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'Not Competent to Produce Tanks' Canadian Tank Production

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Sparlingo View Post
    Largely that is what happened, so far as trucks go, as the article notes, Canada produced more trucks than Germany, Italy, and Japan combined. By 1942 half of Britain's trucks were produced in Canada, see the first paragraphs of page 2.
    Yes I was aware of Canadian truck production. My comment was a bit badly worded, as what I really meant to say was that the production facilities that Canada allocated to tanks would have been better allocated to the production of less complex but still vital equipment.
    "Looting would not be tolerated within the Division, unless organised with the knowledge of C.O.'s on a unit basis."
    - 15/19 Hussars War Diary, 18th March 1945

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Don Juan View Post
      Yes I was aware of Canadian truck production. My comment was a bit badly worded, as what I really meant to say was that the production facilities that Canada allocated to tanks would have been better allocated to the production of less complex but still vital equipment.
      However the Ram proved the basis for useful AFVs such as the Kangaroo APC and the Sexton SPG both of which were used in action in some numbers.
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #18
        Still wondering if an economic principle was not at the bottom of producing 'in house'.
        The repetition of affirmations leads to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, you better wake up and look at the facts.

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        • #19
          Context folks, context.

          Graham Broad's title i.e.

          'Not competent to produce tanks'
          The Ram and Tank Production in Canada, 1939-1945

          is intentionally contentious, a Journalism 101 technique for drawing interest to an article. Essentially Board goes on to disprove the assertion i.e.

          "The problems that confronted production were so numerous and so complex that, were it not for the fact that so many tanks were successfully built, one might be tempted to agree with the British government's initial assessment that Canadian firms were not competent to build tanks."

          What were the circumstances that led to the "not competent to build tanks" in the first place?

          "On the outbreak of war in September 1939 the military gave no consideration to producing tanks in Canada and the government agreed that its forces would be supplied with tanks of British manufacture. Not only did a report to the British Ministry of Supply in March 1940 conclude that Canadian firms were not competent to produce tanks, but Canadian industry as a whole was also drastically underutilized for the first eight months of the war. Precious months, during which Canadian firms might have mobilized for war work, slipped by. With the Department of Supply in London eager to foster Britainís own armaments industry, Canada was treated as purely as a marginal source of armaments. Factories that might have converted to military production sat idle or continued to work on civilian orders; indeed, 1940 was another bumper year for the passenger car industry."

          Remember, as Massachusetts born, M.I.T. educated Clarence Decatur Howe, father of Air Canada, Canada's Minister of Munitions and Supply 1940-45, and Chairman of the Canadian Mutual Aid Board said early in the war:

          "Never again will there be any doubt that Canada can manufacture anything that can be manufactured elsewhere." And that includes tanks.

          (Andy, you're bad!)
          "I am Groot"
          - Groot

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          • #20
            Originally posted by MarkV View Post
            However the Ram proved the basis for useful AFVs such as the Kangaroo APC and the Sexton SPG both of which were used in action in some numbers.
            It seems to me that if the assembly lines were already set up to build the Sherman in the USA it would be better to build other useful designs like the Kangaroo like you said.
            It's not that they could not be built here CD Howe was a capable engineer and there were others but their efforts would be better spent else where.
            I'm just finishing up on Lake Superior Regiment (In The Face of Danger) by George F. Stanley. The Kangaroo came in handy for the LSR @ The Hocwald Gap along with other places on the way.
            If an invention didn't pan out one way it could find a use in another as some times things are invented by mistake (come by chance).

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Marmat View Post
              Graham Broad's title i.e.

              'Not competent to produce tanks'
              The Ram and Tank Production in Canada, 1939-1945

              is intentionally contentious, a Journalism 101 technique for drawing interest to an article. Essentially Board goes on to disprove the assertion i.e.

              "The problems that confronted production were so numerous and so complex that, were it not for the fact that so many tanks were successfully built, one might be tempted to agree with the British government's initial assessment that Canadian firms were not competent to build tanks."

              What were the circumstances that led to the "not competent to build tanks" in the first place?

