Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Tanks and AFVs (7) New Brunswick, 5 CDSB Gagetown, NBMHM

 Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles,

New Brunswick Military History Museum,

5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown

Data current to 17 Oct 2019.

The data found on this page has been compiled by the author.  Photos are by the author unless otherwise credited.  Any additions, correctons or amendments to this list of Armoured Fighting Vehicles at 5 CDSG Gagetown would be most welcome. 

If you have information and photographs of armoured fighting vehicles missing from this list that you are willing to share, updates would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at hskaarup@rogers.com.

Une traduction au français pour l'information technique présente serait grandement apprécié. Vos corrections, changements et suggestions sont les bienvenus, et peuvent être envoyés au hskaarup@rogers.com

Main entrance to 5 CDSB Gagetown

Location diagram of Tanks, Armoured Fighting Vehicles, Artillery and military equipment at 5 CDSB Gagetown.

New Brunswick Military History Museum

 (DND Photo)

M4A2(76)W HVSS Sherman "Easy 8" medium tank, on exercise at Camp Gagetown in the 1960s.

M4A2(76)W HVSS Sherman "Easy 8" medium tank, CFR 65038, built by Fisher, Reg. No. 30123017, “Fox”, painted as CFR 78-980, New Brunswick Military History Museum, first on the right as you enter through the Main Gate to 5 CDSB Gagetown. 

M4A2 (76)W HVSS Sherman "Easy 8" Medium Tank

In 1946 the Canadian Army acquired 294 M4A2 (76-mm) Wet Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension (HVSS) Sherman tanks manufactured in the USA by the Fisher Tank Arsenal in Grand Blanc, Michigan between May 1944 and May 1945.  The Canadians referred to this tank as the M4A2E8.  Compared with the Shermans used by Canadians in the Second World War, the ammunition storage in the new tanks was improved by surrounding the racks with water and ethylene glycol-filled jackets to reduce the probability of explosion in the event of penetration of the armour by enemy fire.  The tanks equipped with this protection system were designated "Wet".  The M4A2E8 was powered by a pair of side-by-side mounted General Motors 6046 diesel engines producing 375 hp mounted in the rear of the hull. 

The tank could sustain a speed of 48 kmh (30 mph).  Its main armament was a 76-mm M1A2 long-barreled, high-velocity gun fitted with a muzzle brake.  Its secondary armament included one Browning .30-calibre M1919A4 machine-gun mounted co-axially with the main gun, a bow machine-gun in the front of the hull, and a Browning .50-calibre machine-gun mounted on a post between the loader's and commander's hatches for AA protection.  The HVSS system used four wheels per bogie instead of two, which allowed tracks that were wider (165-mm) to be installed, and which made for better performance on soft ground and allowed for a smoother ride.  The M4A2E8 had a five-man crew.  The driver and co-driver sat in the front of the hull with the driver on the left and co-driver on the right.  The crew commander, loader and gunner sat in the turret.  The crew commander's position was on the right side of the turret, the loader sat on his left and the gunner sat in front of the commander.  Both regular and reserve units used these tanks, including the 8th CH in Sussex and various units training at Camp Gagetown until they were replaced by the Centurion tank in the mid 1950s.

Armoured Vehicle General Purpose (AVGP) AFVs

The AVGP (Armoured Vehicle General Purpose) is a series of three armoured fighting vehicles ordered by the Canadian military in 1977.  The three vehicles are the Cougar, Grizzly and Husky.  These vehicles were based on the six-wheeled version of the Swiss MOWAG Piranha I.  They formerly had propellers and trim vanes for amphibious use, like the eight-wheeled Bison.  Recent retrofits have removed the marine drive system, as it is no longer used and service is expensive.  The Canadian Armed Forces’ LAV III, the United States Marine Corps’ LAV-25, and the US Army’s Stryker are other variants of the Piranha family. 

The AVGP variants brought into Canadian service were intended for use only in Canada, but they were eventually pressed into service for several United Nations missions, including UNPROFOR and the mission to Somalia.

AVGP Cougar, CFR 78-37368, painted as 21C.  This is the third vehicle on the right on the right as you enter 5 CDSB Gagetown. 

AVGP Cougar

The AVGP (Armoured Vehicle General Purpose) Cougar is used as a tank trainer, and as a fire support vehicle on United Nations missions.  It is manned by a three-man crew.  It is armed with a 76-mm main gun mounted in the turret of a British Scorpion reconnaissance vehicle.  It is one of a series of three armoured fighting vehicles ordered by the Canadian military in 1977.  The Cougar  served with the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s), C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, and 5th Canadian Division Training Centre at CFB Gagetown until they were replaced by the LAV III.

