Another artillery question

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ccamfield
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Another artillery question

Post by ccamfield » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:21 am

In 1944 were Canadian units in 21st Army Group using our locally-made CMP FATs to tow artillery, or the British Morrises? I would assume our units were using Canadian ones, but... I don't like to assume.

It seems odd that when I search LAC online, they don't have any photos of the CMP vehicles - but I'm not sure if I could distinguish between the two from a rear shot.

e.g. http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/Collection ... er=3607521

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Temujin
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Re: Another artillery question

Post by Temujin » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:41 am

ccamfield wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:21 am
In 1944 were Canadian units in 21st Army Group using our locally-made CMP FATs to tow artillery, or the British Morrises? I would assume our units were using Canadian ones, but... I don't like to assume.

It seems odd that when I search LAC online, they don't have any photos of the CMP vehicles - but I'm not sure if I could distinguish between the two from a rear shot.

e.g. http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/Collection ... er=3607521
That’s a hard question to answer. As Canadian units sometimes used a variety of vehicles. Normally they used Canadian Military Pattern vehicles but it all depended. For example, when the 5th Cdn Armoured Division arrived in Italy they “took over” British Armoured Division unit vehicles that they were replacing (instead of shipping all their vehicles from England to Italy). They found the vehicles in VERY poor shape, and most with only 2 wheel drive (Canadian vehicles almost ALL had 4 wheel drive)

A great site to look at CMP vehicles and gun equipment used in WW2 is:

http://www.mapleleafup.net/vehicles/softskin/fat.html

Also, if you look at the records of specific units at LAC, they tell you their vehicle ‘holdings” for each month in those records. I have some records for Engineer units, and it lists all the vehicles “on strength” for each month, types, numbers etc
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Re: Another artillery question

Post by Temujin » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:04 pm

This document indicates the Morris was the prime mover of Canadian field artillery. In my opinion, if you need to know “exactly” which equipment a specific unit was using during a particular time period, I would review their files (in the War Diary files) at LAC.

Fire Plan
The Canadian Army’s Fire Support System in Normandy
DAVID GREBSTAD

Tactical movement of the gun was provided by the gun tractor, specifically, the Morris four-wheel-drive field artillery tractor, branded colloquially by the gunners as the quad due to its four-wheel drive capability. The quad towed a square, box-like ammunition trailer, by 1944 the number 27 artillery trailer, that was positioned between the quad and the gun during movement and was used to store and transport thirty-two rounds of ammunition and propellant charges.

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Re: Another artillery question

Post by Temujin » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:15 pm

Most (or maybe I should say “a lot”) of the files for Artillery units have been digitized at Heritage Canadiana’s website. You can go look at individual units and look thru the info (you have to look “page by page” their search engine sucks). Heritage Canadiana’s website is:

http://heritage.canadiana.ca

I took a screen shot of “some” of the typical files they have and the file numbers. Just take the “reel number” from the front of this list (eg T-16422) and place it in the search bar at Heritage Canadiana and the file will come up.......then it’s just a LOT of looking.

NOTE: The files are NOT in order and you may have to look thru an ENTIRE reel to find something, as the files are “all mixed up”. Over the years researchers have used the paper files, and they didn’t neccesarily put them back in the right place.....Heritage Canadiana digitized them “how they came out of the box”......so some times the page, or record you are looking for may not be in the place you would expect.........it just takes a lot of reading.....and the like I said, no search engine to narrow the spot your looking for......good luck

If you have a specific UNIT you would like to look up, let me know, I’ll find the correct reel numbers to give you
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Re: Another artillery question

Post by Temujin » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:12 pm

I found an “example” of the type of information that LAC holds on units.

This is from the reels of the 4th Cdn Field Company, RCE and specifically a return from the 15th Cdn LAD (which was the attached LAD to this Field Company). Its just a “screen shot” of the page (not the entire page), but as you can see, it list’s various vehicle that the 4th FC has on strenght, serial number of the vehicle, type of vehicle etc.

So, if you really what to determine the type of vehicles a specific Artillery unit had, this info can be obtained at LAC
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Re: Another artillery question

Post by ccamfield » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:19 pm

Thanks temujin, that's wonderfully informative as always! I did not know about the artillery trailer in between quad and gun.

I have access to the spreadsheet which I think you have taken a screenshot from so no worries there. I wasn't looking for a specific unit, it was more that I came across a complaint about the FATs in August 44.
The performance of the wheeled tractor drawn 17-pounder equipment has not proved satisfactory and the need for more 17-pounder SP equipments has been represented by British as well as Canadian unit formations.
I guess actually any more information I could turn up on vehicle holdings for 7th Canadian AT Regiment might be helpful. But I don't know how I would work from that (which I think was a Corps level unit) to which field company or LAD was assigned to it. I have looked at their WD in the past.

P.S. and how interesting that we were mostly using Morris FATs!

P.P.S. I don't suppose you have any experience hunting down 21st Army Group / 1st Canadian Army memos at LAC? :D

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Re: Another artillery question

Post by Temujin » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:42 pm

Let me see if I can find the LAD for the 7th Cdn AT Regiment??

Here are “some” of them, but I’m not sure if I have the info for the 7th (but I’ll try)

1st Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment
13 Light Aid Detachment (B)

2nd Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment
69 Light Aid Detachment (A)

3rd Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment
35 Light Aid Detachment (A)

And on the other question about the 21st Army Group......I’ve never gone looking for a specific memo or topic.....so I can’t advise how successful you would be in finding something like that

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Re: Another artillery question

Post by ccamfield » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:57 pm

Thanks! I'm going to look into those even if I don't expect to learn anything new. Because I might!

I don't have much hope of finding particular correspondence either. I've filed a request for help with LAC but it could be some time before I get an answer.

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Re: Another artillery question

Post by Temujin » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:23 pm

Just found the LAD for the 7th AT Regiment;

It was the 67th LAD Detachment

Source: 7th Cdn AT Regiment War Diary Files on reel T-16721

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Re: Another artillery question

Post by ccamfield » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:53 pm

Ahh, so the LAD number was mentioned in the WD? I should have thought of that. Thank you very much!!

edited PS: hm, so the LAD documents were not part of the digitization effort, apparently...? I don't see them in the spreadsheet, but I found their file entries in the LAC database. :)

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