ARM: Review - Heavy Uility in Canadian Service

Book Review: ?Weapons of War? Series; The Heavy Utility in Canadian Ser
vice by Robert H. Clarke; Service Publications, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 20
12; 24 pp. with B&W photos and 1/35 scale plans; price CDN $9.95; ISBN 978-
1-894581-78-3
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Advantages: describes these handy multipurpose vehicles in detail and inclu
des interior photos of some of the different versions; well timed for model
ers to match new kits (see text)
Disadvantages: probably not enough markings detail for modelers
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all softskin, Commonwealth and ?Bowtie? fans
Timing is everything, and fortuitously the Canadian Army and British War O
ffice began competition for new military vehicles in 1937 between Ford of C
anada and General Motors Canada Ltd. This competition lasted until 1939 whe
n the war began, but then plans were in place for the production of a large
number of varied vehicles by both manufacturers using standardized designs
that would satisfy requirements. The general designs were referred to as
?Canadian Military Pattern? or CMP.
The new trucks came in a variety of sizes and configurations, basically co
vering 8 cwt, 15 cwt, 30 cwt and 60 cwt classes (basically ½ ton, 1 ton,
1 ½ ton and 3 ton ratings) and 4x2, 4x4, and 6x4 configurations. Vehicles
were basically classed as either C for Chevrolet or F for Ford followed by
their weight class, configuration, and body style. Over 400,000 CMP vehicl
es were made in Canada with about half being of the C60 or F60 3 ton class.

The vehicles came with three different style cabs ? No. 11, which was si
milar to some of the Morris designs in England; No. 12, similar with improv
ed engine access, and the best known, No. 13, which had a wide front, integ
ral headlights and reverse-slanted windshield to prevent reflections giving
away the vehicle. The main differences between the two companies were the
use of the Ford ?flathead? V-8 in their trucks and the ?Stovebolt?
straight 6 in the Chevy models.
One of the smallest members of the family was the C8 4x4 Heavy Utility tru
ck, often referred to as the HUP for its personnel carrier variant. This wa
s basically a boxy body with windows on the chassis, fitted with a large ha
tch amidships and a commander?s observation hatch over his seat in the fr
ont. After preliminary design work in 1941, production of these vehicles be
gan in 1942. While all of the vehicles were fairly identical externally, th
ey all had internal differences based on mission and function.
One of the first variants was the AMB-1 ambulance which was basically simi
lar in function and capability to the US Dodge WC-54. They could handle fou
r litters in their developed form and included a heater for patient comfort
.
New Zealand requested a special version of just the chassis - C8AX - and b
uilt their own vehicles on it. They received about 900 chassis in 1943.
The Cipher Office and ?Computor? artillery computation truck (C8A-PUTR
) provided for use of secure communications and artillery plotting equipmen
t with the provision of blackout curtains and screens inside the body of th
e trucks.
The ZL machinery lorry (C8A-MACH-ZL) was a test and repair truck for wirel
ess and electronics.
The most common variant was the personnel carrier (C8A-PERS) or HUP which
provided room for commanders and staffs. As with many other command vehicle
s, provision was made for a ?penthouse? or tent which attached to the r
ight side of the vehicle and virtually doubled the amount of light-restrict
ive area for commanders and staffs to operate.
The Wireless variant (C8A-M-WIRE) was a command vehicle for antiaircraft a
nd antitank artillery batteries from combat units through corps level. Thes
e had attached radio masts on the outside of the vehicle that would be used
to erect antennas for operation and stub antennas for communications while
in movement.
Production of all of these vehicles ended in August 1945, but the vehicl
es remained in service until the 1960s before they were replaced. Many were
acquired by collectors and reenactors and are still in use today for shows
or reenactments.
Overall, this book comes out at a nice time since Mirror Models will be do
ing the entire line of CMP vehicle and has a CMP Chevy HUP scheduled for re
lease this year. Anyone planning to buy it should think of getting this lit
tle book as a reference.
Thanks to Clive Law for the review copy.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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