155-mm M109 Self-Propelled Howitzer, CFR 85-77247, 1985, AC: NX, ECC: 119205 HUI C: 0105, SAUI C: 0105, VMO No. DLE21802, VMO.  Painted as 45B.  This is the fourth vehicle on the right on the right as you enter 5 CDSB Gagetown. 

155-mm M109A4B Self-Propelled Howitzer

The M109 is an American-made self-propelled 155-mm Howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s.  76 A4B+ were in use by the Canadian Forces from 1967 until they were phased ou in 2005.  In the 1980s of of these SP Howitzers were modernized to the M109A4B+ SPH standard.  24 of the M109s served with 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (4 CMBG) in Germany, with the remainder disptributed to units in Canada, including CFB Shilo where more extensive and varied live fire exercises could be carried out than those conducted by 1 RCHA at Grafenwoehr and Musnter in Germany. Many were in service at CFB Gagetown.

The M109 has a crew of six: the section chief, the driver, the gunner, the assistant gunner and two ammunition handlers.  The gunner aims the cannon left or right (deflection) and the assistant gunner aims the cannon up and down (quadrant).  The cannon is an M185 155-mm Howitzer.  It has a secondary armament of a .50-inch (12.7-mm) M2 machine gun, Mk I9 Mod 3 40-mm Automatic Grenade Launcher, or 7.62-mm M60 or M240 machine gun.

M113A2 Armoured Personnel Carrier, CFR 66-35387, painted as 52, this vehicle is a runner.  This is the fifth vehicle on the right as you enter 5 CDSB Gagetown.

M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier

The M113 is an American designed fully tracked armored personnel carrier (APC) first put into service April 1962.  Canada purchased 1,143 M113s from the mid-1960s through the 1990s.  The M113 uses aluminum armour, making it much light enough to be air-transportable and moderately amphibious, but with armour thick enough to protect the crew and passengers against small arms fire. It is powered by a Detroit 6V53 V6 two-stroke diesel engine.  The M113 is armed with a single Browning .50 caliber M2 machine gun.  M113s can swim without deploying flotation curtains, using only a front-mounted trim vane; they are propelled in the water by their tracks.  Canadian M113s have been upgraded with external fuel tanks and internal spall liners for improved protection.  Variants in Canadian service included armoured ambulances, mortar carriers, engineer vehicles and command post vehicles.  They have been used at 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown by the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, 4th Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, and the 5th Canadian Division Training Centre.

Centurion Main Battle Tank Mk. 5, CFR 52-31201, 20-pounder main gun.  This is sixth vehicle on the right as you enter 5 CDSB Gagetown, On the corner of Tilley Ave., Southeast of the Base Medical Centre.

Centurion Main Battle Tank Mk. 5

The British designed Centurion was the primary Canadian main battle tank of the post-Second World War era, and was continuosly updated for many years.  The Canadian Army took delivery of 274 Centurion Main Battle Tank Mk 3 between 1952 and 1953.   The Centurion had well-sloped armour, superior mobility and excellent gun and fire control systems compared with its potential adversaries during the Cold War.  The first 21 Canadian Centurions were delivered to the Royal Canadian Dragoons serving with the Canadian Contingent of NATO forces in Germany in March 1952.  The Centurions were used for training in Canada in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Improvements introduced with the Mk 3 included a more powerful version of the engine and a new gunsight and gun stabiliser. The Mk. 3 tanks were modified to Mk. 5 standard with the replacement of the co-axial Besa MG with a .30-calibre Browning MG.  Most of the Centurions in Canada retained 20-pounder main guns, while the Centurions in Europe were up-gunned to the Mk. 6 standard with the L7 105-mm main gun and additional armour in 1962.  All later variants of the Centurion, from Mark 5/2 on, used the L7 gun.  Centurions remained in Canadian service with the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s), and C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps and 5th Canadian Division Training Centre at CFB Gagetown until 1979 when they were replaced with the Leopard MBT.

Ferret Scout Car Mk 1, CFR 54-82592, standing on a section of Bailey Bridge, Champlain Ave., West of the Carleton Barracks Officer’s Mess.

