Ram Mk. II "CT150000 series" (Final/Late)

RAM II “CT150000 series”


WD numbers CT159402 to CT160193

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History:

On July 15th 1940 a member of the British War Office had a meeting with a member of the Canadian National Defence Headquarters and discussed the possibility of Canada becoming a producer of cruiser tanks. Following this meeting, on the 15th of August 1940 the Minister of National Defence approved the creation of Canadian Armoured Corps formations. Once the formations were created they lacked the one thing that is important to Armoured units which is armour (tanks), Canada started discussions with the British War Office where they suggested that Canada start production of Crusader tanks that would make up the main core of the Canadian Armoured Corps since the tank just entered production. However Canada was leaving their options open and they were looking south at the United States tank development program.

The main tank that they were looking at was the M3 Lee tank
Canada’s first concept was to modify the M3 tank to fit the requirements of the British War Office and what the Canadian National Defence thought that the Canadian Armoured Corps would require to be properly equipped to fight the German armour which at the time was focusing on larger HE shells rather than armour penetration.

However, at this time the vehicle was just a paper/mock up form and drawings. During the early part of January 1941, Canadian and British representatives had their first look at the M3 Tank and it led to a consensus that the M3 tank would not be satisfactory for the requirements for the United Kingdom or Canada. Seeing as the M3 tank would no longer be acceptable it was decided that Canada would develop and produce its own tank, using the mechanical components from the United States, but the hull, turret and armament would be Canadian designed.
In June 1941 the Ram pilot model was completed, the United States were interested in this pilot model as it was completed only 2 months after the first pilot model of the M3 lee was completed (April 22nd 1941). The tank was sent to the US for trials and on July 18th 1941 it arrived at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

The Pilot and the first 50 Ram I tanks were mounted with a 2 pounder due to the British not providing drawing for a 6 pounder turret mounting, in April 1941 Canada sent a draftsman, Brigadier Worthington, and Captain D.McK. Loomis from the Canadian Department of Munitions and Supply were sent to the UK to expedite the delivery of the drawings. On the 2nd of May 1941 Worthington reported back to Canada the the drawings were in “a very unsatisfactory state” which lead to Canada designing their own 6 pounder turret mounting to be used on the Ram tank.

On the 4th of October 1941, the C.M.H.Q. notified the N.D.H.Q. that the War Office had chosen to give names to existing, and all future, sorts of tanks to remove any confusion between different types of armoured fighting vehicles. The Canadian Corps Commander suggested that the name Ram be taken on account of the Modified M3 Cruiser Tank being delivered in Canada. The tank furnished with the 2-pounder cannon, was to be known as the Ram I and the tank outfitted with the 6-pounder weapon, to be known as Ram II. This suggestion was supported by N.D.H.Q. and a strategy was laid out that future kinds of tanks that were produced in Canada would be named after animals.

By February 1942, 50 Ram I tanks had been produced, of which 10 were held in Canada and the other 40 were sent to Europe to be deployed to the combat theater or used to train Canadian tank crews in Europe. As soon as all 50 Ram I tanks were produced plans for the development and production of the Ram II commenced. The Director of Mechanization Col R.A. MacFarlane that the Ram I tank was not a very remarkable fighting vehicle. He encouraged that production lines be changed to M4 tanks at the earliest opportunity.

A study of the defects of Ram I tanks already produced by Montreal Locomotive Works reveals a number of points to which inspection took exception but which were overlooked in order that a good production showing could be made. Some of the noted issues with the vehicle were minor, but not really considered when each tank costs between $50,000 - $100,000. The Ram I tanks produced before this point were not considered battle-ready tanks and would require extensive alteration before they would be in a fit condition to battle. During early part of 1942, Canada inquired with the United States War Department as to whether they were ready to accept Ram II tanks, as Canadian Built lend lease vehicles, these tanks were to be called M4A5. The U.S. Ordnance wanted to increase the production of as a primary concern the craving to build the result of tanks from the Montreal Locomotive Works with the help of the American Locomotive Company. The British acknowledged their readiness to accept such tanks, and the United States in like manner submitted a request for 1,351 tanks through War Supplies Limited (a Canadian Crown Company set up in the May of 1941, this company was to facilitate weapon orders set by the United States in Canada). At the time this request was acknowledged the Department of Munitions and Supply accepted the Canadian Department of Munitions and Supply received capital assistance from the United State Ordnance in order proceed with the planned Ram tank orders and scaling production.

On March 26th 1942 the British Tank Commission with Canadian authorities held a meeting in Ottawa and it was decided that the Montreal Locomotive Works would add a production line for the Grizzly tank as they believed that adding the production of the grizzly tank would not impact the current production of the Ram II tank.

During the early part of 1943, the United States request for 1,351 Ram tanks was canceled, and all Ram II tanks that were produced to be sent to the United State were instead be used to meet the requirements of the Canadian Army program. The cancellation of the United States order, caused the reflection of the whole Ram tank program. The overhauled program required the total production of 1,899 Ram II tanks at the pace of 150 every month, and would be completed June 15th 1943. After which the Montreal Locomotive Works would shift their producer focus towards the completion of 1,200 Grizzly tanks which were planned to be completed by February, 1944.

Deliveries of the Ram tanks were completed by August 11th 1943. Statistics prepared by the Directorate of Mechanization, N.D.H.Q. show that the total number of Ram tanks produced was 1,948 (including 50 Ram I); 1,671 of these were transported to Europe and 277 held in Canada (this was for training as well as defence) . These figures do not agree with those given by the Department of Munitions and Supply which show 1,949 tanks being created. It is still unknown as to how the difference in numbers happened. The ram tank may have not seen that much combat however it performed the important task of training Canadian Armoured Divisions. Considerable numbers of the Ram tanks did not reach the battlefield, however many of them were converted into armoured personnel carriers, ammunition vehicles and “Badger” flame-throwers. The Ram chassis also formed the basis for the Canadian “Sexton” self-propelled 25-pounder gun, as well as many other prototype vehicles.

