Let's know a girl who was not very famous, but it was very important in the formation and training of the Canadian Armoured Divisions: The Grizzly I cruiser tank:
|Grizzly I cruiser tank|
The Grizzly I was a Canadian-built M4A1 Sherman tank with some modifications, it had thicker,armour (applique armour welded or extra-casting in the sides of upper hull and casting armour in the right cheek of the turret), had a longer range, and, most notably was fitted with Canadian Dry Pin (CDP) tracks, which did not require rubber, a scarce wartime material.
|Grizzly I - drills in Camp Meaford, Ontario - Canada, 1944.|
Notice the extra-armour welded in the sides
and thicker armour in the right cheek of the turret
|Grizzly I cruiser tank - notice the|
extra-armour casting in the hull side and
in the turret's right cheek.
|Ram Mk II tank|
In September 1942, specifications were issued in Canada for the production of the Sherman modified to meet Canadian requirements. It was intended to replace the Ram Mk II on the assembly lines at the Montreal Locomotive Works. The change over was delayed until August 1943 to minimize any disruption of the production effort. The model of the Sherman selected was the M4A1 designated by the Canadians as the Grizzly 1.
|M4A1 Sherman medium tank|
It was essentially identical to the U.S. version except for British stowage and the installation of a Number 19 radio set and a 2 inch bomb thrower (smoke mortar) in the turret.
The latter item was subsequently adopted as standard on U.S. tanks. Some of the Grizzlies were fitted with the short pitch Canadian Dry Pin (CDP) track requiring special 17 tooth sprockets. In comparison, the M4 used 13 tooth drive sprockets. The CDP track was lighter and simpler than the standard US tracks and did not require rubber, which was scarce since the Japanese advance into Southeast Asia.
|Grizzly I in parade. Notice the sandshields...|
|Canadian dry pin tracks and drive sprocket|
By December 1943, 188 Grizzlies had been built. Production stopped with the end of the year since adequate supplies of tanks were available from U.S. sources. The Grizzly I Cruiser tank program was officially completed in January of 1944.
|Grizzlies and Sextons under construction|
Montreal Locomotive Works plant
Grizzly WD numbers:
|CT160194 - CT160279||86 Vehicles with plain hulls later fitted with welded applique armour.|
|CT163911 - CT163930|
CT163949 - CT163955
|28 vehicles all with cast extra armour. All from a batch which was originally to be 102 vehicles but was reduced.|
Instead, MLW produced the Sexton self-propelled gun Mk II. The Sexton Mk II used the Grizzly chassis, with the upper hull modified to carry the Commonwealth standard QF 25 pounder gun. The Sexton was the Commonwealth counterpart to the US M7 Priest. A small batch of Grizzly medium tank was fitted with an Ordnance QF 17-pounder for training but none saw action.
|Grizzly I cruiser Firefly with 17 pdr. gun|
Some of the Grizzlies were shipped to the United Kingdom and the remainder were assigned to training units in Canada.
Some were converted into the Skink anti-aircraft tank with a turret mounting four 20 mm Polsten guns . The Skinks had hulls without extra armor.
|Grizzly training in Canada, 1944.|
|Skink AA tank - right side|
|Skink AA tank - left side|
|Grizzly in Portuguese Army|
Amazingly, the Grizzly class of Sherman tanks represent some of the more numerous types of Shermans still running today.
|Place of origin||Canada|
|In service||1943-45 (Canada)|
|Used by|| Canada|
|Wars||Second World War|
|Manufacturer||Montreal Locomotive Works|
|Weight||29.91 t (30 tonnes)|
|Crew||5 (Commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/hull gunner)|
|High Velocity 75 mm M3 L/40 gun|
|2 x .30-Browning machine gun|
|Engine||Continental R-975 9-cyl radial gas|
400/340 hp (298/254 kW)
|Suspension||Vertical volute spring|
To build the Grizzly, I'll use the old Sherman M4A1 75mm early version (#6048) Dragon (the kit was crippled, without suspensions, which bought for pennies in the good times of eBay). To replace the missing bogies, I'll use Academy's ones...again, from my scrap-box.
|Sherman M4A1 Dragon #6048|
Strarting the project by the Academy's bogies...As Canadians bogies were more prominent strengthening ribs vertically in the suspensions of the Grizzlies,..
|Notice the canadian bogie...|
...I decided to make this detail with plasticard: Plastruct!!
|Academy's bogies with Plastruct...|
|Academy's bogies in Dragon chassi...OK !!|
While the suspensions dry, we will take care of extra armour on the cheek turret. The real thing:
I'll use the CDP tracks from Friulmodels. Awesome tracks kit:
And already preparing the painting and markings:
|Note the increased thickness in the area...|
|Marking the bottom edge...|
|Using spare part...|
|Done...The hull is almost ready...|
|Putty plus cetone to do the casting surface of turret|
And already preparing the painting and markings:
|Notice the absence of tools in the rear deck.|
The Grizzlies at this time and place not carried tools on the hull.
Weird, huh ???
|Next step: decals and weathering...|
And the girl was ready ( sorry about pics; my camera is in agony...): Grizzly I cruiser tank - Camp Borden - Meaford Ranges, Canada, 1944.
|Grizzly I cruiser tank - "X" tank - Camp Borden - Meaford Ranges|
|Grizzly I cruiser tank - left side|
|Grizzly I cruiser tank - right side|
|Grizzly I cruiser tank with Kojak and Rover, the dog.|
Thanks for follow, Gents !!!