Remembrance Day: Saluting the Canadian vehicles that powered World War II

November 11, 1918… At 5:00 a.m. on this day, the Allied powers and Germany signed an armistice document in the railway carriage of Ferdinand Foch, the commander of the Allied armies, and six hours later World War I came to an end.

 

The first Remembrance Day (then called Armistice Day) was celebrated on November 11, 1919.

Every year since then, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Canadians attend ceremonies in honour of all who have fallen. We all (hopefully) observe a moment of silence to mark the sacrifice of the many who have fallen in the service of their country, and to acknowledge the courage of those who still serve.

This year, here at EastCoastTester.com, we acknowledge the large contribution made by Canadian auto workers who, during World War II, turned their skills into building vehicles for the Allied armies.

 

GM Canada built this Fox Armoured Vehicle, now owned by James Gosling (Photo: Alf Van Beem)

 

 

Saluting the Canadian auto industry for building the vehicles needed by the Allies during WWII

Because most of Britain’s army vehicles had been abandoned during the massive rescue of British soldiers at Dunkirk, the English army turned to Canada, in particular the Canadian auto industry, to help supply much-needed vehicles.

Over the course of World War II, the Canadian auto industry designed and built 800,000 military transport vehicles, 50,000 tanks, 40,000 guns, 1,700,000 small arms. With a ratio of one vehicle for every three soldiers, the Canadian army was the most mechanized field force in the war.

 

The Ford Lynx Scout. The bulbous rear houses the engine (Photo: Chris Shillito – including feature image)

 

Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) vehicles became the standard upon which other armies of the British Commonwealth designed and built their vehicles.

 

A Chevrolet Gun Tractor – CGT (Photo: Kitchener.Lord)

 

 

Canadian-built vehicles desired on both sides of the battlefront

These Canadians vehicles were built in Ontario by both Ford and GM Canada (Chevrolet). Even the Germans acknowledged the superiority of these vehicles – an intercepted memo ordered the use of captured Canadian vehicles over the use of German vehicles as the ones built in Canada did not get stuck in sand.

 

Chevrolet built the Canadian Military Pattern truck in Oshawa, Ontario. (Photo: Trekphiler)

 

Ford’s Lynx Scout (the lead image) was a light reconnaissance vehicle built in Windsor, Ontario that resembled a mutant beetle. Powered by a 239 CI Ford flathead V8 and weighing a hefty 9370 pounds, the Lynx was not quick, but fairly maneuverable in tight terrain.

 

Today, as we remember those who fought, and continue to fight, in the world’s wars, we also salute the Canadian workers  who stayed behind to build the vehicles and equipment that helped win World War II.

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