Throughout the production of the Ram II the design underwent many changes which resulted in difficulties when loading the tanks for rail transportation the CMHQ started to use designations like Ram mk II “A”-”D” and then “Final” (late) which would help the staff when loading the tank onto rail cars. These are not official naming’s and I will be using them to outline the differences between the different production modifications to get a better understanding that there were batches of tanks that were different then the other.

This suggestion will be focusing on the Ram mk II sub-model “CT150000 series” (Final/Late)
Which were tanks CT159402 to CT160193

This sub-model is identified by the removal ventilator fans which were previously where the sponson doors are and replaced by a cast bulge.

Specific tanks in this sub-model also had extra modifications done to them (that I could find record of):

  • CT159402: introduced the trailing arm suspension with stronger springs and reinforced idlers. T54E1 tracks were fitters (both of these modifications were often retrofitted to earlier Ram tanks)The “A” aerial mount was altered so that it now allowed for depression on the top of the turret. The “B” aerial mount was also changed. A number of interior changes were made to the ammunition racks, the instrument panel, and fuel tanks. The panel compass was moved from the instrument panel to the turret. Four instead of five drain plugs were installed in the floor. HRUH instead of HRH generators were installed.

  • CT159502: The auxiliary machine-gun turret was replaced by a ball mounting, a floor escape hatch was installed, spare aerial sections were moved from the rear deck into the right sponson.

  • CT159540: The 6-pounder Mk.V gun (50 calibres long, counter-weight at end) was made standard (it was retrofitted to some earlier tanks).

  • CT159626: Introduction of the 4th type mantlet without horseshoe.

  • CT159724: The mudguard toolbox lids were sealed with a canvas strip over the hinges, a circular cut-away appears on mud-guard sides.

  • CT159872: Air scoops were fitted to the rear corners of the hull.

  • CT159994: The turret air vent was replaced by a periscope, requiring moving the “B” aerial mounting, a second periscope was fitted to the commander’s hatch, there was a change to the commander’s hatch ring. Cast rollers standard on all subsequent tanks.

  • CT160002: Methyl bromide fire extinguishers replace the Pyrene ones on the rear corners of the hull. The head-lamps were shifted 23cm inboard and 10 cm down and given new guards.


General Ram II Specs: (I am unable to find unique specs on each of the “sub-models”)
Crew: 5 (Driver, Co-Driver (Machine Gunner), Gunner, Loader, Commander)

Top speed: 40.23 km/hr
Weight: 65,000 lbs.

Armour:

Turret:
Front - 3”
Rear - 2 ¼”
Side - 3” - 2 ½”
Top - 1”

Hull:
Front - 3” - 2”
Rear - 1 ½”
Side - 2 ½”- 1 ¼”
Top - 1 ½” - 1”
Bottom - 1” (Front) ½” (Rear)

Armament:

1x Ordnance Q.F. 6-Pdr mk. III or V (92 rounds) some were also fitted with a 75mm gun
Elevation: 30°
Traverse: 360° Hand or Power
Logansport Hydraulic type, Electric drive from vehicle generator and batteries

3x .30 M.G. M1919A4 (4000 rounds)

1x mounted coaxially in turret
Elevation: 20° | Depression: 7 ½°
Geared elevation with gyro stabilizer or hand.

1x (flexible type) in ball and socket mount, left bow - with elimination of cupola
Elevation: 60° | Depression: 7 ½°
Elevation is done by hand
1x (AA for mount in turret hatch ring (440 rounds, 110 round reels) Free Traverse 360°)
1x 2 “ Mk I Smoke Bomb Thrower (43 rounds)
Sights: No. 33 Direction Sighting Telescope Magnification 1.9

Performance Data:

Power/Weight: (Net power to gross weight ratio) 12.3 B.H.P. per short ton
Ground pressure: 13.1 p.s.i
Gradeability: (Theoretical in 1st gear)
35° - Ascending
Engine: Continental Motors Corp. R975-EC2
Type: Static radial air cooled 4-cycle petrol 9 cylinder
Peak Gross B.H.P. - 400 @ 2400 r.p.m.
Torque - Max. - 890 ft/lbs. @ 1800 r.p.m.

Gear Box:

Type - Synchromesh

Ratio:

1st - 7.56 : 1
2nd - 3.11 : 1
3rd - 1.79 : 1
4th - 1.11 : 1
5th - 0.73 : 1
Reverse - 5.65 : 1

This series of tanks were or could be fitted with CDP tracks.

Sources:

https://web.archive.org/web/20180321031020/http://www.ramtank.ca/ram_mk2_4.htm

https://web.archive.org/web/20180326123911/http://www.ramtank.ca/ramhist1.htm

Canada’s Pride: The Ram Tank By: Roger V. Lucy (ISBN 13: 978-1-894581-61-5)

Canadian Military Vehicle Profiles (Canadian Military Vehicle Series, Vol. 2) By: Gregg, William/ Bill (ISBN 10: 0969094310 / ISBN 13: 9780969094319

Published by Canadian Military Historical Society, Inc., 1981)

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 Dec. 31st 1945

2 Likes

A well put together suggestion, and yes to the Rams.

2 Likes

This is probably the most interesting of the Ram II tanks that you have suggested. Especially if it is the variant without the auxiliary turret and having the 6pdr Mk V instead of the Mk III.

2 Likes

Thanks, some were also fitted with a 75mm Im unsure if I will make a separate suggestion for that though.

2 Likes

Britain should definitely get one of the Rams, which one specifically doesn’t seem to matter in the game