Ferret Scout Car

Ferret armoured Scout car was designed by the British for reconnaissance purpose and was produced between 1952 and 1971.  It was built from an all-welded monocoque steel body, making the vehicle lower but also making the drive extremely noisy inside as all the running gear was within the enclosed body with the crew.  Four-wheel drive was incorporated together with “Run flat” tires (which kept their shape even if punctured in battle thus enabling a vehicle to drive to safety).  The Canadian Army had 124 in service from 1954 to 1981, serving with the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s), and C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps and 5th Canadian Division Training Centre at CFB Gagetown until they were replaced by the Lynx tracked reconnaissance vehicles.

Royal Canadian Dragoons Memorial outside the front entrance to the New Brunswick Military History Museum (NBMHM).

Universal Carrier, Toronto Scottish Regiment, Nieuport, Belgium, 9 Sep 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3262696)

Canadian Lloyd and Universal Carriers, training in the UK, 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3613151)

Universal Carrier, New Brunswick Military History Museum.  This vehicle is now undergoing restoration.

Universal Carrier

The Universal Carrier, also known as the Bren Gun Carrier is a light armoured tracked vehicle that was produced between 1934 and 1960.  It was used by Canadian units including The Carleton and York Regiment, The New Brunswick Rangers, and the Saint John Fusiliers (Machine Gun), during the Second World War to transport personnel, weapons and equipment.  The 104th Anti-Tank Battery, 7th Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment from Fredericton and the 105th Anti-Tank Battery, 3rd Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment from St. George, New Brunswick, and other Royal Canadian Artillery units used them to tow the Ordnance QF 6 pounder anti-tank gun.  28,992 were built in Canada by the Ford Motor Company of Canada.  A few Universal Carriers were equipped with 2-pounder anti-tank guns and shipped to England in 1942.  The remainder provided emergency airfield defence on the Canadian northwest coast.  This Universal Carrier is being restored by the NBMHM.

Canadian Army T30 Howitzer Motor Carriage halftracks equipped with a 75-mm M1897A4 howitzer, aka "French 75" in Italy ca 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607690)

While engaged in the fighting at Anzio, Italy in April 1944, the First Special Service Force (FSSF) acquired a Gun Company from an American Ranger  unit, "Darby's Rangers".  This unit was equipped with four T30 Howitzer Motor Carriage halftracks equipped with a 75-mm M1897A4 howitzer, aka "French 75".

White M3 Halftrack, Canadian Army, France, 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233293)

White M3 Halftrack (Serial No. CZ 4036146), donated by the Royal New Brunswick Regiment.  Museum vehicle park.

M3A1 Halftrack Armoured Personnel Carrier

The Carrier, Personnel Halftrack M3 was an armoured vehicle used by Canadians and other Allies during the Second World War and in Korea.  The M3 had a single access door in the rear and seating for a 13-man rifle squad.  This vehicle was armed with a .50-calibre M2 Browning machine gun.  The body is armoured all around, with an adjustable armoured shutter for the engine’s radiator and a bulletproof windscreen.  The vehicle lacked overhead protection from airbursting artillery shells and it was vulnerable to machinegun fire.  More than 41,000 were produced.  White M3 Halftrack (Serial No. CZ 4036146), was donated to the NBMHM by the Royal New Brunswick Regiment.

Officer cadets at the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps School (RCACS) prepare ammunition for loading into a Centurion tank at the Meaford Tank Range, Ontario.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4746855)

 (Author Photos)

Centurion Main Battle Tank Mk 5, 20-pounder main gun.  Museum vehicle park.

Centurion Armoured Vehicle Bridge Laying (AVBL)

The Centurion was used as the basis for a range of specialist equipment, including engineering variants like the Armoured Vehicle Bridge Laying (AVBL), four of which were purchased in 1966.  On retirement at CFB Gagetown, the last AVBL was driven to its present location East of the Base Medical Centre and parked intact.

Centurion Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV), Ex Reforger Oct 1974, Germany.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4816325)

 (Author Photos)

Centurion Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV), CFR 54-81334.  Museum vehicle park. 

Centurion Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV)

Nine Centurion Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARV) were purchased for the Canadian Army  in 1954.  The tank turret was replaced by a superstructure housing a winch powered by an auxiliary engine and capable of pulling of up to 90 tons using a system of blocks.  The ARV was armed with a single .30 inch machine gun on the commander's cupola.  It was used by many different units including the RCEME and 4 Engineer Support Regiment at CFB Gagetown for the recovery of heavy armour and vehicles bogged down in the muddy terrain during training operations until the arrival of the Badger ARV.

