up as targets, 1 scrapped and 1 burned. However apparently at least two were "rescued" off the target ranges."

Lynx

The Lynx reconnaissance vehicle was designed and built in the United States as a private venture, designated officially the M113-1/2 Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle (M113 C&R). Both Canada and the Netherlands used this vehicle. In Canadian service, the vehicle was known as the Lynx.

The vehicle was first designed in 1963, using M113A1 components, but with a smaller body having only four bogie wheels on each side and a rear-mounted engine. The Lynx was amphibious and was propelled in the water by its tracks. Before swimming, a trim vane had to be erected in the front and the bilge pumps started, as well as placement of covers on the air intake and exhaust. In practice, the vehicle had the ability to ford shallow streams at high speed with hatches closed.

The Canadian Forces acquired 174 vehicles from 1968, replacing the Ferret. Lynxes were issued to the reconnaissance squadron of each Regular Force Armoured Regiment; this squadron consisted of three troops, each equipped with seven Lynxes. The troop was subdivided into 3 two-vehicle patrols and a troop leader's vehicle. Militia armoured and armoured reconnaissance units equipped their recce subunits with Jeeps or similar vehicles. The vehicle was armed with a GPMG and a .50 calibre M2 heavy machine gun, with a crew of three operating the vehicle (commander, driver, observer). Armour was rolled aluminium as on the M114, with a maximum of 31.8 millimetres.

Lynxes were also used in the reconnaissance platoon of an Infantry Battalion's combat support company, usually nine in number.

In the Canadian Lynx, the crew commander's cupola was located middle-right and an observer's hatch rear-left. The commander operated the manually-traversed M26 heavy machine gun cupola from inside the vehicle, but reloaded it with the hatch open. A rear-facing observer operated the radio and manned a pintle-mounted 7.62mm machine gun.

The Canadian Lynx was withdrawn from service in 1993, and replaced by 203 Coyote eight-wheeled reconnaissance vehicles by the end of 1996.

The Lynx modified the US C&R design by moving the turret forward (replacing the radio operator's position on the American vehicle) and adding a buoyancy cell on the trim vane compensating for the shift in weight.

Freshly painted Lynx of The Royal Canadian Regiment in West Germany, 1980. Sheldon Clare Photo.

Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Crew: 3
  • Max Speed: 71kph, 6kph swimming
  • Range: 523km
  • Suspension: Torsion bar
  • Manufacturer: FMC Corporation
  • Type: 6 cylinder GMC Detroit Diesel 6V-53
  • Size: bore 4.13", stroke 5.74 inches
  • Power: 215hp (160kW)
  • Ignition: compression
  • Capacity: 40 gallons fuel, 24 quarts water, 24 quarts oil
  • Power to weight ratio: 25bhp per tonne
  • Suspension: Torsion bar
  • Length: 4.60m
  • Width: 2.41m
  • Height: 2.18m
  • Weight: 8.77 tonnes

Coyote

From 1996-1998, 204 8-wheel "Coyote" Reconnaissance vehicles were acquired for Land Force Command. The Coyote was built by General Motors of Canada, as a licensed, 8-wheel version of the Swiss Mowag Piranha, upon which the AVGP was based.

The Coyote mounted a 25 mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun and two 7.62 mm C6 general purpose machine guns. The vehicle was designed for use in the reconnaissance role and as such had a sophisticated suite of electronic surveillance equipment including radar, video, and infrared night vision equipment. A masted variant mounted surveillance equipment on a 10 metre high telescoping mast. A remote variant of the Coyote had the surveillance suite mounted on two short tripods which soldiers could deploy remotely using a 200 metre spool of cable. A command variant was also built, without the surveillance suite.

Original Coyotes had amphibious propulsion systems which were deleted in later versions. Later Coyotes also had larger wheels. The Coyote featured armour sloped to a greater degree than that of the US Stryker, but with a consequent decrease in space inside the vehicle.

Variants:

  • Command (51 vehicles)
  • Battlegroup (120 vehicles)
  • Brigade (32 vehicles)
Performance Engine Details Dimensions
  • Crew:
  • Max Speed: 100kph
  • Range: 660km
  • Suspension:
  • Gradient: max 60%
  • Side Slope: max 30%
  • Turn radius: min 15.6m
  • Trench crossing: 2.06m
  • Fording: 1m (shallow), 1.3m (deep)
  • Type: 275 hp Detroit Diesel 6V53T
  • Transmission: 5 forward gears, 1 reverse
  • Transfer Case: 2 speed
  • Ignition: compression
  • Alternator: 300A
  • Brakes: Power (air)
  • Electrical System: 28V, 2 x 12V automotive batteries, 6 x 12V auxiliary
  • Power: 4 or 8 wheel drive
  • Suspension: Front 4 wheels strut, independent rear 4 wheels torsion bar
  • Length: 6.39m
  • Width: 2.50m
  • Height: 2.69m
  • Weight: 14.4t

Armament:

  • 25-mm stabilized M242 chain gun;
  • 7.62-mm stabilized coaxial machine-gun;
  • 7.62-mm top-turret mounted machine- gun;
  • 76-mm smoke/fragmentation grenade launcher

Sights:

  • Daytime optical
  • Thermal Imagery (TI)
  • Generation III Image Intensification (II)
  • Surveillance System: Battlefield Surveillance Radar
  • Thermal Imager
  • Daylight camera
  • Laser Rangefinder

Winch:

  • Front-mounted 6,800 kg dynamic pull self-recovery winch

Notes

  1. Lucy, Roger V. 1935 Armoured Car in Canadian Service (Service Publications, Ottawa, ON, 2005). ISBN 1894581288
  2. Much information in this article is verbatim from the "Vehicle Data Book" published by Canadian Military Headquarters in Mar 1944. (Reprint of the Vehicle Data Book with explanatory notes by the Canadian Military Historical Society (Quad Publications Inc., Paisley, ON, 1978). No ISBN)
  3. Lucy, Roger V. The Otter Reconnaissance Car in Canadian Service (Service Publications, Ottawa, ON, 2011). ISBN 978-1-894581-73-8
  4. Graves, Donald E. Century of Service: The History of The South Alberta Light Horse (Robin Brass Studio Inc., Toronto, ON, 2005) ISBN 1-896941-43-5, p.380
  5. Knight, Doug (editor) Tools of the Trade: Equipping the Canadian Army (Service Publications, Ottawa, ON, 2005). p.109
  6. Ibid, pp.108-109
  7. Ibid, pp.113-114
  8. Ellis, Chris Tanks of World War 2 (Octopus Books Ltd., London, UK, 1981) ISBN 0706412885 p.52
  9. Ibid, p.52
  10. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare (Columbia House, New York, NY, 1978) p.930

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