              "On the outbreak of war in September 1939 the military gave no consideration to producing tanks in Canada and the government agreed that its forces would be supplied with tanks of British manufacture. Not only did a report to the British Ministry of Supply in March 1940 conclude that Canadian firms were not competent to produce tanks, but Canadian industry as a whole was also drastically underutilized for the first eight months of the war. Precious months, during which Canadian firms might have mobilized for war work, slipped by. With the Department of Supply in London eager to foster Britainís own armaments industry, Canada was treated as purely as a marginal source of armaments. Factories that might have converted to military production sat idle or continued to work on civilian orders; indeed, 1940 was another bumper year for the passenger car industry."

              Remember, as Massachusetts born, M.I.T. educated Clarence Decatur Howe, father of Air Canada, Canada's Minister of Munitions and Supply 1940-45, and Chairman of the Canadian Mutual Aid Board said early in the war:

              "Never again will there be any doubt that Canada can manufacture anything that can be manufactured elsewhere." And that includes tanks.

              (Andy, you're bad!)
              Hi Marmat. I agree with you, as I always do, the title doesn't reflect the story Dr. Graham Broad is telling, That is nothing to get too excited about, though. It was a Canadian Academic article written by a Canadian meant for Canadian consumption, and was, in fact, an excellent article. Canadian WW2 production of war materiel was second to none on a per capita basis despite some difficulties with the complexity of tank production. So in the end Canada had an American as it's production genius - C.D. Howe, Britain had a Canadian as it's War production genius - Lord BeaverbrooK. It's a shame that United States didn't have a Brit as their production genius, to complete the circle.

              The winning out of North American mass production techniques (which Canada was apart of - particularly trucks) was a big part of the story of winning the war, Graham Broad does a good job in the article of canada's role in that.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Marmat View Post
                (Andy, you're bad!)
                Hi Marmat

                Well only on some days

                I don't disagree BTW about the Journalistic 101 headline but sometimes you have to headline a article/thread to garner interest, and it seems to have worked.
                I usually post these 'Hope its of some Interest' type articles because I've found them interesting myself, want more opinions about the article or that there in places (journals etc) where most people wouldn't look or pay etc.

                Regards

                Andy (Bad) H
                "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                  Essentially a modified Sherman type with a huge hatch in the side. Must have presented a fine target since it opened directly into the crew compartment.
                  They did remove the doors fairly quickly. The overall weight of the tank actually dropped when they removed the doors and went with solid sides by 1385 lbs.


                  Automotive/maintenance wise it's the same as an M3 for the earlier vehicles and then basically an M4 when they stopped using the M3 lower front, all using the R-975 engines (not that there's a huge difference between the M3-M4 just the lower front changing really) Some documents from the period confirm the Ram was capable of using the one piece cast front as well even listing clearance differences if used.

                  The engine was actually governed higher then in the M3/M4's at least so the Canadians reported. stating a higher top speed in them. 2100 rpm governed in the M3, not sure exactly where the M4 sat but it could do 2400 rpm for short periods I believe.

                  The Ram manual states "The maximum allowable amount of surge is from 100-150 rpm at 2400 rpm tachometer reading."

                  While memo's talking about the M4's in use state them having a lower top speed then the Ram due to the engine being governed at a lower rpm.

                  Armour wise It trumps the early sherman's as well. 76-89 mm frontal hull (lower front same as the M3/M4's) The sides are 76-70 mm or so in construction at least around the crew compartment. The turret had 76 to 63 mm or so sides and rear, the front was a complicated mess but overall protection was quite decent. The front cover was at least 76mm thick with an inner mantlet that covered the inside that was most likely just as thick. Then they had splash shields that covered the entire inner mantlet as well.

                  One of the "pro's" listed for keeping the Ram instead of switching to the Sherman was it's better protection when they were trying to decide if they should standardize with the US.


                  As for the 75mm being a reason for a switch it was and was not depending on the date. They went as far as saying they would have to "Sacrifice" the six pounder and go with the 75mm to try and appease the Americans so they could get in production and standardized quicker.

                  They actually wanted a version of the Sherman at one point to have the 6 pounder, and it would have basically been the M4 turret with the Ram front to allow the 6 pounder to be mounted.

