The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

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Zor
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The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

Post by Zor » 2019-05-16 04:49pm

In 1936 people in the British Empire were a bit concerned about that Hitler guy. Even though people did not want a war, there were those concerned about it coming to blows regardless. Part of the response to this plan was improving their overland logistical capacity which the British government worked to solve, as did that of the Dominion of Canada following their lead following goals the British War Department laid out. With the assistance of the Ford Motor Company and GM of Canada under Samuel McLaughlin, they gradually put together an answer to the issue which moved from concept through prototypes and by 1940 their efforts had yielded fruit...
Image
This short faced guy is a Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) Truck. Orginally this model was intended to carry 15 hundredweight (680 kg) of cargo, though latter models had that doubled. The most common technical variant of the CMP truck weighed in at about 3.5 tonnes, had four wheel drive and a top speed of 80km/h. GM of Canada and Ford worked with the same basic chassis, but produced various models with their own engines. Production began in Oshawa Ontario, but soon other facilities around Canada were churning them out, as did Australian Factories after the fact.

CMP Trucks served in a wide variety of roles from supply and people luggers to hospitals to communications centers to mobile kitchens on the more passive side and mobile AA platforms and Artillery tractors. Even so the most notable fact about the CMP truck was the fact that they were made in vast quantities. Some 500,000 CMP trucks were made with more than 400,000 of them being made in Canada. Combined with other models, Canadian Industry produced more trucks than all the axis powers combined. Where ever the British Empire fought, a CMP truck would not be far behind keeping John Englishman, Kyle from Canada, Dan the Digger and Sanjay from Bombay well supplied to face the Nazis, Japanese and Italians. A large number of them were also sent to the USSR and were a major assistance in driving out the Nazis during the Great Patriotic War.

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Re: The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

Post by SpottedKitty » 2019-05-16 07:25pm

I've seen pictures and models of these things before — the angular front end and almost tilted forward windscreen are very distinctive and memorable. Didn't realise so many of them were built.
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Re: The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

Post by The_Saint » 2019-05-19 12:51am

Known as a 'blitz' in Australian service. We have one as part of our historical military group that has been on the long back burner of rebuild (far too many other projects).

PITA to drive, the controls are not in the conventional order (brake-accelerator-clutch compared to modern clutch-brake-accelerator) and 'crash' gearbox (I liken it to 'gear change by dice roll'). The pedal control order has been linked to a few modern incidents of people crashing due to accelerating when they thought they were braking.
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Re: The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

Post by Lord Revan » 2019-05-19 05:30am

SpottedKitty wrote:
2019-05-16 07:25pm
I've seen pictures and models of these things before — the angular front end and almost tilted forward windscreen are very distinctive and memorable. Didn't realise so many of them were built.
Well it's a truck you're bound to have plenty of those unless there's something really badly wrong with the model which isn't the case here or with the US equilevant.

After all it doesn't matter if you got the best weapons and troops in the universe if those are at the home base rather then the front line, or your troops don't have the supplies needed. That is where trucks like the CMP come in, trains, boats or planes can get the supplies only so far in most cases they'll have to be driven by trucks rest of the way as air dropping the supplies is of random success rate at best.

Good logistics have mattered to winning wars ever since the time of the ancient roman and I'm not making a joke here, romans weren't actually that much better at fighting then their contempories, but they were much better at getting men and supplies were they were needed in fact those famous roman roads were built for that exact purpose.

So good trucks didn't do anything that would be considered "media sexy" even back then, but they were probably more vital at winning the war then any weapon system.
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Re: The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

Post by Elfdart » 2019-05-19 04:26pm

The Dodge 3/4 ton was also produced in huge numbers (over 250,000 of the WC-series alone) and like a lot of trucks made back then, they were no-frills but damn near indestructible. Even the ones blown up or otherwise put out of action could be put right back into action very quickly.

It's my understanding that Canada was asked give up on armored vehicles like the Ram tank and to focus on trucks during the war while Britain and the UK built the armored vehicles as well as trucks.
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Re: The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

Post by Coop D'etat » 2019-05-19 06:36pm

Elfdart wrote:
2019-05-19 04:26pm
The Dodge 3/4 ton was also produced in huge numbers (over 250,000 of the WC-series alone) and like a lot of trucks made back then, they were no-frills but damn near indestructible. Even the ones blown up or otherwise put out of action could be put right back into action very quickly.

It's my understanding that Canada was asked give up on armored vehicles like the Ram tank and to focus on trucks during the war while Britain and the UK built the armored vehicles as well as trucks.
Post-Dunkirk, it was thought that there wouldn't be enough armoured vehicles to go around, so Canadian domestic productuon started on Valetnine and Ram tank models to supply Canadian armoured units as American production would be going to British formations. Once it started to become clear that America would produce enough of a Sherman tank swarm for everyone, the focus of Canadian automotive industry shifted back to mass light trucks and things like self-propelled guns.

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Re: The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

Post by Jub » 2019-05-19 06:43pm

Coop D'etat wrote:
2019-05-19 06:36pm
Post-Dunkirk, it was thought that there wouldn't be enough armoured vehicles to go around, so Canadian domestic productuon started on Valetnine and Ram tank models to supply Canadian armoured units as American production would be going to British formations. Once it started to become clear that America would produce enough of a Sherman tank swarm for everyone, the focus of Canadian automotive industry shifted back to mass light trucks and things like self-propelled guns.
There's a Ram acting as a gate guard alongside a Sherman Easy 8 at an armory I pass fairly often. It's interesting to look at the two nearly side by side and note the design similarities and differences between the two magnificent machines.

