The introduction of the Grizzly came into reality as the American M4A1 Sherman Medium tank was at the time the most modern and successful medium tanks that the allies were producing at the time and would become the “standard” medium tank for the allies during 1943-1945.
The Grizzly is a Canadian made M4A1 Sherman, they were produced at the Tank Arsenal, Montreal Locomotive Works in Montreal, Quebec. There were some differences between the USA M4A1 Sherman and the Canadian made Grizzly which were the additions of a two inch smoke mortar, #19 Wireless set, and changes to stowage and a few other small things to follow Canadian and British standards.
The production of the Grizzly tank stated in August of 1943 and ceased production at the end of 1943. Due to USA’s production line being able to produce enough tanks that the need for Canada to producer their own versions became unnecessary.
In total there was only 188 Grizzly’s made.
There were also other vehicle created using the chassis of the grizzly including: Grizzly Kangaroo’s, Grizzly Firefly, Skink A.A, and the Sexton Mk.II.
The late version of the Grizzly featured 3 differences from the early version. First was the casting of the addon applique armour into the hull rather then welding it on afterwards. The second was the introduction of CDP tracks as by the time Canada was casting the applique armour into the hull the CDP track became a standard on tanks. For those who do not know CDP stands for Canadian Dry Pin which is just track that do not use any rubber. It was cheaper and lighter then normal tracks with rubber.
The last modification that was done to work with CDP tracks was the change from a 12 tooth drive sprocket to a 17 tooth drive sprocket.
The Grizzly program came into being in the spring of 1942 when members from the United States, Canada and United Kingdom got together to discuss maximizing a possibility of standardization for allied tanks. From those talks the M4 was selected as the tank to standardize throughout the armies, but with that they would be allowed to make some changes to the design to fit their standards/ policies better. On March 26th, 1942 representatives from Canada and the United States came together for a meeting to discuss that Canadian production capacity should be used for the production of the American M4A1 tank, which the Canadian representatives agreed with as the weight for the M4 was around the same as the Ram tank that Canadian tank production was currently producing, changing to the M4 would also fall in line with the agreement made in the previous meeting for standardization.
The N.D.H.Q. initial proposed the name “Buffalo” for the Canadian made M4A1 tanks but it was pointed out by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the First Canadian Army that the buffalo was a heraldic animal of the British Armoured Divisions and that the name “Buffalo” should not be used. He then gave his recommendation to name the tank “Grizzly” as it represents Grizzly bears which can be found in Canada. His recommendation was accepted by the N.D.H.Q. The tanks also received some modifications from the standard American made M4A1 as stated above.
Crew: 5 (Driver, Co-driver, Gunner, Loader, Commander)
Max speed: 31kph / 19.3mph
Turret front: 3"
Turret rear: 2"
Turret side: 2"
Turret top: 1"
Hull front: 2"
Hull rear: 11/2" 1"
Hull side: 2" - 11/4"
Hull top: 2" - 1"
Hull bottom front 1"
Hull bottom rear: 1/2"
Main cannon: 75mm M3 (with 75,76 or 78 rounds *Can’t fully tell because the ink in the book bled)
Hull MG: Browning cal. .30 M1919A4 (Shared 1,4750 rounds)
Turret MG: Browning cal. .30 M1919A4 (Shared 1,4750 rounds)
A.A. MG: Browning cal. .50 M1919A4 (300 rounds)
Design Record Canadian-Developed Military Vehicles World War II Volume III Tanks and Tank Type Vehicles. Issued by: Army Engineering Design Branch Department Of Munitions And Supply Ottawa, Canada pg: 83-101