Canada has been
credited with having made an outstanding contribution in her
provision of military vehicles.
As part of this design development history, it is only fitting to
record that this achievement resulted from the wholehearted
co-operation of a large number of individuals.
It is true that
Canada's automotive industry was well equipped physically; but it is
equally true that these physical assets would not have been used to
the same advantage had not a spirit of all-out-effort prevailed.
Engineering Design Branch, placed as it was at a focal point of
development,had a unique opportunity of witnessing the contribution
provided by Individuals and groups. It is with a keen appreciation
of the facts that this Branch pays tribute to both the Users and to
Industry for the efforts put forth and to the honesty of purpose
which was displayed.
The Users placed their design demand! In our hands in a way that
permitted Industry to use its best judgment and initiative within
the limits of the contemplated use of the vehicle. For the sake of
the overall programme they often accepted compromises which must
have been "hard to take". The understanding, displayed by the troops
in the Field, toward design shortcomings spurred the designers to
improve in a way that nothing else could have done.
The men of Industry buried Inter-company rivalry and co-operated In
long hours of effort. Many times the requirements in the Field
changed just when a new design was ready for release. Nothing could
have been more disheartening but the vocal expression of the
disappointment was usually restricted to one choice word. How well
these awn did their job needs no elaboration here as the vehicles
themselves represent the most authentic testimony.
The personnel of Army Engineering Design Branch count it a privilege
to have had the opportunity of working with capable people who so
wholeheartedly subordinated self interest to a common effort.
During World War
II, Canada produced upwards of 900,000 vehicles for Military users,
these ranged in type all the way from modified conventional
commercial trucks to tanks.
Obviously, a great deal of experience was gained as a result.
Lessons were learned which applied to design, production, operation
and maintenance. What value this experience may be for the immediate
and the extended future cannot be foreseen at present; but it does
not appear right to throw it away lightly.
Voluminous quantities of records were accumulated during the
development, manufacture and use of these vehicles. Those, which are
considered of any possible future value, are being retained.
However, the quantity of correspondence, specifications, drawings
and so forth is so great that it is questionable whether full use
could be made of them without some key. Furthermore, it would be
very difficult for anyone, other than those who were directly
involved, to make proper summary of that intangible item "experience
The Army Engineering Design Branch of the Department of Munitions
and Supply was charged with its responsibility of obtaining or
creating the design for these vehicles, in order to provide a key to
the mass of design records and in order to record experience gained,
this Branch is issuing a "Vehicle Development Record" of which this
is Volume I.
The complete "Vehicle Development Record" consists of eight volumes,
Volume I - General (Including
Volume II - Armoured Vehicles
(other than tanks),
Volume III - Tanks and Tank Type
Volume IV - Self Propelled MT
Volume V - Bodies and
Volume VI - Technical Vehicles,
Volume VII - Trailers,
Volume VIII - Mod and Snow
Volume I deals with items of a general nature, but the remaining
seven volumes refer to specific classes of vehicles or components,
each of the latter volumes are further subdivided. In this manner,
it has been possible to write a history of the development of each
class of vehicle and to provide an illustrated data sheet for every
individual vehicle which are not definitely obsoleted.
In writing the various "histories of development", a sincere effort
has been made to be factual. Any suggestions for future
consideration or any opinions given are clearly identified as such.
It will be noted that discussion of design failures or weaknesses
are not avoided. This is done so that the future designer may save
time by avoiding some of the errors that were made during the war.
In fact, it is EXPERIENCE, both good and bad, that is recorded.
An index, applicable to all eight volumes, may be found in the final
pages of Volume I.
Reference is made in these books to the places where more detailed
information may be found. Each page which describee an individual
vehicle gives a list of such references, similar information is
given throughout the historical text.
It is not intended that these books should be of use to the designer
only. They are intended to form a general master reference which
gives a broad description and which also provides the key references
for the location of more detailed information. Thus, they should be
of value to anyone as a starting point for inquiry or study.
December 31st, 1945