It would be neat to see more trucks and other vehicles on display in a similar fashion but they wouldn't hold up as well as a cannon or tank tends to.

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Re: The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

Post by The_Saint » 2019-06-15 01:48am

Lord Revan wrote:
2019-05-19 05:30am
Good logistics have mattered to winning wars ever since the time of the ancient roman and I'm not making a joke here, romans weren't actually that much better at fighting then their contempories, but they were much better at getting men and supplies were they were needed in fact those famous roman roads were built for that exact purpose.

So good trucks didn't do anything that would be considered "media sexy" even back then, but they were probably more vital at winning the war then any weapon system.
One of the best logistics stories I have ever read was in a biography/history of the WW2 German gebirgsjager. The author wrote about being in Norway and then being moved to France/Western Front in late 1944 and for their three mountain howitzers they only ever had ~100-150 rounds of ammunition at any time during the war. Their train got hit and derailed and in the aftermath they managed to salvage one gun and three rounds of ammunition. They then got 'thrown into the line' and later proceeded to fire one round only to be bracketed by several thousand rounds of counter battery fire. The officer who wrote this book then spoke of being captured and in walking back from the line came across a line of trucks

"oh, are these vehicles here to take us away"
"no, this is the ammunition column for a gun"
"oh for an artillery battery?"
"no ... for one gun"

He said he realised that was the point when he realised just how completely and utterly outclassed Germany was in logistics and how little hope they'd ever actually had of success against the allies.
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Re: The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

Post by Lord Revan » 2019-06-15 08:38am

The_Saint wrote:
2019-06-15 01:48am
Lord Revan wrote:
2019-05-19 05:30am
Good logistics have mattered to winning wars ever since the time of the ancient roman and I'm not making a joke here, romans weren't actually that much better at fighting then their contempories, but they were much better at getting men and supplies were they were needed in fact those famous roman roads were built for that exact purpose.

So good trucks didn't do anything that would be considered "media sexy" even back then, but they were probably more vital at winning the war then any weapon system.
One of the best logistics stories I have ever read was in a biography/history of the WW2 German gebirgsjager. The author wrote about being in Norway and then being moved to France/Western Front in late 1944 and for their three mountain howitzers they only ever had ~100-150 rounds of ammunition at any time during the war. Their train got hit and derailed and in the aftermath they managed to salvage one gun and three rounds of ammunition. They then got 'thrown into the line' and later proceeded to fire one round only to be bracketed by several thousand rounds of counter battery fire. The officer who wrote this book then spoke of being captured and in walking back from the line came across a line of trucks

"oh, are these vehicles here to take us away"
"no, this is the ammunition column for a gun"
"oh for an artillery battery?"
"no ... for one gun"

He said he realised that was the point when he realised just how completely and utterly outclassed Germany was in logistics and how little hope they'd ever actually had of success against the allies.
Ultimately if was logistics that caused the german defeat in both world wars, it doesn't matter what wünderwaffe you got if that weapon is not at frontlines. One thing that made Verdun and Somme such bloodbaths in WW1 was that french were able to resupply their defensive troops and rather then try to cut those supply routes the germans kept on rushing the trenches.
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Re: The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

Post by Esquire » 2019-06-16 09:21am

To be fair, there's only so much supply-line-cutting you can reasonably do if you have to get through several hundred thousand very angry Frenchmen to do it, and there are literally no gaps in the line between Switzerland and the Atlantic through which to rush.
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Re: The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

Post by Lord Revan » 2019-06-16 09:32am

Esquire wrote:
2019-06-16 09:21am
To be fair, there's only so much supply-line-cutting you can reasonably do if you have to get through several hundred thousand very angry Frenchmen to do it, and there are literally no gaps in the line between Switzerland and the Atlantic through which to rush.
IIRC in one those battles there was a only 1 road the french could bring supplies to front lines(I think it was at Verdun but I'm not 100% sure about it) and that was in airstrike range and possibly heavy artillery range as well for the germans so they could have cut the french supplies but for some unknown reason didn't.
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Re: The Canadian Military Pattern Truck, an unsung hero of WWII

Post by Esquire » 2019-06-16 09:48am

The thing to remember is that air strikes don't work in WWI - often it's literally just a guy dropping mortar shells out of a fighter, especially in 1916 - and that heavy artillery can absolutely kill a bunch of people and smash the ground up, but can't permanently deny territory. There simply aren't enough shells in-theatre, and you need a lot of the ones there are to a) shoot back at the enemy guns, and b) keep enemy troops pinned down while yours advance, because it's basically impossible to take an un-suppressed trench line with infantry alone. With perfect God's-eye coordination, possibly you could achieve some local successes - but this early in the war, nobody's quite figured out bite-and-hold tactics, so very probably you just get thrown back with heavy losses anyway once the enemy reserves come up. There just isn't a lot of room to get fancy with a WWI Western Front offensive in 1916; too little ground, too many men and machine guns and artillery pieces, and too few of the tricks and innovations which will be developed later on.

In any case, if you're talking about the Voiee Sacree at Verdun, I don't believe it actually was in (at least practical, possibly not theoretical) German artillery range, so pending further research I'm not sure there's really anything to discuss.
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