The Taurus ARV replaced the Centurion in Canadian service.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4728142)

M113s, 3 RCR, Geroldshofen, Germany, Fallex, 14 Sep 1982.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4876339)

 (Author Photos)

US M113A2 Armoured Personnel Carrier APC, US Army Serial No. MSJ 18316MA, version, UN markings.  Museum Vehicle Park.

 (Author Photos)

US M113A2 Armoured Personnel Carrier APC, US Army Serial No. MSJ 20156, A-85, 31, painted as 65-35001, 42A.  Museum Vehicle Park.

M113, Severn River, Ontario, ca 1965.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235945)

M548A1 Cargo Carrier, Ex Certain Wacht, NE Germany, 20 Jan 1977.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4822884)

M548A1 Carrier, Cargo, Full Tracked with winch, Scheinfurt, Germany, Fallex, 14 Sep 1982.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4876341)

 (Author Photos)

M548A1 Carrier, Cargo, Full Tracked with winch, CFR 35479, 49E.  Museum Vehicle Park.

M548 Tracked Cargo Vehicle

The M548 is an un-armoured tracked cargo carrier equipped with a rear cargo bed based on the M113 APC chassis. They have been used at CFB Gagetown by the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, 4th Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, and the 5th Canadian Division Training Centre.

 

M577 Command Post, Ex Grosse Rochade, Danube, Germany, 18 Sep 1975.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4748894)

M577 Command Post, Geroldshofen, Germany, Fallex, 14 Sep 1982.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4876347)

 (Author Photos)

M577 Command Post, CFR 66-35530, painted as 93A, Museum vehicle park.

M577 Command Post, Artillery variant, 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support), 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown.

M577 Command Post

The M577 Command Post vehicle is a variant of the M113 APC.  The roof over the rear troop compartment is higher.  The vehicle also carries additional radios and a generator.  They have been used at CFB Gagetown by the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support), Royal Canadian Artillery, and the 5th Canadian Division Training Centre.

M578 Light Recovery Vehicle, New Brunswick Military History Museum, RCEME compound.

M578 Light Recovery Vehicle

The M578 an American designed armoured recovery vehicle in service with the Canadian Army.  It provided maintenance support to mechanized infantry and artillery units and to recover disabled light armored vehicles using its crane boom.  The cab can rotate 360°, and has a 30,000 lb (13,600 kg) capacity winch was run through a crane on the cab.  Another winch, 60,000 lb (27,000 kg) capacity, was mounted on the front of the cab.  The crane operator and rigger both had vision cupolas in the cab roof.  The M578 was designed with systems to be powered even while the vehicle was shut off.  An auxiliary system drove an onboard generator as well as hydraulic pumps which, in turn, supplied drive power to the cab, the boom arm, a pair of winches, and an anchor spade - the latter fitted to the rear of the hull. It was armed with a heavy machine gun fitted on the turret roof.  They have been used at CFB Gagetown by the RCEME and by 4 Engineer Support Regiment.

 (Author Photos)

M113 C & R Lynx, CFR 67-35885, CR2-76, painted as 41E.  Museum vehicle park.

M113 C & R Lynx, CFR 67-35916, E11A, New Brunswick Military History Museum.  This vehicle stands on a Bailey Bridge Section outside the North Gate.

M113 Lynx Command & Reconnaissance Vehicle

The M113 Lynx command and reconnaissance vehicle (M1123 C & R) is an American designed tracked armoured fighting vehicle.  It is a smaller vehicle built using M113A1 components, including aluminum armour, but with only four road wheels on each side and with the engine mounted in the rear instead of the front.   The M113 C & R was employed in the reconnaissance role by Canada, where it was officially designated the Lynx.  It is amphibious, propelled in the water by its tracks.  The Canadian Forces accepted 174 vehicles from 1968, replacing the Ferret armoured car.  The Lynx remained in Canadian service with the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s), and C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps and 5th Canadian Division Training Centre at CFB Gagetown until they were withdrawn from service in 1993, and replaced by 203 Coyote eight-wheeled reconnaissance vehicles.

Ferret Scout Car Mk. 1, 56 Recce Squadron, UNEF, Egypt, 1957.  Left to Right: Sgt Robert Slaney, L/Cpl Belfontain, Tpr  Cooper, out on petrol along the Frontier between Israel/ Egypt.  Photo taken by Scovil Brown from another Ferret in the Troop of four.