                  As for draw backs the largest complaints were in regrades to things like how tiring it was for drivers due to the clutch. They did switch from the Borg-warner to a Lipe clutch like in later sherman's but I have no idea if this corrected said issue.

                  The machine gun cupola was another sticky spot as they had trouble getting it splashed proof (removed in later vehicles)

                  Overall vision was another issue and they did correct this mostly by adding in a gunners periscope, a loaders and an extra one for the commander. That said they did want to replace the commanders cupola hatch with an all around vision type and actually experimented with a number but this never seemed to materialize.

                  Turret traverse was poor as well due to the Logan type and it had problems with creep speed. One solution would have been to switch to something like the Oilgear which the Americans did doing away with the Logan and Westinghouse type eventually but I guess the demand was to high to get any.

                  In 1943 they had a plan to convert quite a number of Rams to "operational" status, I guess this was at a point they did not know if they would receive enough Shermans. During this period they were going to convert a few hundred to the 6 pdr/75mm conversion. They finished about 40 before they called it off due to no longer needing them.

                  While it had a smaller turret ring then the M4 it was by no means "Small" and it seems the 75mm may have been intended for it as well as the 6 pdr.

                  A 60.5 inch ring when you compare it to things like the Churchill with it's 54 inch ring or what they could shove into the T-34-85's and the Pz IV's 63 inch rings.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Whelm View Post
                    They did remove the doors fairly quickly. The overall weight of the tank actually dropped when they removed the doors and went with solid sides by 1385 lbs.


                    Automotive/maintenance wise it's the same as an M3 for the earlier vehicles and then basically an M4 when they stopped using the M3 lower front, all using the R-975 engines (not that there's a huge difference between the M3-M4 just the lower front changing really) Some documents from the period confirm the Ram was capable of using the one piece cast front as well even listing clearance differences if used.

                    The engine was actually governed higher then in the M3/M4's at least so the Canadians reported. stating a higher top speed in them. 2100 rpm governed in the M3, not sure exactly where the M4 sat but it could do 2400 rpm for short periods I believe.

                    The Ram manual states "The maximum allowable amount of surge is from 100-150 rpm at 2400 rpm tachometer reading."

                    While memo's talking about the M4's in use state them having a lower top speed then the Ram due to the engine being governed at a lower rpm.

                    Armour wise It trumps the early sherman's as well. 76-89 mm frontal hull (lower front same as the M3/M4's) The sides are 76-70 mm or so in construction at least around the crew compartment. The turret had 76 to 63 mm or so sides and rear, the front was a complicated mess but overall protection was quite decent. The front cover was at least 76mm thick with an inner mantlet that covered the inside that was most likely just as thick. Then they had splash shields that covered the entire inner mantlet as well.

                    One of the "pro's" listed for keeping the Ram instead of switching to the Sherman was it's better protection when they were trying to decide if they should standardize with the US.


                    As for the 75mm being a reason for a switch it was and was not depending on the date. They went as far as saying they would have to "Sacrifice" the six pounder and go with the 75mm to try and appease the Americans so they could get in production and standardized quicker.

                    They actually wanted a version of the Sherman at one point to have the 6 pounder, and it would have basically been the M4 turret with the Ram front to allow the 6 pounder to be mounted.

                    As for draw backs the largest complaints were in regrades to things like how tiring it was for drivers due to the clutch. They did switch from the Borg-warner to a Lipe clutch like in later sherman's but I have no idea if this corrected said issue.

                    The machine gun cupola was another sticky spot as they had trouble getting it splashed proof (removed in later vehicles)

                    Overall vision was another issue and they did correct this mostly by adding in a gunners periscope, a loaders and an extra one for the commander. That said they did want to replace the commanders cupola hatch with an all around vision type and actually experimented with a number but this never seemed to materialize.

                    Turret traverse was poor as well due to the Logan type and it had problems with creep speed. One solution would have been to switch to something like the Oilgear which the Americans did doing away with the Logan and Westinghouse type eventually but I guess the demand was to high to get any.

                    In 1943 they had a plan to convert quite a number of Rams to "operational" status, I guess this was at a point they did not know if they would receive enough Shermans. During this period they were going to convert a few hundred to the 6 pdr/75mm conversion. They finished about 40 before they called it off due to no longer needing them.

