Weasels etc.November 28 2009 at 10:19 AM
|Roger Lucy |
Response to Documents
No need to rush, as I am up to my eyebrows within he Ram. However, I would certainly like to see the material at some point. The project McNaughton is referring to is one commissioned by the British Ministry of Supply, which around that time asked Canada to design a snow-crossing vehicle that could carry either: a Bofors 40mm gun; 1.5 tons of cargo or personnel. As existing Bombardier snow-mobiles were too small for this role, GM developed a 3/4-track vehicle powered by an 8 cylinder Cadillac engine, with an automatic transmission and ski and brake-steering. Pilost of the Personnel and Bofors Carriers we ready in early 1943, but at 11,460 lbs they were way too heavy for either their skis and their suspension, The tracks also required redesign (maybe this is the "prototype tracking system" the NRC blurb was referring to). The project was dropped in July 1943, when the Ministry of Supply advised that, due to changing tactical conditions, the War Office was no longer interested in the system.
An off-shoot of this development work,however, was the Armoured Snowmobile Mk.I, 410 of which were produced for the British in 1944/45. Trials had shown that the Armoured Snowmobile could easily wade through deep water, snow and mud and British Ministry of Supply requested an amphibious version of it which could be used in hot climates. This eventually led to the Mudcat and Muskrat, but neither were ready before the war had ended.
Earlier (August 1943) Major-General "Tubby" Lethbridge, whose 220 Military Mission was looking for equipment to use in SE Asia, had seen and fallen in love with the prototype of the Canadian Tracked Jeep. He requested six pilot versions. Unfortunately while the Tracked Jeep performed impressively, no one could think up a useful tactical role for it, and once an example arrived in the UK the War Office disowned it. As far as they were concerned it nothing more than a reinvention of the pre-war Carden-Loyd tankette. (Looking at the CWM's survivor, sitting beside an Italian L-35 tankette, one can see their point).
- Bofors - Ken Joyce on Nov 28, 2009, 2:53 PM
- snow machines - Monty Convoy R.I,P. on Nov 28, 2009, 6:05 PM
- Wapiti - Roger Lucy on Nov 29, 2009, 8:23 AM