 

Ferret Scout Car Mk 1, CFR 54-82608.  Museum Vehicle Park.

 (Author Photos)

AVGP Grizzly, CFR 78-37252, painted as 13B.  Museum Vehicle Park.

AVGP Grizzly

The AVGP (Armoured Vehicle General Purpose) Grizzly is an APC designed to carry a section of infantry with a with a three-man crew.  It mounts a Cadillac-Gage 1 metre turret, armed with a .50 ca HMG and a 7.62-mm machine gun. It is one of a series of three armoured fighting vehicles ordered by the Canadian military in 1977.  The AVGP variants brought into Canadian service were intended for use only in Canada, but they were eventually pressed into service for several United Nations missions, including UNPROFOR and the mission to Somalia.  The Grizzly served with the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s), C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment and 5th Canadian Division Training Centre at CFB Gagetown until they were replaced by the LAV III.

AVGP Husky in action, (Anthony Seward Photo)

 (Author Photos)

AVGP Husky, CFR 78-37557, painted as 88C.  Museum vehicle park.

AVGP Husky ARV

 The AVGP (Armoured Vehicle General Purpose) Husky is an Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV) operated by a two-man crew.  The Husky is designed to provide mechanical support for the other two AVGP vehicles. The Husky served with the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s), C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment, 4 Canadian Engineer Regiment  and 5th Canadian Division Training Centre at CFB Gagetown until they were replaced by the LAV III.

RG-31 Nyala, NBMHM.  (Author Photos, 17 Oct 2019)

RG-31 Nyala

The RG-31 Nyala is a 4×4 multi-purpose mine-resistant ambush protected infantry mobility vehicle manufactured in South Africa by Land Systems OMC.  The Canadian Forces purchased 75 RG-31 Mk3 equipped with the Protector Remote Weapon Station (RWS).

Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering, Canadian Military Engineer Museum

Centurion armoured vehicle-launched bridge (AVLB), 4 Field Sqn, RCE, Ex Reforger 74, Eilheim, Germany, Oct 1974.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4816313)

Centurion AVBL, Ex Regensprung, Lahr, Germany, 9 Sep 1975.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4748878)

Centurion AVBL, CFR 67-10173, Canadian Military Engineer Museum.  This vehicle is on display on Champlain Ave., East of the Base Medical Centre.

AVLB Beaver in front of the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering.

AVLB Beaver

The Beaver armoured vehicle launched bridge (AVLB), is an armoured, fully tracked vehicle built on the chassis of a Leopard Tank.  It is a highly mobile, rapidly deployable assault bridge that can be used to span natural and man-made obstacles on the battlefield.  The vehicle’s 22 meter-long bridge can support vehicles as heavy as 60 tonnes over streams and anti-tank ditches.  The Beaver is powered by a V-10, twin super charged, 830 HP, multi-fueled engine.  It is equipped with an NBCD system that provides protection against nuclear, biological, and chemical agents.  It is also equipped with eight smoke/HE grenade dischargers.

Soviet and former Warsaw Pact AFVs with the NBMHM are listed on a separate page on this web site.

Tanks and AFVs with the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps School (RCACS) are listed on a separate page on this web site.

Self-propelled Artillery with the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School (RRCAS) is listed on a separate page on this web site.

AFVs with the Combat Training Centre, 5 CDSB Gagetown, Infantry School are listed on a separate page on this web site.

TAPV, Courtrai.

Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV), with the Author, at 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, New Brunswick.

   

Major Hal Skaarup has woven together an informative and detailed synopsis of the carefully preserved and restored armoured fighting vehicles on display in Canada. He highlights the importance of these upon key turning points in history when these AFVs were in use as tools of war at home and overseas. We often associate the evolution of military prowess with the advancement of sophisticated technology. Major Skaarup's descriptions of Canadian armour as it evolved to the level it has today reveals that military planners have had to be continuously creative in adapting to the changes in modern combat. They had to devise many intricate techniques, tactics and procedures to overcome the insurgents and opposition forces faced in Afghanistan and future overseas missions where Canadian armour will be brought into play. This guide book will show the interested reader where to find examples of the historical armour preserved in Canada, and perhaps serve as a window on how Canada's military contribution to safety and security in the world has evolved.

Lieutenant-General Steven S. Bowes

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