                    While it had a smaller turret ring then the M4 it was by no means "Small" and it seems the 75mm may have been intended for it as well as the 6 pdr.

                    A 60.5 inch ring when you compare it to things like the Churchill with it's 54 inch ring or what they could shove into the T-34-85's and the Pz IV's 63 inch rings.
                    Interesting post. Welcome to the forums. +1
                    How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                    Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                      Interesting post. Welcome to the forums. +1
                      Thanks.


                      I'd post some nice photos from a firing test but I need to get a higher post count it seems first.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Whelm View Post
                        Thanks.


                        I'd post some nice photos from a firing test but I need to get a higher post count it seems first.
                        I believe 3 more might do it .
                        How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                        Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Whelm View Post
                          Thanks.


                          I'd post some nice photos from a firing test but I need to get a higher post count it seems first.
                          Welcome aboard.

                          You can post a brief introduction in the topmost "Introductions" forum and then post a couple of your favorite jokes way down in the "Barracks - Barracks Humor" forums. Those will bring you up to the 5 posts you need.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                            I believe 3 more might do it .
                            Ah it's only 5 total, alright then.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Interesting numbers from Canadian archive material.

                              Early spec sheet for the Ram 1 and 2

                              weight: 65,500 lbs stowed
                              crew: 5

                              Armour
                              X Turret front 3 inches
                              X Turret sides 2.75 - 3 inches
                              X Turret rear 2.5 inches
                              X Turret top 1.5 inches
                              Turret floor 1.5 - 2 inches

                              X Hull front upper 3.5 inches
                              X Hull front lower 2 inches
                              X Hull side upper 2 - 3 inches
                              Hull side lower 1.5 inches
                              X Rear upper 1.5 inches
                              Rear lower 1.5 inches
                              X Hull top 1 inch
                              X Hull floor .5 - 1 inch
                              X Cupola 2.5 inches

                              X indicates cast armour



                              "Data Book, Tank Type Vehicles of Canadian manufacturer"
                              Army engineering design branch
                              department of munitions and supply Canada

                              Basic construction
                              Upper hull and turret - heavy cast armour steel.
                              Lower hull, armour steel plates riveted and welded.

                              Front 1.75 - 3.5 inches
                              Rear 1.5 inches
                              Sides 1.5 - 2.5 inches
                              Top hull 1.5 - 3 inches
                              Bottom 1 inch


                              At the end of 1942 a ram was towing a target for gunners to fire upon. A 2 pdr crew mistook the Ram as the target and fired upon it at a range of roughly 250-300 yards with a full service charge AP round.

                              It penetrated through the hull side and the side of the turret basket, hitting the opposite sponson wall and bouncing around the inside. When it punched into the basket it wounded the gunner in his leg and destroyed his seat.

                              The stated construction thickness for this location was said to be 2.75 - 3 inches in a memo on the incident and the actual hole measured out to 2.75 inches upon examination.

                              The conclusion after examination and testing was the armour did it's job with very little petaling and was of high quality.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Firing trail done on Ram II turret front. August 1942

                                This was Tank # 52 so one of the first 6 pdr tanks.
                                2 pdr and 6 pdr rounds were used against it, the goal was to see how secure the attachment was when under fire.


                                So it will be using the first version of the mounting, the design changed a few times as time progressed, you can find photos of late versions where they no longer have the horseshoe for example on the front. The inner mantlet was improved as well.

                                Blow out, shows the parts nicely.


                                Before firing (other then some splash testing)


                                Stripped down for examination after.




                                The inner mantlet.




                                Nothing manged to fully penetrate the front plate, the deepest a round went was 70 mm roughly and it did not bulge the rear of the plate but left some small cracks.

                                One round hit the horseshoe where it was not backed up by the front plate, it penetrated this (45 mm) then struck the smaller adapter plate that covered the keyhole opening in the mantlet at it's thinnest point at the top (25 mm) it then struck the mantlet proper leaving about a 41 mm impression in the plate, but as you can see no damage on the inner face from that.

                                the very end of the report they state no casualties would have occurred to crew in the turret.

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